Calories burnt running a 5k

A 5K run is a great place to start with if you are new to running, especially as it’s such an easily attainable distance for all fitness levels. Training for and completing your first 5K is also a great way to start a weight loss journey and challenge your fitness levels.

runners taking part in a 5k to burn calories

Watching the number of calories you consume and burn is going to play a big part in your fitness goals. Before you go and grab that chocolate bar as a reward for your 3.1 mile run, you’ll probably want to find out just how many calories you can offset by running a 5K – especially if your goal is to lose weight! 

On average a 5K run will burn between 300 and 400 calories (around 100 calories per mile), but if you are looking to work out the rate that you personally burn calories when running a 5K, you will need to take a few factors into consideration. 

Calculating your calorie burn

The number of calories a person burns by running a 5K will depend mainly on two factors; your current body weight and your running speed. As a general rule, the faster you run the more calories you will burn over a set distance (in this case 3.1 miles), similarly someone with a larger body mass will generally burn more calories whilst running than someone with a smaller build. 

You can use a calorie burn calculator to get an accurate number for the amount of calories you burn whilst running, based on your body weight, running time and distance. If you are looking to increase your calorie burn over the 5K distance, running on a varied terrain or steeper incline will give you a more intense workout, additionally working on your speed and running faster will up your calorie burn.

The ultimate 5k run guide

Burn more calories during your run

The good news about running is that it is a very efficient way to burn calories. Running at a comfortable pace can burn around 8 calories per minute, but how can you increase the efficiency of your calorie burn while running?

Use intervals to break through that plateau

If you’ve been running to help lose weight, you may have found that as you’ve become more comfortable with running at a continuous pace, the amount of weight that you’re shifting seems to have slowed down. The reason for this is that your body becomes more efficient and starts to burn fewer calories while you are running. All hope is not lost however! By introducing interval training into your training, adding burst of speed followed by rest periods at a slower or more comfortable pace, these burst of high intensity running make your muscles work harder and cause a higher calorie burn.

Head for the hills

Another way to get your muscles working harder is to start adding steeper inclines into your runs. For every degree increase in the incline you are running on, you will burn roughly 10% more calories than you would running on a flat.

Add strength training into your routine

So we’ve already talked about adding more speed into your routine, but adding some strength training in will help you to build up those leg muscles in order to run raster too. Try to add a couple of strength and resistance sessions in between your runs each week.


If you are looking for your next 5k run, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - 5k Run Listings

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Why run a 5K?

For anyone looking to start their fitness journey, whatever your age, training for and taking part in a 5k race is a great place to begin. If you’ve never ran competitively before, a 5K run is probably the best way you can start your adventure, as you will experience something that is challenging, but not too tough. Even with just a few weeks of training you should be able to pull off a 5K run.

Aside from being a great way to keep active, there are plenty of other great benefits to running a 5K too. Firstly, if you’re looking to lose some weight through exercise, running a 5K is a great way to start increasing your heart rate and burning those calories. Another reason to sign up to a 5K race is that it’s a great way to raise money for a good cause, with plenty of charity 5k runs taking place near you and across the UK all year round. Finally, running your first 5K is a great way to get into longer distance running. Once you’ve caught the running bug you’ll soon be progressing on to 10K, half marathon and eventually marathon races!

5k Runs Near Me

Whilst there are plenty of high-profile running events taking place in the larger towns and cities in the UK, there are also plenty of opportunities to join a 5K run closer to home too. There are a number of 5K events springing up across the UK all the time, meaning that there is bound to be one that is easy and convenient for you to get to.

Another great benefit of running a local 5K is that it’s easier to get your friends and family involved too, whether they choose to run alongside you or cheer you on at the finish line. We list lots of 5K running events that take place all over the UK, so be sure to take a look for 5K runs near you using the search bar on the left. You can then filter races based on location and other options to find the perfect event for you.

Charity 5k runs near me and fundraising

As we’ve mentioned, running a 5K is a great way to raise some money for charity, and the race is a great length for people of all ages to get involved. As well as the well-known races, such as the Great Run series, there are a number of smaller events for people to get involved in too, and in fact many, many charities hold races throughout the year with the sole intention of raising money to help people.

Fundraising for a 5K is really easy to set up too. Many charities will provide you with a sponsor pack to get started once you sign up for a race, and you can also fundraise online and share your goals with your friends on social media. Running a 5K race near you is also a great way to show your support for locally based charities.

5K Charity races, as well as 10K Charity races, are some of the most popular events out there, so if you want to get into running then these are a great place to start!

How can I find charity 5K races near me?

So, if you’ve decided to take part in a 5K race to raise money for a charitable cause you may be wondering ‘How do I find a 5K near me?’. The answer is on our site! On our events page, you’ll find all sorts of fitness events that are happening all over the UK. The search bar on the left of the page can be used to help you find the perfect event. Once you’ve narrowed down the type of race you’re looking to take part in, a 5K in this case, you can then further refine the results by selecting your location and then choosing from a range of charities that you are interested in supporting.

If you’d like to support a charity that isn’t listed, you’re welcome to do that too! Be sure to check the website of your chosen charity to find out more about getting started with fundraising.

Most popular 5k races in the UK

As we’ve mentioned, as well as smaller, local 5K events, we also list some of the best known and loved event series on our site too. Our most popular searches include:

Royal Parks

The Royal Parks is a charity that looks after London’s largest green spaces such as Hyde Park, The Green Park, Richmond Park, Greenwich Park, St James’s Park, Bushy Park and The Regent’s Park, and Kensington Gardens. The Royal Parks running series takes runners through these beautiful green spaces with events ranging from 5K races to marathons.

London 5k Runs

London may be well known for its annual marathon, but did you know there are loads of 5K runs to sign up to in the capital too? We’ve got plenty listed on our events page so be sure to check it out!

5k Inflatable Run

If you’re looking to turn up the fun factor, an inflatable 5K run could be the right race for you. With an inflatable 5K race, you won’t just be running, you’ll be bouncing, jumping and springing your way to the finish line through a series of inflatable obstacles. These events are great for thrill-seekers!


Related Posts

Are you looking for some more information or advice about running a 5K? We’ve got plenty of informative articles in our blog that will tell you everything you need to know to get started. We’ve also got tips for training, burning calories through running and improving your race time. Get started with some of the articles below:

How long is a 5k run?

What is the average 5K time?

5k Running Tips

5K Training Plan

Calories burnt running a 5k

What to eat before a 5k Run

How to run a 5k faster