5 KMs in Miles | How to Run a Fast 5K

Are you wondering what 5 kms in miles comes out? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. 5 kilometers in miles comes out to 3.1 miles or 5,000 meters. Are you planning on running this event on the track? If so, you will compete over 12 and half laps around the track. The 5k race distance is one of the most popular races in the world.

People that are seeking what 5kms in miles comes out to in miles could be interested in running. Perhaps not but many are. My hope is that this post will be helpful to you and help you get a new personal best over the 5k distance. Also, there are many resources located here. I have created 5k training plans, running courses as well as personal coaching for runners.

I have run 14:18 for the 5k on the roads. So, I certainly understand what it takes to run fast over this distance. No, I didn’t run that type of time overnight. I started off in the 17s, then moved to the 16s and 15s. The 5k is a highly anaerobic event. Yes, you still need to put in easy mileage to run fast over 5,000 meters. That being said, you really have to work on your leg speed as well.

What is 5 Kilometers in Miles?

5 kms in miles is exactly 3.107 miles. Proper pacing is absolutely essential to run well especially in the latter stages of the race. I always tell the runners I coach to hold off making their move until after the first mile. Remember, 1 mile is 1.6 kilometers. So, try not to start making your moves into after you get past that first mile or 1.6 kilometers.

20 week marathon training plan pdf
Coach Pennington finishing as the top American and in 4th place at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35

I get questions like how to run a 5k in 20 minutes. Well, you need to get 6:26 mile pace or 4:00 per kilometer to feel more manageable. How do you do that? Spend a higher percentage of your weekly volume training at or far below your goal 5k race pace. No, there is nothing easy about this. Yes, it can be done with enough patience and persistence. Remember, other runners have done so why can’t you?

The world record for the 5k is 12:35.36 by Uganda’s Jeffrey Cheptegei. The 12:35 time he ran comes out to 4:03 per mile for 6.2 miles or 2:31 per kilometer for the 5 kilometers. In comparison, the world record for women is 14:06.62 by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey.

Her time comes out to 4:32 per mile or 2:49 per kilometer. Remember, these are the fastest times ever run. So, don’t feel bad if you can’t run close to these times. It is just an example of what the human body can do with enough work and focus. Again 5 kms in miles is 6.2 miles. So, these athletes have trained very hard in order to sustain this type of race pace for 5,000 meters.

How Long Should a 5K Take

It all depends on what your goals are and how long you prepare to do it. I think the best time frame to train for a 5k is between 12 to 20 weeks. Of course, this will depend on your schedule. The majority of runners work full-time jobs. In addition, are in school, taking care of family and other responsibilities. Remember, it takes about 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stresses you are placing on it.

5 kilometers in miles comes out to 3.1 miles. So, how fast you cover this distance will be dependent on you running fast mileage. Yes, running easy is still essential too.

You cannot continue to push the body hard and expect a high return on your investment if you run too hard too often. So, make sure you are jogging on those recovery days. Google the word “Supercompensation”. Your competition more than likely have never heard about it. The key tactic here is to improve your body’s lactate tolerance.

Fast running is the only way to do this. Our objective is to slow down less in the 5k versus our competition. In addition, maintain pace longer and get that 5k race pace to feel more like half marathon race pace instead.

How Hard is it to Run 5 Kilometers

The 5 kilometer or 5,000 meter event is a great race especially for beginners. I would recommend spending at least 3 to 6 weeks running easy mileage. My reason for this is I want the athletes I guide to be prepared to handle running at faster paces. What I don’t want is my athletes getting injured my moving too quickly. In addition, to not get discouraged by trying to run faster than they are currently able to.

Remember, the concept here is to use leverage. There are plenty of runners who already know how to work hard. That being said, the hardest working athletes don’t always get the results. Smart training is what you want. Investing in a running course or a legitimate 5k training program located here is a way to speed up your learning curve. Also, it takes the guesswork out of your preparation.

I also create free weekly content at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. So, definitely stop in and subscribe. You will get notified when I make new training and racing videos. The 5k is less hard when you training properly to run it. Of course, many runners just want to go out and jog a 5k for fun. There is nothing wrong with that. We all have different goals when it comes to running.

10 Kilometers in Miles

10 kms in miles comes out to 10,000 meters or 6.2 miles. The 10k is double the distance of the 5k race distance. So, you will still need to develop your endurance as well as you speed to run these events effectively. The 5K and 10K race distances are great races for beginners and advanced level runners. In addition, these two events are some of the most popular race distances out there.

The 10,000m or 10 kilometer event on the track is 25 laps. It is the longest running event in track and field. Of course, there is the 20,000m race walk is similar to the 10,000m in that both are Olympic race distances. Pacing is also very important in the 10k as it is in the 5k. Remember, 5 kms in miles is 12 and half laps around the track or 3.1 miles.

A major problem I see many runners making is going out far too fast in the early miles of the race. Again, you don’t want to go into oxygen debt. So, be patient in the early stage of your race and you will have a better chance of running the time you want.

Is 16 Minutes a Good 5K Time?

Yes. A time of 16 minutes for the 5k is a very good time. In fact, a far smaller percentage of runners run this fast of a 5k each year. Again, the faster you are aiming on running the 5,000m event the more you have to focus on training aggressively. That being said, you also have to be very smart about jogging on easy days. Runners get too hyped up on even what paces they are running on easy days.

What counts the most is what paces you are running during track workouts, tempo runs and long runs. I would recommend doing strides twice per week. Strides are great for working on your leg turn over and acceleration. Strides should not be done all out. They should only be anywhere from 50 to 100 meters in length. So, you won’t build up any significant lactic acid doing them.

Also, you can do these on top of your other workouts throughout the week too. Lastly, you will have spent several miles or kilometers at near all out sprint speeds doing these over the long-term.

How to Run a 5K Faster

Focus on running longer

Imagine how strong and confident you will be once you have extended your long run out to 8 to 10 miles? Why? You will be running nearly 3 times or slightly over 3 times the distance of your race. Also, you will be building your endurance and burning fat running long. I am a big believer that long runs are one of the most important workouts you can do to run a 5K optimally.

Yes, the 5,000m or 5k distance demands speed but the athlete who has strong endurance will get results. That being said, you don’t want to run long and slow every single weekend. The 5k training schedules here at RunDreamAchieve focus on both easy as well as…

Faster Long Runs

Faster, varied paced long runs helped me lower my 5K PR from 15:19 to 14:18. Also, helped me to lower my marathon PR from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. I have also had other athletes who have followed my training plans and running courses do very well using the strategy. For example one guy dropped his marathon PR from 3:46 to 2:58.

Below are som examples of the types of faster, varied paced long runs I was doing prior to running 2:19:35…

  • 2 mile jog, 7 miles@5:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 6 miles@5:55 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 2 miles at 5:25 mile pace, 1 mile jog (23 miles)
  • 1 mile jog, 10 miles@5:40 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 2 miles@5:15 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 5:00, 3 miles at 6:00 mile pace, 1 mile jog (22 miles)

Of course, you won’t need to run this far for a 5K. Long runs need to start off slow and shorter at first. Again, you need to focus first on 4 weeks of easy aerobic running. It takes time to build fitness and it can’t be rushed. So, long runs for our 5k training plans range anywhere from 5 miles to 10 miles later on.

Lengthen Your Tempo Runs

No, this won’t happen overnight. You need to first adapt to running 2 to 3 miles at tempo effort before extending your tempo run out to 4 to 6 miles in length. So, the longer you can run at your anaerobic threshold the better you are going to be over 3.1 miles. The reason is you will teach the body to clear lactic acid more effectively. 5 kms in miles is 3.1 miles.

Easy running will not produce this capability for the athlete. The reason being is the activity is too aerobic. You are not stressing the energy systems aggressively enough when running easy. Yes, you must have a combination of both aerobic running in your training schedule to succeed.

You can’t continue to push the body hard before before the athlete sees diminished returns. So, easy running is still very important. The key is to run a higher percentage of your weekly training at or close to your goal 5k pace. In addition, far below it. The only way to continue to do this though is to jog on those easy days. So, be smart about this in your training. I have tried to make this easier for athletes with the resources available here at RunDreamAchieve.

Focus on Your Leg Speed

I focus on having my athletes do 1, vo2 max workout per week. Speed workouts will help you recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these you can recruit the more efficient you are going to cover the 5k distance. Below are some examples of the types of speed workouts you may seen in our 5k training programs…

  • Track intervals i.e. 10x400m, 6x1mile, 2x2mile etc
  • Road intervals i.e. 8x1k, 3x2mile, 5x1k etc.
  • Hill repetitions i.e. 10x200m, 9x300m etc.
  • Fartlek workouts i.e 10x1min hard/1 min easy and many other variations thereof

We are running at between 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate running at the vo2 max. So, these workouts are extremely painful. You are running at speeds so fast you can’t clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. Naturally, we need to stop to take a short break before starting our next repetition. Remember, don’t start your next rep until your heart rate gets back down to 120 beats per minute.

I am a big believer in heart rate monitor training. I use the Garmin 245. The Garmin 245 helps me to stay in the correct heart rate zone. Also, instead of worrying about what pace per mile or kilometer you focus on heart rate. Remember, as you get fitter your pace will increase while your heart rate generally stays the same.

Mental Training

Mental rehearsal is very important if you really want to start running faster over 5 kilometers. 5 kms in miles is 3.1 miles. So, in order to perform well you need to focus on both physical and mental training. The majority of runners focus only on physical preparation. The world’s best combine them both. So, start spending 10 minutes daily visualizing yourself crossing the finish line in your goal time.

The subconscious mind, cannot tell the difference between reality or imagination

Billy Mills, 10,000m Gold Medalist

The best time to rehearse your race is before you go to bed at night or when you first get up in the morning. Also, see yourself running relaxed, confident and passing people.

Closing Thoughts

So, 5 kms in miles comes out to 3.1 miles or 5,000 meters. Regardless what distance you are training for, focus on your nutrition, rest and hydration practices too. Remember, it is what you are doing the hours after your track or road workout is what counts the most. We have three choices in this life. We can be average, good or great. An average 5k time is around 35 to 40 minutes. A very good 5k time is anything under 25 minutes or faster.

Of course, there are runners who can run much faster or slower depending on the maturity level of the runner. You are more than welcome to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my background. I always want my visitors and athletes who reach out to me to feel comfortable. 5 kms in miles comes out to just over 3 miles. So, in order to perform well you need to taper correctly and pace yourself in the race properly.

I believe in a 10-day rather than a 3-week taper. I think runners seeking to go into their races fully rested should consider dropping their volume and intensity 10 days out from their goal race. Do you have any other questions? You can reach me at nathanpennington [at] protonmail [dot] com.

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