Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

25K Training Plan | 2:19 Marathoner Tips

Are you seeking a 25k training plan to help you run faster over 15.5 miles? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. The 25 kilometer race distance is a great race distance to help you prepare for your half marathon and marathon races. The overall objective is to improve the body's lactate tolerance. We want to sustain our goal 25k race pace longer than our competition.

The only way to do this is by training at a higher heart rate for a longer period of time. The world's best middle to long distance runners run about 40% of their weekly volume at anaerobic threshold effort. Remember, that is running at 85 to 89% of the athlete's maximum heart rate. So, they make it look easy for a reason.

How long have your previous tempo runs been? I ask that because many runners are not running long enough for these efforts. Again, the key focus is to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. The only way we can do this is by running at faster paces. Easy running is still very important. That being said, easy running will not teach you to race 25 kilometers effectively.

How Long Should You Train for a 25K?

My best advice is to focus on a longer build up rather than a shorter one. So, I would aim for a 25k training plan that is a minimum of 16 and preferably 20 to 24 weeks in length. Of course, runners can still get in descent shape ion 8 to 12 weeks. That being said, the longer races definitely require more focus on adaptation.

Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load being placed on it. The 25 kilometer event is 15.5 miles in length. So, to get in the best possible shape then I would focus on a 16 to 24-week 25k training plan. I would work to get your tempo run lengthened out to around 7 to 9 miles in length. Of course, we all have to start somewhere.

So, focus on a 3 to 4-mile tempo run until your body adapts to that distance before going longer.

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How Do I Prepare for a 25 KM Run?

Continue to work on building your endurance. Also, do not jump into doing speed work and faster workouts too soon. Remember, you need to build a strong foundation of easy, aerobic mileage first. I would focus on running easy and relaxed for at least 4 weeks. Of course, I would also start doing strides twice per week.

Strides are too short to build up any lactic acid. So, you can do these types of workouts on top of your other weekly runs. These are 50 to 100-meter long sprints. No, you don't do the entire stride all out but gradually increase your effort. The last 20 meters of the stride should be all out. Strides will help you to work on your leg turnover and acceleration.

Once you have build your aerobic base then start working on running at or below your goal 25k race pace. I would recommend doing 1 speed workout, 1 tempo run and 1 long run per week.

Can I Run 25 KM without Training?

I would not recommend that. Of course, you can run a 25km race for fun without much training. That being said, I would not focus on pace but just to enjoy the experience. Runners that are aiming for a specific 25km race time should train well in order to achieve it.

A major mistake many runners make is running long, slow and easy every single weekend. The long run was the most difficult workout that I did. I believe in faster, varied paced long runs. Below is an example of the type of varied paced long run I was doing for 5-mile to marathon races.

  • 2 mile jog, 5 miles@5:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 4 miles@6:00 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 2 miles easy, 3 miles@5:50 mile pace, 1 mile cool-down (22 miles)

You should always follow a varied paced long run the next week with an easy long run. Remember, the real benefits of our hard training come from within the rest cycle.

It is not uncommon to need up to 3 days of easy jogging after workouts like the one you see above. Again, this is just an example. A 25k training plan needs to focus on this style of running to get race pace to feel easier.

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How Long Does 25KM Take to Run?

The current world record for 25km for men was set by Kenya's Daniel Kimeto who ran a time of 1:11:18 in 2012. 1:11:18 for 25 kilometers comes out to 4:35 per mile or 2:51 per kilometer. The 25km world record for women was set by Kenya's Mary Jepkosgei Keitany in 2010 who ran a time of 1:19:53. 1:19:53 for 25 kilometers comes out to 5:08 per mile or 3:11 per kilometer.

Of course, the 25k world records are not as competitive compared to the half marathon and marathon world-records. There are runners who are focused on running 10 minute mile pace for 25k. In addition, others that are aiming to hold under 6 minute mile pace. Again, how fast you cover this or any other race distance will depend on the 25k training plan you use.

The training plans available here focus on getting goal race pace to feel easier. No, this process doesn't happen overnight. Runners must have a belief in delayed gratification in order to succeed in this sport.

Closing Thoughts

Make sure you do not neglect mental training. The vast majority of runners only focus on physical training. The world's top runners focus on both. So, start spending at least 10 minutes daily visualizing yourself crossing the finish line with your goal 25k race time on the clock. Also, continue to work on your speed. You should be doing at least 1, vo2 max workout per week.

We run between 95 to 100% of our max heart rate running at vo2 max. Again, the overall goal is to get your goal 25k race pace to feel easier on you. Remember, it takes between 21 days to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load being placed on it. So, be patient during your build up and do not be in a rush.

I highly recommend a minimum of 16 and preferably a 20 to 24 week 25k training plan. You will not be in a hurry to get into superior shape. More importantly, you will provide adequate time for your body to adapt to the hard training. Lastly, focus on a 10-day rather than 3-week taper. There are far too many runners who are dropping their intensity and volume too soon. 10 days is plenty of time to fully recover from the training you have done

Be sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new training videos there weekly to help runners such as yourself get to the next level.

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