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How Far Is a 5K Race?

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Updated May 16, 2014

Runners on a half marathon in Stuttgart
Werner Dieterich/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Question: How Far Is a 5K Race?

"I keep hearing about people who are running 5K races. Exactly how far is a 5K race?"

Answer: Running a 5K is a popular goal among runners because the distance is short enough that even beginner runners can be ready for it in a few months. A 5K run is 5 kilometers long, which is the equivalent of 3.1 miles. Local 5K races are fairly easy to find, especially in the spring, summer, and fall, because it's a popular distance for charity races.

If you're interested in running or run/walking a 5K, here are free 5K training programs:

5K Training Run/Walk E-Course: This eight-week training program is designed to help you run to the finish line of your first 5K. It's an email course so, every week, you'll get new instructions and motivation right in your Inbox. If you'd rather not do an email course, you can use this 5K Run/Walk Training Schedule. Both programs assume that you can already run/walk (at 5 min/1 min run/walk intervals) for 30 minutes. If you've never run or run/walked before, you may want to start with the "3 Weeks to a 30-Minute Running Habit" e-course.

5K Training Schedule for Beginners: This eight-week training schedule is designed for beginner runners who want to get you to the finish line of a 5K race. It assumes that you can already run at least 1.5 miles. This training schedule is also available as an email course. Sign up for the 5K Training for Beginner Runners e-course and you'll receive weekly emails about your training.

5K Training Schedule for Advanced Beginners: This eight-week schedule is geared toward runners who can run 2 miles comfortably and can run 4 to 5 days per week. You may have never run a 5K before, but you're looking for a schedule that's a little more challenging than the 5K Beginner Schedule.

4-Week Beginner 5K Schedule: If you're signed up for a 5K that's a month away, here's a beginner training schedule that will get you ready.

5K Training Schedule for Intermediate Runners: This eight-week schedule is geared toward runners who can run 5 miles comfortably and can run 4 to 5 days per week.

5K Training Schedule for Advanced Runners: This 8-week 5K training program is for advanced level runners. This is geared toward experienced runners who are hoping to run a personal best in the 5K distance.

Other Race Distances: How Far is 1500 Meters? l How Far is an 8K? l How Far is a 10K? l How Far is a Half Marathon? l How Far is a Marathon?

Also see: Can I Run a 5K?
How Long Will It Take Me to Run a 5K?
Tips for Running a 5K Race
Race Day Tips for Your First Race
What's a Good Time for a 5K?
5K Race Mistakes to Avoid
6 Fun Theme Races to Try

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