Are you seeking to run a fast 5k time? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here. The 5 kilometer race is 3.1 miles in length or 5,000 meters. It is the equivalent of running around the track 12 and half times. The 5km race distance is one of the most popular in the world. Remember, our objective with these races is to improve your body’s lactate tolerance.
Also, to slow down less than our competition and sustain our race pace for longer periods of time. The faster we run the more lactic acid accumulation. So, it is vital to train at faster paces in order to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. Of course, easy running is also very important to succeed as a middle to long distance running. The real benefits of our hard training will come within the rest period.
I see far too many runners being too concerned of what pace they are running at on easy days. Your focus should be on what pace you are running at during your tempo runs or long runs. Remember, it takes the body between 21 days to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress we are placing on the body. So, a longer training build up for your upcoming 5k races is better than a shorter one.
What is a Fast 5K Time?
I think a time under 20 minutes is a very competitive 5k time. A major mistake many runners make is trying to win this race in the first mile. You never want to go out too fast unless you are absolutely certain you can sustain the pace. So, watch your pacing in the first mile and do not try to make a move until you hit the first mile.
I also think you need to get beyond just running long and slow every single weekend for your long runs. Remember, we have to get outside of our comfort zone. You are not going to make any legitimate drops in your current 5k time by running easy.
Yes, it is still important. That being said, the world’s top runners run between 35 to 40% of their weekly mileage at or below their lactate threshold. We run between 85 to 89% of our max heart rate at this intensity. Of course, you do not have to run this high of a percentage of your weekly mileage this intense. You do need to focus on quality rather than quantity though.
What is an Elite 5K Time?
An elite time for a 5k may be sub 17 minutes for some and under 13 minutes for others. Again, to run a fast 5k time you need to stress the energy systems of the body and often. As mentioned above, doing long, slow long runs every single weekend is not optimal. Yes, it will make you a superior long slow runner. That being said, you are aiming to run a fast 5k time.
So, in order to do that I suggest you start doing faster, varied paced long runs. No, I am not saying you should be doing fast long runs every single weekend. My recommendation is to alternate a faster long run one weekend and follow that with an easy long run the following week. Remember, your major benefits are going to come from the rest itself.
A long run of between 7 to 10 miles is sufficient for most runners training for the 5k event. Of course, you can run further if you wish. My long runs were usually between 10 to as far as 30 miles training for shorter to longer races. That being said, I was always working to develop my leg speed. You should be doing at least 1 vo2 max workout per week.
What is the Average 5K Time for Athletes?
The world record for the 5k was set by Uganda’s Jeffrey Cheptegei who ran a time of 12:35.36. The world record for 5 kilometers for women was set by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey. Of course, these are the fastest times ever run. So, do not compare yourself to these runners. The point here is to show just how impressive the human body is.
Also, what is possible with enough hard work, patience and genetic talent. Are you lacking talent? Well, you will have to rely on your work ethic. It may just mean that you are going to have to wait a little longer than the athlete with talent to get what you want. A major mistake I see far too many runners make is quitting too soon.
We all want to get quick results right? Who doesn’t want to achieve their goals in quick fashion. Well, in order to get what you want then you are going to have to be tenacious about your training. Again, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it.
How Long Should a 5K Training Plan Be?
I would recommend a minimum of 8 and preferably 12 to 16 weeks for a 5k marathon training plan. I have created training plans that range between 8 to 24 weeks here at RunDreamAchieve. In addition, have created running courses for athletes. Also, provide one-on-one personal coaching here as well, if interested.
The key tactic to run a fast 5k time is patience and proper training. I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245. It helps me to ensure that I am training at the proper intensities during easy, moderate and hard workouts. So, a 5k training plan needs to focus on quality rather the quantity.
As mentioned above, you should be doing at least 1 vo2 max workout per week. So, we have to continue to develop our leg speed. You should also be doing strides twice per week. Strides are great for working on your form, acceleration and leg turnover. Strides are between 50 to 100-meter long sprints. These short warm-up drills are great for working on your leg speed.
How Many Miles a Week Should I Train for 5K?
I would work to get your tempo run out to around 5 to 6 miles in length too. Remember, the key is to improve your body’s lactate tolerance. So, training at our anaerobic threshold is key to running a fast 5k time. Again, we train between 85 to 89% of our maximum heart rate running at this intensity. Of course, you may have to start off at 2 to 3-mile tempo runs first.
Be patient with yourself during your training build up. Again, quick results won’t come overnight. The good news is that the body will always adapt to the hard training that you are doing. I think most runners can get legitimate results by running between 20 to 50 miles a week training for the 5k distance.
Remember, high mileage, if spent running too slow, will only make you a superior long, slow runner. So, you have to focus on following a training plan that will help to set you up for success. I have done my best here at RunDreamAchieve to create products that will help you succeed.
Be sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. If focus on creating new training and racing videos to help more runners set new personal bests. I would also recommend you start implementing mental visualization into your training. The vast majority of runners only focus on physical training and bypass mental training.
The good news is that it only takes between 10 to 15 minutes each day to do this. Remember, our goals have to start in our mind before they will ever become reality. In fact, I credit mental training to breaking the 14:20 5k and sub 2:20 marathon barriers. I hope that this post has been helpful in discussing some tactics on how to run a fast 5k time.
Make sure to leave me a comment below any of my videos and I will certainly respond to you. Keep up the great work. Use the fundamentals discuss in this post and make some changes in the way you race. Remember, do not try to win your 5k races in the first mile. So, wait until you hit that first mile before you start to make your move. My recommendation is to make it a 2.1 rather than a 3.1 mile race.
Yes, get out fast. You can sprint all-out for the first 200 meters of the race and will not build up any large amounts of lactic acid. So, get out quick and then settle into your pace. Again, do not plan your attack until you hit the first mile then make your move.