How To Do A 5K Effort Without Actually Running

Ever wonder how other sports and activities measure up to running? Here's the breakdown.

2012 Anthem Richmond Marathon (Photo by Sports Backers/Jesse Peters)

From fun runs to competitive 5Ks, you’ve racked up quite a collection race-day swag. However, you may not realize that your race-medal collection isn’t an accurate representation of the number of 5Ks you’ve actually done!

First and foremost, you’re a runner. But you probably partake in other activities, whether it’s for cross-training purposes or just for fun. Whether you play tennis, do CrossFit, practice yoga, or more, you can squeeze in 3.1 miles of fun without even knowing it.

Roughly 2,000 steps equal a mile. So 6,500 steps is equivalent to a 5K. Everyone’s steps vary, but this is just a guideline I used to find out how many hours it took me to complete a 5K while doing various activities. Here are my findings:

Tennis (singles at a moderate intensity)

Completed 6,556 steps over 2.5 hours

Calories burned: 635

Golf (without a cart)

Completed 720 steps per hole, 6,480 steps total for nine holes over 2 hours

Calories burned: 353 (using a pull cart)


Averaged 11.5 burpees per minute (80 burpees in 7 minutes)

Three steps per burpee equals 34.5 steps per minute

2,070 steps per hour

4,140 steps over 2 hours

6,210 steps over 3 hours

6,520.5 steps over 3 hours, 9 minutes

Calories burned: 1,701 total

Indoor Spin Class

6,660 steps over 37 minutes

Calories burned: 317

Row Machine

6,572 steps over 31 minutes

Calories burned: 215

Elliptical Trainer

6,565 steps over 33 minutes

Calories burned: 305


6,500 steps over 50 minutes

Calories burned: 403


6,532 steps over 1 hour, 32 minutes

Calories burned: 214

Note: Calories burned and steps taken were taken with InBody Band, a personal activity tracker.