How Long Does It Take To Run 8km?


Run 8km

8km is a non-standard running distance. In the Olympics, the long-distance lengths are 5km and 10km. However, it is a good milestone if you’re training for 10kms. Today, I will break down how long it takes a runner of different levels of fitness to complete 8km.

On average, 56 to 80 minutes (1 hour to 1.5 hours) for someone who never runs or has just started running. A person with a medium level of fitness who runs 3 or so times per week can finish 8km in 50 minutes to 70 minutes. Whereas, an Olympic long-distance runner would take 28 minutes. 

It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to walk 8km, so for a beginner anytime under this is good while you build up your fitness and skill in running. 

Below, I will provide more details about the average time it takes for people of varying levels of fitness to run 8km, how it differs by age, how fast you should run it for college-level track and field, the benefits of running 8km, and how to train for an 8km race. 

How Far Is 8km in Miles?

Kilometers is the metric system that uses numbers that are factors of 10 like 100, and 1000. But, in North America miles are used. Here’s how many miles 8km is.

8km in miles is 5 miles. It’s exactly 4.97 miles, however, when rounded equals 5 miles. When rounded the difference is 0.03 miles, which is equivalent to 158.4 feet (48.3 meters), which would take about 30 seconds to walk or run at a very slow pace.

To get an idea of how long it would take you to run 8km I’ve provided a table below that shows how long it would take based on how often you run, and your level of fitness.

How fit a runner isHow fast they can complete 8km (5 miles)
Casual56 minutes to 80 minutes
Medium level of fitness40 minutes to 56 minutes
Advanced level of fitness34 minutes to 40 minutes
Very fit (Olympic level long distance runner)28 minutes

If you hardly run or have just started running then you can expect the time it takes to be similar to walking speed and take about an hour to 1.5 hours. Once, you’re in really good shape you can run it twice as fast.

A long-distance runner in the Olympics that runs the Olympic events like the 5,000 meter or 10,000 meter (3107 miles and 6213 miles) would be slightly faster and take about 6 minutes faster than someone who is at the peak level of fitness.

What Is the Average Finish Time for 8km by Age?

As a person ages, athletic performance does decline a little bit. There is a significant difference in the time it takes a person to run 8km based on their age. Here’s how fast people of different ages can complete an 8km run.

On average, a person 16 to 19 years of age will complete an 8km run in 76 minutes, and a person 20 to 25 years of age the same 76 minutes. A 25 to 29 year old will finish it in 80 minutes, a 30 to 35 year in 81 minutes, and a person aged 35 to 55 will finish it in about 85 minutes.

The difference in how fast a person can complete an 8km run also varies significantly between males and females. I’ve compiled two tables below. One for men. The other is for women. First, let’s take a look at how the average time it takes to run for men differs based on their age.

Age (years)Time to complete 8km (male)
16–1976 minutes 32 seconds
20–2476 minutes 0 seconds
25–2980 minutes 24 seconds
30–3481 minutes 12 seconds
35–3987 minutes 4 seconds
40–4483 minutes 44 seconds
45–4985 minutes 44 seconds
50–5489 minutes 4 seconds
55–5997 minutes 4 seconds
60–64104 minutes 40 seconds
65–99110 minutes 56 seconds

Here’s another table with the same age brackets but shows the average time it will take a woman to complete based on their age (source). These are minimums based on someone who barely ever runs.

Age (years)Time to complete 8km (female)
16–1997 minutes 12 seconds
20–2493 minutes 52 seconds
25–2993 minutes 36 seconds
30–3499 minutes 52 seconds
35–3996 minutes 24 seconds
40–4499 minutes 12 seconds
45–49101 minutes 28 seconds
50–54106 minutes 40 seconds
55–59116 minutes 56 seconds
60–64118 minutes 16 seconds
65–99129 minutes 36 seconds

As you can see there is quite a big difference between the time it takes to run 8K for males and females. To get a better idea of how much time is lost in running performance as you age I’ve compiled a table below that shows how much slower a person gets at running an 8K as a percentage:

Age (years)Time to complete 8km (male)
16–19
20–241.0% faster
25–296.0% slower
30–340.7% slower
35–397.0% slower
40–443.5% slower
45–492.4% slower
50–543.5% slower
55–599% slower
60–646.5% slower
65–996.5% slower

For males, there isn’t a clear pattern for how much slower they get on average as they age. For every 5 years a male ages they get about 5% slower at completing an 8K run.

Now, here’s the table for females:

Age (years)Time to complete 8km (male)
16–19
20–241.0% faster
25–296.0% slower
30–340.7% slower
35–397.0% slower
40–443.5% slower
45–492.4% slower
50–543.5% slower
55–599% slower
60–646.5% slower
65–996.5% slower

It’s a similar story for the female. For every 5 years a female ages, they run an 8K about 5% slower. Therefore, if you are competing in an 8K event you should definitely be in an age bracket. The same general trend applies to other long-distance events such as the 5K and 10K.

What Is a Good 8k Time for College?

To compete at the college level in track and field you need to be very fit. It’s good to know what to aim for if you plan on competing in college track and field. So, here’s what a good 8k time is for college.

On average, under 33 minutes is a good time to run an 8K for college. Olympic runners can run an 8k in 28 minutes, whereas, someone with very good fitness can run an 8k in under 40 minutes. You should definitely be able to run 8K in under 35 minutes.

8k is a non-standard distance so to get an idea of a good time to run an 8K for college it’s best to look at the time for the 5K, and the 10K at the NCAA level. And get a number that is somewhere in between. The NCAA DI time for 10K is 35 minutes 45 seconds (source). So, you should be able to run an 8K below this number. And the NCAA DI time requirement for 5K is 16:10. 

Olympic runners can run an 8K in around 28 minutes. So, you won’t need to be as fast as that. So somewhere in the range of 28 minutes to 33 minutes, and definitely below 35 minutes 45 seconds.

What Are the Benefits of Running 8km

Getting some fresh air by walking or running outdoors is very good especially if you are indoors for most of the day. Running a fairly long distance such as 8km or more is a fun goal to work up to. This is what the benefits of running 8km are.

Overall, it’s good for your confidence, mental well-being, fitness, heart health, metabolism, and circulation according to medical professionals. It’s also a good stepping stone to a 10km run. Or, to get yourself in even better shape for a 5km or 1500m race. 

Professional runners run a far longer distance than the distance they compete in. As an example, if they compete in 10km events they will run 40km to 60km per day. 

However, a regular person would not need to run this much unless they are competing at the highest levels. In general, you should listen to your body. If you feel far too fatigued the next day, then it’s best to cut back on the total amount of running you are doing.  

Is Running 8km a Day Good?

Running every day requires a bit of discipline and planning. But, the distance that you should run can vary based on your level of fitness, and what your body can handle. Here’s a rundown of whether running 8km a day is good.

Overall, running 8km a day is good. Olympic-level runners will typically run far more than the event they do. For example, Olympic runners who compete in the 5km races at the Olympics will run 20km to 30 km every day. 

The main thing is to pay attention to how you feel the next day. If you feel very fatigued, then you should cut back on the distance until you’ve built your endurance up over a week or more. 

There are quite a few factors that can decrease your running performance, and make it feel like is much more difficult than it should be. I summarized them in this article that answers why you’re suddenly struggling to run.

How Do I Start Training for an 8km Race?

8km is a fairly long distance, and if you’ve never run this far in one go, or are getting back into running it’s good to have a game plan for how to work up to running an 8km race. Here’s how to begin training for an 8km race.

As a general rule, you should spend the first 2 weeks alternating between running for 1 minute then walking for 1 minute 3 times a week, for 30 minutes each day. After the first 2 to 3 weeks, do the same but run for 2 minutes, and walk for 1 minute for a few weeks.

You should then be close to having the endurance to run without stopping for 45 minutes to an hour. Which provides enough time that you will be able to complete an 8km run without needing to walk. 

In general, things will come up and you may need to skip some days here and there. It’s also good to supplement your training with some weight lifting (source) if you don’t already. Doing so will increase the strength of your muscles, and make it easier to run.

Final thoughts

The time it takes to run 8km is dependent on your age, level of fitness (how often you run), and whether you are a male or a female. Top professional runners like those that compete at the Olympics can complete 8km in about 30 minutes. But, someone who never runs, or hardly ever runs will be able to complete it in 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

As a male or female ages, for every 5 years they get older they run on average 5% slower. Therefore, if you’re competing in an 8K race you should aim to be in an age bracket where possible.

Links / References

Mark Norman

I've been running for over 6 years and now try to balance it with life as a dad to two young kids. I'm not super quick, I just try to run consistently, not always easy! I'm lucky enough to have run the London Marathon twice along with countless other half marathons and 10ks. I'm also one of the Run Directors at my local parkrun.

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