5KM in Miles: Pro Tips to PR in 2022

There are many athletes who are seeking what is 5km in miles. I am glad you have made it here to rundreamachieve. I have run 14:18 for 5K. So, do understand what it takes to run fast over the 3.1 mile distance. A common mistake I see a lot of runners making is running too many of their weekly miles or kilometers too slow. Remember, the 5km race is a highly anaerobic event. You definitely have to work on your speed training for this event. In addition, you still need to also build your endurance by running easy, aerobic running as well. What you don’t want to do is run too high of a percentage of your weekly mileage too slow. All it will help you with is in being a slow middle distance runner.

How fast do you want to run the 5km? 5km in miles comes out to 3.1 miles or 5 kilometers. The majority of athletes here in the united States of America focus on miles. The rest of the world focuses more in kilometers. How fast you cover the distance will come down to how well you have trained your body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. The faster you train the more you improve your body’s lactate tolerance. Why do the best middle to long distance runners make it look so easy? They spend about 40 percent of their weekly mileage at or well below goal 5k race pace.

5KM in Miles Running Time

How fast you cover this distance will be based on pre-planning. I recommend to my athletes to spend 4 weeks running very easy, relaxed mileage. You can then start one of our 16 week 5k training plans built around your time goal. There are some athlete seeking to break 30 minutes while others are going for under 16 minutes. So, you have to train adequate time in training running at speeds much faster than your goal 5k race pace. No, it doesn’t happen quickly. Yes, it can be done as the body always adapts to the stress you are placing on it.

It takes about 3 to 4 weeks for your body to adapt to the work load you are placing on it. So, you have to be patient and allow time for this physiological adaptation to occur. In addition, you also need to run longer as well. Athletes preparing for a 5k race do not necessarily have to run high mileage. Again, if too many of your miles or kilometers are run too slow how difficult will it be to run the 5km time you are aiming for? Sure, anyone can run slow for a certain amount of time. That being said, it is an art form to race fast over 5km to the marathon. A common mistake runners make is running far too aggressive too early in the race. The result is they pay for it in the last mile and a half or 2000 meters left in the race.

What is a Good 5K Time for a Beginner?

The majority of beginners race their 5km races anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes. It is less common to see runners breaking 18 minutes or faster in their very first 5km race. My goal here at rundreamachieve.com and with this post is to help you get faster in less time. A vast majority of runners are not using leverage. They are still running too fast on easy days. In addition, they are not running fast enough for the majority of the mileage they are doing.

First, build a 4-week foundation of easy mileage. You should start implementing strides into your routine as well. Strides are short, 100 meter sprints. They are too short to build up any significant lactic acid.

So, these types of workouts will help you improve your form and work on your leg speed. In addition, they are great for acceleration practice. The 5km race emphasizes speed. It is a highly anaerobic, aggressive race which is over in a matter of minutes. It is not like the half-marathon or marathon which are more of aerobic events.

You also have less time to make a mistake in a 5KM race as opposed to the longer races. I am also a supporter of faster long runs. Of course, you first have to build your foundation of easy mileage first. You should never start a 16-week block of training for a 5km race until you are fit enough to do so.

What Distance is 5km in Miles?

5km in miles comes out to 3.1 miles. The race distance involves speed with a combination of endurance thrown in as well. So, it is important to run longer as well as faster. I always tell my athletes to do faster, varied pace long runs. That being said, the following week’s long run should always be nice and easy. The focus has to always be on recovery. The benefits of your hard work are going to come from within the rest period.

Your body is 2 to 3 times weaker immediately following a speed training session. So, you can only push the body hard so many times until you get diminished returns. I tell my athletes to focus on quality over quantity. Again, if too much of your mileage is spent running too easily how will you be able to race fast over 5km?

So, you have to have a healthy balance of very fast running and very slow running sprinkled in. You should never run your long runs fast every weekend. You always alternate a harder, varied pace long run followed the next weekend with an easy, relaxed long run. Again, recovery is essential. You have to train and think like a world-class track and field or road racer. The focus with this post is to get you thinking about leverage.

How Do You Breathe when Running?

There are many athletes who know how to work hard. How many hard working people do you know who are broke? Why? They are following an old, tired Industrial Aged philosophy of relying on one source of income. Why are there high school drop outs making more in a month than a Physician makes in a year and with no debt? Leverage. So, you have to train in the way of a professional athlete to get the highest return on your time investment.

You want to stay as relaxed as you can in training and within your race. There are some athletes who prefer to breathe out of their nose when running. Also, others who breathe through their mouth when running. I breathe out of my mouth when I am running.

So, you have to do what works best for you. My top recommendation is aim to stay as relaxed as you can in training and in the race. There is no need to waste any mental or physical energy if you can help it. Muscle tension is a big energy waster. So, always monitor that when you are running and tell yourself to stay calm.

You can consciously correct muscle tension by loosening the tension in your face. Our shoulders also start to rise when we are running at faster paces. So, drop them and stay in control. You are able to do this but it does take some practice.

Can You Run a 5K without Training?

5 kilometers in miles comes out 3.1 miles. Can you run a 5k without training? Sure, the majority of people can start and finish a 5K. Of course, they may need to walk some of it as well as run a portion of it. There are others who can run a 5k. That being said, racing a 5k is another animal. The faster you run the more lactic acid you build. Again, the focus with doing speed workouts is to improve your body’s lactate tolerance. The three key workouts we do each week are…

  • Faster, varied pace long runs
  • Easy, relaxed long runs
  • 1, vo2 max workout (i.e. speed workouts such as 8x400m, 16x200m, 5x1mile etc.)
  • longer tempo runs

Tempo runs are also very important. You will be racing your 5 kilometer race right around or slightly above your anaerobic threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is when lactic acid begins to accumulate in the muscle tissue. The faster we run the more oxygen we will need. So, training at faster speeds helps you to handle lactic acid build up. Yes, running slow is important to build endurance. That being said, you have to train at paces that far exceed the pace you aim to hold in the 5km race you are preparing for.

Is it Better to Run Faster or Longer?

You need to train them both in order to run the fastest 5km race you can. Running faster will recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these we can recruit as athletes the more efficient we are going to be able to handle faster paces. Again, the key tactic here is to slow down less than our competition. You want to be speeding up and not slowing down at the end of your race. Running easy will help you to recover from the harder, anaerobic training you are doing. In addition, will ensure you are building the endurance that you are definitely going to need over the 5 kilometer race distance.

As mentioned above, faster, varied place long runs is a common tactic we use to get better results here. Below are a few examples of a faster long run I would recommend to my 5k athletes…

  • 2 mile warm-up, 3 miles@10 seconds slower than goal race pace, 1 mile jog, 1 mile@1 minute faster than goal race pace, 1 mile jog cool-down
  • 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles@10 seconds faster than goal race pace, 1 mile jog, 3 miles moderate @160 beats per minute (heart rate monitor training is method for success)
  • 1 mile warm-up, 4 miles moderate@160BPM, 1 mile cool-down

Again, the following week’s long run may be an easy, relaxed 8 to 10-mile long run. So, the important tip here is recovery. Again, our aim is to train the athlete to use leverage and get better results. Running higher mileage is not a a guarantee you will run faster over the 5km distance.

Closing Thoughts

So, 5km in miles comes out to 3.1 miles and it can be run very fast depending on how you are preparing. Of course, not everyone has a goal of running a 5K in a particular time. There are many runners who simply want to run in their first 5k too. So, if that is the case, just focus on building easy, aerobic miles for 8 to 16 weeks. Focus on doing a 10-day taper rather than dropping your volume and intensity 3-weeks (21 days) out from your main 5K race. A common mistake I see runners making is doing this. The result is they go into their race feeling tired rather than energized and confident. I never recommend to my athletes to do this.

You want to continue to remind your legs of what you are training them to do up until about 10 days out from your main race. I have set personal bests at every distance from the 5K to the marathon using this tip. You also want to spend 10 to 15 minute each days visualizing yourself succeeding. Mental training is as important as physical training. Why do so many runners fail at meeting their time goals?

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They are usually only focused on physical training and pay no attention to mental preparation. You have to see yourself succeeding in the mind first before it ever becomes reality. I constantly did this when I was still a 2:43:36 marathoner. I wanted to break 2:22:00. Of course, I did the heavy training but eventually ran 2:19:35 for the marathon. How? I trained mentally as well as physically.

So, do not neglect this part of your preparation. Yes, the 5K is a short race but try to grab 2 dixie cups in the race, Also, hydrate well after the race. I hope these tips have been helpful to you. I have also left green boxes here with available resources here at rundreamachieve. Lastly, make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I created new video each week to help runners of all abilities get to the next level in their training and racing. Always remember, 5km in miles comes out to 3.1 miles. Now, go out there and run that distance faster with what you have now learned.

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