If you’re aiming to become a regular runner, chances are you’re trying to include a running session into your daily routine.
One of the most common distances among avid runners is 5K, so we decided to dedicate this article to sharing information about running 5K every day.
“Is it possible?”, “How much time does it take?”, “Is it good for you?”, and “how to train for running 5K every day?” are the main questions we’ll be answering today.
Let’s get started!
Can You Run 5K Every Day?
Yes, it’s possible to run a distance of 5K every day even if you’re not a professional runner.
A lot of beginner or casual runners hear the words “5K run” and immediately think it’s too long to be done by none other than experienced runners.
The truth is, that’s just a running taboo!
The 5K distance is equivalent to 3.1 miles, which is a sweet-spot running distance for beginners. It’s long enough to give them a challenge but not too long that it becomes problematic.
For a beginner, training to be able to run a distance of 5K every day should take about 2 months.
How Long Does It Take to Run 5K?
If you’re a beginner runner, covering a distance between 2 to 3 miles (3.2 to 4.8 kilometers) shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes so you can say you’re doing an average time.
You should be capable of running this distance in 30 minutes, even with multiple walking intervals incorporated in the run.
As such, beginner runners should aim to run the distance of a 5K race in a maximum of 30 minutes. As you develop your running skills, you’ll gradually take less time to complete the 5K.
Benefits of Running 5K Every Day
For many runners, motivation is what gets them moving every day. Staying driven to run regularly can be a challenge, even more so with our hectic schedules nowadays.
This is why you should keep reminding yourself of all the different benefits that running every day offers. Here are a few of the positive effects you can experience being a regular runner:
1. Running burns a lot of calories
You probably know this already — running is an excellent way to burn calories. But do you know how many?
The American Council of Exercise has the answer. It states that, depending on your weight, a 30-minute run can burn between 300 and 500 calories.
As such, incorporating regular running into your weight loss program can be a major advantage.
2. Regular runs put you at a lower risk of injury
Running 5K every day reduces the risk of sustaining injuries because you’re conditioning your muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons to regular physical activity.
This lowers the chance of exposing your body to overuse, which is the culprit behind various running injuries.
However, to ensure you’re less likely to get injured, you need to take certain measures.
The main ones are stretching to warm up your muscles before each run, as well as stretching afterward to cool down and soothe your muscles.
3. Regular running lifts up the mood
If you didn’t experience this before, you’re seriously missing out!
While it goes without saying that running regularly can do many good things for a person’s physical health, not many people are familiar with its effects on their mental state.
To put it simply, going for a run can make you feel better.
This is just something that aerobic exercises do; they trigger the release of serotonin and endorphins inside the body, elevating the mood within a short time.
It doesn’t even need to be a full 5K run over 30 minutes, just 15 or 10 minutes of running can notably lift your spirit! This is what we call a “runner’s high”.
As such, it can really pay off to make the commitment to run 5K every day or every other day to help yourself feel happier and more confident.
In the long run, this “feel good” state won’t be a temporary thing — regular runs can help reduce stress, fight anxiety, and increase your energy levels.
4. Running helps you sleep better
If you struggle to fall asleep, going on regular runs can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Running 5K every day counts as moderate exercise, which has been proven to improve both sleep quality and quantity as follows:
- It decreases sleep onset, which means you’ll fall asleep in a shorter time.
- It can counteract daytime sleepiness, saving sleep for the night.
- For some people, it can also help the rely less on sleep medications
That said, be sure not to plan runs within 2 hours before bedtime to avoid the alertness associated with the release of endorphins.
How to Run 5K Every Day
To reach your goal of running 5K every day, consider the following 4 steps:
1. Building a habit
Running every day is simply a habit that you need to incorporate into your daily routine.
Once you do this, getting up to do it will feel a lot easier because it’d take much less effort and time to convince yourself to start moving.
Think of it like this: when running becomes an activity that your body is used to doing every day, it won’t seem like as much of a burden as random runs.
To turn running into a habit, you need to create a plan covering 3 main aspects:
- Establishing one or more cues. This can be a particular time, a certain place, or a specific playlist.
- Providing a reward. For example, a snack or a massage.
- Performing a routine. This is your actual running exercise.
2. Invest in proper running equipment
Investing in dedicated running gear won’t just maximize the efficiency of your performance, but it’ll also lower the risk of sustaining injuries.
First of all, you’ll need to find the right type and size of running shoes. Then, you should get a few running socks as well as a couple of running outfits.
Running shorts and running t-shirts are great for hot weather while running pants and running long-sleeved shirts are good options for cold days.
Ladies should also consider buying a high-quality sports bra to provide support when moving.
3. Implement a weekly running schedule
For our weekly running schedule, we’re assuming you’ll go on runs 3 times a week so you can run 5K in 30 minutes every day after about 12 weeks.
To achieve this goal, you should space out your running sessions over the 7 days of the week to ensure non-consecutive runs for the first 3 weeks, gradually adding more runs.
Here’s a suggested schedule for you to follow during the first 3 weeks:
- Monday: easy pace run
- Tuesday: –
- Wednesday: speed workout
- Thursday: –
- Friday: –
- Saturday: long run
- Sunday: –
Starting from the 4th week, you can add more runs in the free day, but make sure there are 2 days of rest up until the 8th week.
After that, you can run every day while taking care to allow your body enough recovery time whenever necessary.
4. Pick the right surface
The type of running surface you should choose depends on the exercise and goal you’re looking to achieve.
For example, pavement is ideal for fast running since ankle sprains are less likely. However, pavement lacks cushioning, so it can be harsh on the joints.
Forest grounds, on the other hand, are a lot softer so they offer more cushioning for the joints. However, they can be very bumpy and cause various injuries.
Is 5K Good Training for a Half Marathon?
This is a common question among runners who aim to run a half marathon race down the road but are now getting ready to run a 5K race.
Let’s start off by saying that running 5K every day is an excellent way to help your body adjust to the higher demands of training for a half marathon.
5K runs are only about 3.1 miles while half marathons are around 13.1 miles, which can make many runners doubt how training for the former can assist in training for the latter.
However, a 5K training plan can indeed help runners achieve a level of physical and mental fitness that’s essential for keeping up with the physical and mental demands of running a half marathon.
Here are a couple of examples:
- 5K races allow runners -both beginners and intermediates- to experiment with planning their timing and pace during a race.
- A 5K race is a great way for beginners to experience what it’s like to participate in a race setting.
- 5K races also let runners try out different strategies for their running economy.
- Through 5K training and races, you get to know your running preferences better. For example, what your favorite running gear is (shoes, outfit, hat, and so on).
Tips to Step up Your 5K Time
Now that you have a training plan in action for running 5K every day, your next concern should be improving your time.
The following are some pointers that can help you step up your 5K performance whether you’re training for a race or to beat your personal best:
- Make sure you invest in a pair of dedicated running shoes. Pay attention to the fit, it shouldn’t be too tight or too big and it should provide support to your heel and arch.
Running shoes are designed to boost your performance on the track by reducing fatigue, keeping your feet comfortable, and -consequently- enhancing your pace.
- If possible, consider seeking the help of a running coach to help you achieve a better 5K time, especially if you’re training for a race. A coach can provide valuable tips, show you new techniques, and customize a training plan based on your fitness level and schedule.
- Incorporate technology into your running routine to help you keep track of your time and progress. You can use apps such as Runkeeper or Nike Run Club and gear like the Amazfit and Fitbit smartwatches.
There you have it, everything you need to know about running 5K every day. The benefits speak for themselves, but you shouldn’t jump into action right away to avoid injury.
Instead, take it slow and start with a couple of short runs a week. After that, you can gradually increase the distance and frequency of your runs until you reach your goal.