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March 2020Change

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About 5k events in the UK

5k (or 3.1-mile) is a great distance for all ability levels. Usually run or walked on road, they are hugely popular in the UK. Hundreds of people attend Parkruns every weekend, in 645 locations, from complete beginners taking on their first race to speedsters trying to smash a personal best. Whilst 5k runs are great for beginners, the distance is also a favourite of running legend Mo Farah. 5k runs come in many formats: night runs, colour runs, fun runs and charity runs and tend to happen all year round, regardless of weather.

What are the best 5k events?

5ks are the place to have fun. Expect fancy dress, friendly runners and maybe even a charitable cause to bring people together. Cancer Research UK host over 100 races of 5-10k in the UK each year, with varying themes. If you are looking for a big atmosphere, larger events such as the Edinburgh Marathon Festival and the Bournemouth Marathon Festival host 5k and 10k races alongside their longer flagship events.

What is a good time for a 5k run?

Finishing times for a 5k vary widely depending on your goals and whether walking or running. Finishing in under 28 minutes would be considered a good time by much of the running community. This would require you to run at 9 minutes per mile (or better) for the duration of the race. The fastest competitors can finish a 5k in under 14 minutes, whereas those who prefer to walk can take up to an hour or more.

How long should I train for a 5k?

How hard you should train depends largely of your fitness levels and experience. Those who are running for the first time and don't regularly participate in other forms of exercise should take on a 5k training programme to prepare themselves for the race. This will lower the risk of injury and also help to keep you motivated. Take a look at our 6 week training plan to get you up to speed.