As I’ve mentioned before, when Julie and I run, it’s for a set length of time — not distance. That is how our Couch to 5K program is organized. We’ve guessed we’re running a little more than two miles at this point (20 minutes) but we’re not sure because we always forget to count our laps and my speedometer app isn’t working inside the gym.
Obviously, a 5K is a set distance and, by running faster, you get done sooner (which is not the case when you are running for a set time, regardless of distance — hence our lack of emphasis on speed). In case you’ve never studied metric measurements, the “K” in 5K stands for kilometers. A kilometer is a little more than six-tenths of a mile, or 0.62 miles. Five of those equals 3.1 miles.
We’ve decided that we want to run our 5K in 27 minutes or less. That puts us at 8.7 minutes per mile or an average speed of 6.9 mph. Pretty fast, in my opinion.
Especially since I’ve got the feeling we’re running close to 5.5-6 mph at this point.
This got me wondering what a good time for a person’s first 5K might be. I tried Googling “good time for first 5K” and got a lot of forums and opinions, but not many hard facts or statistics.
However, I did find information from the American Council on Exercise that said 30 minutes is the approximate time it will take to run a first 5K. We should reach 30 minutes next Wednesday (our last week of the 8-week Couch to 5K program).
UPDATE: Our workout today was a 25-minute run, which we wussed out on for the first time. We stopped after 11 laps (1.4 miles) and walked a few laps before finishing the last nine minutes. Our total laps were 17.25, putting us at an average speed of 5.2 mph. No record being broken here.