How Many Miles is a Marathon, Half Marathon, 15K, 10K, 5K, and …

How Many Miles is a Marathon, Half Marathon, 15K, 10K, 5K, and …

Hang around a group of runners for more than 5 minutes, and you are bound to hear them throwing around race distances, times, and training regimens.  Runners love to talk about running and races, but what exactly are the different running distances, and how far are each of them? How many miles is a marathon or half marathon?  Or what about all the “k’s”?  Get to know all the running distances, including: 5k, 10k, 15k, Half Marathon, Marathon, and Ultra Marathon.

Disclosure: Below are some affiliate links-these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t make any recommendations on this page that I haven’t tested or personally used!

But before we go there, let’s take a look at how kilometers convert to miles, to have a better understanding of the different distances.  

How Many Miles is a Marathon, Half Marathon, 15K, 10K, 5K, and Ultra?

Since most of us can visualize our old high school track, or have seen them portrayed, it is helpful to keep in mind that 4 laps on a standard track equals 1 mile.  However, for enjoyment purposes, I would not recommend doing all of your training on a standard track.  Running a half marathon distance, for example, is 53 laps on a standard track.  Training on a standard track might quickly lead to monotony and therefore burnout during your training.

How Many Miles is a 5K?

How Long Will It Take Me to Run a 5K?

How Many Miles is a 10K?

How Long Will it Take Me to Run a 10K?

How Many Miles is a 15K?

How Long Will it Take Me to Run a 15K?

How Many Miles is a Half Marathon?

How Long Will it Take Me to Run a Half Marathon?

How Many Miles is a Marathon?

How Long Will it Take Me to Run a Marathon?

How Many Miles is an Ultramarathon?

History of Running Distances:

Running has been engrained in history for quite some time now, but the marathon distance arguably has the longest and most commonly known history.  The modern marathon comes from ancient Greece, when the Greek messenger Pheidippides ran 25 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over the Persians.  

The first modern marathon was run at the 1896 Olympics, but was actually 25 miles in length.  This was changed to the modern marathon distance of 26.2 miles at the 1908 Olympics in London.  Since that time, 26.2 has been the official marathon distance.  

So What is Considered a Good Running Pace?

My simple answer to this is whatever your pace is!  You can always work to improve your pace and performance, but the important thing is that you get out there and give it your best shot, no matter what your pace is.  Because anything is more than zero.  

That being said, a 9 to 11 minute mile is often considered a good average range per mile running.  But there are a lot of different factors that can determine a running pace:

>>>There are handy ways to help you predict what your racing pace might be for any of the above referenced distances.  Learn how to predict your pace with this Racing Finish Time Predictor!

Besides Distance, What Makes These Race Distances Different?

Besides the obvious distance differences, what else makes a 5k different from a 15k, or a half marathon different from a marathon?

I’ve Never Run Before, Which Distance Should I Start With?

A 5k distance is often considered the ideal newbie distance for those runners looking to introduce themselves to running distances and a training regimen.  It is recommended to get a feel for a shorter distance and see how you feel, then you will have a better idea of how you will respond to a longer distance.   Once you get addicted to 5k races, you’ll be ready to aim for the longer distances!

No matter which distance you are pursuing at this stage, make sure to train properly and safely.  There are some foundational training cornerstones that should be followed no matter what distance you are training for:

>>>Get Your 16 Week Half Marathon and Full Marathon Training Calendars HERE!!!

This goes hand in hand with #1. Make sure that you schedule your running days each week.  I find that it works best for me to have the same 3 days each week be my dedicated “running days”.  I like to schedule my running days each week, for several months out even.  

Figure out what motivates you to run.  Otherwise, you will run the risk of burnout.  It happens to everyone. One option for motivation is to pick a destination race!  Merge your passion for running and racing with the opportunity to see and discover a new place!  Or rediscover a familiar place in a whole new way! 

For example, you can visit Yellowstone National Park as a typical tourist, or you can run the annual marathon at Yellowstone National Park and see the park’s other side, from a truly unique perspective.  Running is the best way to really get to know a destination, and it is guaranteed to give you some extra motivation on those tired days.  

Just as you need to schedule your running days, be sure to schedule your rest days.  It will be tempting to get in just “one more” good training run, especially if you are feeling great that day, but rest is critically important to deterring injury. 

You can always continue to improve your performance after a rest day, but an injury dealt by ignoring a rest day cannot be easily overcome, and can derail your entire training process.

5. Schedule strength training, cross training, and stretching

One more thing to schedule, in addition to running days and rest days, are your strength training/cross training/stretching days.  There should be several of these each week. 

Strength training and cross training can take many different forms, just be sure to engage in activity that exercises various muscle groups.  This will enable your body to run as a well oiled machine in all areas, not just your legs. 

Some examples of cross training and strength training could be weight lifting, HIIT (high intensity interval training) routines, kayaking, cycling, walking, hiking, yoga, Pilates, etc.  And don’t forget to stretch and foam roll also!

You are only as good as the fuel you put in.  You may think that running more, running faster, or running further is what makes you a better runner, but it really is so much about nutrition and hydration! 

Check out this sister post for some ideas of beneficial runners foods, and also don’t miss my spotlight post on the running power food that is peanut butter!  Hydration is also key.  You can’t just chug a bottle of water before your run, you need to consistently hydrate each day, all day!

You may be tempted to push yourself to go faster, but don’t!  There is nothing worse than an injury you can’t come back from!  Invest in a good training program that comes with a training calendar, one that shows you how to gradually, intentionally, and in increments, increase your mileage each week.  

Listen to your body.  It is ok to take an extra day off if your body is telling you to.

Combating boredom and burnout are reality of any running training plan for any distance.  One way to combat boredom and burnout is to run outside as much as possible, as compared to running inside on a treadmill, and also vary your routes when you can.  Run in new places, go different directions, take a new turn, etc!

Figure out what motivates you to run.  Some like the mind clearing de-stressor of running alone with their thoughts, and that is their motivation.  Some people need the morale and camaraderie of a group to motivate them or help keep them accountable.  There are many ways to find running groups these days, if that is your thing.  

Invest in the right gear, better yet, invest in the best gear.  Comfort and performance go hand in hand.  Running gear often is expensive, but invest in it.  It will also help prevent injury as well.  Here are a few of the running basics you will need for any training program at any distance:

Runners love to talk with other runners.  They love to share with ANYONE interested in running.  You can learn a lot about improving your performance, new gear recommendations, or fun races coming up just from talking to other runners.  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.