22 minute 5k Training Plan

Target Race Pace: 7:03 per mile / 4:22 per km for a 22 minute 5k

To run a sub 22 minute 5k you will need to be able to run at a target race pace of 7:00 minutes per mile pace for the full 3.1 mile distance. That converts to 4:22 per kilometre.

 

Your Speed/Distance Training Zones: 22 minute 5k

Pace per MilePace per KmTreadmill Pace mphTreadmill Pace km/h400m Pace800m Pace5km Race Pace
07:0004:228.5 mph13.7 km/h1:44 secs3min 29s21min 50s
07:0504:258.1 mph13.5 km/h1:46 secs3min 32s22min 05s
*for speed/distance conversation allow for a small amount of rounding up/ down.
22 minute 5k

Follow this 5k training plan for a 22 minute 5k

To start this training plan it is recommended that your 5k PB should be below the 24 minute 5k mark already and you are able to run at a pace of 7:00 per mile for at least 1km.

Over the course of the 22 minute 5k training plan you will be required to run at a slightly faster pace than your target race pace for short durations so you really need to ensure that you can hit the 7:00 mark for at least 1km.

If you feel that you are not quite there yet, have a look at one of our other 5k training plans before building up to this one:

Other 5k training plans: 18 minute 5k || Sub 20 5k || 22 minute 5k || 24 minute 5k || 26 minute 5k|| 28 minute 5k || Sub 30 minute 5k || Couch to 5k

Your 22 minute 5k training plan

Please read before starting a training plan:
Frequently Asked Questions
Signs of Overtraining
WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
130min easy3x1km
[email protected]:23 per km/ 7:03p/m (90s rec.)
30min easy6x800m [email protected]:29 per 800 / 7:00p/m.
(200m jog rec.)
Rest/Cross-train30min easyLong run
230min easy10x400m
[email protected]:42s per 400 / 6:50p/m (60s rec.)
30min easyFartlek
Examples
Rest6x800m [email protected]:29 per 800 / 7:00p/m.
(200m jog rec.)
Long run
330min easy3x1km
[email protected]:23 per km/ 7:03p/m (90s rec.)
30min easyHills
Examples
Rest/Cross-train30min easyLong run
Rec. WeekRest/Cross-trainRest/Cross-train30min easyRest/Cross-train30min easyRest/Cross-trainLong run

 

Time commitment: You should be looking to commit roughly 3-4 hours of work a week over the course of the 22 minute 5k training plan in addition to any time spent cross training.

Breakthrough Sessions – 22 minute 5k:
The highlighted sessions need to be be challenging intense efforts, mini-milestones towards your target.

  • 400m Reps – these need to be at 6:50 p/m pace (1:42 per lap) with a 60sec standing recovery.
  • 800m Reps – should be reps at 7:00p/m pace (3:29 per 800m) with a 200m jogged recovery.
  • 1km Intervals – hit 7:00p/m pace (4:22 per km) with a 90sec jogged recovery.
  • Hills: Kenyans/ Hill Sprints – alternate between Kenyans and Hill Sprints to get a balance of power and endurance training. Example Hill Training Sessions.

Breakeven Sessions – 22 minute 5k:
These sessions are used for maintaining fitness and recovery. Preparing you for breakthrough sessions.

  • Steady Run – this should be no quicker than 07:45 p/m.
  • Long Run – this should be less than 1 hour.
  • Fartlek – unstructured training. Example Fartlek sessions.

The core work for the 22 minute 5k training plan is set over a 3-week period with the addition of 1 week’s recovery. At the end of the first 4-week cycle you can repeat and/or tailor the plan to your individual needs to focus on your particular 5k event.

It is recommended that after 2/3 months of using the training plan that you take a break and treat yourself to a couple of weeks of low-key training. This should start with 2-3 day’s off from running completely and continue with a nice short easy run every other day.

Matt

Keen amateur runner who likes keeping fit & devising training plans that help you get faster. The plans on this site have helped me knock minutes off all my times. I also love cats and popcorn.

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Feel free to submit a comment or question. For queries I usually reply within 1-2 days so please check back again for responses.

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22 Responses

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi, i’m following the plan and enjoying it. My 5k pb is 22:57 which I set last April. I had a run of illness and I haven’t been able to get under 23:38.

    I’m in my fourth week now, I can’t quite meet the speed for the intervals but i’m getting closer. Is the rest week just for when you race or do you have a rest week and then start again after week 1? Also;, is there a run for Sunday? It’s not showing for me.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Andrea, pleased you are enjoying the plan. The 4th week in the cycle is not just for races, it’s important to take the time to recuperate when you are following the plan and give your body some time on less intensive training to prevent over-training and monotony setting in.
      Yes there is a run listed for Sunday – Long run.
      Good luck with your training, let us know how you get on.

  2. Calum Blair says:

    Hey Matt,

    Really enjoying this running plan – I feel like I am not out of my comfort zone doing this but I am seeing real improvement in my running speed.

    I plan to do 2-3 cycles and then aim to hit the 22:00 target. I would then like to progress to ultimately hitting a 20:00 5k, although I am not sure whether to jump from 22:00 to 20:00 training plan or maybe try and hit 21:00 first then 20:00 – thoughts?

    My ultimate goal is to try and achieve a 40:00 10k, ambitious I know. I am not sure on how to progress from what I am doing now to make sure I am on track to do this. Should I try get a 19:00 min 5k and build my endurance after? Should I jump to 10k after doing a 22:00 5k? Unsure on how to get there – again, thoughts?

    Finally, due to where I live I am not near any hills- is there anything you can think of as an alternative to this?

    Thanks in advance. You are always responsive and informative to all questions ask, so on behalf of everyone, thank you and keep it up as we all really appreciate your help.

  3. Maddie says:

    Hi what day in the plan is race day? Is race day supposed to be the last day of rec. week, or is it supposed to be Monday on what would be week 5? Or have I missed it completely?

    Am trying to plan for a race 🙂

    Thanks

    • Matt says:

      Hi Maddie, I generally make the Sunday of week 3 race day. Depending on how much of a taper you like to have you could move the hill session to earlier in the week to give you a longer gap between that session and race day. If you do prefer a longer taper and don’t like the idea of doing high intensity sessions in the week of the race you could opt for race day as end of week 4 but personally I think it works better at end of week 3 as you are in the training groove at that stage.
      Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  4. Alex says:

    Hi, really eager to follow this plan. I took a break from running and I am currently at 22:45 with just 5-10 km a month. I’m planning to get back and this plan looks perfect. I was wondering how long the long runs must be if I want to break the 22 min barrier?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Alex, the long run requirement can vary slightly depending on what other training you are doing which is why it’s a little vague in the plan. If you are focusing solely on 5k’s then I don’t think the long run needs to be any longer than an hour and a half max. Because the week’s sessions can be quite intense my focus is to just enjoy the slower steady pace of a long run and whether than is for 60 mins or 90 mins it’s not an exact science. Personally my long run is an hour, when I’m 10k training as well I’ll go a bit longer. Good luck.

  5. Adam L says:

    Any thoughts on what type of warmup/cool down is needed? I’ll typically do some light static stretching, along with 5 minutes of dynamic stretches before a run. Should I be thinking of jogging for any period of time before or after any of the workouts?

    Thanks.

  6. Steve says:

    The steady run should be no quicker than 7:45 but no slower than what pace? The long run should be less than 1 hour but at what type of pace range?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Steve, just make the steady and long runs comfortable. I think it’s important not to make it quicker than 07:45 but no need to get bogged down with a ‘no slower than’, just run naturally.

  7. Asha says:

    I run a 5k in 23:07 minutes I’m also 14 and had done it for a year then quit for a year but I’m hoping i will be just as fast , my mummy is a runner a team GB gold medalist at the European masters and I hope to be just like her .

  8. JS says:

    Whats pace,and miles on a “long run”? Also should the 30 min run be easy– say 9 min pace or faster?

    Thanks!

  9. George says:

    Hi,
    Just went through the plan …but cant find where is the slot for the steady run and how long it should be.

  10. Cari says:

    How do you access he whole plan? I am looking now and it is only giving me week 1. Am I looking in the wrong spot?

    Thank you. Looking forward to starting soon!

  11. MC says:

    Hi. Great plan. Looking forward to trying it out. At 22:35 at the moment so will doing this program as a precursor to the sub20 plan.

    Just wondering at what point should you attempt to actually get a 22 min score. As in where do you do a PR run? Immediately after the rest week?

    • Matt says:

      Hi, my advice would be to do a couple of cycles of the plan and then look to incorporate a PB attempt at the end of a week 3 that you have tailored to be less intense, i.e., no speed work within 3-4 day’s of the attempt but maybe a tempo run. It’s a good question so I think I will add a page to the site with some recommendations so please check back again soon and and will hopefully have some more information that’ll help.
      Good luck in the meantime.

  12. Jay says:

    Thanks for the training plan! My PB for 5k was 22:34 but that was in 2013 so thought I’d try and break the 22min mark. I did a timed effort at the start and got 23:51. I then followed the plan/structure for 12 weeks, I swam twice a week, one LSR, one breakthrough session, one game of 5aside football (most similar to fartlek training session), one or two steady 30min runs and sometimes spin class instead of a steady run.

    I did a timed run after 5 weeks of the plan and got 22:43 – so improvements but not quite sub 22. So i had an easy two weeks recovery, then started again for 5 weeks and just did 21:58 yesterday.

    My pacing was off somewhat, i went too hard and did the first km in 4:09 and then suffered so I changed it to a 4x1km interval run with 330m recovery. But i was left with having to do 4:05 for the last km, but did it in 4:03. I would be interested seeing what time I’d get if i did a constant pace, think it would be around 21:40

    The training plan really helped give me ideas of what sessions I should be doing, how often and most importantly what pace! Time to step up to the sub 20min 5k now eek, as following my timed run where i did PB km and mile running times, I meet the ‘pre-qualifying’ criteria.

  13. Dave says:

    Thanks for the article. I’m keen to give it a go. My parkrun PB is 22:06 at the moment but I am averaging about 22:30 so am aiming to get consistently sub 22 there. I’ll generally use parkrun as a steady run and just take it a bit easier. One question: in the article you mention the need to commit 8-10 hours a week for training but the plan seems to factor about 3 hours or so each week… I’m assuming this is just a carrier over from a longer distance training plan?