How Many Miles Is The 5K & What Else Should You Know?

How Many Miles Is The 5K & What Else Should You Know?

Here is everything you need to know about the 5K, from how long it is to how to train for one.

Jun 29, 2020 by Alex Rees
How Many Miles Is The 5K & What Else Should You Know?

The 5K race — short for five kilometers — is a long-distance race many runners conquer over the course of their careers. The race has gained popularity over the years and there are thousands of 5K races that are run across the globe. 

Here are some answers to the most common questions about the 5K race:

  1. How long is a 5k? The 5k is 3.1 miles in length or 5,000 meters. 

  2. Do you have to be a pro to run a 5k? Not at all. The 5K is a great race for beginner and amateur runners who want to test their skills. Many times, the races are broken up by expected running time so similar runners are grouped together during the race. 

  3. How long does it take to run a 5K? The amount of time that it takes to run a 5K will vary on each individual runner and their mile pace. Oftentimes, beginner runners will have a goal of completing the race in under 30 minutes, or just shy of a 10-minute mile (6 mph) pace.

  4. How long should I train before a 5K? Training plans will vary on the individual runner and how experienced he or she is, but it’s usually wise to set aside eight to 12 weeks to train before the race.  Having this much time will ensure you are prepared for the race but not overtraining or getting overuse injuries.

  5. Is it ok to walk during a 5K? Absolutely! There are no rules saying that you have to run the entire duration of the race. The 5K is a great race because it’s a very doable race for many runners, and people of all running backgrounds are welcome to sign up and complete 5K races. 

  6. What should I eat before the race? The night before your race, it’s important to not vary up the food you eat drastically from what you have been eating during training. While the old adage is to carbo-load the night before and eat a big bowl of pasta, it’s not necessary for a strong performance on the day of the race. Right before the race, though, it’s important to eat carbohydrates, especially quickly digestible carbs, as those are your main energy source for the run.

  7. Do I need to wear the race shirt that they gave me? No, it is not necessary to wear the t-shirt that they gave you in your race packet. Many times, this is just a part of the SWAG that they give out during these events and are covered partially by the entry fee. You should wear whatever you feel most comfortable running in the day of the race. 

  8. Do I need to run 5K in my training before the race? No, it’s not necessary to run 3.1 miles before you run the 5K. As long as you are able to walk and run for about 30 minutes you should be more than prepared to finish the 5K come race day.

The 5K is a great race for beginner and advanced runners alike. This race is a great way to progress along your running journey and can be a great accomplishment for many athletes.