How Long Does It Take To Do 5k On A Cross Trainer? Answer's Here

Written By Christian
Updated On October 28, 2021

Can I Run 5K On a Cross Trainer? How Long Does It Take?

Aiming to run 5K, whether as an elliptical workout or as a running type of workout is a great milestone for a beginner body workout who is looking to build up their fitness. 

There is no reason as to why you can't aim to exercise a 5K distance on a cross-trainer, how long this will take you depends on your fitness level, but on average with a moderate effort, it will likely take around 20-30 minutes to complete a 5K on your cross-trainer.

We have composed a small guide below that will tell you how long it takes to complete other similar distances on your cross trainer as well as some tips for running on an elliptical machine for the best workout possible. 

How Long Does It Take To Run 10K On a Cross Trainer? 

For someone who is looking to put in a harder effort and run a 10K on their cross trainer this will on average take around entire 30-60 minutes, typically an hour for beginners. The time you finish your 10K in will also depend on if you have any resistance set on your trainer to increase intensity. 

To train for a 10K it will take around eight or ten weeks if you have already started with an intermediate level of fitness. 

How Long Does It Take To Run 1K On a Cross Trainer? 

To run 1km on your cross trainer this should take around 5-6 minutes on average, for a beginner it might take longer than this and for people who are already fit it could take a shorter amount of time around 1-3 minutes. 

How Many Calories Will 5K Burn On a Cross Trainer? 

How many calories you burn on your cross trainer will vary from person to person whether they put a slow effort in, used resistance and their body type. On average, it is likely someone will burn around 250-300 calories on their cross trainer in 30 minutes. 

For 10K you can simply double the calories burned for 5k which would be anywhere between 500-600 calories depending on factors.

However, this depends on these factors below - 

  • Bodyweight. 
  • Age/gender. 
  • Resistance. 
  • Speed.
  • How they use the machine. 
  • Fitness level. 
  • Body composition.

Is Running The Same As Cross-Training? 

If you are a runner who is looking to complete 5K on a cross-trainer then you might be wondering how much these two types of exercise differ from one another. 

Both types of exercises are great for increasing today's effort in terms of cardiovascular strength and can be used for shorter interval workouts such as HIIT, but do differ when it comes to difficulty. 

For example, cross trainers are said to be a lower impact than running as your joints are not hitting the ground, making them great for runners with knee injuries, they are also said to be easier as you do not have to push your body weight forward, the cross trainer helps you.

Cross trainers can help build and strengthen certain muscles for running too such as your hamstrings and quads. 

So overall, although cross-training might feel a little easier than running, it is still great for runners and can help build up endurance, especially if you have had an injury or you are a beginner who is getting back into fitness/running, 10-20 minutes easy effort per day can make a huge difference on a cross-trainer.

Tips For Running a 5K On a Cross Trainer

For people who are looking to maintain running race times or fitness on an elliptical, there are a couple of important tips you should be following to get the most out of your workouts. 

We will mention the most important ones below.

Put In Effort With Resistance Ranging 

So as you can have a realistic run on your cross trainer you want to ensure that you are varying the resistance on the machine, this might mean increasing the resistance to mimic hills or maintaining a moderate resistance throughout your cross-trainer workout so as you can feel like you are running outside on different terrain. 

You want to ensure you are not putting too much resistance or too little resistance.

Aim For 90 RPM

To mimic running on your cross-trainer you want to try and run as close as you can to 90 steps per foot per minute, this might be a little difficult at first while you find the right rhythm but will help you with real-world running technique and strength.

Check The Handles 

As a runner you might accidentally lean your weight onto the handles of your cross trainer, this is not recommended and will affect your calorific burn as well as your posture while exercising, instead lightly hold them and wing them for a total body workout.

Think Time & Effort  

It is unlikely that you will be able to get the same pace and speed as you can running out on the road on a cross-trainer, so it is best to focus on time and effort instead, practising interval workouts for people who want to run 5K and 10K races.

Frequently Asked Questions About Running 5K On a Cross Trainer 

Are cross-trainers easier than running? 

Cross trainers are typically argued to be easier for running than a treadmill or outside as they support your body weight as you run.

What burns more calories for 5K a treadmill or cross trainer? 

Typically a cross-trainer and treadmill burn a very similar amount of calories for a 30-minute workout, both should approximately burn between 240-350 calories depending on factors such as your body weight and effort.

Can I 5K as a beginner on a cross-trainer? 

Yes, 5K is a great goal to aim for as a beginner and should not take too long to train for in combination with strength training and healthy eating for endurance. Doing 10K on your cross trainer is more for advanced fitness types but can be a great goal to aim for once a 5K has been completed.

Final Words

Overall, it should take the average user around 25-30 minutes to complete a whole 5K on their cross trainer, factors such as your fitness level will affect this time however and varying resistance can also make the run more intense. 

If you are trying to replace running outside with running on a treadmill then you should aim for 90 RPM to mimic real-life running and pace. Always vary resistance to get the most out of your cross-training and engage all muscles through the handlebars of the machine too.


Starting my working career as a personal trainer, I quickly became familiar with equipment around the gym. While each piece of kit has its place in your overall body fitness; I find the cross trainer to be the most effective while mitigating the most amount of risks. That is why I created to help others in their home fitness journey.

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