How Many Miles is 5 KM | What’s a 5K in Miles?

Are you wondering “how many miles is 5 km” you are not alone. Welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here. 5km in miles comes out to 5,000 meters or 3.1 miles. It is basically 12 and half laps around the track if racing on that surface. The 5km race is one of the most popular out there. It is a highly anaerobic event as compared with the half marathon or marathon distances.

Yes, you still need to build endurance for this event as well. A major hurdle for many runners is pace sustainment. So, proper pacing early in this race is essential. You don’t want to try to win this race in the first mile or 1.6 kilometers. I always tell my athletes to hold back until the first miles. Make it a 2.1 mile race instead. Also, let the majority of the other runners go out too fast and catch them in those last 3.4 kilometers.

How Many Miles is a 5K

How many miles is 5 km? 5 kilometers is 3.1 miles in length. Running USA recently did a survey and found that 8.9 million runners registered to compete in 5Ks in 2019. So, it is certainly makes this race distance the most popular in this country. In addition, the event is competed in throughout the world. It is also one of the most popular track and field events. Again, 5 kilometers comes out to 5,000 meters or 12 and half laps around the track.

I would recommend first focusing on building your foundational mileage during your training build up. The most optimal time to train for this event is 12 to 16 weeks. Remember, it isn’t about the volume you are putting in as much as it is about the quality of the training. There are far too many runners still running too easy too often. Yes, endurance is importance. That being said, to sustain 5k race pace longer you need to train at significantly faster than race pace in training.

I would highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 and it helps me to maintain my needed heart rate at faster efforts. Again, the goal here is to improve your body’s lactate tolerance. You want to focus on recruiting more fast twitch muscle fibers. The only way to do this is training at efforts that are closer to 85 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate.

How Many Miles is a 10K?

How many miles is 10 km? 10 kilometers comes out to 6.2 miles. It is also equivalent to 10,000 meters. The 10,000m event is the longest track and field event there is. Of course, race walkers usually walk between 15,000m or 20,000m on the track. That being said, the longest running event in track and field is the 10K which comes out to 25 laps around the track.

You definitely need more endurance than speed in the 10k event. It is always important to work on your speed regardless what event you are training for. Again, speed training will help to make your goal race pace to feel easier. We are training at 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate running at vo2 max effort. Of course, we are not going to be racing at vo2 max effort.

Your vo2 max is your body’s maximum oxygen uptake. It is running so fast that your body cannot clear the lactic acid accumulating. So, we have to stop, take a break and re-start our intervals. We race right around our anaerobic threshold. Anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid starts to rise. It is running at efforts between 85 to 88 percent of our maximum heart rate.

How Many Miles is a Half Marathon?

A half-marathon is a 13.1 miles or 21.1 kilometers long. Half marathon events are highly popular. In addition, are more of an aerobic rather than anaerobic event like the 5k. How many miles is 5 km? Again, 3.1 miles or 5,000 meters in length. In comparison, a half marathon is 13.1 miles so just over 4 times the distance. So, it requires the athlete to be very strong endurance-wise. In addition, the best half marathon athletes also focus on their speed.

how to run a marathon
Coach Pennington finishing at the top American and in 4th place overall at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35

The best time frame to train properly for the half marathon is a minimum of 16 and preferably 24 weeks in length. Remember, the longer you train the better you will be prepared. It takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any physiological stress being placed on it. So, you don’t want to rush your fitness. RunDreamAchieve running courses and training plans focus on this philosophy as well.

How Many Miles is a Marathon

The marathon distance is 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers. It took me many years to get this running event right. One of the biggest mistakes I made and many others runners make as well is not drinking enough. You cannot sip in this race and expect to compete well. Again, it is 26.2 miles long. So, you have to practice drinking and hydrating better to that you don’t get dehydrated.

The best time frame to train for this event is 16 to 24 weeks in length. Remember, the longer the build-up the better prepared you are going to be. Yes, there are many people wondering how many miles is 5 km but many are also inquiring about the marathon distance as well. The marathon is a highly aerobic (with oxygen) event compared with the 5k race which is highly anaerobic (without oxygen).

Why is a Marathon 26.2 Miles

A lot of people wonder why is a marathon 26.2 miles. Pheidippides was a Greek messenger who was said to have run from Marathon to Athens. He was delivering news of a Green battlefield victory which was approximately 25 miles in length. The first Olympic marathon was held in Athens, Greece in 1896 when the distance 40 kilometers.

The marathon distance was lengths to 26 miles and 385 yards during the 1908 London Olympics. Athletes seeking to compete in this event started off running the 5k event first. I highly recommend working on your hydration practices preparing for this event. The marathon is a very long race so you have to follow the fundamentals to run a fast time.

Again, watch your pacing too and focus on doing a negative split. It is best to go out conservative and attack in the second half. Also, to hold back early and be able to pick up the pace and run a new personal best. You really have to be patient early on in this race.

How Long is an Ultramarathon

An ultramarathon is any event that surpasses 26.2 miles. So, a 26.3 mile run is an ultramarathon. Athletes interested in these events many times are veterans of the sport. It is also termed ultra running. The most popular ultra marathon running events are the 50K (31 miles), 50 miler and 100-mile races. A lot of times ultra marathons are held over trails.

In addition, many ultra runners compete in 24 and 48-hour running events as well. I do have 50km running plans available here at RunDreamAchieve, if interested. Are you seeking a running coach? I also work with runners online too. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new video tutorials there each week to help professionals such as yourself make that next leap in your racing.

How Many Miles is 5KM?

As mentioned above, 5 kilometers comes out to 3.1 miles. It is also 5,000 meters in length. So, if you are wondering “how many miles is 5 km” it already tells me you are a highly motivated individual. Below are some additional tips on how to run this race faster which I hope will be helpful to you.

Run Longer

How much easier is a 3.1 mile race going to feel if you lengthen your long run out to around 8 to 10 miles (16 kilometers) in length. What has been the longest long run you have done in the past? 5 miles? 6? Work on spending more time on your feet. You will burn fat and build endurance. More importantly, teach the body what is much more of, fat, to use as a fuel source while racing.

You want to conserve what you have much less of, carbohydrate (glycogen), for the last mile of this race. Again, you want to sustain 5k race pace longer than your competition. A major mistake I see a lot of runners making is running too easy for too many days of the week. Of course, if your goal is just to run 5k’s for fun that is a different story.

Running 15 to 20 miles a week will still build endurance and provide the training stimulus to be able to run a 5k. In fact, many people can still compete in 5k’s with little to no training. You may run, jog or walk your 5k event. That being said, if your goal is to run under a specific time than specific training needs to be focused on.

Run Your Long Runs Faster

I am a big believer in varied, paced long runs. No, I am not saying you need to run your entire long run fast. I mean you need to mix it up. So, run a few of your miles or kilometers very fast, moderate effort and easy. I used this tactic to improve my 5K from 15:19 to 14:18. Also, improved my marathon PR from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. A major mistake runners make is running, long and slow every single weekend.

Below are some examples of the types of long runs I was doing prior to running 2:19:35. Of course, our paces may be drastically different. That being said, just want you to see the training pace variations here. So, you can cater them to your own paces. Remember, you don’t need to run this far for a 5K.

  • 2 mile jog, 5 miles@5:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 5 miles@6:00 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 3 miles@5:45 mile pace, 1 mile jog, 1 mile in 5:00 (22 miles)

Below is an example of a long run a 5K athlete aiming to break 17 minutes

  • 1 mile jog, 2 miles@5:50 mile pace, 1 mile jog, 1 mile in 5:20, 2 miles@6:10 mile pace, 1 mile jog (8 miles)

Remember, always run your following week’s long run very relaxed and easy.

Work On Your Speed

The 5K involves a great deal of speed as well as endurance. So, training at your vo2 max as mentioned above is critical to get your goal 5k race pace to feel easier. The types of workouts you may see in the RunDreamAchieve training plans available here are…

  • Track or road intervals i.e. 12x400m, 4-5x1mile, 10x300m, 4-5x800m etc.
  • Hill repetitions i.e. 50m-300m in length – sprinting up, walking or jogging the way down (multiple reps)
  • Fartlek workouts i.e. 10x1minute hard followed by 1 minute easy with differing variations

I also recommend doing strides twice per week during your training build up. Strides are short, 50 to 100 meter long acceleration drills. Remember, you want to gradually increase the intensity of these short efforts. The last 20 meters of the stride should be all out, not the entire stride. So, if you wondering how many miles is 5 km, strides are a great way to get those 3.1 miles to feel easier, over time.

Fast running helps us to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these you can recruit by way of speed workout and tempo runs the more efficient you are going to run. More importantly, the easier your goal 5k race pace is going to feel. The reason being is you have spent adequate time training at significantly faster than 5k race pace in training.

Closing Thoughts

So, how many miles is 5 km? 3.1 miles or 5,000 meters. I hope that this post has been helpful to you. In addition, that you have a better understanding of all of the running events. The 5km race is over very fast but is a very exciting and popular race to compete in. The faster you can get over the 5K to 10-mile distances the better you are going to be over the longer races.

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

Billy Mills, Olympic Gold Medalist, 10,000M

Again, always continue to focus on your speed development. Also, focus on mental training. The very best runners focus on both mental rehearsal and physical preparation. So, spend 10 to 15 minute daily seeing yourself getting across the finish line in your goal 5k race time. Also, running strong and relaxed.

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