How Long Does It Take to Run a 5k?

The 5k run is an easily achievable goal for people who are just starting to get into running. This 5 kilometer distance is also suitable for those who prefer to run a comparatively short-distance race rather than a half-marathon. 

Running a 5k takes approximately thirty to forty minutes, with the time difference varying based on age and fitness factors. Walking a 5k on the other hand, can take between forty-five to sixty minutes to complete. 

People who have never run a 5k can quickly begin to adapt to the race while training for it at any time. Many runners who are just beginning are comfortable clocking any time close to their actual target, and for some your first goal should be to just finish a 5k, without keeping track of your time.

How Age Determines the 5k Average

The average time for completing a 5k is highly affected by age. And as many people would expect, younger runners have a higher average compared to older runners. Yet it may come as a surprise that runners in their middle age are noted to have a better standard time in this distance than younger runners. 

Part of that is likely to be explained by the fact that a runner’s average finishing time improves when a runner becomes more consistent in the run, meaning long term runners who have reached their middle age, often have years of conditioning behind them that younger runners haven’t accumulated. In the 5k, like in any other art or sport, runners improve from experience. 

Beginners Running a 5k

Running a 5k within a time frame of thirty to forty minutes might not be achievable for beginners. The average person can take up to thirty minutes just to run one and a half kilometers when first starting out. But their speed will continue to increase with consistent practice.

Beginners should create a running routine that can be incorporated in their daily life and is adjustable to be increased over time, depending on their desired outcome. The training should include additional fitness practices such as cycling or swimming as a way to cross train, and further adapt the body. 

When first starting out, a good goal is to focus on completing one and a half kilometers in nine to twelve minutes. Translating that speed over to a 5k, means it would take between twenty eight and thirty seven minutes to complete, which puts you right in the average finishing time range.

How to Improve Your Speed

Running a 5k or any other distance helps in developing your physical fitness and in maintaining your long-term health. Your running can serve as a catalyst to start a benevolent cycle of health, where you begin to make better improved choices in other areas of your life, such as food and sleep; since both of them will further improve your running performance.

Another key way to improve your speed is by making sure you regularly warm up before you run. A warm-up routine that takes ten to fifteen minutes to bring your body to a suitable state for running is absolutely worth the time invested, since it helps prevent injuries and gets your body ready for the run.

If you’re used to running the same routes, distances, and speed everyday, consider adding in some variation. Switch your training terrain to hills, trails, or even a treadmill to improve both your endurance and speed. It might be challenging in the beginning, but your over performance will improve with time and consistency. 

Runners can also improve their endurance through intensive workouts. Have a workout routine that starts with a moderate amount of exercise and then advances to high-intensity activities as a way to keep yourself firm and fit. 


Quality rest is a lifestyle practice that will help you improve in all areas of life, and especially your running. In your routine, have at least an entire day of complete rest every week. Pushing yourself too far, too often can result in injuries that might keep you off your feet for weeks at a time, which is a seriously worse way to go. 

In Conclusion

A 5k run is ideal for runners who are just starting. As a beginner, it may be challenging, but it gets better with time if you remain consistent. The great thing about running a 5k is that it’s much easier to do on a whim than going out for a marathon, so it can be a great first goal post to set in your running adventures!

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