Excited about creating a running program? The first step is deciding the distance you should run daily or several times a week.
If you’re an experienced runner, five miles, which is almost equivalent to an 8K race, is a reasonable distance to cover. Beginner runners can also run it safely, but only after increasing their mileage gradually and improving their running performance.
Either way, knowing the average 5-mile time is essential to help you fit running into your tight schedule and guarantee the success of your training plan.
So, most people with an average running pace of 10-12 minutes per mile run 5 miles in 50-60 minutes. Since runners are different, you could run 5 miles in less or more time, depending on your running speed on a particular day.
If you’re ready to learn everything about running 5 miles regardless of your experience level, we wrote this exhaustive guide just for you. It covers:
- Some of the many factors affecting your average 5-mile time
- Tricks to improve your endurance and mental stamina
- Whether it’s wise to run 5 miles every day
- The main benefits of running 5 miles
- Aspects that could discourage you from running five miles or shorter distances daily
What Impacts Mile Times?
Your running speed is the main factor influencing your average mile time and, as a result, the time you need to hit five miles.
Intermediate and advanced runners with a 7-minute mile pace can run 5 miles in only 35 minutes. On the other hand, new runners with a slower running pace will take more time to run the same distance.
Therefore, skill level is among the main variables involved in determining your running speed and average 5-mile time. If you’ve been running for a more extended period, you have more stamina and endurance, enabling you to run 5 miles faster than another runner with little experience.
Still, other factors play a big role in deciding your average running pace when you run 5 miles, such as:
Typically, male runners have an advantage over women when it comes to running, thanks to their large body sizes. Because their legs have up to 80% more muscle mass, they naturally run faster, allowing them to cover five miles in fewer minutes than female runners.
Hormones also come into play when explaining why men have a faster running speed than women.
Once a boy hits puberty, their testosterone level gradually increases. By the time they become adults, they have up to 20 times more of this hormone than women, which enables them to have stronger bodies and bones, translating into a faster running pace.
Here’s another critical factor affecting miles and how fast you can run five miles on a given day. The truth is, you could take ages to run 5 miles without a proper running form, even with plenty of experience as a runner.
Generally, your running technique determines your efficiency when you hit the road—if it’s poor, your running economy is low, and you’ll take more time to run 5 miles.
This is why it’s critical that you maintain a proper running form to run five miles in the least time possible. If you don’t know how to do it, here are some pointers to guide you.
- Maintain a tall or erect running posture: Relax your shoulders, and ensure your body is aligned with your legs without curving at the waist. Also, look straight ahead, preferably at least three meters away.
- Swing your arms properly: When running five miles, you should swing your arms ahead and back along your torso’s side. Keep your shoulders back, with the elbows bent at roughly 90 degrees. At the same time, never move your arms across your upper body during a run because it consumes much energy that can otherwise propel you forward to boost your running speed.
- Prioritize a proper running foot strike: How your feet come into contact with the ground as you run 5 miles also matters. You should take light, quick, and small steps when running. They not only improve your running form but also allow you to run faster and smoother, with minimal risk of injury.
Runners’ average mile times are also affected by their age groups.
Usually, your body functions become less efficient as you age, meaning your heart’s capability to pump blood and deliver oxygen to your muscles also decreases. A 2016 study found that older runners experience less muscle activation in their lower bodies, leading to shorter strides, limited power, and a considerably slow running pace.
This explains why younger people run faster than older runners and their running speed decreases as they age.
How ready are you to run 5 miles? Preparation affects your running speed and ability to complete a five-mile run in good time.
For instance, you have minimal stamina and strength if you’re dehydrated. This means you become exhausted quickly and can’t run faster to hit five miles within the average time of 50 minutes.
On the other hand, if you adequately prepare for your run by properly hydrating, consuming enough carbs, and getting enough sleep, you’re likely to have a better average 5-mile time.
The terrain you’re running through influences your average running pace—you can run faster on a flat surface than on an uneven one.
Running five miles uphill requires more energy than on flat terrain. Therefore, you’re likely to become exhausted and reduce your running pace at some point.
On the contrary, downhill running requires less energy since it’s not as exhausting as uphill running. You should also expect to run a faster mile because you can breathe easily, facilitating better blood flow to your muscles. But you must learn how to control your running speed and keep your balance to deal with the impact of each step.
How to Run Five Miles Without Getting Tired
Finishing a five-mile run in an average time of 50 minutes requires you to build endurance to cover the distance without tiring quickly and stopping every ten minutes.
These handy tricks could help you run 5 miles continuously and even boost your average running pace.
Monitor Your Breathing
If you want to run a 5-mile distance without feeling worn out, inhale and exhale using both your nose and mouth. It allows for relaxed breathing, which ideally engages your diaphragm to prevent carbon dioxide buildup and minimize fatigue.
Belly breathing is also recommended during runs because it gives your lungs enough room to expand so that you can breathe steadily. This helps prevent side stitches that could demotivate you from finishing your run.
Warming up is a practical strategy to prepare your muscles for the physical and mental demands of running five miles. Consider stretching for 5-10 minutes before heading out to run.
More warm-up exercises you can do include shoulder rolls, walking briskly, heel kicks, and high knees.
Fuel Your Body
Consuming the right foods before your run provides the energy you need to run 5 miles without fatigue.
Eat between 200 and 300 calories of easily digestible carbs about 30-60 minutes before running five miles. If you prefer foods like bananas, toast, and peanut butter, consume them about 1-2 hours prior to your run.
Also, remember to drink 8-12 ounces of water 60 minutes before you start running.
During your 5-mile run, you can take energy drinks and energy bars to improve endurance.
Boost Your Mental Stamina
Mental strength is a must-have when you hope to run 5 miles without stopping. It encourages you to run at a peak performance without giving in to discomfort, fear, humiliation and fatigue. What’s more, it prompts you to stay positive, trusting that you’ll complete your run no matter what.
You can build mental toughness for more efficient running through the following ways:
- Thinking about your running goals and how amazing you’ll feel when you achieve them
- Distracting yourself by listening to the best running playlists or your favorite podcast
- Give yourself a pep talk to motivate yourself to run faster and hit five miles
- Come up with a creative mantra to play in your head when you feel like slowing down or stopping
- Play exciting games such as counting the people you run past or the dogs you see
- Join a running group so that you don’t pound the pavement alone
Wear the Right Gear
Comfort largely contributes to your running performance and capability to run 5 miles without getting tired. That’s why you must wear the appropriate running gear.
Choose functional clothing made from a moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry despite sweating. It should also fit snugly but not too tight to limit your comfort.
Compression clothes are recommended for runners because they aid blood circulation to reduce fatigue. If you’re running in the rain or cold, throw on a windproof running jacket for protection.
Also, wear comfy running shoes and a breathable pair of socks when running 5 miles. They support and protect your feet to encourage you to run the full distance to complete five miles.
Running Five Miles Daily: Main Benefits to Enjoy
It’s not surprising that running is perceived as one of the best cardio activities you can indulge in. A daily five-mile run can transform your life in unimaginable ways, thanks to the benefits it brings to the table. These include:
Running 5 miles boosts your metabolism, which is why the daily exercise is so effective in aiding weight loss. You can remain in good shape and health if you combine this cardio activity with proper nutrition.
A fast metabolism also makes you feel livelier since most of the food and drinks you consume are converted into energy.
Notably, running five miles or shorter distances burns more calories than other low-aerobic workouts such as walking. So you should prioritize it weight loss is your ultimate goal.
An Elevated Mood
If you feel down, running can improve your mood. The activity facilitates the production of serotonin and endorphins, the hormones that make you happy and alleviate stress, respectively.
What’s more, a five-mile run is not a temporary fix to your mood swings—it offers lasting benefits for your mental health.
David J. Linden, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the esteemed Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says that running comes with a “dramatic antidepressive effect”, and “it blunts the brain’s response to physical and emotional stress.”
This explains why it’s recommended for patients with mental health disorders such as mild depression and anxiety.
If you’re running 5 miles to boost your mood, it’s best to do it outdoors to maximize its effectiveness. Soaking up the sun and exposure to nature calms your nerves and soothes your soul, instantly making you happier.
Good Sleep Quality
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 10%-30% of adults deal with insomnia, while another 2%-9% struggle with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These sleep disorders deter you from enjoying quality sleep, ultimately affecting other aspects of your life, including work.
If you’re experiencing problems sleeping, create a five-mile training plan to help you sleep better at night. As seen above, running such a distance stabilizes your mood and minimizes stress, which could keep you awake all night.
A 2016 study discovered that a physical activity like running also reduces abdominal fat and body weight, making it an effective solution to OSA.
Do you often become distracted and are incapable of concentrating on one particular task? Start running 3-5 miles a day to increase your focus.
This cardio exercise has a cognitive-boosting effect, which also improves your memory and learning capabilities.
Multiple Health Benefits
As any elite runner can attest, running five miles largely contributes to a long, healthy life. Besides improving your physical and mental health, it keeps health problems such as heart disease and diabetes at arm’s length.
Furthermore, running may eliminate bacteria lodging in your lungs and airways to protect you from illnesses such as flu.
Downsides of Running 5 Miles Every Day
As with most physical activities, running five miles daily has several downsides that you should be prepared to deal with if you commit to your five-mile training plan. Examples of these are:
Despite what advanced runners with world records might say, running 5 miles daily is challenging, especially for newbies. You’re likely to overwork your muscles and immerse yourself in a sea of fatigue.
This is why rest days are recommended—to help your muscles heal and protect you from burnout.
You Could Hit a Plateau
Another disadvantage of running 5 miles every day is you’re at risk of hitting the dreaded plateau, meaning you’ll be unable to improve your average running pace and weekly mileage.
When a runner hits a plateau, it’s often because their body is accustomed to running the same distance daily. Should you ever reach this point, consider these valuable tips for breaking out of a running plateau:
- Embrace interval training to boost your running speed
- Have several strength training sessions a week
- Run with company and change routes whenever you can
- Set a goal to run a longer distance, and do your best to achieve it
- Take a break to help your body regain momentum
Is It Okay to Run Five Miles Daily?
Most runners often ask this question before beginning their 5-mile running routines. The truth is, whether you should run five miles every day or not boils down to your goals, experience, and weight.
Although newer runners can run 5 miles, it’s not recommended as a daily exercise , especially during the first week of their training plans. The physical activity is likely to put too much stress on their bodies, leading to fatigue and increasing their chances of injury.
Therefore, if you’re a newbie, start running at most 3 miles daily. Then, run consistently to enhance your running performance and increase your weekly mileage eventually.
In addition, running 5 miles daily is ideal for intermediate runners whose ultimate goal is weight loss. Typically, most people burn 100 calories per mile, meaning you can cut 400 more calories a day if you run 5 miles.
Again, your weight or fitness level is worth considering when deciding if running 5 miles daily is a great idea.
If, for instance, you’re overweight and incapable of running without stopping, a five-mile distance will be challenging to cover every day. The best thing to do is run shorter distances until you shed some pounds and gain more stamina and endurance.
On the contrary, runners with a high fitness level and optimal stamina can run 5 miles daily.
Running 5 Miles Regularly
Doubtlessly, running five miles is a great exercise that allows you to lose weight, attain a higher fitness level, and reduce your risk of suffering from fatal conditions such as heart disease. If you’re new to the world of running, your average 5-mile time is likely to be more than 50 minutes at the beginning of your training plan.
After a few weeks of running on the reg and at least three strength training sessions, you can effortlessly improve your average mile time and join the league of experienced runners. Remember to take one or two rest days a week to allow your muscles to recover and make way for you to become a better 5-mile runner.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a competitive 5-mile time?
A good average 5-mile time is 50 minutes if you’re running at 10 minutes per mile. However, “competitive” varies from one runner to another, depending on their experience level and objectives.
For instance, if you’ve just started your running journey, covering five miles in fifty minutes is commendable. But for elite runners, that could be more time than necessary since most of them run the same distance in fewer minutes.
Should I combine running 5 miles and strength training?
You gain many benefits if you run consistently and perform strength training exercises, including more endurance and better running performance. Still, high-intensity resistance training is only recommended when running shorter distances so that you don’t put too much stress on your body muscles.
Therefore, you should run 5 miles when indulging in low-intensity strength training workouts, such as dumbbell chest presses, sumo squats, reverse lunges with dumbbells, step-ups, and hammer curls.
Will I become fit if I run 5 miles?
A higher fitness level is in the cards for you if you run 5 miles often. This activity promotes weight loss and triggers muscle development so that you can become fitter and in good shape.
Can I comfortably run a half-marathon if I cover five miles daily?
If you can run 5 miles in 50 minutes without stopping, running a half marathon (13.1 miles) should be a breeze with adequate preparation. Start preparing for a marathon up to three months before the race to enhance your endurance and achieve your goals.
Does walking five miles burn the same calories as running 5 miles?
While both running and walking are efficient ways to burn calories, the former burns almost double the number of calories the latter burns. This means that running five miles is more effective in facilitating weight loss than walking the same distance.