20 Kilometers in Miles | Convert 20 KM to Miles Tips

Are you wondering how far 20 kilometers in miles is? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here. I assume that if you are seeking what is is 20 km in miles you are an endurance athlete. 20k in miles comes out to 12.4 miles. It is double the distance of the 10k race distance which is 6.2 miles. It is the same as running 50 times around the track.

The longest running track and field race is the 10,000 meter events. Race walkers do compete in the 20,000 meter event in the Olympic games. So, 20 kilometers also equals 20,000 meters. How fast you cover the 20k distance will largely depend on how well you have trained.

What percentage of your weekly mileage are you training at or below your goal 20k race pace? If that percentage is below 10 percent you know you need to make some changes. The world’s top middle to long distance runners run around 40 percent of their weekly volume at or below goal race pace. The result is that they make their races look very easy. What isn’t seen is the many months of training at pace that are significantly faster than they are planning in racing at.

How Far is 20 KM

As mentioned above, 20 kilometers is equal to 20,000 meters or 6.2 miles. The 20k race distance is a great preparatory event for the half marathon or marathon distance. The half marathon is 13.1 miles or 21.1 kilometers and the marathon is 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers. So, 20km being 12.4 miles is perfect to see where you are at leading into your half marathon preparation.

I have created training plans here from distances ranging from the mile to the 50km distance. I would recommend focusing on running 4 weeks of easy, aerobic mileage first. The main reason for this is to build up your body and strengthen the muscles.

In addition, you don’t want to start doing harder, anaerobic workouts when you are out of shape. It will be extremely difficult to do these types of workouts with little time spent training. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I have create weekly training videos there to help runners like you make it to the next level in their training.

How Many Minutes are there in 20KM?

The world record for the 20k road race was set by Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo who ran 20km in 54 minutes and 29 seconds. In comparion, the top time ever recorded for women was set in 2021 by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey. Gidey ran her 20km race in 59:35. Kiplimo averaged 4:23 per mile for the 12.4 miles and Gidey held 4:47 per mile pace. The pace for Gidey was 2:57 per kilometer for each of the 20 kilometers.

Kiplimo averaged 2:43 per kilometer for all 20 kilometers during his 54:29 time. So, how many minutes are there in 20km? It will come down to how fit you are and how well you have prepared. The majority of runners have time goals. So, it is just a matter of spending sufficient time at, near or far below your goal 20km race pace.

20KM Walk Time

The world record for the mens 20,000 meter race walk was set by Japan’s Yusuke Suzuki who walked 20 kilometers in 1:16:36. Suzuki averaged 6:09 per mile or 4:49 per kilometer for all 20 of his kilometers during his race walk. The world record for women for the 20km race walk was set y Russia’s Elena Lashmanova who walked 20km in 1:23:39. She averaged 6:43 per mile for all 12.4 miles during her race.

Again, 20 kilometers in miles is 12.4 miles. So, these athletes are walking at paces that many runners cannot even run for the distance, respectfully. The 20k road race is a very popular race distance here in the united States of America and around the world. Of course, the 20km race walk is an Olympic event and the longest contested track and field event there is.

How Many Miles are Covered in a 20 KM Race?

20km in miles comes out to 20,000 meters or 12.4 miles. The biggest problem for most runners is simply sustaining race pace long enough. Also, proper pacing is essential if you are going to run a fast time over 20 kilometers. There are far too many runners who run too aggressively the first 10 km of the race and go into oxygen debt.

The 4 main training phases of RunDreamAchieve training plans are…

  • Base-building (aerobic) training phase (introductory workouts running very easy with strides)
  • 20km race specific training phase (focused on training at or close to goal 20k race pace)
  • Speed development training phase (running at speeds significantly faster than goal 20km race pace)
  • Taper training phase (focused on dropping volume and intensity 10 days out from your goal race

How many miles you cover in your 20km race will be depending on how well you develop your cardiovascular system. Again, running easy important but won’t produce a fast 20k race time. So, you have to train at speeds that are much faster than the pace you are planning on racing at.

How to Run a Faster 20K Time

Focus on a longer build up

I am a firm believer that a longer training block is better than a shorter one. It is very tough to get into great racing shape in a matter of 8 weeks. Of course, you can gain considerable fitness in as little as 2 months of training. That being said, 12 to 20 weeks is a better time frame for optimal training. Again, you don’t want to be in a rush.

Great fitness doesn’t come in a matter of a few weeks. In fact, it takes about 4 weeks for your body to adapt to any heavy stress you are placing on it. So, you really have to be patient preparing for your 5K, 10K, 15K, 20K and up to your half-marathon and marathon races.

Run Longer

The longer you can spend on your feet the greater your endurance is going to be. In addition, you will be burning fat and also gaining a great deal of confidence. What has been the longest long run you have done in the past training for your 20km races? 10 miles? 14 miles? I would recommend gradually extending your long run out toward 30km for this race distance.

How much more confidence will you have doing long runs further than 18 to 20 miles? I would a lot. The reason being is you are running almost double the distance of your 20km race distance. The key is not to run long and slow every single weekend. I teach my athletes in my running courses and training plans to…

Run Faster Long Runs

Faster, varied paced long runs will help recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these you can recruit through speed training and, tempo runs and fast long runs the better. You will more economically (efficient) running at speeds this fast. Below are some examples of the types of long runs I was doing prior to running 2:19:35 for the marathon

  • 2 mile jog, 7 miles@5:25 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 7 miles@5:55 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 2 miles@5:35 mile pace, 1 mile jog (24 miles)
  • 1 mile jog, 10 miles@5:35 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 2 miles@5:15 mile pace, 3 miles at 6:00 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 1 mile jog (22 miles)

Remember, always follow your faster long run the next week with an easy, relaxed long run. Again, you have to stress the body and then allot sufficient time for it to recovery. It was not uncommon for me to need between 2 to 3 days of easy jogging after workouts like this. I was able to lower my marathon PR from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 using this strategy.

Focus on Longer Tempo Runs

Remember, you need to first be able to adapt to doing tempo runs between 2 to 3 miles in length before going further. My recommendation is to adapt to the point where you can go 10 miles at tempo effort. We do our tempo runs at our anaerobic threshold effort. So, we are running between 85 to 88% of our maximum heart rate.

No, these runs are not easy. In fact, you should not feel as though you can have a conversation at paces like this. Again, the key tactic with tempo runs and speed workouts is to get your 20km race pace to feel easier. So, you want that 20k race pace to feel more like goal marathon race pace instead. easy running will not produce this training adaptation, only fast running.

Vo2 Max Workouts

The best way to get your goal 20k race pace to feel easier is to do speed workouts. We know there are many variations of speed training. Below are some examples of the types of workouts you will likely see in our training plans and running courses. Again, 20 kilometers in miles is 12.4 miles. So, we want to ensure we cover that distance as fast as possible.

  • Fartlek workouts i.e 30 minutes of 1 min hard/1 min easy or variations thereof
  • Track intervals i.e. 5x1mile, 3×2 mile, 16x400m etc.
  • Road intervaks i.e. 10x1K, 2x5K, 6x1mile etc.
  • Hill repetitions i.e. 10x200m, 8x300m etc.

Your vo2 max is your body’s maximum oxygen uptake. It is when we are running so fast we can’t clear lactic acid affectively. So, we have to stop for small breaks in between these types of intervals. Again, these types of workouts will help you to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers.

The result is your 20k race pace will feel more manageable. The reason being is you have spent sufficient time at considerably faster paces than you are planning on racing at.

Closing Thoughts

So, 20 kilometers in miles comes out to 20,000 meters or 12.4 miles in length. The above listed tactics will most certainly help you improve over this distance. In addition, over any shorter or longer distance as well. Remember, focus also on hydrating better during your long runs. Make training the most difficult part of your preparation. Race day should be the celebration of your hard work.

Also, focus on staying as relaxed as you can whether running slow or fast. The best middle to long distance runners are always the most relaxed. So, consciously remind yourself to stay in control and your form will follow your thoughts.

Mental training is also very important whether training for the 800m, 20k or marathon events. I recommend spending 10 minute daily visualizing yourself getting across the finish line with your goal race time on the clock.

Feel free to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my racing background. In addition, training philosophy. I hope that this post has been helpful to you whether seeking how far 20km in miles is or for your training and racing needs. So, how far is 20 kilometers in miles? 12.4 miles.

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