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How Long Will It Take Me Run a 5K?

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Updated April 02, 2014

How Long Will It Take Me Run a 5K? Wesley Hitt/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Question: How Long Will It Take Me Run a 5K?
"I'm running my first 5K. How can I estimate my 5K time?"
Answer: Finishing times for a 5K race (3.1 miles) span a very wide range because there's usually a mix of experienced, fast runners and beginner runners and walkers. The winner may run the 5K course in under 14 minutes, while some walkers may take over an hour to finish. To give you an idea of some possible finishing times, someone who runs an 8 minutes/mile pace would finish in 24:51; someone running a 10 minutes/mile would finish in 31:04; and someone doing a 12 minutes/mile pace would finish in 37:17.

It's possible to get an estimate of how long it might take you to run a 5K using a previous race time and plugging it into a race time prediction calculator. Of course, most people doing their first 5K have never raced before. If that's the case, do a fitness assessment by running a mile at the fastest pace you can comfortably go.

Running for Fitness Race Predictor: To use this calculator, just plug in your age, gender, and time/distance from a recent race or your mile fitness test. The calculator will show how you might perform in the 5K, as well as races at other distances. This calculator shows several different predictions, based on different formulas. So you get a range of predicted times, and you can see that it's not an exact science -- just an estimate. Look at the average time prediction for the 5 km to see your estimated time.

How Accurate is that 5K Time Estimate?
Keep in mind that the prediction is an estimate of what you might achieve, if you do the appropriate training for your 5K race and race to your potential. It doesn't mean that you'll automatically run that time because of your fitness level. In addition, the difficulty of the course, weather conditions, racing experience, and how you're feeling that day will also factor into your race time.

More About 5K Times
Some beginner runners who've never raced before worry that they'll be the last person to finish. (They're almost always wrong.) If you're curious where you might place (top 10%, back of the pack, etc.) in a particular 5K, look online at the results from last year's race. The number of finishers and the range of finishing times are probably similar from year to year.

Also see: What's a Good Time for a 5K?

5K Training Schedules:
5K Training Schedule for Beginners: This eight-week training schedule is designed for beginner runners can run at least one mile and want to run continuously to the finish line of a 5K race.

5K Run/Walk Training Schedule: This eight-week training schedule is designed for those who can run for five minutes at a time and want to build up to running for the entire 5K race.

Train for a 5K in a Month: This four-week training program is geared toward beginner run/walkers who want to build up to running a 5K in a month.

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.

5K Training Schedule for Intermediate Runners: This eight-week schedule is good for runners who've already run some 5K races and are looking to achieve a personal record (PR) in the 5K.

4-Week Intermediate 5K Training Schedule: This four-week schedule is for intermediate runners who currently run about 15 miles a week.

5K Training Schedule for Advanced Runners: This eight-week 5K training program is for advanced level runners. You should be running at least 4-5 days a week and are able to run at least 5 miles.

Other Race Distances: How Long Does it Take to Run a 10K? l How Long Does it Take Run a Half Marathon? l How Long Does it Take to Run a Marathon?

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