16 minute 5k Training Plan

Target Race Pace: 5:10 per mile/ 3:13 p/km for a 16 Minute 5k

Successfully running a 16 minute 5k means you will need to be able to run slightly faster than a target race pace of 5:10 minute per mile pace for the full 3.1 mile distance.

Your Speed/Distance Training Zones: 16 minute 5k

Pace per Mile / KmTreadmill Pace400m / 800m Splits5km Race Pace
05:05 / 03:1011.8 mph / 18.8 km/h76 / 2:3215min 50s
05:10 / 03:1311.6 mph / 18.5 km/h77 / 2:3416min 00s
05:15 / 03:1611.4 mph / 18.2 km/h78 / 2:3616min 20s
*for speed/distance conversation allow for a small amount of rounding up/ down.

Like all of our training plans, the 16 minute 5k training plan will occassionally require you to run slightly faster than the required race pace for short durations, so before starting any of our plans ensure that you are able to run at your target race pace for at least 1km or preferably a mile.

If you are not quite there yet then take a look at the 18 minute 5k training plan instead and then come back to this one once you are in a position to run at this pace for a km.

Other 5k training plans: 16 minute 5k || 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 Training Plan

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Your 16 minute 5k Training Plan

Please read before starting a training plan:
Frequently Asked Questions
Signs of Overtraining
WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
130mins easy4x1km
[email protected]:13 per km/ 5:10p/m (90s rec.)
30mins easyHill Sprints
Examples
Rest/Cross-train30mins easyLong Run
230mins easy10x400m
[email protected] per 400m / 5:00p/m (60s rec.)
30mins easyKenyan Hills
Examples
RestTempo Run
inc. 3m @5:30 p/m
Long Run
3Tempo Run
inc. 3m @5:30 p/m
6x1km
[email protected]:13 per km/ 5:10p/m (90s rec.)
30mins easyFartlek
Examples
Rest/Cross-train30mins easyLong Run
Rec. WeekRest/Cross-trainRest/Cross-trainTempo Run
inc. 3m @5:30 p/m
Rest/Cross-train30mins easyRest/Cross-trainRest/ Cross-train

Time commitment: circa 3-4 hours of work a week over the course of the sub 16 minute 5k training plan in addition to any time spent cross training.

Breakthrough Sessions – 16 minute 5k:

Highlighted sessons should be challenging intense efforts, mini-milestones towards your target.

  • 400m Reps – these need to be at 5:00 p/m pace (74s per lap) with a 60sec standing recovery.
  • 800m Reps – should be reps at 5:10p/m pace (2:34 per 800m) with a 200m jogged recovery
  • 1km Intervals – hit 5:10p/m pace (3:13 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 – 16 minute 5k:

These sessions are used for maintaining fitness and recovery. Preparing you for breakthrough sessions.

  • Steady Run – this should be no quicker than 06:00 p/m.
  • Long Run – this should be less than 1 hour.
  • Fartlek – unstructured training. Example Fartlek sessions.

The core work for the 16 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 three months following the 16 minute 5k plan that you reduce your training for a period of one to two weeks to allow your body time to recover from the impact of running. This should mean more time cross-training with a couple of nice easy runs every few days to keep the legs ticking over.

11 Responses

  1. Draven says:

    @Tewis: You should never set limits or mental roadblocks for other people. To tell someone they are too slow when you don’t have a clue about their physiology is pretty ignorant. On my highschool track team I ran my first Mile race above 6 minutes. Then I trained really hard for two years and I dropped my time to 4:25. If I can drop a minute and a half on a Mile race then anyone can train hard enought to drop a minute or two on their 5k given they train their heart out and have a healthy diet. I think my first 5k was around 19 minutes. In two years I ran 6:19 on a very hilly 5k course. If you have never puked after a 5k or super intense training then it mean you have not trained or raced to your maximum potential. Ive puked a few times. If you are serious.. break down those marriers. My fried finished the last mile of a spartan Super (5-6 mile obstacle course race) with a grade 3 Ankle sprain. Every step his tendons were literally making a gross squishing sound. Im not saying I recommend doing that… but anything is possible.

    • charlie says:

      Not everyone who runs is a young kid. The training threshold before injuries gets smaller as you age. For instance, I’m more likely to pass out and break my head open before I’d ever puke

  2. Nameless says:

    Does the inc. 3m mean like incline at 3% ? And why is tempo run pace 15 seconds slower than race pace? Shouldn’t it be 25-30 seconds slower ?

  3. Kanishak says:

    Sir my pb 5k is 17.06 and i ran 120km per weak how can get in sub 16 in 6 months or 8months

  4. NP says:

    i think you should remove discouraging comments like that made by Tewis. Completely unnecessary, and also not true (how can s/he comment on what is possible?).

    • Some Dude says:

      I think Tewis is correct though. To drop 7 minutes in just 6 months would be unprecedented. I ran an 18:30 5k in 8th grade. I only got to 16:30 last weekend, which is almost 2 years later. The training plans I’ve seen on this website are not nearly intense enough, nor do they have enough mileage. I just don’t think to drop that far in 6 months is realistic.

  5. Aditya gupta says:

    my time for 5k is 23min and i am having intercollege race in october and to qualify that i need to run 5k in 16 or maybe in 15:45min plz make a routine so i can follow that plzz…

  6. Dokare says:

    Sir i need your help.

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