If you’re thinking about getting fitter and considering the possibility of taking part in a running race sometime in the near future, then you’ve probably wondered how long it takes to run a 5k.
Generally what most beginner runners worry about is not being able to run the whole distance, not necessarily finishing in a certain time. Now if you’re an experienced runner this won’t be something you think about, as you’ll no doubt have a time that you’re looking at beating already, however for beginners it’s often a real concern.
But it needn’t be. Just go out and do your best without having any preconceived ideas about what time you should or shouldn’t be able to do it in.
Another fear is being the last one to finish after everyone else. But you can’t do anything about that one unfortunately.
If this will be your first 5k, then simply do it in stages or part walk, part jog, but just get it out of the way, so you know what to expect next time.
Getting good 5k run times really shouldn’t be the main concern for most first timers.
After having successfully done one 5k, most enthusiastic runners will usually give themselves the target of beating their previous best time. However don’t forget that different race routes and conditions will give very different times, so you should usually only benchmark yourself against the same race and similar conditions.
Of course what many runners do is then go on to test themselves in a 10k, but that’s an entirely different challenge.
So how long does it generally take to run a 5k, that’s what you’re here to find out?
Well, experienced runners of a good standard would normally hope to finish the race in around 25 minutes, whilst fast, club or competitive runners would expect finishing times of around 15 – 20 minutes.
Just so you know the worlds best ever time for running a 5k race of 3.1 miles at the time of writing is 12 minutes 37 seconds by Kenenisa Bekele an Ethiopian runner.
Back to you though now – the majority of new runners, can hope for a target time for completing a 5k in around 30 – 40 minutes, but don’t worry if you’re nowhere near that yet, this could be your next goal, just remember everyone has to start somewhere!
Do consider though that most beginners aren’t doing it to achieve a certain time, they have other motivational factors that drive them forwards, such as losing weight, running with friends or running for a charitable cause to name just a few reasons.
Whilst some beginners might have a finish time in mind, most have other goals like running the whole course without rest or not being the last one to finish.
Whatever your motivation, don’t take it too seriously and go and enjoy it as much as you can.