How Long Does It Take To Walk A 5K Marathon: Slow To Fast

Last Updated on January 2, 2024 by Richard

Congratulations on deciding to take your first 5k walking/running marathon adventure. But how long does it take to walk a 5k?

Can you really do it without embarrassing yourself?

Relax, you’ve got this, and it’s going to be fun.

First time 5k marathon participants are finding out firsthand - How long does it take to walk a 5k?

How long is a 5k in miles? It’s only 3.1 miles!

First off, this really isn’t a competition with anyone, but yourself.

Sure, there will be some people who will run the entire course, but a 5k race isn’t really a competitive race.

Competitors are doing the 10k runs and more.

A 5k marathon is more like a community celebration – especially if it’s a charity walk/run race event.

There will be people cheering you on no matter what speed you are at.

I did my first marathon back in the late 1960’s. It was for a charity and it was called a “walk” for whatever charity it was for. We got people to “sponsor” us by pledging so many cents per mile completed.

So, there were check points that we had to have our event cards stamped to verify that we did walk that far.

If I remember correctly, this was a pretty new idea at the time.
I’m not positive, but I want to say that it was a 10-mile course. At that time 10k was not in our vocabulary.

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We followed a course along city streets and ended up at a park. This was a big event and there were thousands of people that participated.
There was some sunshine, lots of clouds, a little rain sprinkle here and there and even a little freezing rain.

There were men, women and children of all ages and abilities.
I remember that my stride was much longer and faster than many people, and that enabled me to get around the slower people who had started ahead of me.

Despite the weather and the numerous blisters that were being treated at the first-aid stations, everybody was in good spirits.

Like I said, a 5k walk/run is a community event where the idea is to enjoy the event, get some exercise, and maybe help a charity. Try it, you’ll like it.

How Long Does It Take To Walk A 5K Marathon For Beginners?

Assuming that you are able to walk 5k, which is 3.1 miles, an easy stride and pace of walking will take you one hour or a little less.

A finish time of 45 minutes would be a respectable goal for a beginner.

A pretty average time for most runners would be about 25 minutes or even 20 minutes.

For a male runner to take first place they would have to be under 15 minutes for the 5k race. Women would have to be around 16-19 minutes to take first place.

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How Long Does It Take To Walk A 5K Marathon For A Marching Army?

Well, the Army marching stride is 30 inches long and their pace is 2 strides per second.

So, let’s do the math:
5k = 16404 feet and 2 25/64ths inches. Let’s call that: 16404 x 12 inches/foot = 196,848 inches + 2 inches = 196,850 inches. If we divide that by the 30-inch long Army stride we get 6,561.6 steps. I’ll round that up to 6,562 steps.

6,562 steps divided by 2 steps (strides) per second = 3,280.8 seconds divided by 60 seconds per minute = 54.68 minutes or rounded up to 55 minutes.

So, it would take the Army 55 minutes to march a 5k marathon.

Can you walk faster than an Army can march? Well, many beginning marathon walkers can! Of course, that depends upon your age and physical condition, but it is entirely possible.

How Long Does It Take To Run A 5K?

For beginners about 30 minutes. For most people anything under 25 minutes is a good time.

5K Marathon World Record Time

For men (on a race track) it’s 12:37.35 minutes, and for women it’s 14:11.15 minutes for women. Those Ethiopians are great marathon runners.

5K Marathon Walk Training For Beginners

What is your walking ability right now? Can you walk 5k or 3.1 miles without stopping?

• Yes? Well then, you can already finish the 5k marathon! You just need to build upon that basic walking ability.

• No? That’s O.K. You can only start with whatever your personal situation happens to be, and make improvements from there.

How long does it take to walk a 5k?  To answer that question for yourself, you need to take the first step.

Finishing A 5K Walking Marathon Begins With Taking The First Step.

Step #1 for your 5k walk training is to pick a location that you are sure you can walk to.

Preferably that is a location that has something that you can drink, such as water or juice. Also, it should have a restroom if you think you might need to use it before returning home.

If that destination is only a couple of blocks away, that’s O.K., because you can take an indirect route to lengthen your walk to whatever is appropriate for you.

When I was stationed in Japan, I spent a whole day walking around Yokohama, and then walked back to the Naval base I was stationed at.

I must have walked 30 miles that day. Fortunately, along the way there were many places to eat or drink. That is, except for when I was headed back to the base, and I had to rely upon some very expensive sidewalk vending machines to keep me hydrated.

It’s very important to stay hydrated while you do your walking training, and especially during your 5k walking marathon.

There are numerous ways to carry water with you depending upon your needs and personal preferences.

Choose from a minimalist back pack , hip packs, belt clips , hydration belts, and lumbar packs to name just a few options.

Of course, you need to carry your other essentials such as phone, car keys wallet etc. So, make sure you figure out what you need, and put it into use before you start your 5k event.

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Step #2 Of The 5K Marathon Walk Training For Beginners

Increase the amount of time you can walk to your chosen destination by walking regularly.

For example: Walk three days in a row and then take a day off for your body to fully recover from your new physical activity.

After you have repeated this cycle of three days walking and one day resting a couple of times, you will notice some improvements. Muscles that were sore when you first started will have strengthened, and you are now able to walk longer distances in comfort.

You will be quite aware of what you need to take with you on your walk and how to pack/store/carry those items so that you can enjoy your walking.

Also, it’s time to pick new destinations that are farther away and that will provide new scenery as you walk.

The short-term goal here is to increase the distance and the length of time that you are able to walk until you have reached the 5k (3.1 miles) goal. Everybody is different, but in general, increase your distanced walked every 3-day walking cycle.

If you are not able to increase your long walk distance, then don’t. Stay at whatever distance you are at until you are able to progress further.

Step #3 For Beginning 5K Marathon Walkers

Once you have been able to walk an entire 5k, it’s time to pick up your walking speed. Actually, this will have already been happening quite naturally as you increased your walking distances.

However, picking up your walking pace doesn’t just get you to the finish line faster, it also increases your overall health benefits.

Start out walking at your normal pace until you have warmed up your muscles a bit. Then walk as fast as you can for about half a minute to a full minute. Then walk at your normal pace for about two minutes, and then speed up as fast as possible for another half minute or more.

Continue this cycle of normal pace/fast pace/normal pace as many times as you are comfortable doing so. Your eventual goal here is to get up to 10 or 12 slow/fast cycles during your 5k walk.

You don’t have to do this every time you walk. Once per week would be enough to see wonderful improvements in your overall health, fitness and weight loss.

women walking a 5k marathon

Walk, Don’t Run, To The Nearest 5K Marathon

You did it! You are now ready to enter your first 5k walk/run marathon without embarrassing yourself, and you can enjoy the experience of finishing your first 5k.

Just remember that there will always be somebody better than you and worse than you. So, enjoy your marathon, because it’s all about you and what you get out of it.

When you have finished the marathon you’ll be able to answer your own question: how long does it take to walk a 5k?

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