Sub 20 5k Training Plan

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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119 Responses

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I am excited to try this plan. I am just getting back into running after having my last child. I have been running about 15miles per week for 2 months and easily ran a 21:04 5k last weekend. I have signed up to run a summer fun series (5k every Wednesday). How would you suggest modifying the plan to accommodate weekly races?

  2. Michael says:

    Hi
    What speed would u recommend doing long run for sum 20 training plan

  3. Antony Phillips says:

    Hi, I came accross this site and enjoyed reading the comments for a sub 20 min 5k. My PB is 20:31 but that was in 2014. Today I ran 21:32 after struggling to break 22 min on four previous occasions recently so really pleased. I am going to give it my all to break 20 min but realise it is a tough target that will take a few months hard training I guess.
    Hopefully i will learn a few tips and post weekly on my update as I try and run a parkrun most weeks.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Antony, thanks for your comment and good luck with the plan. Keep us updated as to how you are getting on.

  4. stefan says:

    Hello, today I ran 5km in 22minutes and 36 seconds, for 40 days I have a race I want to run under 20 minutes, will I succeed? and whether you can give me additional advice

  5. james says:

    Hi Matt my fastest 5km is 19.15 I’m still trying to better it any advice would be smashing

  6. Derek jones says:

    Hello Matt, been running for 2years this summer about 20 to 25 miles per week. I just came off a training plan ran a last week 5k 21:13. I can run a mile 5:40 maybe even faster but can’t seem to string all 3miles together. I also can run a 800m best 2:25… This plan might be the one.

  7. Emma Shilling says:

    This is a fab plan my current on is 20.52 and I am now on week 2 and beat g the average paces by about 10s per mile pace so looking forward to the next race in the 7th April.
    The plan is really tough but definately feeling the rewards.
    Thanks again

  8. Mathieu Portivent says:

    I’m working towards a 16 minute 5k. I am inexperienced but ran an 19 minutes without training 10 years ago. Right now I’m just trying to get below 20 minutes and eventually this year hopefully get to 16 minutes. Question is a two part question. This 1 month training plan do I go over and over or start a new program every month. Obviously I will drop down to the 18 minute plan when that time comes but until I reach that point will I continue this program over and over?

    • Mathieu Portivent says:

      Why didn’t you reply to me? Needing some advise here.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Mathieu, apologies for the late reply; this one must of slipped through the net. My advice, and certainly what I have done in the past, is to complete 3-4 cycles of the plan continuously and then attempt a PB before taking a break for a couple of weeks to allow for proper recovery (week #4 of each cycle is a easier week to allow for recovery on the way). Good luck and apols again for the tardy reply.

  9. Rajkumar swami says:

    Very nice sir g

  10. Kev says:

    Hi, sorry if this is a really obvious question but I have no real knowledge on this and want to give the plan a proper go.
    1. How does one know they are running 4.00 per km or 3:12 per 800 when actually running?
    2. Is this something that can be done in real time with a GPS watch? If so, can anyone recommend a good watch that won’t break the bank?
    3 .Can the watch be setup to notify you when you’ve completed each km and do you then just use the timer for the easy 90 seconds?
    I am clueless so thanks in advance for any guidance provided.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Kev, no worries. To know what pace you are running, ideally you would make use of some sort of GPS watch or have access to a running track. If you have neither you could always use mapmyrun.com to plot out a 400/800/1km route near your house that would enable you to do some interval training with a simple stop watch.
      There are some mega expensive GPS watches out there, but you can pick one up relatively cheaply if you are prepared to get a second hand one. I personally use an old Garmin 310xt which I got off eBay for about £70 and I’ve had it for years. With a GPS watch like this you can set it up to alert you when you have completed each km and then use the timer for the easy 90secs.
      Hope that helps and good luck with your training.

  11. For the sub 20 5k training plan, on the 4th week tempo run, should I run at a 6:40 pace for 3 miles?

  12. Dhairya says:

    Hello this seems to be an excellent plan .
    By 30 min easy ranning you mean 4.30 min / km pace? And that would be 7 km ?
    This what i understood after reading soma replys correct if wrong
    Excited to start this soon

    • Matt says:

      Hi Dhairya, yes that is correct. Try and make sure it is no faster than this. Good luck with the plan and let us know how you get one.

  13. Magnus says:

    Hello Matt,
    I have another question. On the 4th. week in the cyckle, you have a lot of time reserved for rest or cross-training. How many days on this week you would consider cross-training and how many days resting? Because otherwise it would seem like too much resting.

    Thank you in advance!

    Sincerely,
    Magnus.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Magnus, much of this would be down to personal choice, based upon how you are feeling and your familiarity with focused and high intensity training. The emphasis for this week is to allow your body to recover and ease any potential niggles that you may have. I don’t like too many idle days so I would probably only have two or three ‘off’ days in the week. I would always try to have a block of two days off completely though. Cheers.

  14. Zavia says:

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for the program, looking forward to seeing how I go. Current PB is 21:41. I’ve just completed the first week (with the exception of the long run tomorrow) and the intervals were a bit of a killer but feeling good so far. Maintained the pace for the first two 1k intervals then slowly regressed for the last 3 ;). Did a lot better on the 800m and maintained pace for 5/6. Will keep you posted on the results.
    Zavia

    • Zavia says:

      I had a very disrupted last two weeks of the program for a variety of reasons including a cold/flu in the last week which disrupted a lot of the training. Gave myself an extra couple of weeks off to ensure I was recovered and had a crack at a 5k last Saturday. Didn’t get sub 20 but did reduce my PB from 21:41 to 21:11. Keen to hit the program again in the new year.

  15. Andrew says:

    Hi Matt
    I don’t know if you have answered this already but is there a link to the full plan from week 1 to week 4 or do we just keep repeating the same thing over because I noticed on the top of the training program is says week 1

  16. Magnus says:

    Hello Matt,

    What do I do if I have skipped one run in a schedule? Dump it? Repeat the week? Or drop a rest day in the next week?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Magnus,
      It depends largely on which session it it. If it is a breakeven/ receovery type run then I wouldn’t worry too much about it; just carry on as normal or try to juggle the week around a bit to fit it in somewhere. If it is a breakthrough (intense) session then I would probably repeat that week. Those interval sessions are key and it’s important to get through them all in a cycle. Cheers.

      • Magnus says:

        In my case it was “Long Run”. Does the same rule as with “Easy/Steady Run” abide to this one?

        Cheers, and thanks for the great web-site you have doen with all these wonderful plans!

        • Matt says:

          Hi Magnus, yes you’re correct, I would apply the same thinking here as to the steady run. I’ve found that for specific 5k training the long run is probably the one to miss if you have to miss any of the sessions during the week (slightly different if you are following a 10k plan).
          Thanks for your feedback, always nice to hear. Good luck with your training and let us know how you get on.
          Cheers

  17. Troy says:

    Hi Matt, just finished reading your training plan it looks hard and honest. I ran 21:30 about amonth ago with an Achilles problem. For the last month i have been cross training and slowly coming back. I ran the 1k test and was able to complete it in 3:57 but was running hard. I am a bit older at 51 so I am wondering if I could do this plan. I am thinking about building my miles the rest of this month with the 1km test once per week, and in Dec starting the plan and continuing it through the winter. Also I usually run my long run on Sun with a group where we mainly run about 10 miles but it’s at an easy pace. What do you think?

  18. Grammarsow says:

    Long run? how long and at what pace please

    • Matt says:

      Hi, 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. Just run naturally and don’t worry about pace so much. Personally my long run is an hour, when I’m 10k training as well I’ll go a bit longer and it’s usually 20-30 seconds slower per mile than the speedy miles during the week.

  19. Harry says:

    Matt, I followed your sub 20min plan for one cycle. I went from 21mins 33secs to 20min 06 seconds. Annoyingly just missed out on sub 20. Would you suggest another cycle of this training before attempting sub 18min plan? The times for that I think would be a stretch right now or modify and aim for sub 19 min training?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Harry, that’s annoyingly close! Well done though. I would probably opt for another cycle of the sub 20 min plan if I were you; another go at that and considering your progress already, I’d be confident you’ll nail it in 3-4 weeks time and then you can move straight onto the 18 minute 5k plan. Let me know how you get on. Cheers.

  20. Antonio says:

    Giving this a try!

  21. Matteo says:

    hi Matt, i’m stuck at 21:50 since 1 month. I’m starting your Plan next week. After these 4 weeks i would like to try 5k race. What kind of warmup routine and pace from start to finish do You suggest?

    Cheers from italy

    • Matt says:

      Bonjourno Matteo! I would suggest a warmup jog of at least 15-20 minutes that includes a mixture of sprints and strides. You want to prepare you body for running at your target race pace so ideally you want to include a short piece of running in your warm-up at that race pace; then it won’t be such a shock to the system when you start the race.
      You should aim to start the race at your target race pace of 06:25 and repeat until the end 🙂
      Good luck and let me know how you get on.

      • Matteo says:

        Hi matt, started today with 5×1. Im struggled to keep 4 min / km pace, these was my splits:
        04:03
        04:14
        04:13
        04:14
        04:16
        AVG 4:12 min per km
        Hope to improve in these 4 weeks, thanks

        • Matteo says:

          today 6×800, splits:
          3:56
          4:00
          4:03
          4:04
          4:06
          4:03
          AVG 4:02
          i skipped the 30 min easy yesterday because im doing bike on indoor trainer.

  22. Aidan says:

    How do you run the actual 5k? Continuously? There aren’t any non-stop 5k runs in the training plan; will the program prepare me to run nonstop if that’s the case?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Aidan, ideally you run the 5km at the end of a 3 week training block/ cycle. There is enough long runs and 30 min easy runs to prepare you to run continuously for 5km.

      • Aidan says:

        Interesting, so you never run the full 5k for time during training to benchmark progress? I’d be uneasy with having to keep up that speed continuously when during training I’ve only run at race pace with breaks every 90s/200m, etc.

        • Matt says:

          Hi Aidan, I wouldn’t worry about running the 5k within the training block to benchmark progress. The point of the plan is to train your body so you are in a position to get the target time at the end of the cycle. The fact that you are following a particular plan means you already have a baseline. I.e., if you are following the sub 20 min 5k plan, then your PB should already be below 22mins. The training blocks are short so by all means you could run 5k at the end of each cycle to check for progress but having a 5k attempt within the training block would potentially just impeded the plan itself.
          Cheers

  23. Gavin says:

    Hey man, I am currentky having a pretty tough time getting to my form from last season. My best time this season is 22:12, last season was 20:29, is it still possible for me to break 20 with 5 meet left? Any tips?

  24. Toby says:

    Very thrilled to have made it under 20mins after just the first cycle of 4 weeks. Didn’t intend to try, but the legs felt good after the first half lap of parkrun and I got in by 3 secs. I missed a couple of the sessions in weeks 2 and 3 because of other commitments, but to be honest, just having a plan and running regularly did the trick. Thanks!

  25. Stephen Goodier says:

    Hi, I just started you plan for sub 20 minutes. My current 5k time is about 21 minutes. I was wondering what pace you would recommend I should run my recovery run in. Also, how far the long run should be and what pace this should be at?

    • Matt says:

      Hi, the easy run should be about 30mins at 07:00 pace or thereabouts. Cheers

      • Marcus says:

        07:00min/mi pace for easy/recovery is completely wrong. That would mean running at roughly 10K race pace.

        • Matt says:

          At 10k pace? For what 10k time? Not sure I understand the statement. An easy run that is 35+ seconds slower per mile than target race pace is acceptable but of course, you are free to modify the plan as works best for you :-). Cheers,

          • Harry says:

            Re the easy / recovery run – for a recent half marathon training which I ran at 7:37p/m pace my recovery/easy runs were around a min/90 secs p/m slower. For this 5K attempt, on easy days still running at 7:00p/m still seems fast and not a recovery easy? Does this depend on overall fitness?

  26. James P says:

    Great plan. Been stuck between 21-22mins for over a year now. Adapted it for Sub 21 and this morning went 20.42 after only 4 weeks. Really chuffed. Only managed the two interval type runs, parkrun, slow 10k and a swim each week, (and worked on upping my cadence too). Good to read the comments and suggestions, although might not try Jude’s 50 days of consecutive running. Wow and Ouch! Hope to consolidate todays result and work towards that Sub 20 now! Thanks for all the help. J

    • Matt says:

      Thanks for the comment, James. It’s always nice to hear success stories, keep up the good work and let me know if/ when you get under 20. Cheers.

  27. Audun says:

    Hello Matt,
    Your training plan is a jewel, thank you!
    I wondered, how should I proceed forward in case if I become sick, injured or traveling etc.? Should I just pick up, where I left or adjust it to the week day I’m in currently?

    Also, how do I proceed if I can’t, – let’s say, – break the time in 800m intervals and maintain demanded pace throughout all 6 sets? Do I just repeat the training plan so long until that starts happening or?

    Kindly,
    Audun

    • Matt says:

      I would advise that you adjust the plan to suit your needs with regards to injury, sickness, etc. You know your body better than anyone so go with whatever feels right for you.
      If you are not quite making the time intervals for the full session then I would suggest you repeat the plan until you can do so. Training your body into a position where it can meet the demands of the intervals at race pace is imperative part of the plan. Cheers

      • Audun says:

        Thank for your responce, Matt!

        I’m a kickboxer, so I tend to have to a lot of cardio. I wonder, how well this training plans are suited to supplement my trainng considering I train 4-5 times a week my sport?

        Also, how would you recommend to get back on track after sickness exactly?

        • Matt says:

          Hi Auden, I don’t know the first thing about kickboxer training I’m afraid. If it’s cardio you are after though, I think the training plans here will good you a good base to work from. After sickness, I suggest rather than starting at week 1, start at week 4 with the recovery week. Do this for a couple of weeks until you are ready to progress. I wouldn’t advise doing any of the speed interval sessions during or post-sickness. They will potentially degrade your immune system causing more illness or hampering recovery.

  28. Mike L. says:

    Hi, thanks for the plan! I don’t see Sunday on the chart here. Is there anything scheduled on Sunday? Also, is this plan for 4 weeks only, or is there something I’m missing.

  29. Olgierd says:

    Hello Matt,
    First of all, thanks for your great training programmes. Could you specify, what would be the pace for the “long runs”? Also, how to make a transition from sub 20min to let’s say sub 18, when sub 20 gets beaten? I mean, what’s the approach to start adjusting this sub 20 min training programme to start trying next step in beating 18 minutes. How would I do that?

    Thank you very much in advance!

  30. Ahmed says:

    Hi Matt I want to ask what pace should I make my long Run. What is the best Fartlek Training.

  31. Stu says:

    The older I get the better I was it seems. 🙂 5 years ago I squeezed a 20:12 5k out of my leg on a pancake flat course. I’m doing a weekly hilly Parkrun now in around 22 minutes so I still believe with a bit of focus I can scare the 20 minute barrier. I’m 47 now so I’m hoping to scare a few of the youngsters. One question I have is warmup and cooldown. There’s no mention of either (I don’t think) so generally in the past, when I’ve done intervals in particular, I’ve started with a very easy mile/10 minute jog and finished with the same. Is this too much/too little/too fast (surely not)/too slow?

  32. David says:

    Works for old gits too – I have been haphazardly trying unsuccessfully for sub 20 for several months. Needed the speed work and drop in training hours – in 3 weeks parkruns went 20:47 then 20:23 then 19:32 (fastest VET 50). Had it been 19:59 I might have stopped and concentrated on endurance, but now I want sub 19 !

  33. Hailey says:

    Hi Matt. Have a current pb of 21:30 from a while back but have been doing very well with these workouts sessions. The course I am going to run for my next 5K has an intense hill a little under a quarter mile in length at the 2.7 mile mark and I am afraid I won’t be able to break 20 because of it. Any suggestions on how to push through on the hill & recover after so that I can still achieve my goal? Thanks.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Hailey,
      Certainly the hill makes things a little harder but all is not lost; one of my fastest 5k’s had a big hill in it. Mainly because what goes up, must come down. Do you know if there is equal distribution of downhill over the course?
      There’s a short section on hill technique and some example hill training sessions on this website in the Training Sessions section. As it’s a relatively short but intense hill, I recommend doing some hill sprints in preperation and really nailing the technique so you are as efficient as possible. When going downhill try lengthening your stride, breathing very deeply and really concentrate on getting your heartrate under control so you can recover ready to attack again.
      Thanks,
      Matt

  34. Matt says:

    Question: On the 6×800 day does the “200m rec.” mean 200 meter recovery? And is this walking?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Matt, that’s right it’s a 200m recovery and planned as a slow jog. If you are doing this on track/treadmill then I woudldn’t walk it as it would probably be too long a recovery. Obviously adapt the session to how you feel but for 800m I usually go for a slow jog or standing recovery of the same time (i.e., be stationary for however long it would take to jog 200m).
      If you are outside on the road then you coudl jog/walk/stand still for the same amount of time. Hope that makes sense.
      Cheers

    • Matt says:

      I ran a 5k today in 19:52 for my first ever sub 20! Thanks for the plan. I enjoyed the variety. Going on 40, I’m not sure I’m ready to push for sub 18 but we shall see…

      • Matt says:

        Well done, Matt. I don’t think you need to be burdened by your age at this stage. If you train smart, look after yourself, and are determined you will be able to get the time down even further, perhaps even to the sub 18 :-). Good luck!

  35. Steven Birch says:

    what does rec week mean?

  36. Paul says:

    Great training plan. I have a PB of 19.50, but want to consolidate my sub 20 time on this program before moving onto sub 18. I find with this plan I am getting more targeted, quality sessions in rather than hours of mile crunching. It has been hard work, but my fitness has improved immensely in the past 2 weeks. I am going for a 5 k race in a few weeks, and pretty confident that PB will get smashed!

    • Matt says:

      Hi Paul, nice work and thanks for the feedback! Good luck with your race and let us know how you get on.

  37. Marty Mako says:

    Hello, I was wondering if there is a way to adapt this training program for a treadmill. My wife and I have a 4 month old baby at home, so we find it hard to run outside these days. But we can put the baby beside us and she actually falls asleep to the sound of the treadmill. I’ve run a few 5k races over the past month and I’m stuck around 20:30 right now (my pb is around 19:30). I can run much faster than this on the treadmill, but it seems when I run outside in a race the conditions (wind, hills, etc) really slow me down. I am willing to try the 5 x 1k, 6 x 800m and 10 x 400m distances on the treadmill, but I think the speeds should be faster to compensate for it being a treadmill. I was wondering if I could do the hill training on a treadmill as well. It’s a Life Fitness (commercial grade) treadmill so high quality. What do you think? I appreciate the help. My wife is equally interested in adapting the sub 24 min program for a treadmill.

    • Chris says:

      I have the same question as Marty. Any insights?

      • Matt says:

        Hi Chris/ Marty, I’ve been giving this some thought and I’ll add a page to the site about following a training plan using just the treadmill. There’s a few things to consider so would like to do the topic justice. Will update the site and mail you both once it’s live. Cheers.

  38. Ali says:

    Dear Matt, thanks for the plan. Just to make sure I understood this correctly, it’s only a three-week plan if my time is already sub 22 min?
    If so, if my time is, say, 25 mins, then I do the number of weeks of the 25 min plan until I get it to sub 22 then do this 3-wk plan? Thanks for your help!

    • Ali says:

      Sorry I meant 4 wk

      • Matt says:

        Hi Ali, all the training plans on the site follow a four-week cyclical method: 3 weeks hard training that is tailored to your target time followed by a week of reduced intensity training. If you can already run a 25min 5k my advice would be to follow the 24 minute 5k training plan first before attempting the 22 minute 5k plan.
        Hope that makes sense, and good luck.

  39. Uroš says:

    I was not able to do the workouts as prescribed, eg 1000m and 800m intervals were too hard (also mentally), yet I ran 19:03 in a 4.85 km race on Saturday :).
    Thank you for the plan.

  40. Mike R says:

    Just wanted to say that I’ve been following the various plans over the last few months and they really work! Love how it changes up your routine rather than monotonous runs/training. Used the 22 min plan back in April and ran a 20:59! Then, used the 20 min plan and ran EXACTLY 20:00 this last weekend. Had to cut the training one week short due to some knee soreness. Going to try the 18 min plan (maybe tailored to something in between the 18 and 20) and shoot for another 5K in July. Thanks for the structure and motivation!

    • Matt says:

      Great work, Mike. Glad you find the plans usuful. Let us know how you get on with the 18 minute plan and enjoy getting faster 🙂
      Cheers

  41. Rob says:

    I am wary of sounding like a tit, but I’m very interested. I’m 44. I used to play serious hockey and I used to be fit (sprint-recovery-sprint) fit. Since no longer doing that, I run a couple of times a week (5-10k at 7.30-8.20 min miles) but I can’t run much more than that without my knees getting tendony. I swim once a week as well, sometimes twice. I did my first park run today, and that was 20:10. I’ve never done any kind of long run where I pushed myself, and it’s a not-flat one, so I hope I can run under 20.

    Given the knees, 6 days of running a week aren’t possible. Is it rational to expect much in the way of improvement just from the getting used to running fast? If not, that’s fine, but I’m interested.

  42. Dyse says:

    I’ve been using these workout recommendations for a few months and last week got a 19:30 PB on a ParkRun! Many thanks for your plan! Onto the next goal… 18 mins!

    • Ian says:

      Hi I’ve tried a few sessions on the Sub 20 5K Plan and I’ve got a new 19.20PB! Can you adapt training times to hit Sub 19?? Thanks!

  43. Alandra says:

    Matt,
    Great training plan – it worked =] I ran a 19:49 5k yesterday with a max gain of 178 ft. That is a PR over 1:20! It was a tough course, I can’t wait to give it a go on a flatter course.

    Thanks!

  44. Jude says:

    Hey again guys. I ran a 5K again and did it in 18:39.5! I have no idea how I did it that fast? I am moving on to the 18 plan now. Thanks for this training plan Matt!

  45. Jude says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention to you guys that I didn’t fallow the plan exactly how it told me to on the last week, I skipped some of the rest days. I also never rested on any of the days it told me to cross train, on those days I did a really easy 2 mile run to keep my running streak up. I have ran for 50 consecutive days. I cross train Monday through Friday every week so I didn’t skip out on cross training. If you are a runner it is very important to cross train!

  46. Jude says:

    Hey! I finished the plan and ran a 20:07 5K! There were 18 MPH winds, and I had an elevation gain of 57 and a loss of 80, so I probably would have made the 20 minute mark if it weren’t for the condition. Thank you so much for this training plan!

    I think I might do this plan one more time and then move on to the 18 minute 5K plan. I’ll let you guys know how that one went once I do it.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Jude,

      Well done, that’s a great result considering the conditions. Do pop back sometime and let us know how you get on, sure you’ll be on to the sub 18 minute plan in no time at all.

      Cheers,
      Matt

  47. Bogdan says:

    Hi,

    I just don’t understand how does all those training sessions add up to 8-10 hrs a week. You have at most 6 training sessions a week. This would mean something like 1hr and 30 min per training session which is pretty much even for a long run session (which I suppose is the longest session of them all).

    • Matt says:

      Hi Bogdan, thanks for the comment; you are quite right to query that. I’ve made a slight adjustment to the time commitment requirement as it should be 4-8 depending on number of hours spent cross training.
      Cheers,
      Matt

  48. Alandra says:

    Hi Matt! When do we use the “steady pace” run? That seems too quick for a recovery or for the long run (for me at least 😉 )
    Thanks!

    • Matt says:

      Hi Alandra,
      Thank you for your comment, I hope you find the training plans useful.
      As for the ‘steady pace’ runs, you can view these as the “30mins easy” sessions specified in the plan. I have recommended it as no faster than 7 min/per mile pace so covering these at 7:25 would also be fine. This would be a minute per mile slower than your target race pace so should not tire out the legs too much and keep you fresh for the harder sessions.
      Good luck with the training and pop back sometime to let us know how you get on.

      Cheers,
      Matt

  49. Joe says:

    Could you please explain the details of the tempo run in the recovery week (Tempo Run
    inc. 3m @6:40 p/m). Not sure what it means.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Joe,
      It is recommending that during the recovery week that you do a tempo run so your legs don’t completely forget what you have been doing the previous 3 weeks. The pace should be easy to begin with, for about a mile, then try doing 2-3 miles in the middle that is at 6:40 per mile pace (this is still slower than your target race pace for this plan), followed by another slower mile to finish.

      Hope that helps.
      Cheers,
      Matt

  50. Jude says:

    Hey everybody! I am 16 and have been running for about a year now, I nave a 21:01 5K PR. I am going to give this training plan a shot, I’ll let you know how it went once I am done.

  51. ben wickens says:

    ran a PB of 20:43 today released iv got to have a constructed training plan instead of “just going for a run” to be able to get a sub20 5k. Great plan and very useful will start to add these different sessions in each week and see how i get on.
    Thanks, Ben

    • Matt says:

      Hi Ben,
      Congrats on the PB. Yes it can make a massive difference following a plan where you are actively training at your target pace. Like you, I spent ages ‘just going for a run’ and I got faster initially but then reached the inevitable plateau.
      Good luck with the sub 20 minute 5k plan and drop us a note to let us know how you get on.
      Cheers

  52. cicerunner says:

    Matt, I’m curious as to what the source or references are for your training programmes?

    • Matt says:

      Hi, all the training plans have been assembled based on my own experience running and coaching over past ten years combined with research and experimentation of various plans that are freely available.
      Hope you found something useful.
      Cheers.

      • cicerunner says:

        Matt, thank you. I will be experimenting with a combination of your sub 20 and sub 18 plans later in the year – hoping to improve my 18:53 PB. But first, I need to get my first marathon done!

        • Matt says:

          Ah yes just a small matter of the marathon to do first!
          Well good luck, and hope to hear back from you re the plans once you’ve had a successful marathon.
          Cheers

  53. Matt J says:

    Current PB (achieved in May 2016) is 20:05! have done the plan and have a 5km race on Sunday!

    • Matt J says:

      Goal achieved!
      Ran a 5km on Christmas Day and got 19:40 @ 3:56km…went off too fast though with a 3:39km first km…but managed to soldier home.
      Ran anther 5km on 7 Jan and 19:45 @ 3:57km, much better pacing with all 5km’s under 4:00km.
      Cheers!

  54. Alan says:

    Thanks – Current PB is 21.21. Plan looks good….Will give it a go

  55. Eduard says:

    Thanks for such program. 2 weeks ago I did 5K for 20:15 and since today I’ve started your program. My first 5x1km, [email protected]:56 per km. Will let you know in a month the results I reach.

  56. GRANT says:

    Im onboard this plan. Current pb is 20.51. Will report once complete in 1 month.

  57. Matt says:

    Looks great. Will give it a go and report back!