Five kilometers may seem like a long distance for the average person. However, for athletes, 5k runs are considered entry-level. When you think of it, 5k runs are 3.1-mile tracks, which is a totally doable distance if you train long enough.
It may be easier for you to imagine the distance if you see it in steps. Your smartphone or smartwatch can easily monitor the number of steps per mile, so you can keep track of your progress and speed.
If you want to know how many steps in a 5k, you’ve landed on the right page. Here’s an answer to all of your questions about the matter!
How Many Steps in a 5k – The Verdict
The number of steps you take to complete a 5k run depends on several factors. Your height, gender, body composition all play a role in the matter. It also depends on whether you’re walking or running.
If we’re talking about a person of an average height and an average speed, a 5k marathon will take around 6250 walking steps. That’s if we consider the person’s step length to be between 2–2.5 feet while walking.
We can go further and list the average for men and women. Men will walk a 3.1-mile track in around 6270 steps, take or less. A fast walker should finish it in 5300 steps on average, while a slow walker may take up to 7300 steps.
As for women, a fast walking woman will finish a 5k track in 5470 steps, and a slow one will take up to 7350 steps. On the other hand, the average woman with an average walking speed will finish it in 6400 steps.
Walking aside, let’s see the number of steps for running. Runners should finish a 5k track in 4800 steps. Fast runners shouldn’t take more than 3380 steps, while slow running ones may go as far as 6200 steps in a 5k.
How Many Steps in a 5k – The Mathematics Behind It
Nope, we didn’t actually count people’s steps to come up with these numbers. It’d be weird to come up to some runner and ask for their running step count, don’t you think?
There’s a simple mathematical formula behind it. You can use it to get any number of steps you want if you have the conversion factor and the distance you’ll walk.
In our case here, the conversion factor of kilometers to steps is 1312.33595801. In other words, each kilometer is covered in 1312.33595801 steps. That’s considering each step covers 0.81 yards, which is equal to 2.43 feet.
So, if you want to get the number of steps you’ll walk in any distance of kilometers, all you have to do is multiply the distance by the conversion factor, then round up the number.
Factors That May Affect How Many Steps in a 5k
As we previously mentioned, the number of steps can vary from one person to another, depending on a couple of factors. Here’s a brief overview of each aspect and how it makes a difference.
The average stride length of any person will make a world of difference in the number of steps they can cover. For example, the average man has a stride length of 2.5 feet, and the average woman has a stride length of 2.2 feet.
However, it still varies from one person to the other according to their height and muscle balance. And of course, it varies from running to walking, and if you’re walking on rough trails.
To make it clearer for you, the stride length is supposedly the distance from your foot’s heel print to the other foot’s heel print. You can take a step right now, looking at your feet. You’ll find that this length is the distance that each of your legs travels individually.
How to Measure Your Stride Length
When you know your stride length, you can calculate the average number of steps you can cover in a 5k track. Otherwise, you may set high expectations, and you may underestimate your abilities if you compare yourself to other runners in the same race.
To measure the stride length, the best approach is to use a pedometer. It’s a small device that goes on your waist; it has a clip that you can use to attach it to your clothing. It’ll calculate your step length while running and walking.
If you don’t want to buy a pedometer, you can use your smartphone instead. Most phones have a built-in fitness tracker that gives you an average of your stride length, and you can download a pedometer application.
Some applications also calculate your pace. They’re not the most accurate out there, though.
A 5’2 man will never have the same stride length as a 6’3 man. It’s simply uncanny, even if they’re on the same fitness level. Consequently, both men won’t cover the same number of steps. Shorter people need more steps than taller people to cover the same distance while running or walking.
There’s a standard estimation that any person has a stride length that equals 42% of his height. It’s not a precise estimation, but it works a lot of times, and most digital pedometers use it.
If you want to know how your height affects the steps you’ll take to complete a 5k, here’s a brief list. Considering that a 5k covers 3.1 miles, these are the average steps you’ll take according to your height.
- 4 ft 10 in.: 8063 steps per 3.1 miles
- 4 ft 11 in.: 7927 steps per 3.1 miles
- 5 ft: 7794 steps per 3.1 miles
- 5 ft 1 in.: 7666 steps per 3.1 miles
- 5 ft 5 in.: 7195 steps per 3.1 miles
- 5 ft 10 in.: 6680 steps per 3.1 miles
- 6 ft: 6495 steps per 3.1 miles
- 6 ft 1 in.: 6407 steps per 3.1 miles
- 6 ft 4 in.: 6154 steps per 3.1 miles
How Many Steps in a Marathon
While a 5k is a 3.1-mile track, a marathon covers precisely 26.2188 miles, and a half marathon covers 13.1 miles—At least according to The International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF).
If you’re running, you’ll cover a marathon in 39,740 steps on average. A fast runner will only need 28,560 steps, while a slow runner may take up to 52,320 steps.
Meanwhile, if we’re talking about walking, the average man can walk a marathon in 52,590 steps. A fast walker will only need 44,650 steps, while a slower walker will need up to 61,250 steps.
The average woman will need 54,180 steps to finish a marathon. A fast woman will take 46,240 steps, and a slow woman may need up to 62,120 steps.
How to Measure Your Steps Count
If rough estimations and averages aren’t enough for you to get an answer, there are a couple of other methods you can use. When you measure your running steps count, you’ll know by prediction how many steps it’ll take you to finish a 5k.
Here are three methods to measure your steps count. After you get the measures, you can do some calculations to know how many steps you’ll take in a 5k.
Use a Pedometer Application
Of course, the easiest way to measure your steps count is to use a pedometer application. However, the ease of use comes at the cost of accuracy.
We can’t say pedometer applications are totally inaccurate because they’re accurate to some extent. However, the position of your smartphone as you walk can mess with the results. So, counting the steps yourself will give you more accurate results.
If you have an iPhone, you can use Apple’s health app. You’ll find it already installed on your phone, and it’s one of the most accurate applications. Aside from the running steps count, it also gives you some additional measurements that may be useful, such as the double support time and your walking asymmetry.
If you own an Android, you can always download a pedometer application, such as Google Fit or RunKeeper. What’s important is to make sure you’re placing your phone correctly on your waist. Walking or running on a flat surface also helps.
Use a Quarter-Mile Track
Most local schools or clubs have quarter-mile race tracks; you can use those to measure your steps count. The race track will be a quarter a mile, which is 1,320 feet long, so it’s not a scary distance. All you have to do is take a walk at your regular pace in the inside lane.
If you can only walk the track one time, count your steps and then multiply it by four. You’ll get the average steps count you can cover in one mile. If you want to know how many steps it’ll take you in a 5k, just multiply the number of steps per mile you get by 3.1, which is the number of miles in the 5k track.
To get more accurate results, though, it may be a good idea to walk the track four times and keep counting your steps. Then, you won’t have to do many calculations. You’ll already have the average number of steps you take in one mile. Multiply it by 3.1, and you’ll get the number of steps in a 3.1-mile track.
Walk a Football Field
The standard distance between the two goal lines in football fields is 300 feet. You can use the standardization to your advantage when counting your steps.
All you have to do is walk or run the distance between the two goal lines and count your steps. Just make sure you’re not going under or over your average pace to get an accurate count.
After you’re done, multiply the number of steps you covered by 17.6, and you’ll get the number of steps you can cover in a mile. You can then multiply it by 3.1 again to get the number of steps you’ll walk in a 5k.
To Wrap Up
So, How many steps in a 5k? The average person will take around 6250 steps to finish a 5k. However, the number can vary from one person to another, depending on the height, stride length, and fitness.
Now that you have the conversion factor, the formula, and all the available methods for counting your steps, you can try and count the number of steps yourself to get accurate results.