How long should it take a beginner to run 5K?

  • Blog
  • 20th February 2019

For runners, competing in a 5K race has become a favorite goal. It is because the distance is short enough that even beginners can build up enough stamina, strength, and skill to be ready to compete in a few months.

No matter if you are beginner to running or a seasoned athlete; you may have wondered how long it’s likely to take for you to finish a 5K race. You may be willing to improve your time or simply want to know how much time to set aside on your calendar.

If you are a beginner, you may have also worried that you’ll be the last person over the finish line (well, that’s hardly the case).

What is the Best Time To Finish a 5K?

Finishing time for a 5K race varies because there usually is a mix of experienced fast runners, slower beginning runners, and, often, walkers. Anything under 25 minutes is considered to be a good time to finish a 5K race. To manage this time, you need to run at a pace of around 8 minutes per mile, which would mean finishing in 24 minutes, 51 seconds (24:51).

How to Improve Your Best Time?

To improve your time in a 5K or to get to a specific time goal, start by choosing a training schedule that’s convenient and appropriate for you and stick to it. If you want to run faster you need to take the next logical step in how you prepare and plan your training schedule. Even though you might think the 5k is short, it demands very specific workouts. No matter if you are a beginner or an experienced runner; you need to do a mix of speed and strength training to develop both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Gradual and consistent training will continue to enhance your performance potential over time.

Here are few tips that will help you improve your time in a 5K race:

  • Strides – Strides are about 100m accelerations. You start with an easy jog and build to about 100% of your max speed and then slow to a complete stop. A stride should take about 20-30 seconds. Strides can be done 2-3 days per week after an easy run.
  • Hill sprints – Hill sprints are 8-12 second maximum effort sprints up a steep hill with a full walking recovery in between. Hill sprints help you build injury resistance, improve your neuromuscular control, and develop the ability to run at top speed.
  • Build Endurance – Every race demands a certain level of endurance. Same goes with the 5K. As we said in our previous blog post, the best way to build and grow your endurance is to increase the distance every following week. If you are a beginner, don’t run for distance, run for time. Adding an extra mile or two might not seem very difficult but over time they dramatically improve your endurance.

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