How to run a sub-20 minute 5k with 6-weeks training

How to run a sub-20 minute 5k with 6-weeks training

Running a sub 20 minute 5k is no mean feat and it’s something that many keen runners aspire to do. To break the 20 minute barrier, you need to have a solid base level of fitness, but you also need to ensure you’ve done sufficient training beforehand.

So, whether your training for a competitive 5k race, a Saturday morning park run, or you’re just looking for some Strava kudos, our 5k training plan will help you towards hitting your next goal and ensure that you’re in the best place possible to smash the 20 minute mark.

How fast do I need to run 5k to go sub-20?

Well, if you run exactly 4:00 minutes / km, then you’ll be dead on that 20 minute mark. Of course, there are many ways to actually run a sub 20 minute 5k, but we’d recommend keeping it consistent and aiming to hit 3:58 or 3:59 minutes / km.

Running your first 1k in 3:30 minutes is all well and good, but come that 3k mark (when the pain tends to kick in), you’re going to regret it. So, to ensure you’re really hitting that consistency with your running, we’ve included a number of different types of exercises in our plan, including tempo running, hill sprints, and strength workouts.

Before we get started, here’s a quick glossary of the terms included in the training plan:

  • Endurance: Simply put, this is any run over the 5k mark. This will help to build up your heart strength, get miles in your legs, and improve base-level fitness.
  • Easy: Your easy pace should be about 65% of your 5k time. So, in this case, around 5:00 minute / km. You should be able to chat throughout this pace.
  • Moderate: Given the goal, your moderate runs should be around 4:30 / km. You likely can’t hold a regular conversation at this pace.
  • Hill Sprints: Try to find a hill that allows for 2 mins worth of uphill running, then an easy jog down for recovery.
  • Workout: Your workouts are crucial for building up speed. Check out our strength training exercises for runners, to get started.
  • Rest: This is perhaps the most important part of your training. Check out some of our yoga routines for good things to do on days off.

Right, we’re ready to go. Lace up and strap in, in only 6 weeks you’ll be running a sub-20 minute 5k.

6 week sub-20 5k training plan

Ready to smash that 5k time? Check out what 5k races are coming up near you.

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