22 minute 5k Training Plan

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

To consider following this 22 minute 5k plan you should already be able to run at a target race pace of 07:03 minute for at least a mile (4:22p/km) and/or have a PB under 24 minutes.

If you are not quite there yet then take a look at the 24 minute 5k training plan instead and then come back to this one once you are in a position to run at this pace.

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

Please read before starting a training plan:
Frequently Asked Questions | Signs of Overtraining

Your Speed/Distance Training Zones: 22 minute 5k

Pace per Mile / KmTreadmill Pace400m / 800m Splits5km Race Pace
07:00 / 04:228.5 mph / 13.7 km/h1:44 / 3:2921min 50s
*for speed/distance conversation allow for a small amount of rounding up/ down.

Your 22 minute 5k training plan

DayWeek 1Week 2Week 3Rec. Week
Monday30min easy30min easy30min easyRest/Cross-train
[email protected]:23 per km/ 7:03p/m (90s rec.)
[email protected]:42s per 400 / 6:50p/m (60s rec.)
[email protected]:23 per km/ 7:03p/m (90s rec.)
Wednesday30min easy30min easy30min easy30min easy
Thursday6x800m [email protected]:29 per 800 / 7:00p/m.
(200m jog rec.)
FridayRest/Cross-trainRestRest/Cross-train30min easy
Saturday30min easy6x800m [email protected]:29 per 800 / 7:00p/m.
(200m jog rec.)
30min easyRest/Cross-train
SundayLong runLong runLong runLong run

22 Minute 5k Training Plan Components

Breakeven Sessions – 22 minute 5k training plan

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

  • Steady Run – this should be no quicker than 09:00 p/m, ideally aim for somewhere around 09:00-09:30 p/m.
  • Long Run – slow & steady, this should be less than 1 hour.
  • Fartlek – unstructured training. Example Fartlek sessions.

Breakthrough Sessions – 22 minute 5k training plan

These sessions are meant to be challenging intense efforts, treat them as 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.

About this Plan

Remember that to consider following this 22 minute 5k plan you should already be able to run at a target race pace of 07:03 minute for at least a mile (4:22p/km) and/or have a PB under 24 minutes.

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.

142 Responses

  1. Peter D says:

    Hi Matt,
    Firstly, thank you for this awesome resource–putting all this information out for free in one place.
    I was wondering if you would recommend a modification for the 30-minute run?
    I find that when I do the 30-minute run at the 8:15 pace it is a hard effort, so much so that I can only complete two weeks of the plan before I do more than my body can recover from in one day. Should I run the 30 minutes at an aerobic pace (much slower for me)? Should I build more rest days in? Although it is a hard effort, I am able to complete the other elements of this plan at the goal paces (1km, 800 m, 400m)

  2. Sara says:

    If I were to schedule a race would it come the day after recovery week? Or where would I properly position it to plan accordingly?

  3. Ryan says:

    Just a quick question, why aren’t tempo runs involved in this plan? I’ve been told many times how important they are and would have thought they’d have been involved in fast 5k training.

  4. George P says:

    Didn’t work for me … ran essentially the same time as previous races. I started training 5 months ago after taking a 35 year hiatus off from road racing( 64 years old now)My first race back I ran a 25:30 with just the bare minimum of training so, I trained for 3 more weeks before jumping into another 5k. I ran a 23:40 and was pleased to say the least. I know my times would drop quickly at first then taper off of course. Anyway, I figured if I kept up training and increasing mileage I should see improvements. Up until the 3 month part of my training I did very little speed work but, after running a couple more races without significant improvement I started incorporating more speed work. I lowered my time to 23:06 but since then haven’t improved even though I’ve been consistent with my training and added speed work and cross fit training. So, I tried your training program to see if it could push me over the 23:00 roadblock. Of course there are variables in the other races such as type of course and the weather ( heat, humidity etc)
    Anyway ,last race I ran a 23:37 over a hilly course on a fairly humid day. I’ll try this program again and see what happens but, I thought I would be further along time wise especially after running the 23:40 after only my second race 4 months ago.

    • Mike says:

      @George P … I’m in the same ballpark. I’ve slowly creeped up my milage, but still only 20 miles tops per week. I’ll throw in a speed workout on Tuesdays. I can run 5 miles of rolling hills in my neighborhood, so I’m lucky. I was stuck in the 24:00 range for a few 5Ks. Dipped down to 22:45 on a flat course, but then was around 23:30 on a few hilly 5Ks. This past weekend I felt like I finally had a breakthrough and ran a flat 22:00. I even went out in 6:50 and hung on 🙂 I’m very pleased to only be 6+ minutes off my college times!! never thought I would be!

  5. Erin B says:

    47 year old female. Went through one cycle of the 22 minute 5k plan from June 6 – July 3, 2022. Previous 5k time on May 7, 2022 was 23:53. July 4, 2022 test race was 22:38. May 7 race weather was cooler and course was flatter. So, I’d say the plan is working. Going to do another cycle and test again in a month. Been fun having a challenging plan and goal. My 30 minute easy runs were not as fast as some have mentioned they should have been (8:00-8:15 pace Rx) and I missed a long run. Was also doing dumbbell strength workouts 4-5 days a week.

  6. Michael Haston says:

    So here I am, 38 years after being in the shape of my life! I ran through high school and 2 years of college. I was still active on my job through my mid 30’s and then sat on my ass and put on 50 lbs up through 55 years old. Two years ago I started at a 5 day a week gym, some cardio and strength. I thought, I’m ready for a 5K! I probably ran 2 miles in the neighborhood 4 times and ran the 5K in 26:00. I wasn’t ready for that! 38 years ago I ran in the 15:30 range on 5K grass courses! I was stunned that I just couldn’t stride at all anymore. And the fact that guys pushing strollers were blowing by me.

    A year later, still doing the gym 5x week, but not really running I ran another 5K. I ran about the same 4x 2 mile runs and threw in a long 3 mile run 🙂 and got down to 24:00. I found this forum and threw in a small interval workout last week. Another eye opener! Today, I ran that original 5K in 25:00.

    I’m going to follow this plan for the next month and see what I can do. Am I ever going to be able to stride again!? Whether it’s in a “race” or running in the neighborhood, 8:00 is about all I can maintain! So frustrating!

    • Michael says:

      4 months later. Still baby steps. I ran a few 24:10 5Ks. Then a 23:50 and then a flat course 22:45. I’m hoping I can build on that last race and get down towards 22:00. I’ll feel a little more respectable if I can get that by Winter! Still only running about 20-25 miles per week.

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