What’s A 5K In Miles? Your Guide to Average 5K Time By Age And Gender

Looking for what’s a 5K in miles? Simple. A 5k is 3.1 miles.

Here’s the truth. The 5K is one of the most popular road races in the world. The reason? Training for a 5K requires relatively little effort—unlike training for a half marathon or marathon—and the event is over fairly quickly.

But before you add a 5K to your bucket list, you may be pondering: what’s the average 5K time by age? What factors impact it? And how to run your best race?

Fret no more.

In today’s article, I’ll dive into how long it takes the average runner to run a 5K and why knowing this helps.

More specifically, I’ll cover:

  • What’s 5K In miles?
  • The average 5K pace
  • How long it takes to run a 5K
  • The average 5K time by age
  • How to train for a 5K
  • How to improve your 5K times
  • Fastest 5K time
  • And so much more

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

How Many Miles is A 5K – The Exact Distance

First things first, how long is a 5Kin miles?

Let’s start at the beginning. The “K” in 5K stands for a kilometer, so a 5K is technically 5 kilometers long.

But if you live in one of the three strongholds of the imperial system of measurement– The United States of America, Myanmar, and Liberia—it might be easier for you to understand how far a 5K in miles.

Technically, one kilometer is the equivalent of 0.62 miles. Thus, a 5K race is precisely 3.1 miles long, which is a great distance for newbie runners to conquer.

To put that distance in perspective, a 5K is the equivalent of running:

  • 45 laps around a baseball diamond
  • The length of 45.5 football fields, including both end zones.
  • The length of an NBA basketball counts over 174 times.

Note – Keep in mind mile markers are used on the racecourse instead of kilometers markers in the U.S. You can also learn more about marathon distance here.

5Ks Are Great

It shouldn’t be a surprise that 5Ks are one of the world’s most popular road races.

According to Running USA survey, there were around 9 million 5K registrants in the U.S. alone in 2019. That’s a lot of people. (but since the pandemic, most races in 2020 and 2021 were canceled).

A beginner runner? Try this couch to 5K plan.

Want to take things to the next level? Try running a 5K in 30 minutes.

So what’s the secret behind this success?

Most people in decent shape can do it, and you can also be one of them.

At over three miles, a 5K isn’t an event you have to train for months and months for—in fact, as long as you have got a good base level of conditioning, you’re good to go.

Following a couple of months of training, anyone should be able to complete a 5K without stopping to walk.

Are you a complete beginner? No worries. My couch to 5K running plan should get you started on the right foot.

What’s more?

5K events are abundant and easy to find, especially in the spring, summer, and fall months.

How Long Does It Take To Run A 5K?

Let me ask you a quick question.

How long does it take for an average runner to run a 5K?

30 minutes?

45 minutes?

Or longer?

Here’s the truth.

Just like anything else, there’s no universal answer as what makes a good 5K time depends on many factors such as age, fitness level, gender, experienced, terrain, and weather conditions—to name a few.

But, overall, if you can finish a 5K in under 25 minutes, then you have got a good time. (Learn more about the average time to run a mile here)

5K in Miles – The Average 5K Pace

What’s a great time for one runner may be a setback for another.

All in all, the average running speed per mile during a 5K race is roughly 11-minute for men and 13-minute for women, resulting in finish times of about 35 and 42 minutes.

The keyword here is a beginner.

Runners with years of experience might be able to run a 7- or 8-minute mile pace, completing the race in 20 to 25 minutes.

Check the chart below for more:

Average 5K pace in miles

Average 5K Time By Gender

Thanks to genetics, men, on average, are faster than women (the reason for having men & women division in sports, after all).

Therefore male runners will finish more quickly than female runners.

If you’re a complete beginner, you can use the national average statistics in the tables below to get a rough idea of your performance results.

Average 5K Time By Age

Younger runners tend to run faster than older ones. Expect to run your best 5K time between the ages of 20 and 30. The older you’re, the longer a 5K race will take you to finish.

Sure, an older runner with years of experience may outpace a younger beginner, but the young still holds a big advantage.

That’s why age-grading was invented, which is the ideal way to place all 5K competitors on a level playing field regardless of age and gender.

average 5K time by age

Terrain and weather conditions

The best running surface for the 5K consists of flat terrain, which allows you to keep a consistent and steady pace.

What’s more?

Extreme temperatures and precipitation influence how fast you can run a 5K.

Some other factors include:

  • Your height
  • Your weight
  • Your running shoes
  • Your mental game
  • Your motivation
  • Your warm-up routine
  • And so much more.

How Does Speed Affect Your 5K Time

To estimate how long it takes to run the 3.1-mile distance, you’ll have to factor in your pace.

Let me give you some concrete examples:

  • If you run a 5-minute mile 5K, you’ll finish it in 15 minutes, 30 seconds.
  • If you run a 6-minute mile 5K, you’ll finish it in 18 minutes, 35 seconds.
  • If you run an 8-minute mile 5K, you’ll finish it in 24 minutes, 48 seconds.
  • If you run a 10-minute mile 5K, you’ll finish it in 31 minutes.
  • If you run a 12-minute mile 5K, you’ll finish it in 37 minutes.

To Conclude  – The Average 5K Time Time For a Beginner

As a beginner runner, aim to complete a mile in roughly 10 to 12 minutes. This means clocking in the race in 30 to 40 minutes.

If you just took up running, you may be more comfortable doing a mix of running and walking to begin with.

Planning to walk the whole distance? No problem. It’ll take you about 15 to 20 minutes to walk a mile. If your brisk walk, you should be able to complete a 5K in around one hour.

5K in Miles – Average 5K Time For Intermediate

Intermediate runners, specifically those who run 15 to 20 miles per week and have been doing it for more than a year, can expect to clock in a 5K at 22 to 25 minutes,.

This is roughly an average speed of 7- to 9-minute per mile over the course.

5K in Miles – Average 5K Time For Advanced Runners

If you’re logging up to 50 miles per week and have been doing it for a relatively long time, then you’re an advanced runner.

Typical elite running plans involve plenty of speed work, such as intervals and fartlek, as well as distance running.

With proper training, it’s possible to finish a 5K race between 15 to 18 for men and 18 to 21 for women.

Of course, chances are you are not going to take the gold at this 5K pace, but you’re definitely at the top of the top when it comes to running competing in this distance.

And that, my friend, is a great achievement in itself.

Average 5K Time By Age  – Winning Times

The chart below explains in detail the exact finish time you’ll want to aim for if you’re looking to cross the finish line first at a 5K event.

Average 5K winning time by age

Source

The Fastest 5K Time

The average 5K time for advanced runners is under 16 minutes for men and 18 minutes for women.

As of 2020, the current IAAF world record time is held by Kenenisa Bekele at 12:37.35 for men and at 14:11.15 minutes for women held by Tirunesh Dibaba.

Rating Yourself

If you already have experience running 5K races, then you can also rate yourself.

If you finish a 5K in:

  • 12- to 14-minute – You’re an Olympic-level athlete.
  • 14- to 18-minute – You’re one of the best runners in the world.
  • 18- to 22-minute – You’re very competitive and faster enough.
  • 22- to 25-minute – You are an average runner.
  • 25- to 30-minute – You’re fit enough to run
  • 30- to 40-minute – You’re a complete beginner
  • Above 40 minutes – You are unfit but trying to run. We all have to start somewhere, right.

Measuring Your 5K Pace

There are many tools you can use to help measure your paces, such as apps and fitness trackers that will monitor your speed and distance and keep it in a log.

You can also manually set your running pace if you’re training on a treadmill, then play around with it as you get fitter and stronger.

5K Running tips – How To Improve your Times

Now that you know how many miles in a 5K, let’s look at some practical ways to help achieve your best 5K time.

Although the 5K is one of the relatively short races, the 3.1-mile distance is nothing to scoff at.

Try to run it with no experience, and you’ll soon realize that’s not actually as easy as it seems.

To make sure you train right for a 5K, do the following:

Build Gradually

To get faster, focus on building up slowly over a few weeks or months.

Don’t try to chew more than you can swallow—or else you’re going to hurt yourself.

As a beginner, set aside at least 8 to 12 weeks of training before you stand on the starting line of the race.

In the early weeks, start with 20 to 30 minutes sessions at a slow pace, then gradually increase duration and intensity as you get more fit.

That’s the golden rule of getting fit without getting hurt.

I’d recommend that you start with a walk/run program, like this one.

You should also complement your running by doing low-impact exercises such as cyclingweight lifting, swimming, ad elliptical training.

You’re more advanced? Then Try the following 5k training plans

Interval Training

Once you can run at a slow pace for 30 to 40 minutes without panting for air, start doing some interval training.

This method helps you exhaust your body by pushing yourself as hard as possible for a set time and then allow for a rest period.

Then repeat.

One example is to do two minutes of running at a slightly faster 5K pace goal, followed by two minutes of slow jogging as recovery.

Perform this for five rounds for a total of 20 minutes.

Have A Pacing Strategy

Keeping a consistent pace is challenging during a race, especially when you add in factors such as racing vibe, other runners, terrain, fatigue, wind, etc.

For this reason, plan for a flexible pacing strategy to help you achieve your average goal pace.

The strategy I’d recommend is to do a negative split—this means running the second of the race faster than the first.

Still confused?

It’s actually quite easy.

All you have to do is to start the race easy, then finish it strong, but do it in a planned and well-thought-out manner.

Here’s a breakdown for a 10:00 mine per mile average pace

  • Mile One – 10:30 MPH
  • Mile Two – 10:00 MPH
  • Mile Three – 9:30 MPH
  • The last portion (0.11 mile) – As Fast As You Can

Conclusion

To conclude, whatever your finish time is, that’s a good 5K time. Knowing what’s a 5K in miles is the first step. Now it’s time for work. Get out there and start training right now!

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Thank you for dropping by.

David D

What is a Fun Run & How Long Is One

Can Running Help Cure Your Hangover?

Fun runs have gained a lot of popularity over the past few years—and for good reasons.

Enrolling in a fun run is a fantastic way to motivate yourself to be a little fitter and healthier without coming off as too serious.

But, if this is your first time planning—or thinking about—doing a fun run, then you must have a lot of questions.

Fret no more.

That’s where today’s post comes in handy. Yes, it’s time to run for fun. In this article, I’m going to delve into everything you need to know about fun runs—from what gear to use to what to expect during the event itself so you can have the best color fun run

Sounds exciting?

Let’s lace up and dig in.

What is A Fun Run?

A fun run is an enjoyable, stress free, athletic event that involves either road running or cross country running.

The typical fun run is quite different from your classic road race.

Fun runs have a party-themed atmosphere.

You can enjoy the event with friends, family, and other competitors as you indulge yourself in music, dancing, and photo ops.

These color-themed runs also may include novelty categories such as age wearing costumes, etc.

And, sure, you can run or walk, too.

It’s up to you.

Most fun runs are often organized to raise funds for a charity, with sponsors covering the fees of organizational costs.

Fun runs can also be organized as a side event to more serious races, such as a marathon.

How Long is a Fun Run

The distance can vary according to a number of obstacles, the age group, fitness level, and the type of fun run.

Typical fun runs are short enough for beginners to cross the finish line and long enough for advanced runners to challenge their speed and time.

Besides the various types of a fun run, the most common distance is a “5K fun run”, which is a 3.1-mile run.

In doubt?

Get in touch with the event organizers for more information on the conditioning level needed and the distance options available.

How Long Does it To Finish A Fun Run?

The time it’ll take you to complete a fun run will depend, of course, on the distance of the run and your conditioning level, but as a matter of fact, no one really cares.

After all, fun runs are meant to be fun.

No more.

No less.

Don’t be too serious.

As long as you’re having fun, there’s no reason to worry about the finish line.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to cross country running

Happy couple runners exercising running outside on street. New York City active lifestyle, joggers athletes training outdoor in traffic.

Are you Fit Enough?

Most fun runs are designed so anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can join in and have fun while doing it.

If you’re planning to partake in a fun run, keep in mind that most fun runs are have having a blast for a good cause.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but here we are.

So it’s better to be a part of one and finish it at a slow pace than not at all.

In fact, feel free to walk, jog, or walk/jog if you’re not fit enough to run the whole way.

How To Prepare For A Run

To make sure you have the most fun at your next fun run, do the following:

Have A Plan

Getting ready is key in any event.

If you have never run before, but decide to run a 10K the next day, then you’re better off not running at all.

In fact, you might get hurt or burned out as you’re not quite as fit as you thought.

However, having training can help you start on the right foot and make progress along the way.

At a minimum, you should be following some form of consistent training in 8 to 12 weeks prior to the fun run event.

Additional resource – How long does it take to walk a mile

What To Wear

When competing in the classic 5K race, technical running attire is the rule.

But, such gear isn’t required for a fun run.

In fact, I’d recommend that you choose clothing that you don’t mind getting so dirty that you’ll have to throw away at the end.

The clothing could also be something you plan on using exclusively for color fun runs if you’re into it for the long haul.

Keep in mind that there will be colored powder coming your way in every direction, so remember to protect your mouth and eyes with a bandana and a pair of sunglasses, especially if you have allergies.

Your Running Shoes

Along with clothing, expect to ruin your running shoes due to all the different colors getting thrown your way.

By the same token, opt for a worn-out pair of shoes that you longer use for your training.

You can also devote a pair to fun runs that you only use for such events.

Or, you should also consider buying a cheap pair that you won’t mind throwing away at the end of the race.

The Run Itself

As I have already explained, fun runs are a far cry from your classic 5K races.

Don’t take the race too seriously.

Just relax and trust the process.

You don’t need to worry about being the first or the last to cross the finish line.

Nobody really cares.

It’s just for fun.

I know.

It’s easy to get competitive when participating in a race, but stop yourself from falling into that trap.

You should also use the fun run time to embrace your inner child and let him—or her—come out and play.

Make it a rule not to take the fun out of the fun run—pun intended.

The Post Fun Run Party

Expect a festival at the finish line.

This party is a fantastic way to keep up the fun vibe and wrap up the whole event.

The lively atmosphere and upbeat music can create even more friendship and fun between the participants.

Take time to rejoice in the color party at the end of the fun race.

After, a fun run, as the name implies, is simply about…FUN.

No more.

No less.

So don’t take it too seriously.

How Far Did I Run? 4 Simple Ways To Measure Your Running Distance

running in the sun

How far did I run?

If you’re looking for an answer to this question, then you have come to the right place.

As a runner, tracking how far you run is one of the most important numbers to monitor

But keeping track of this metric can be a pain without the right tools.

In this article, I’ll explain the main ways that you can measure your running distance without a hassle.

How Far Did I Run? The Benefits

Even if you’re a recreational runner logging the miles for stress relief and the joy of it, this metric can be helpful.

Let’s look into why.

Predict Race Times

When you keep track of your running distances in some form of workout journal,  you can predict your finish time for a race by periodically reviewing your logs.

Find The Sweet Spot

Knowing how far you run can help you determine how far to run in future runs.

This not only ensures that you’re getting the most out of your runs but also for planning your running routes.

When you don’t plan your running routes, you risk either under-or overestimate yourself, which can compromise your running success.

Overcome Training Challenges

Keeping track of your running distances helps you overcome running obstacles.

For example, if you struggle to keep your weekly mileage in cold weather, consider substituting a few outdoor runs with treadmill workouts.

Improve Motivation

Keeping an eye on your weekly mileage can help remind you of your commitment to logging the miles.

Be Your Own Coach

Keeping track of your running stats, especially your distance, pace, and relevant factors, can also help you review your training plan and make the right changes when needed.

How Far Did I Run? 4 Ways To Measure Your Running Distance

There are many options for tracking running distances.

You may find that you like one method over the other.

Use Google Maps

The most convenient tool for planning how far to run is, hands down, Google Maps.

All you need to do is to input in the start and endpoint of your running route, and voila!

You can also rely on the tool for available transports options, especially in densely populated areas.

This provides you the option of a new route as a footpath or cycle path.

Check the following YouTube tutorial on how to make the most out of Google Maps as a runner.

GPS Watch

Another convenient way of keeping track of your running distance is by using a GPS device.

Standing for Global Positioning System, GPS relies on a set of 24 satellites (owned by the U.S.) to provide positioning, timing, and navigation.

The system works by measuring the time it takes for signals to be received from these satellites.

You can put GPS technology to use using many tools.

The most common tool is by wearing a GPS running watch, such as Garmin.

GPS tracking works best when there’s a clear view of the sky and need to connect to at least three satellite to make out your position.

That’s why GPS devices tend to be fallible when running on trails or under imperfect weather conditions.

How far did I run

Use Apps

Not many years ago, one needed a special GPS unit to measure distance through satellite technology.

Not the case anymore.

Now your Smartphone has a built-in GPS system you can use to track your distance and speed, using many of the widely available apps.

The GPS function of the apps is essentially the same.

Using a GPS network, the app measure the distance covered, time, and other factors such as elevation gain, calorie burned, heart rate, and much more.

Running apps can also serve as a form of a digital running journal so you can assess your progress in real-time.

They also come with a social media component so you can share your progress with your friends, too.

There are a plethora of running apps available, and most of them are free.

Some apps come at a fee, allowing limited use of the app features.

Other apps also allow a short free trial period.

Some of the best running apps include:

Mapping Sites

If you prefer to run without your phone and don’t want to shell a couple of hundreds of dollars on a running watch, you can determine your running distance by tracing your route post-run using one of the popular and free run-mapping websites.

Here are two recommendations.

On The Go Map. Powered by Google Maps, this one gives you the ability to track routes on an interactive map of any city.

Choose a starting point, then choose others along the course, and then choose a finish point.

And voila!

Map My Run – offering similar features to the previous one but asks you to sign up for a free account.

Additional resource – How long is a 100-mile race?

How Far Did I Run – The Conclusion

So how far did I run? Today you’ve the answers you seek.

The simple guidelines shared here are enough not only to help you work out how far did you run but also to plan your runs much more effectively and easily. But if push comes to shovel, heading to a track should be enough. Learn how many laps is a mile here.

What’s not to like! Really!

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep Training Strong

David D.

How Long Does It Take To Run A Mile? Average Mile Time Guide

Looking for practical answers on how long does it take to run a mile? Then you have come to the right place

Whether you’re a beginner runner or an elite marathoner, the average time to run a mile is likely one of those statistics you keep track of.

Monitoring this pace is a fantastic way to track your progress and speed while training.

But working out a one-size-fits-all average for the mile can be problematic.

As you might already know, mile speed depends on several factors.

In today’s article, I’m going to dive deep into the average mile time as well as how to improve it.

I’m also going to consider the different factors that affect your running speed.

Sounds great?

Let’s lace up and dig in.

How Long Does It Take To Run A Mile?

According to data from more than 300 million runs inputted into Strava in 2018, the average running pace around the world is 9 minutes and 48 seconds (9:48).

The number varies from men to women—9:15 for men and 10:40 for women.

According to the same source, the average running pace in the US is 9:44 overall, with roughly 9:07 for men and 10:21 for women.

Don’t worry if your current average pace is a little bit higher than those marks.

The strava community encompasses runners from all levels and backgrounds—beginner runners only make a small portion.

Average Time to Run a Mile For A Beginner Runner

Here’s the ballpark if you want a rough estimate: a beginner runner is expected to run a mile in 10 to 15 minutes, or four to five miles an hour.

The Factors That Impact Average Mile Time

How long does it take to run a mile depends on several factors, including your age, gender, fitness level, and genetics.

Let’s break down the essentials:

Age

Age impacts running speed as most people can run their fastest between the ages of 18 and 30.

Don’t take my word for it.

A  data-analysis that looked into 10,000 runners who participated in a 5K reported that the average minute per mile for runners of various ages was 11:47 per mile.

Male runners in the 16 to 19 years old range finished the race with an average pace of 9.34.

Females within the same age group finished in 12:09.

The finishing times go up gradually as the age group got older.

Here’s a chart showing the average running speed per mile in a 5K (from the same source).

Average running speed per mile in a 5K

Source

AgeMen (minutes per mile)Women (minutes per mile)
16–199:3412:09
20–249:3011:44
25–2910:0311:42
30–3410:0912:29
35–3910:5312:03
40–4410:2812:24
45–4910:4312:41
50–5411:0813:20
55–5912:0814:37
60–6413:0514:47
65–9913:5216:12

Gender and Average Mile Time

Gender is another factor that influences how fast you run one mile—or 12 miles—with men being faster than women.

This speed disparity may come down to muscle mass.

In general, having more fast-twitch muscles in the lower body increases running speed.

Additional resource – Average time to walk a mile

Fitness Level

Although age and gender are not under your control, you have a lot of say over your level of fitness.

Research shows that non-elite but relatively in-shape runners typically run one mile in 9 to 10 minutes, on average.

If you just took up running, you might finish one mile in closer to 12 to 15 minutes as you build up your endurance.

Additional resource – How To Run An 8-Minute Mile?

Your Outlook

Even your mindset and emotional state can impact your average time to run a mile, and that’s too under your control (with proper training).

Outdoor Conditions

Weather and temperature can also impact how you run.

If it’s cold, you might run your fastest.

It takes significantly longer to run a mile when it’s hotter.

All in all, the temperature sweet spot for running is in the range of 50 to 56 degrees, with zero wind and no rain.

running a mile

Average Mile Time And Elite Runners

An elite runner can clock in a mile at roughly 4 to 5 minutes.

At the time of writing this (December 2020), the world record for men is a staggering 3:43:13 for one mile set by Hicham El Guerrouj, Moroccan athlete, in 1999.

In general, anything under four minutes is very, very, fast for men and under five minutes a mile for women is very, very fast!

Of course, recreational runners, just like you and I, will never come anywhere close to these times, but there are plenty of things we can do to improve our times for the mile distance.

Let’s look at a few.

Fact: The legendary Sir Roger Bannister was the first recorded human to run a sub-four-minute mile.

Up to that time, many pundits believed that it’s impossible for the human body to break the 4-minute mile.

How to Improve Your Average Mile Time

Regardless of your current mile speed number, there are many things you can do right now to improve your average mile run time.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start slow. If you’ve zero running experience, don’t try running a mile as fast as you can—you might not even make it to the end. Instead, make it a goal to first run a mile without stopping.
  • Progress gradually. Respect the 10 percent law, increasing your weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent from one week to the next.
  • Get ready. Start every run with a proper 10-minute warm-up, then finish it with another 10-minute for a cool down.
  • Stay safe. Avoid wearing headphones when running on roads. Stay visible. Run against traffic. And follow all rules of the road.
  • Have your fluids. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day—not just around your runs.
  • Have the right running shoes. Head to your local running store and ask the staff there for technical advice on pick a pair that best matches your style and goals.
  • Run other distances. The best way to improve your endurance and speed for the mile is to run longer distances as a part of your running plan. As a rule, make one of your weekly sessions a longer run than the rest.
  • Well-rounded training. Perform a variety of running workouts, including easy runs, long runs, interval runs, fartlek, and long runs.
  • Supplement your road miles. Cross-train at least twice a week. I’d recommend strength training and yoga to keep your muscles challenged and flexible.
  • Stay consistent. That’s the only way for you to keep improving on a regular basis.

Conclusion

What makes a good mile time for a beginner can vary depending on your starting point. That’s why the average time to run a mile varies across runners of different ages, skills, gender and fitness levels.

If you’re an average runner, you should be really satisfied when you can clock in your mile within 9 to 10 minutes. Otherwise, start at wherever you’re at and keep on improving. The rest is just details.

How Long Is A Marathon? (& How Long Does It Take To Run One?)

How Long Is A Marathon

Have you ever wondered just how long a marathon really is? Or perhaps you’re curious about the captivating story behind this legendary race? Well, my friends, you’ve arrived at the perfect pit stop to quench your marathon curiosity.

In today’s post, we’re diving headfirst into the world of marathons, uncovering the secrets and shedding light on the burning questions that have been keeping you up at night.

I’ll explore the awe-inspiring distance of a marathon, how it’s meticulously measured, and the remarkable story that birthed this epic endurance race. I’ll even take a detour into the thrilling realm of marathons in the Olympics and delve into the lasting impact of the iconic London Marathon.

But wait, there’s more! If you’re a beginner dreaming of conquering the marathon challenge, fear not. I’ve got you covered with essential tips and insights on how to kick-start your marathon training journey like a pro.

Let the adventure begin!

How Long is A Marathon?

Picture this: a daunting journey that spans 26.2 miles (or 42.195 kilometers), pushing the limits of human potential and unleashing the warrior within. Yes, my friend, I’m talking about the hallowed grounds of the marathon—an endurance test of colossal proportions.

You might be wondering, “Who decides this distance? Is there some governing body overseeing this Herculean endeavor?” Well, fear not, for I bring you tidings from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the esteemed authority that has decreed 26.2 miles as the official marathon distance. This isn’t just a wild guess, mind you; it’s backed by meticulous research and the wisdom of countless running scholars.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how these courses are measured. Imagine a scene straight out of an action movie: a group of dedicated individuals armed with bicycles and precision tools, accompanied by three assigned judges and even a police escort. They traverse the course not once, not twice, but thrice, ensuring the utmost accuracy in their measurements.

And here’s an interesting tidbit: while marathons in the United States are often measured in miles, the rest of the world favors the metric system, using kilometers to quantify this monumental feat. So, whether you’re chasing miles or kilometers, the essence of the marathon remains unyielding—a true testament to human perseverance.

Now, if your mind is still struggling to comprehend the enormity of a marathon, let me paint a vivid picture for you. Imagine your daily commute, that familiar journey of 16 miles. Running a marathon means traversing that distance 1.5 times..

Here’s another mind-boggling comparison: picture yourself running around a 400-meter track. Now, lace up your imagination and join me for an astonishing 105 laps. Yes, my friend, that’s the equivalent of completing a marathon. It’s like circling the track over a hundred times, a testament to the unyielding rhythm of your footsteps and the indomitable spirit that propels you forward.

And if you’re still not convinced of the magnitude of this feat, consider this: running a marathon is akin to covering the length of a football field a staggering 461 times! Each stride taking you closer to the finish line, leaving a trail of determination and sweat in your wake.

It’s no wonder that completing a marathon is an achievement that eludes all but a select few. Less than 1 percent of the population dares to undertake this monumental challenge, and for good reason. It requires dedication, perseverance, and an unwavering belief in your own capabilities.

How Long It Takes To Run A Marathon?

How long it’s going to take you to run a marathon depends on your speed.

On average, a marathon takes about four hours to complete—the world’s record is just over two hours.

As a beginner, you should focus on training fully for the entire 26.2 miles and make it to the finish line in one piece.

As your skill improves, you can try to beat your personal best for the marathon.

Here’s a simplified marathon pace chart:

  • At a 5-minute mile pace, it will take you 2:11:06 to run the whole marathon distance.
  • At a 6-minute mile pace, it will take you 2:37:19 to run the whole marathon distance.
  • At a 7-minute mile pace, it will take you 3:03:32 to run the whole marathon distance.
  • At an 8-minute mile pace, it will take you 3:29:45 to run the whole marathon distance.
  • At a 9-minute mile pace, it will take you 3:55:58 to run the whole marathon distance.
  • At a 10-minute mile pace, it will take you 4:22:11 to run the whole marathon distance.
  • At an 11-minute mile pace, it will take you 4:48:24 to run the whole marathon distance.
  • At a 12-minute mile pace, it will take you 5:14:38 to run the whole marathon distance.
  • At a 13-minute mile pace, it will take you 5:40:51 to run the whole marathon distance.

What’s A Good Marathon Pace?

The concept of a good pace is as individual as your fingerprint, shaped by an intricate interplay of factors. Your fitness level, age, and even the whims of Mother Nature all contribute to this enigmatic equation. Picture it as a delicate dance where your unique attributes twirl with the elements around you, forging a pace that is uniquely yours.

Think about it: a “good” pace for a seasoned athlete with bionic legs might be a breathtaking sprint for someone just starting their running journey. Meanwhile, a veteran of the marathon battlegrounds may find solace in a consistent rhythm that carries them through the miles, regardless of time. It’s all about perspective, my friend.

Moreover, the terrain on which you embark on your marathon odyssey can dramatically alter what’s considered a “good” pace. Imagine tackling a flat course with the grace of a gazelle, effortlessly gliding towards the finish line. Now, shift the scene to a treacherous mountainous terrain, where each step is a Herculean effort. In these contrasting landscapes, what once seemed like a good pace may require a profound adjustment.

paleo diet

What is The Average Marathon Finish Time?

The captivating world of marathon finish times! Brace yourself, my friend, for I come bearing intriguing tidbits of knowledge gathered from a meta-analysis of over 100 million race results spanning the globe from 1986 to 2018. These numbers reveal the symphony of accomplishments achieved by the wondrous realm of recreational runners.

As the clock ticks away, the average marathon finish time emerges, painting a vivid portrait of determination and endurance. Drumroll, please! The average recreational marathoner triumphantly crosses the finish line at the mark of 4 hours, 32 minutes, and 29 seconds. Quite an accomplishment, wouldn’t you say?

Now, let’s unveil the subtle nuances that differentiate the male and female counterparts in this grand marathon dance. On average, our valiant male runners conquer the marathon at a time of 4 hours, 52 minutes, and 18 seconds, showcasing their formidable spirit. Meanwhile, the remarkable women of the marathon world leave their mark with an average time of 4 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds, truly an awe-inspiring feat.

But wait, there’s more! The beauty of marathons lies in their tapestry of diversity. From the fleet-footed elite marathoners who defy time, crossing the finish line in just over two hours, to the spirited warriors who revel in the journey, their finish times stretching past the six-hour mark. Each participant weaves their unique tale, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit.

Why Is The Marathon 26.2 Miles?

Now that we have established that a marathon is 26.2 miles, let’s take a look at history.

The First Olympics

Let me transport you back in time to the majestic origins of the marathon, where history and myth intertwine to create a tale of triumph and sacrifice. Picture yourself in the ancient days of the first Olympics, where the distance of the marathon was but a fluid concept, waiting to be molded by the footsteps of heroes.

As the early Olympic Games unfolded, the marathon events spanned approximately 25 miles, a rough approximation that traced the path from the quaint village of Marathon to the grandeur of Athens along the longer, flatter route. It was a distance that encapsulated both challenge and spectacle, setting the stage for legends to be born.

The Myth

Now, let me regale you with a story that has echoed through the ages, a tale that has become the very essence of the marathon’s mystique. Cast your gaze back to the year 790 B.C., to the plains of Marathon, where an epic battle raged between Greek warriors and the invading Persian army. In the heart of this conflict, a courageous Greek general named Miltiades emerged as a beacon of hope.

With valor and strategic brilliance, General Miltiades led his troops to a momentous victory, striking a blow that resonated throughout history. However, news of this triumph needed to be swiftly carried to the people of Athens, who awaited word of their fate. Enter Pheidippides, the valiant messenger entrusted with this pivotal task.

Pheidippides, fueled by adrenaline and an unwavering sense of purpose, embarked on a daring journey. From the battlefield of Marathon, he embarked on a grueling run of approximately 25 miles, pushing his body to the limit. Without pause or respite, he sprinted towards Athens, his mission etched into his very being.

Finally, as he arrived in the assembly, his words rang out with sheer exhilaration, “nenikēkamen!”— “we have won!” in the timeless language of the Greeks. Exhausted and triumphant, Pheidippides collapsed, his body succumbing to the arduous journey he had undertaken. His sacrifice became etched in the annals of history, a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human race.

To commemorate this extraordinary feat, the distance of the 1896 Olympics, the revival of the ancient Games, was set at 25 miles. It was a homage to the endurance and courage displayed by Pheidippides, forever etching the marathon into the fabric of athletic lore.

The Marathon Nowadays

Fast forward to the present day, where the marathon has evolved into a global celebration of human endurance and athletic prowess. Let’s embark on a journey through time to explore the modern landscape of this iconic race, where passion, determination, and glory intertwine.

It was in the vibrant city of Athens, in the year 1896, that the first Olympic Marathon event captured the hearts and imaginations of spectators worldwide. The course, spanning 25 miles or approximately 40 kilometers, traced a path from the historic Marathon Bridge, steeped in tales of ancient triumph, all the way to the majestic Olympic Stadium in Athens.

A throng of eager participants, their hearts pounding with anticipation, ready to push their physical and mental limits to the edge. Among them, a mere 25 brave souls stood at the starting line, their eyes fixed on the challenge that lay ahead. As the starting gun resounded through the air, their quest for greatness commenced.

With each stride, the competitors navigated the undulating terrain, their bodies pushed to the brink of exhaustion. The unforgiving distance tested their endurance, calling upon reserves of strength they never knew existed. But through the pain and fatigue, they pressed on, fueled by an unwavering desire to conquer the course and etch their names in history.

As the finish line loomed in the distance, the air crackled with anticipation. The cheers of the crowd grew louder, a symphony of encouragement urging the weary runners to push beyond their limits. And when the dust settled, when the echoes of their footsteps faded, only nine triumphant souls had conquered the grueling marathon.

Among them, a local hero emerged—Spyridon Louis, a humble Greek water-carrier who transcended the realms of ordinary mortals. Clad in sheer determination and the spirit of his ancestors, he crossed the finish line, his body bathed in sweat and his heart ablaze with victory. The crowd erupted in thunderous applause, their admiration transforming him into a legend overnight.

Spyridon Louis became a symbol of triumph, not just for Greece, but for the world of marathon running itself. His golden laurel wreath adorned his brow, a testament to his unwavering spirit and the indomitable human will. In that moment, the marathon transcended its physical boundaries and became a beacon of hope, inspiring generations to embrace challenges and chase their dreams.

The Changing Distance of The Marathon

Following 1896, the next few Olympic marathon events varied in length quite a bit, but the principle was that as long as all the participants run the same course, there’s no need to keep the distance exactly the same.

Check the following table.

City Year Kilometers Miles

 
Athens18964024.85
Paris190040.2625.02
St Louis19044024.85
Athens190641.8626.01
London190842.19526.22
Stockholm191240.224.98
Antwerp192042.7526.56
Paris192442.19526.22

The Birth Of The Official Distance

Picture this: the year is 1908, and the stage is set for the marathon of a lifetime. The course, meticulously crafted to showcase the grandeur of England, stretched from the majestic Windsor Castle to the iconic White City Stadium—a formidable journey spanning 26 miles. As the runners gathered at the starting line, anticipation crackled in the air, for this was no ordinary marathon.

Now, here’s where the plot thickens. The organizers, with a stroke of brilliance, crafted a unique finale fit for royalty. As the runners neared the culmination of their arduous journey, the finish line was cunningly extended an extra 385 yards. Why, you ask? Well, dear friend, it was all for the pleasure of the British royal family.

Yes, you read that right. The finish line was strategically moved so that it aligned perfectly in front of the esteemed viewing box of the royal family. It was a spectacle meant to captivate and honor the regal spectators, adding an extra touch of grandeur to the race. And thus, a tradition was born.

As the runners approached the final stretch, their bodies pushed to their limits, a resounding cry filled the air. “God Save The Queen!” echoed through the streets, a tribute to the monarch and an expression of admiration in the last mile. This tradition, rooted in the pages of history, still lingers in the hearts of marathoners today, an ode to the unforgettable 1908 London Olympics.

Marathons Nowadays

Nowadays, marathon events take place virtually everywhere on the planet, from the North Pole, the Amazon, the Sahara to the Great Wall of China.

There are 100’s of organized marathons around the globe each year, with roughly 400,000 marathon finishers in the US alone.

Beginner Marathon Training Tips

Now that we’ve quenched your curiosity about the length of a marathon, it’s time to delve into the practical side of things. So, you’ve set your sights on conquering a marathon? Well, my friend, buckle up because we’re about to embark on a journey of preparation and perseverance.

Before you dive headfirst into marathon training, there’s a crucial step you must take: building a solid base. Think of it as laying the foundation for your marathon dreams. You wouldn’t construct a magnificent skyscraper without a sturdy base, would you? The same principle applies to your running journey.

To ensure you’re well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead, it’s recommended to have been hitting the pavement for at least six months prior to starting marathon training. This means consistently logging miles, lacing up your running shoes at least three times a week. You see, running is not just a one-time sprint; it’s a marathon in itself—pun intended.

Now, if you find yourself in the camp of those who have yet to experience the thrill of pounding the pavement, fear not! There’s a sensible approach for beginners like you. Instead of diving straight into the deep end of marathon training, it’s wise to begin with shorter distances, such as the 5K or the 10K. Think of these races as stepping stones, gradually building your endurance, strength, and confidence.

Preparing For A Marathon

So, how do you go about preparing for this epic race? Well, the answer lies in following a well-crafted training plan. Picture it as your roadmap to success, guiding you every step of the way towards race day glory. Trust me, having a plan in place will do wonders for your confidence, injury prevention, and overall motivation throughout the grueling months of preparation that lie ahead.

Now, you might be wondering, what makes a training plan so important? Well, let’s take a peek at the science behind it. Research studies have shown that individuals who follow structured training programs experience greater improvements in performance compared to those who simply wing it. It’s like having a secret weapon in your arsenal, ensuring you’re fully equipped to conquer the challenges that come your way.

Think of your training plan as a meticulously crafted masterpiece, tailored specifically to your needs and goals. It’s your personal trainer, mentor, and cheerleader all rolled into one. By following a plan, you’ll gradually increase your mileage, incorporate speed work, engage in cross-training, and strategically schedule rest days to allow your body to recover and grow stronger.

Remember, my friend, the marathon is not a walk in the park. It’s a monumental undertaking that demands dedication, perseverance, and a touch of grit. But fear not, for your training plan will serve as your guiding light, illuminating the path to success and helping you navigate the ups and downs of the marathon journey.

Marathon Training Plans

Let’s dive into the realm of marathon training plans! Allow me to present you with a curated selection of my favorite plans that cater to every runner out there, from the first-time finisher to the seasoned speedster. The choice is yours, and it all depends on your goals and aspirations. After all, only you can truly know what resonates with your running spirit. So, without further ado, let’s explore these fantastic training options:

The Walking Marathon Schedule: Are you planning to conquer the marathon distance at a walking pace? Fear not, for this plan is designed especially for you. It recognizes the unique challenges and triumphs of walking the entire distance, ensuring that you have a structured and achievable roadmap to guide you on your incredible journey.

The Couch to Marathon Plan: Ah, the classic transformation tale! If you’re a complete beginner, lacing up those running shoes for the first time, this 26-week training schedule is your ticket to the marathon world. Step by step, it will take you from the couch to crossing that illustrious finish line. No previous running experience required—just a dash of determination and a sprinkle of commitment.

The Intermediate Runner Plan: So, you’ve already dipped your toes into the running waters. Perhaps you can comfortably run for an hour or have conquered a few 5Ks and 10Ks. Well, my friend, this plan is tailored precisely for your level of expertise. It will elevate your training, helping you build endurance, speed, and confidence as you progress towards the marathon distance. Prepare to take your running prowess to the next level.

The Advanced Marathon Plan: Ah, the seasoned marathoner, with a collection of race bibs and finisher medals to prove your mettle. This plan is for the experienced runners out there who have already conquered numerous marathons and are hungry for a new personal record. It will challenge you, push your boundaries, and fine-tune your performance to unlock your true potential.

Additional resource – How long is a 100-mile race?

How long is a marathon  – The Conclusion

There you have it!

If you’re looking for answers to how long is a marathon distance as well as some of the history and random tidbits about it, then today’s article should get you started with the basics.

The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep Training Strong.

David D.

The Couch To Half Marathon Plan For Beginner Runners

couch to half marathon

Going from the couch to half marathon is a challenging undertaking. But it’s worth it. When you train for a half marathon as a beginner, expect to lose weight, improve your energy levels, reduce stress, and improve your overall outlook and confidence.

Would you like to reap some of these benefits than some more?

Then keep on reading.

In this article, I’m sharing with you a training plan that will carry from the couch to the starting line of a half marathon—and across the finish too!

More specifically, I’ll dive into the following topics:

  • What is a half marathon race?
  • How many miles in a half marathon?
  • What’s a good half marathon finish time?
  • How to start training for your first half marathon
  • How long your long runs should be
  • The exact half marathon pace chart you need for success
  • A step-by-step couch to half marathon training plan
  • And so much more

Sounds great?

Let’s lace up and dig in

Medical Note: I’d love for the record to clearly state that I’m not a doctor, nor a professional runner. What I’m sharing here is nothing more than my personal experiences and observation. Don’t take it as professional advice. If you have a medical condition or feel the need for professional help, please get in touch with a professional. And always remember to get the green light from a doctor before starting a new exercise or diet program.

What is A Half Marathon Race?

The race is a fantastic medium-sized event.

The half marathon event is one of the most popular running races in the U.S, with about four times as many finishers as a marathon.

In fact, nearly two million people crossed the finish line of the half marathon in 2019.

To learn more about the history of the half marathon, check the following:

The History of the half Marathon

The Half Marathon on Wikipedia

How many miles is a half marathon

The Half Marathon Pace Chart You Need To Run Your Best Race

How Many Miles Is A Half-Marathon?

Before we get into the practical plan, let’s first talk about how long a half-marathon actually is.

A half marathon is 13.1 miles.

13.1 miles may not seem as much, but it’s an impressive distance.

It’s actually the equivalent of 231 football fields,

Getting ready for a half marathon is also the ideal stepping stone to a full marathon—it offers you the basic endurance and strength needed to increase distance.

What’s A Good Time For A Marathon?

A good race time for any event can differ vastly based on the runner’s age, gender, fitness level, racecourse, and so on.

What’s more?

Thanks to the distance of a half-marathon, you’ll more than likely be impacted by factors such as temperatures and weather.

So it’s actually a lot to consider.

Survey reports that male runners finish half-marathon with an average of 2:05:15 in the US, while female runners clocked it at roughly 2:23:45.

That’s about a 9:30-mile pace for men and an 11.00-mile pace for women.

In general, breaking the two-hour mark in a half marathon is considered a good finish time for beginners, especially those with some running experience and would love to push themselves.

Check the following chart for the exact breakdown of common couch to half marathon running paces:

Half marathon pace chart

Progress Slowly

The best way to improve your endurance when you’re a complete beginner is to use a run/walk method.

This method is a mix of jogging intervals interspersed with walking breaks.

This helps you get fit without getting hurt.

The typical run/walk session starts with a 10-minute brisk walk as a warm-up, then you alternate between a set time of running with a set time of walking for a set period of time.

Then finish it with a walking cool-down.

How do you know that you’re doing it right?

It should feel challenging but also sustainable.

Don’t chew more than you can swallow—or else, you’ll get hurt, and you don’t want that.

For example, in the first session in week one, jog at an easy pace for one minute and then follow it with one minute of walking to recovery.

Then repeat the cycle for a total of 10 rounds.

That’s all.

As the weeks go by, you slowly increase your running time and take less for recovery until you’re running straight for 30 to 40 minutes without taking any breaks. (that’s typically around week 8 or 9).

As the plan progresses forward, aim to increase the time spent running and reduce the walking until you’re running non-stop.

couch to half marathon
couch to half marathon

The Long Run

Around week 10 or 11 of the couch to half marathon plan, you’ll start doing one long workout a week, usually on the weekend.

Why do you need to do so?

Long runs are the bread and butter of endurance training, especially half marathon training.

These help build endurance and strength—and get you used to spend long times on your feet.

What’s more?

If you plan to eat during the race, use the same strategy out on your long runs, so you’ll know what type of food works the best for you.

Experimentation is key.

It’s also an ideal time to practice your diet and hydration strategy during the race, especially the few longs runs in the last few weeks.

Additional resource – Maintaining muscle when marathon training

How Many

For the couch to half marathon plan, build up slowly your long run to at least 10 to 12 miles before the event.

You may start with a 4 to 5 miles run, adding one mile every two weeks.

It’s up to you and how much your body can handle.

As the plan progress, you’ll be asked to finish two 10-mile long runs to get your body ready for the 13.1-mile distance.

Once you finish these without a problem, then know for sure that you can run 13.1 miles without succumbing to fatigue half-way.

Long Run Pace

Don’t worry about your long run pace.

As long as you’re spending time on your feet and increase your physical and mental endurance, you’re going in the right direction.

Additional resource – How long is a half marathon

Cross-Training

While logging miles should make up the bulk of any endurance running plan, working on improving your range of motion and strength to ward off injuries is also important.

You’ll want to build and/or keep aerobic fitness while also giving your muscles and joints a break from the wear and tear of running.

That’s where cross-training comes into the picture.

Cross-training refers to performing non-running exercises that can help you score gains in your main sport, which is running.

Don’t take my word for it.

Research has shown that performing non-running activities such as swimming and elliptical training can help keep, even improve, fitness and performance in runners.

Some of the best cross-training examples for runners include:

  • Elliptical training
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Biking
  • Pool running
  • Strength training
  • Yoga

Take Care of Your Body

Improving running performance isn’t about logging one mile after the other.

Your recovery is also crucial.

In fact, it can be as important as the training itself.

Recovery days allow your muscles to bounce from the hard work as a result of hard training.

That’s why any well-rounded, effective running plan should also focus on recovery, especially when following an endurance running program.

Schedule one day for complete rest.

This is especially crucial during the early weeks of the base-building phase.

Don’t force your body to do more than it can handle.

Additional resource – When to skip a run

Pay Attention To Your Body

It’s key to pay attention to your body training.

If you find it hard to finish a certain session or are dealing with pains and aches, it might be a sign that your body hasn’t fully recovered.

When it’s the case, either take more days off or repeat the current week program.

You can also keep the same running duration but do more walking and less running.

The Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan Explained

My plan will have you hitting the pavement three times per week, but don’t worry if that seems too challenging.

Throughout the first few weeks, every session involves alternating between jogging and walking, and the distance (as well as the intensity) you’ll cover do builds up slowly and gradually.

That’s, after all, the essence of the walk/run method, which is the best way to get fit without getting hurt—as I always say.

As you get fitter, you’ll spend more time jogging and less time walking until you can run straight for one hour.

Then it’s more endurance building from there.

Each session connects to the next until you can eventually run for about two hours in on your long run by week 15.

But don’t try to get ahead of yourself.

Start at the beginning and work it up from there.

The rest is just details.

Remember also that you’ll be doing other forms of exercise besides running.

That’s cross-training.

And don’t feel like a loser if you miss a session—that happens to the best of us.

We cannot always control our circumstances.

Note – if you already can straight for 30 minutes at slow pacing without much huffing and puffing, then feel free to pick the training plan from week 8.

Personalize The Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan

The most important thing to understand about this plan that it is not written in stone.

Feel free to adjust it to make fit your own lifestyle and fitness needs.

Sure, I’m listing specific sessions, but the plan is all about flexibility.

Feel free to follow my plan as spelled out, or, especially if it’s moving too fast for you, or change it up to include less running and more walking.

You call the shots.

couch to half marathon plan

 

Conclusion

There you have it.

If you’re serious about running your first half-marathon, then the above couch to half marathon plan should get you started on the right foot.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

Top 4 Supplements for Runners

woman running

This post was Sponsored By Naked Nutrition. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.

As a runner, you already know the benefits of running are immense. It can work wonders for both your physical as well as mental health.

Running can improve your cardiovascular health, help you maintain an optimal weight, build stronger bones and muscles, and reduce stress.

Not to mention, it’s a lot of fun and a great way to connect with others. Or perhaps you run races and enjoy the competitive element.

Regardless of the reasons why you love running, it is a great sport, and runners are naturally looking for ways to improve performance and longevity.

There are many things you can do to improve your running performance.

For example, you can use the right running shoes based on the structure of your feet. You can strength train and do yoga to improve posture, balance, and coordination, all of which will make you a better runner.

You can optimize your sleep for the best recovery and stay hydrated consistently.

Another thing you can do is take supplements to improve running. And in this article, we’ll list four top supplements that are beneficial to runners.

Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid that has various functions in your body including building of tissues, proper metabolism, balancing hormones, and regulating nutrients. Glutamine can also play a role in how well your immune system functions.

During prolonged or intense workouts sessions, there can be a natural decrease in the glutamine levels in your body.

If that happens, some athletes may experience excessive fatigue, an inability to improve performance, or they may be more susceptible to getting sick.

Supplementing with glutamine can help ensure that you maintain optimal levels so you can stay healthy, recover quickly after intense workouts, and avoid excessive fatigue when running longer distances.

Naked Nutrition’s premium glutamine powder contains only one ingredient –  L-Glutamine naturally fermented from plant sources. It is free of any artificial additives and their supplements are independent third-party tested for heavy metals.

Coffee

mainstream of strong espresso coffee from a espresso machine to translucent glass cups

You may not think of coffee as a “supplement”, but many runners swear by a cup of joe before going on a run.

It can provide you with a boost in energy, both physically and mentally. If you’re feeling a bit sluggish and unmotivated to hit the trail, a cup of coffee could be exactly what would do the trick.

They don’t call it a quick pick-me-up for nothing.

But don’t overdo it. Try and stick to high-quality, preferably organic, sources of coffee. And skip the cream and sugar.

About half a cup of black coffee should do the trick without making you jittery.

If you don’t drink coffee, a cup of black tea or matcha green tea should be good enough as well.

Beta-alanine

man athlete running on the nature at sunset outdoors

Beta alanine is another amino acid that helps reduce fatigue and improves your ability to perform high intensity workouts.

As a runner, you may benefit from beta-alanine more if you’re more of a sprinter rather than a long-distance runner.

But regardless of how you compete or practice your running, you can take beta-alanine if speed or sprints are a part of your workout routine.

You can take beta-alanine on sprint days and glutamine on long-distance days, for example. Or you can take both if that fits your training plan, but be sure to talk to your trainer or nutritionist before you start.

Beta-alanine is totally competition legal, and is deemed to be safe in healthy adults in recommended doses.

Glucosamine and chondroitin

Muscle injury. Man with sprain thigh muscles. Athlete in sports shorts clutching his thigh muscles after pulling or straining them while jogging on the beach.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are found in your cartilage. You can think of your cartilage as the cushion between bones in your joints.

You may get glucosamine from shellfish. Chondroitin can be found in animal sources like shark or bovine cartilage.

But these compounds are also available in supplement form. Your body absorbs both glucosamine and chondroitin well as a supplement.

People typically take them to prevent or manage osteoarthritis, but the evidence is still mixed when it comes to the effectiveness of these supplements.

For runners, it’s about protecting the joints. Runnin is obviously a sport that heavily involves the joints, and many runners report that supplementing with glucosamine and chondroitin helps them avoid pain, and maintain better joint health.

But once again, the evidence is mixed, and there isn’t conclusive research to suggest that these supplements are effective beyond doubt.

If you’re considering glucosamine and chondroitin, be sure to consult with your doctor about it first to see if it makes sense for you.

Finally, don’t neglect your diet

Supplements are just that. They’re supplements.

You’ll only get the most out of your supplements if you’re taking them in addition to a well-balanced diet.

What that well-balanced diet looks like for you will depend on a variety of factors, and you should speak to a licensed nutritionist to learn what’s right specifically for you.

But in general, your diet should consist of a balance between the various macros – protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

You should also try to get as many micronutrients as possible by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and high-quality sources of protein.

And then, depending on your goals and what you prefer as a runner, consider taking some of the supplements listed above to take your running performance to the next level.

How to Plan a Running Route?

how to plan a running route

Outdoor running is one of the best things you can do to take care of your health.

But, often than not, it is not as simple as heading out the door and hitting the pavement, especially when you’re serious about your miles.

To get the most out of your outdoor runs, you’ll want to plan the perfect route.

Whether you’re a beginner runner or already training for your 9th marathon, in today’s post, I’m going to share with you the tools you need to find and plan the perfect running route.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

Why Plan Your Running Routes?

Planning your running routes is key—or else it’s not easy to tell how far you have run or will run.

This can cause you to either over-or underestimate yourself, which can cause more harm than good.

The last thing you’d want while running is to find yourself 6 miles from home base dying of thirst or needing to go to the bathroom and still have to return back home somehow.

What’s more?

Planning your running routes helps you improve motivation, stay more consistent, and provide more terrain variety.

It also helps make your training safer and more enjoyable.

What’s not to like!

How To Plan A Running Route?

Here are some of the measures to take to help you plan your running routes so you can have the most out of your runs.

Enjoy!

Stay Safe

The most important factor to consider when planning a running route is safety.

The last thing you’d want is a running course that’s going to give you an upsetting experience.

Here’s how to ensure road safety.

  • Learn more about the course. If this is your first time trying a running route, try to find out as much information about it in advance. You can use Google Street View to zoom in on routes—you can also try driving or biking through it first.
  • If you live in a highly-populated city, pay attention to traffic or crowds in your surrounding area. Avoid busy streets and over-crowded sidewalks. That’s why it’s best to run early in the morning before the rest of the world starts waking up.
  • Proper light. If you plan to run early in the morning or late in the evening, make sure the course is properly lit.
  • If you plan to hit the trails, find out more about the sort of animal you could run into. For more on how to deal with animals while running, check this post.
  • Leave word. Always tell a family member or a friend where you’re going to run and when they should expect to hear from you back.

Use Apps

Whether you prefer to log in the miles on a familiar road or are a keen trail runner out there to explore uncharted terrains, there are many apps out there to help you run more efficiently.

Running apps can help you monitor pace, duration, distance, calories, elevation, and so much more—all to help you reach your running goals.

Of course, there’s an app—more like a dozen—for planning running routes.

Here are my best recommendations:

  • Plot Route. This works very well if you prefer to plan your running route on a laptop. As you plan your course, this tool will work out your running distance and provide you the option of adding running speed.
  • You can find the “route” tool in the premium version of Strava. Just put in how far you’d like to run and whether you want to avoid hills.
  • This one lets you sift through dozens of crowd-sourced routes, then filter them by length, ascent, and more. To check routes on MapMyRun, go to the Routes page and put in your address. The result should come up with a list of various user-created routes in your region.

Can’t find what you’re looking for on an app? Try Os Maps.

Ordnance Survey (OS Maps) is a hugely popular map-building tech that works well for planning running routes.

Sure, you might need to subscribe to get some of the features, but the free version has to offer.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to create a running program

Google Maps

The most useful tool for planning any type of route is undoubtedly Google Maps.

Google earth, both the browser-based and desktop versions, have built-in measuring tools that can help you plot running routes.

What’s more?

Planning your own running routes with Google Maps is quite simple.

1 – Determine your starting point, either by clicking the arrow icon (if you’re at the starting point) or by entering an address.

2 – Be sure to zoom in and out as well as drag the map using the map controls.

3 – Start drawing your running course by clicking on the map to set the starting point, then choose points along the course you’d like to create to work out the distance.

Sounds too complicated?

Check out the following YouTube Tutorial to learn how to plot running routes using Google Maps.

Plan Your Route According To Your Run

Whenever you plan a new running route, think about objectives too.

That’s why you should match your route to your run.

In other words, your routes have to satisfy your workout intention—or else, you might be heading in the wrong direction.

What type of terrain do you want to cover?

How far you’d like to go?

Are you looking for hills?

Etc.

Planning on doing an easy run?

Choose a route where you can have the opportunity to get lost in the surroundings and not worry about speed.

Or, if you’re planning on doing speedwork, head to a track rather than the busy streets of your city.

how to plan a running route

Change Up Your Running Routes

To keep things interesting, try doing more runs on grass, hills, gravel, sand—anywhere as long as it’s doable and safe.

Adding variety to your training can also force your body to adapt and get used to various running scenarios, making you into a better runner.

Additional resource – Guide to urban running

How to Plan a Running Route – The Conclusion

There you have it!

If you’re looking for practical ways to plan your running routes, then this article should get you started on the right foot—both figuratively and literally.

The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong

David D

How Much Should I Run to Lose Weight?

lose fat

“How Much Should I Run to Lose Weight?”

I hope I have the answer, but when it comes to how  much to run to lose weight and get lean, the answer is a little complicated.

Besides using the right fitness accessories, there are many factors to consider, and how many calories are
burned varies greatly from one runner to the next.

There are many factors to consider and how many calories are burned varies greatly from one runner to the next.

Would you like to learn more about these factors as well as how to maximize your calorie burn while running?

Then keep on reading.

In today’s post, I’ll outline the many variables that affect calorie burn while running as well as how to make the most out of your miles so you can reach your weight loss and fitness goals as quickly as possible.

Sounds great?

Let’s lace up and dig in.

How Much Should I Run to Lose Weight?

Let’s start with some math.

There are roughly 3,500 calories in one pound of fat, and the average person burns about 100 calories for one mile of running—meaning a 5-mile run will burn around 500 calories—give or take.

Abiding the 100-calorie per mile general rule, you’ll need to run 35 miles to lose one pound of fat.

So if you wanted to lose 10 pounds by running alone, you would need to run 350 miles without changing anything else about your lifestyle.

This may seem like too much for many people.

That’s the reason you should always back up your exercise plan with the right diet.

Or else, you might compromise your weight loss efforts, and you don’t want that.

Of course, I’m oversimplifying things here, but just for the sake of making things less complicated.

Keep on reading to learn more about the process behind weight loss as well as the factors that impact calorie burn during running.

Additional Resource – Does Running Burn Stomach Fat?

Weight Loss Explained

When it comes down to it, weight loss is a number’s game—calories in Vs. Calories out.

Your physical activity and nutrition are two big things you can control, to some degree.

Re-adjusting each can help you shed more calories than you take in on a regular basis.

If you are not sure what goal you should set for yourself in terms of losing weight and fat, an excellent idea would
be to use the BMI calculator. Bmi results are a good measure of your health and it also provides a rough estimate of body fat you have.
BMI stands for Body Mass Index, which is the measurement of our weight-to-height ratio.

By understanding whether our weight is in healthy proportion to our height, we gain awareness of the attention our body needs in terms of a healthy diet and exercise.

Here’s the full guide to how many calories do you burn running one mile.

Metabolism Explained

Metabolism refers to the process by which your body converts food into energy.

During the process, calories eaten are mixed with oxygen to release and produce the fuel your body needs to function.

Even when you’re sleeping and not doing anything physical, your body still requires fuel for all its vital function such as:

  • Blood circulation,
  • Food digestion
  • Waste elimination
  • Repairing and boiling cells and tissues
  • Maintaining brain and nervous system activity
  • Regulating hormone levels
  • And so many more.

The Second Burner – Physical activity

Physical activity may refer to everything from typing into a keyboard to running, taking stairs, and generally moving your body around—all of this burns calories.

The number of calories that you burn in any given activity—running is no exception—depends on many factors.

How Many Calories

How many calories you burn while running depends on many factors, such as your body weight, age, and fitness experience.

Let’s break them down.

Your Weight

Bodyweight plays a crucial role in how many calories are burned during a run.

As a general rule, the heavier you are, the more effort your body has to exert to propel you forward—therefore the higher the calorie burn.

For example, a person weighing 120-pound can burn up to 620 calories running an 8-minute mile for one hour.

That number can go up to 1500 calories for a 200-pound person.

Additional resource – Here’s how long does it take to lose 100 pounds.

Your Speed

How fast you run matters as well.

The faster you run, the more calories you shed.

For example, a 160-pound person running a 10-minute mile pace per hour can burn up to 720 calories during the workout.

If the same person speeds it up to a 7.5-minute mile, they can burn more roughly 1000 calories in the same amount of time.

What’s more?

High-intensity training affects calorie burn by achieving the so-covered “afterburn effect.” This is what’s known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, which is the amount of energy needed to help the body return to its pre-workout state.

This means that you’ll keep burning calories at a higher rate even after you stopped running.

Additional resource – Here’s how to lose body fat.

how Much Should I Run to Lose Weight?

Incline

Training intensity can also be affected by the surface you’re running on.

Running uphill and running on a flat surface is not the same experience.

The former is more challenging; therefore, it burns more calories.

In fact, you can burn up to three to five calories per minute, depending on the incline, then running on a flat surface.

Research out of the Journal of Sports Sciences revealed that incline running achieves greater leg muscle activation than running on the decline slope.

This obviously means more calories burned.

For example, the same 160-pound person from before may burn 200 calories during a 45-minute treadmill walk at 4.0 mph.

But if they just changed the incline to 5 percent, their calorie burn can go up to 300 calories for the same duration.

Additional link – Slow running vs fast running for weight loss

Losing Weight While Running

Although how many calories are burned while running is different from one person to the other, one thing is certain—you’re still burning calories and lots of them.

So, let’s get into how to start running for weight loss when you’re a beginner.

The best thing about the run/walk method is that you get to decide your walk-to-jog ratios and are how many times you repeat it.

You’re in control—as long as you keep your ego in check.

Here’s how you should proceed:

  • Warm-up by brisk walking for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Once you’re ready, jog one for a minute, followed by one minute of walking.
  • Jog again for one minute, and then do another one-minute walk.
  • Repeat the process for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Cool down with a 5 to 10-minute easy walk to bring your breathing and heart rate down.

That’s it.

As you get fitter, increase the time spent running, or the number of intervals, until you can run straight for 30 minutes without stopping.

Additional resource – How to track body fat percentage

Be Careful

Logging the miles can help you achieve your weight loss goals, but you shouldn’t overdo it.

If you push your body too much, you can get injured and/or burned out, making weight loss much more difficult than it has to be.

You can also supplement your road work with other forms of exercises such as strength training and yoga to create a steeper energy deficit.

The more, the merrier, as they say.

Other than that, if you want to lose weight and keep it off for good, running is a step in the right direction.

Following a regular exercise plan and paying attention to your diet are the most important weight loss tools at your disposal.

Sure, it might take you quite a while to reach your weight loss goals, but it’s in the end; it’s just a matter of time (and trial and error).

The rest is just details.

Additional resource – How to cut sugar intake

how Much Should I Run to Lose Weight – The conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking for the answer to how Much Should I Run to Lose Weight then today’s post has you covered. the rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

Thank you for stopping by.

Inner Ankle pain While Running? A Tibial Posterior Tendonitis Guide in Runners

inner ankle pain

Experiencing inner ankle pain while running is pretty common.

There are many conditions to blame, but when the pain is located inside of the ankle, Tibial posterior tendonitis is often the culprit.

In today’s post, I’ll give you a full overview of the condition, what’s causing it, how to treat it, and, most importantly, how to prevent tibial posterior tendonitis while running.

Sounds exciting?

Let’s get started.

What is Posterior Tibial Tendinitis?

Though not as infamous as plantar fasciitis or ankle sprains, posterior tibial tendonitis (PTTD) is a relatively common ankle injury in runners.

Here’s the truth.

PTTD is one of the most common issues of the foot and ankle.

This injury occurs when the posterior tibial tendon is inflamed, partially ruptured, or torn, causing tenderness and pain around the bony structure of the inside of the ankle.

But, what is the posterior tibial tendon anyway?

Time for anatomy 101.

The posterior tibial tendon is one of the most crucial tendons in your lower legs.

Located on the inside of the lower leg, the posterior tibial tendon connects the calf muscles to the ones on the inside of the foot and.

Check Image.

The Functions

The posterior tibial tendon acts as one of the main supporting structures of the foot, assisting it to function optimally while walking and running.

What’s more?

The posterior tibialis contacts to produce inversion and help in the plantar flexion of the foot at the ankle.

In fact, any time you walk or run, this tendon locks your ankle in place, which helps keep your foot in a rigid position as you push off the ground.

The Symptoms

Posterior tibialis tendonitis typically afflicts only one foot; however, in some cases, it can occur in both feet.

You may also feel pain along the inside of your foot and ankle, where the tendon lies.

You may also notice some swelling in the area.

Symptoms include:

  • Tenderness or pain on the inside of the ankle
  • Pain, usually around the inside of the foot and ankle
  • Pain is worse when standing for long periods, walking, or running.
  • Swelling along the course of the tendon towards the foot.
  • Warmth, swelling, and redness along the inside of the ankle and foot.

The Dire Consequences

As the injury gets worse, the arch along the length of the foot may start to gradually collapse, and the pain will shift to the outside of the foot, below the ankle.

As this happens, the foot becomes completely flat as the toes turn outwards and the ankle rolls in

This is what’s known as flat foot—and it’s not the same as in those born with this anatomical structure.

The further your injury exacerbates, the more invasive treatments you’ll need to correct the problem.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to calf pain while running

Stages of Severity

In general, posterior tibial injury is categorized into four main stages

  • Stage 1 – Consists of tendon inflammation or damage, but no change in foot shape. You might also notice that your foot has a mild flatfoot deformity.
  • Stage 2 – The tendon starts to become elongated while the arch slowly flattens. As the injury worsens, the arch of the foot starts to collapse; therefore, you can notice flat foot deformity (but not a permanent one).
  • Stage 3 – The tendon may be partially or fully rupture. This leads to a more severe flat foot deformity that might be beyond correction, resulting in a condition known as rigid flatfoot deformity.
  • Stage 4 – Permanent damage and deformities in the ankle and foot. Not only is the foot affected, but also the adjacent deltoid ligament becomes involved and starts to collapse inward.

Here’s the full guide to arch support for running

Causes Of Inner Ankle Pain

Tibial posterior tendonitis is caused by overuse of the tendon or from a specific traumatic impact such as a fall or contact while playing sports.

Common activities that may cause overuse include:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • And other high impact sports

Here are some of the factors that can make you more prone to the condition:

  • Gender as it’s more common in women
  • Over the age of 40
  • Improper footwear
  • Weak ankle muscles, especially the posterior tibialis or the intrinsic foot muscles
  • Having hypertension
  • Having diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese

Additional resource – Common cause of lower leg pain while running

Should you Run with a Posterior Tibialis injury?

This is the first question any runner dealing with this injury wants the answer to.

It’s actually simple: If you’re trying to run through the tibialis tendon, stop.

In fact, if you suffer any type of pain on the inside of your ankle while running, stop training immediately, as logging in more miles can make your condition worse.

The next step is to visit your doctor as soon as possible so you can start the recovery process.

inner ankle pain while running
Female runner suffering ankle sprained injury.

How To Treat Inner Ankle Pain While Running?

To soothe pain and speed up healing, do the following:

Lower Your Mileage

Cut down on your weekly mileage, and if pain persists, stop running altogether.

You should also limit other sports and activities that cause you pain.

Next, ice the affected area several times per day to soothe inflammation and pain.

Your pain should fade with thee measures.

If not, you should consult your doctor for additional treatment options.

Additional Resource – How To Prevent Ankle Pain For Runners

Extreme Cases

In case of pain persists despite all measures, surgery might be required to fix the damage.

For example, in advanced cases, a doctor may inject a mixture of corticosteroid and local anesthetic into the tendon sheet to help soothe the pain

But the use of such is not recommended as research suggests that they might be associated with a risk of tendon rupture.

running ankle pain

Prevent Posterior Tibial Tendonitis While Running?

There are many measures you can take to reduce your risk of injury.

Here are a few:

Use Orthotics

Research has shown that the use of custom-made orthotics may provide extra arch support that can help reduce stress on the posterior tibial tendon.

These devices help reposition the injured foot and reduce the stress on the tendon.

That’s why orthotics not only work great for speeding up recovery but for preventing injury, too.

If you’re looking for more support and a personalized solution, get a pair of custom orthotics from your doctor or physical therapist.

Usually, these tend to be specifically designed for your arch type.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to Anterior Tibial Tendonitis 

Stretch Your Calves

Most of the research that reported positive results in the treatment of posterior tibial tendon issues had some form, or all employed, a calf stretching routine.

According to research, the go-to stretching regiment is 3 X 30-second of standing calf stretches against a sturdy object, such as a wall, performed twice a day.

Running Shoes

To protect your ankles from injury, consider getting a pair of running shoes with plenty of support, cushion, and comfort.

As a guideline, when looking for running shoes, choose the following:

  • Support under the forefoot
  • A well-cushioned arch
  • A wide toe box (since most of the push-off originates from the big and second toe).

You can also consider adding an orthotic to your running shoes.

Just remember to consult with a podiatrist to help you make the right decision.

Additional resource – Sore quads after running

Strength Train

Besides stretching, there are also a few strength exercises that can not only help soothe your pain but also prevent future flare-ups.

These strength exercise not only target the posterior tibial tendon but other muscles as well, especially the muscles of the calf.

When dealing with overuse injuries, it’s often the case that the affected area isn’t the only problem, but dysfunction in the area surrounding the affected limb can also be problematic.

The human body is, after all, one connected chain—only as strong a the weakest chain.

Additional Resource -Your guide to jaw pain while running

Inner Ankle Pain While Running – The Conclusion

There you have it!

The above guidelines should set you on the right path toward preventing and treating posterior tibial tendonitis while running.

The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep Running Strong.

David D.