24 minute 5k Training Plan

Target Race Pace: 7:41 per mile / 4:46 per km for a 24 Minute 5k

To run a 24 minute 5k you will need to be able to run at a target race pace of 7:41 minutes per mile pace for the full 3.1 mile distance (4:46 per kilometre).

Your Speed/Distance Training Zones: 24 minute 5k

Pace per Mile / KmTreadmill Pace400m / 800m Splits5km Race Pace
07:41 / 04:467.8 mph / 12.5 km/h1:54s / 3:48s23min 50s
*for speed/distance conversation allow for a small amount of rounding up/ down.
24 minute 5k

Follow our training plan for a sub 24 minute 5k

To start this training plan it is recommended that your 5k PB should be below the 26 minute 5k mark already and you are able to run at a pace of 7:41 per mile for at least 1km.

During the course this 24 minute 5k training plan you will be running at a slightly faster pace than this for short durations so you need to ensure that you can hit the 7:41 for at least 1km before you are nailing it for the full 24 minutes.


If 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: 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

Your 24 minute 5k training plan

Week123Rec. Week
Monday30min easy30min easyRest/ Cross-trainRest/ Cross-train
[email protected]:46 per km/
7:41p/m (90s rec.)
[email protected]:54 per 400m/
7:41p/m (60s Rec)
[email protected]:46 per km/
7:41p/m (90s rec.)
Rest/ Cross-train
WednesdayRest/ Cross-train30min easy30min easy30min easy
[email protected]:48 per 800m/
7:41 p/m (200m jog rec.)
Rest/ Cross-train
FridayRest/ Cross-trainRestRest/ Cross-train30min easy
SaturdayRest/ Cross-train30min easyRest/ Cross-trainRest/ Cross-train
SundayLong runRest/ Cross-trainLong runRest/ Cross-train

Time commitment: You will need to commit roughly 3 hours of work a week over the course of the 24 minute 5k training plan depending on the amount of time you spend cross training.

Breakeven Sessions – 24 minute 5k

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

  • Steady Run – this should be no quicker than 08:30-08:50 p/m.
  • Long Run – slow & steady, this should be less than 1 hour.
  • Fartlek – unstructured training. Example Fartlek sessions.

Breakthrough Sessions – 24 minute 5k

These sessions are meant to be challenging intense efforts, treat them as mini-milestones towards your target:

  • 400m Reps – these need to be at 7:41 p/m pace (1:54 per lap) with a 60sec standing recovery.
  • 800m Reps – should be reps at 7:41p/m pace (3:48 per 800m) with a 200m jogged recovery.
  • 1km Intervals – hit 7:41p/m pace (4:46 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.

The core work for the 24 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. Much like the recovery week this should start with 2-3 day’s off from running completely and continue with a couple of break-even runs during the course of the week.


83 Responses

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  1. Milly says:

    I’m on the second week of this plan and already feel faster. I enjoy doing long distance and like to maintain being about to do a half marathon, how detrimental would it be for the long runs to be more like two hours in terms of recovery and speed etc?

  2. Oren says:

    Thanks so much for this.
    I started your training with a pace of 26/5km about 8 weeks ago.
    I ran into a hurdle 2 weeks ago with Covid but prior, I was on track for a 24-25min/5km

    I didn’t push too hard on the interval training prior to the race, just let my body recover.

    Today, I Just finished the toronto marathon 5k race at a time of 23:08!!

    Now moving toward the 22 and hopefully 20 by next year.

  3. Deepak Acharya says:

    Can anyone tell me what is the duration of this training???

  4. Lavy says:

    Hi, Your plans are perfect for an amateur runner like me. I didn’t follow them by the book – (avoided the hill segments), but maintained the pace during the intervals (followed religiously). It came as a surprise to me that I went under 24min on a tempo run! So the next target is the sub 22min – but I guess that would require a bit more dedication!!
    # it was much easier to do the intervals when I wasn’t doing them alone, solo always felt harder.

  5. Patrick says:

    I noticed the other 5k plans all have a slightly faster pace for the 10x400m on the 2nd week, compared to the 800m or 1km runs.

    However the 24minute plan has an equal pace – should that 400m run be at a faster pace?

  6. Santosh says:

    Hi Matt – Can you please let me know what should be the target pace range for the easy and long runs? It helps to have a range in mind so that i am not overdoing it .

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Santosh, something in the range of 08:30-09:00 for the long runs should be good. No target for the long runs, don’t even think about it; just jog/run slowly and enjoy being out. Treat it as a day off from pacing. Cheers.

  7. caitlin says:

    i have done about 6/7 weeks of this programme and was wondering when to hop onto the sub 22k. Any ideas what parameters to use or per min/km you should be operating at before doing this?
    Many thanks

    • james says:

      Hi when I moved from the 24 to 22 plan there were 2 things I did before moving. First was to be able to run a 5k in less than 24 mins…is that something you have now done? The second was to make sure I was able to a least run 1k at the 4:23 pace. I think once youve done those 2 a good time to move.

  8. I’m coming from a cycling background, onto my 5th run and feeling good. I’m 5″11 and 67kg so no weight issues (not coming off the couch!). Appreciate people are different but when do people feel its appropriate to jump on these plans? I’m looking to go from zero, to 5k, 10k, 1/2 then possibly next year a marathon. Tomorrow I will be running 3 x 10 minutes (did 3 x 8 minutes on Monday) and then Friday I will be looking to run 20 minutes. Unless I suffer an injury then I don’t foresee any issues.

    At the moment all my running is just easy, so no speed work or major gradient changes. My feeling was that I should stick with this type of progression for the next 3-4 weeks until I’m running 30-40 minutes consistent (with no issues) and then start thinking of plans and times? My aim will be sub 40m 10k, around 1h30m for the HM and then see how I go.

    • I should add, this easy running is currently showing at 8:35-:8:45 minute mile pace. Feels very comfortable, determined not to do too much too fast.

      • Matt Matt says:

        Hi Patrick, I think your intended progression sounds sensible. I would think that once you get to the stage where you can run 30 minute uninterrupted 2-3 times a week without any issues then you should be good to go. After a couple of weeks, time yourself for a fast mile/km to work out which plan to start with. The 24min and 26min 5k plans are similar in mileage/hours run etc., but it’s the speed session paces that make a big difference and have biggest impact on the body so as you’re still flushing out the cycling miles it might be advisable to start on a less challenging one and build up. Good luck with your training and drop us a note to let us know how you get on. Cheers.

        • Patrick says:

          Hi Matt, sorry for the late reply, thanks for the insights. Everything is going well so far, last week I did a couple of sessions 3 x 10 minutes (day8), then 2 x 15 minutes (day 9), the latter was at 8:05 and 8:09 pace which felt pretty comfortable. I then did my first 30 minute run at 7:49 pace which I know was running too fast but I just kind of wanted to test the water, again this felt well within my limits but I dont think that’s my endurance pace just yet!
          Today (session 11), I did 30 minutes at 8:30 pace, again this feels almost like a natural pace, HR average was 139 (max is 195), it did go up to the 150s for certain periods when the road went up but again, I didn’t feel like I was running hard.

          I think I’ll add in another 30-35 run on Wednesday, increase that to 40 minutes on Friday and then look to do a fast mile to see the pace on Monday. Having not gone hard yet in terms of pace, do you think I would be better maybe doing some 1 minute efforts at something near to what that 1 mile pace might be before going all in? I could delay the 1 mile effort for a week to get a few of these in first, i’d include them on my Mon and Wed 30 minute runs to test them out.

  9. Patrick Star says:

    Hi – when in this cycle is it appropriate to test your (hopefully) new 5k time?

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Patrick, that depends on you and how you feel. My guidance would be 2-3 cycles of the plan but you should be able to tell from how you do in the speed interval sessions, i.e., if you are making the times consistently for a cycle or two then you’re probably ready to try the time. Cheers.

      • Patrick Star says:

        Thanks for the answer – would you suggest tapering to it at all or just rest a bit then bam try the 5k time? Much appreciated.

        • Matt Matt says:

          Hi Patrick, I don’t think you need to taper as such. My advice, and certainly my approach, was to try and plan for the 5k time to be at the end of week 3. Say the race was on Saturday or Sunday you would do a speed session on the Tuesday leaving you 3-4 days for rest if required. Personally I never like having many idle days before a race as I feel my legs need to be ticking over regularly so would do some slow runs or swim on my rest days, before a day off completely on pre-race day. Good luck.

  10. Kirito says:

    Hi, what is 30 minutes easy? Does it mean I should just run 5k below 30minutes?

  11. Francis Dunlop says:

    Hey Matt, I’m really thoroughly enjoying your guides and would be grateful if you can clarify for my peace of mind – what is a good suggested pace for our Long Runs at 24 mins?

  12. Craig says:

    I followed this plan to the letter (a few missed runs) over three full cycles. I’m not a great runner, but with the whole being at home thing I could train four times a week. Never at weekends either. I’m not a great runner and today I did 23:22.

    I was absolutely hammering it. There was a hill up at the start and down as well.

    I weigh over 15st and I’m not fat, I’m 6ft3. So for all those who don’t believe, stick to it and you can do it!

    Ps (it was hideous at the end- just pump through)

  13. Daniel says:

    Thank you for the resources, it’s being very interesting to follow the training plan. I am now on the middle of it, and I wonder when it’s a good time to test my 5k time i.e. should I test after finishing 1 cycle (4 weeks) of the plan?

  14. Luis says:

    Thank you for the great guide, started from the “couch to 30min 5k” im now in the 3rd week of the “sub 24min” plan.
    Take care.

  15. Al says:

    If you can’t complete the reps in the desired amount of time, would you repeat the week or just continue the cycle?
    For example, you can only complete 2x1km @ 4:46 per km and struggle with the third set. Would you repeat week 1 the following week or move on to week 2?

  16. Loz says:

    This program has really helped structure my running and after 4 cycles (and a couple of leg injuries) I’ve gone from running a 5k in 27mins to 24:08. Interval training definitely improved my speed and it was nice to have suggested times to follow. Thank you!

    • Prue says:

      Hi Matt,
      I join my friends once a week for a long social trail run, usually between 2-2.5hours. I’d like to continue this but see that your plan calls for a long run no longer than 1 hour in duration. Will this affect the overall outcome or should it be ok, given I’ve been doing this for years?

      • Matt Matt says:

        Hi Prue, whilst it might not be optimal for a specific 5k training plan I think that as long as you are able to complete the speed/breakthrough sessions in the times given then I don’t see why you shouldn’t continue with this. It’s a social run and on on trails (less impact) so I would continue enjoying the long run as it is if I were you. Good luck with your training and I hope you find the plan useful. Cheers.

  17. Bonnie Jean Hubner-Mallen says:

    I challenged myself to do this, and I did… Today Was the 5k and I did 24min 39sec I’ve been doing 5k’s every yr, I believe this year I was the fastest.. It was a virtual 5k, wasn’t as fun

  18. Dave says:

    When does a race attempt fall into the program? (I have been running “solo” 5k races every Saturday in this environment)

  19. Jose says:

    Hello Matt,
    Just curious how many total miles a week should we run while doing this plan? I currently average between 20-25 miles a week. Thanks.

  20. Hedda says:

    The programme looks great and I really want to get started. There is one thing I don’t understand, if the target 5k pace is 7.41 should the breakthrough sessions not be done at a faster pace than 7.41 ?
    Would be great to have clarification before I get started.
    Many thanks

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi, I have built a little contingency into the plan already so you can stick to doing the breakthrough sessions at 07:41; the 07:41 pace would get you round the 5k in 23:50 so you have 10 seconds to play with. Good luck with the training and let us know how it goes.
      Thanks, Matt.

  21. Oysterbandit says:

    Really looking forward to giving this a try but a bit confused about the pace quoted for the various Breakthrough Session reps which appear to be 7:41/mi for all 3 distances (400/800/1k) and yet the times per lap are proportionally less for the shorter repetitions. If my maths is correct then the 400m reps should be more like 6:16/mi pace? Have I missed something?

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi, I think the pace/speeds are correct: 12.5 km/ph is the speed required and completing 400m at this pace gets you 1:54 or 1:55 per lap I think depending on which way you’ve done your rounding. Thanks for the comment though and good luck with your training. Cheers.

  22. Can someone please say what is a good easy pace, and what should be the intervals for the long run???

    • Hedda says:

      Hi, programme looks great. But can you clarify what pace per mile the breakthrough sessions should be done at ? I thought they should be done at a faster pace per mile than 7.41 ?
      Many thanks

  23. Emmanuel Klein Goldewijk says:

    Please can someone say what a nice pace is for the easy run and what is a good switch time from steady running to slow running by the long run?

  24. Sabina says:

    Dear Matt, thank you very much for your training plans. I started in January and in June I run 5 km pre 25:45 minutes and this is my PB! Till this moment I usually had 5 km about 30 min. Intervals are really good for better speed, but I find out that I have problems with heartbeat and breathing. Firts 5-10 minutes are OK, my heartbeat is about 160 bpm. But then there is a big jump and my heartbeat is more than 190 pbm and sometimes more than 200. And breathing is also harder and harder. For 5 km it is manageable but for longer distance is horrible even if I run slower. The worst thing is that my legs are strong and they can run faster and longer, only breathing limited me. I continue in training according your plans. But can you give me any advice how I can improve my breathing and lower heartbeats? Thank you.

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Sabina, congratulations on the new PB, that’s a big chunk you have managed to knock off so well done.
      There are a few questions which may aid my response, namely, your age, how long you have been running and for how long has this been happening?
      Do you get any chest pain or discomfort as well or is it just the elevated heart rate?
      Cheers, Matt

  25. Sofia says:

    I’m really interested in this running plan since its a bit different from the usual plans I fond online. however, I must say that I am a bit confused about the cycle training; I do understand the concept but I don’t understand if we have to repeat the exact same plan over and over again or we have to somehow make it harder.
    I hope you don’t think this question is stupid, and thanks.

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Sofia, no not a stupid question at all. Sorry you found it confusing, but the plan is to repeat the cycle 2-3 times and then by that time the hope is that you will ready for the PB attempt. Hope that helps, and good luck with your training.

      • Sofia says:

        Hello, sorry to bother you again,
        Your answer did clear up things, however I still wonder if when I we repeat the cycle should we change it up a bit, like putting in more distance or speed? Thanks!

        • Matt Matt says:

          Hi Sofia, that’s no problem. The plans are close enough together in terms of target time that the hope is you shouldn’t need to increase speed between cycles. If you feel that you can perform the interval sessions quicker or they are not challenging enough then you could perhaps look to move down to the 22 minute 5k plan instead (as the training plan is similar in method but the pace is faster to achieve the target race time).
          I would look to keep the distance the same as well, i.e., your weekly mileage shouldn’t need to change if you were targeting a 22 min 5k as apposed to a 24 min one.
          Hope that makes sense.

  26. Pretty Lady says:

    Hi everyone so my boyfriend is into fitness, he does all the marathons in uk mostly , l just recently started joining him to the park run, lm currently doing 5k-33mins. He said if l can get 25mins by Xmas he will propose,…. who wants to help me get my ring

    • Just sayin' says:

      Just sayin’…That sounds like a relationship red flag to me. If his proposal is conditional based on a 5K run time, what other expectations and conditions will he put on you and your relationship? A relationship that will last should be based on mutual love and respect, not how fast you can run.

      • Devon says:

        Haha come on its clearly in good humour I would say. Sometimes it is caring to challenge someone, and of course they are gonna get married anyhows

  27. Sean Smith says:

    Hi, I will try this plan. However I have 1 problem. I love parkrun and have attended every Saturday since 1 June last year. I want to share my story. I started on 18 March 2017 with my first parkrun in the 39 – 40 min range, thanks to my best friend who convinced me to start running. I was 29 years old at that time and “HATED” running since school years. I only did 100m sprints in my young kids and was one of the fastest sprinters. Back to my first parkrun on 18 March, I didnt registered hence showing “unknown” on the result to know what my time was however I know it was between 39 – 40 mins. Then i have motivated myself to exercise a alot like starting from 2km walk/run working on my way up and on 29 April the following month it went down to 34 mins on my 2nd same parkrun route but still hasn’t registered yet. Then i did alot of private exercise all the way to 11 November 2017 where i registered and started my first parkrun. I regretted not signing right from 18 march because my friends have 118 parkruns and I have 89 so far will be 100 on 9 Nov 2019. Cant wait! parkrun have so many challenges like different places, etc. But most important is improving my time and getting fitness along with. My time was 33 mins because i arrived late due traffic, that next weekend it was 28 minutes on the same course in worcester. I live in Cape Town and there is loads of parkrun. On 24 March 2018 my time was 26:35 and it remained through 27-29 minutes until 23 February 2019 this year when i reached 25:50 finally! at 5:10 pace per km. Then it remained through 25-26 range. At least better from 2018 when it was 27-29 range. My best pace per km is 4:57 (24:40) at century city parkrun (my favorite route). My only disappointment is I am seeing that my friends has made a big improvements for the last few months. I usually beat him or finish together most of the time before but I think he now weight 6kg lighter than me. I still weight around 96kg and he now 90kg. When he started it was like 130kg and I 115kg. Wondering if weight could also be a factor. I know about 13 sec per km is worth per kg weight. But its not a excuses. We did a century city parkrun this past weekend and he did his best ever time 23:41 and I 25:25 (track a bigh longer about 5.10km) should be a very low 25 min. I feel i am really missing the boat. Dont know how the heck he improved so much. Thats why i like to try this training plan as I usally do only 5k practice every tuesday continuous pace and about 11km every thursday. I however didnt excerice alot the past 1 month due injury. I fell down and hurted my upper body. Its fully recovered and I am ready. My goal is 4:46 pace before the end of 2019 which is 23:50! 4:48 is 24:00. I have one problem i do parkrun every Saturday. How can I modify this 4 week training with my parkrun every Saturday? I am very addicted to parkruns and will forever do it. I do sometimes 10k clubs my pb is 53 mins and did my first half marathon race club this may. My time was 2 hours (5:58km pace). I am not interested in half marathons. I am interested to get faster and my goal is under 20 mins for the next 5 – 10 years. I have done no training as I have no clue. I just do continuous pace for most of my life during these years. Help will be much app reached! Big apology for the big story!

  28. Jimmy says:

    Hi i a am bit confused with the paces

    What should be the pace for the long run ?

    It says that the pace for easy Run should be no quicker than 08:30-08:50 p/m. Can it be 9:30 p/m for example or is it too slow ?


  29. Sean says:

    How long should the warm-ups and cool-downs be for the Breakthrough Sessions?

  30. Sean says:

    What should the warm-ups and cool downs be for the Breakthrough Sessions?

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Sean, I’ll post an update in the next day or so with some detail behind recommended warm-up and cool downs. Please check back again in a day or so. Cheers.

  31. Michael says:

    The table seems to be down on this page for the daily workouts, will it be back up anytime soon?

  32. Barbara says:

    The table is down on this page is there a way to get it back up anytime soon?

  33. Aaron Altamura says:

    Scoured the web for a 5k progamming and found this to the be the best. Started exactly a month ago, running about 25m for a 5k. Happy to report that I just ran my first race today and his my target of 23:59! Thank you Matt for the all the attention to detail in building this site! Moving to the 22m program tomorrow and hoping to hit sub-20m before year’s end 😀

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Aaron, thanks for the great feedback, makes the work all worthwhile to hear that my running comrades are finding some use out of the plans. Good luck with the 22 min plan and let us know how it goes. Cheers.

  34. Aaron Altamura says:

    Started this program a month ago, running around a 25m 5k pace, just did my first race at hit 23:59 😀 Thanks for the great programming! Planning on hitting the 22m program for the next 2-3mo and targeting sub 20 before year’s end. *Fingers cross. (30 yr old male)

  35. Seth says:

    Can you out everything in treadmill speeds in km/h?

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Seth, I have tried to provide both pace per mile/km and speed (specifically for treadmill sessions) where appropriate. For your treadmill sessions the Training Zones table on the page suggests a speed of 12.5 km/h (which is 7.8 mph) as your target pace. Cheers.

  36. Seth says:

    I can’t understand a lot of this. It switches in miles and km, then km/h and m/h, then time/km or mile. I use a treadmill and can only adjust the speed. I’ve done 12.3km/h and got to just under 25 mins. I struggle to follow the above.

  37. Tanya Das says:

    Hi this all sounds good for easy steady runs what should the pace usually be. I mean this is if i am aiming for 5km 24 to 25 mins.

  38. Hannes says:

    DID IT! Exactly 24:00. Last 400m was a sprint. During 10x400m, week2
    I added 1hour recovery on the crosstrainer every day, bpm 60-75%, because my muscles/bones can’t handle a everyday reco run yet.

  39. Adam says:

    Hello Matt,
    I presume day 4 of the plan is a typo? I tried banging out 3:48 per 800m and nearly died at least twice…..
    Loving the plans though – cheers,

  40. Dan says:

    Hi Matt,
    I’m following your sub 24 plan and loving it at the moment! I’m fairly confident I’ll hit sub 24 on my next attempt so I’d like to know your recommendation on transitioning between the plans.

    Should I move straight into following the sub 22 plan and push myself to hit those training speeds? Or do I repeat the sub 24 plan, maybe increasing the speed a little to make it less of a jump? (Basically creating my own sub 23 plan!)

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Dan, good question. What I did in the past was to just start the sub 22 minute plan knowing that I wouldn’t quite be there but would push myself that bit harder to achieve. It actually worked as a good motivating factor for me. Obviously be careful not to over-do it and I would recommended you start the 22 min plan after the recovery week so you’re fresh. Good luck.

  41. Patrick says:

    Hey Matt, thanks for posting this. Ran today to get a baseline and finished 5k in 24:45, but was pretty gassed. I figure I’ll follow this plan for 1-2 rotations and then move on to 22min plan. Goal is to get sub-20 by the summer.
    What would you recommend as a pace for the Long Run?
    Thanks again!

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Patrick, I’d go for something in the region of 08:50-09:10 for your long run.
      Good luck with the training and let us know how you get on. Cheers.

  42. Konrad says:

    According to your plan, on which day exactly there are the greatest chances to run sub 24 min? After the recovery week (i.e. Monday of the 5th week)?

  43. Julie Longmire says:

    Thank you for this! Just curious, how many 3-4 week cycles would you guess it would take to get my time down to the 24 min? I’m sure there are many factors, but I just want to have a rough idea of how long I’d be training to get to that pace. I’m a pretty inexperienced runner but do tons of cross training. My most recent 5K was a PR at 25:58 (actually a little less because the race turned out to be 3.2 miles– jerks!). Just curious what your guess would be. 12 weeks sound reasonable?

    • Matt Matt says:

      Hi Julie, it’s so annoying when they get the course measurements wrong!
      Yes there’s obviously a few factors involved but I would think with all things being equal that you could expect to get that down to 24 mins certainly within 4 cycles of the plan. I’ve known people who have done it in circa two cycles but this depends on many factors, not least previous experience to this sort of training, discipline, and eating the right things etc.
      In short, your estimate sounds very reasonable but I’m sure you could achieve this earlier if desired.
      Good luck and let us know how you get on 🙂

  44. rich plunkett says:

    week 2 of 24min 5k plan; 400m/6:50 p/m is 1:43 per lap not 1:53

    • Matt Matt says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, Rich. Was caught out slightly with the mile/ kilometre conversions; I’ve adjusted the table so hopefully should all now be consistent.


      • Kristian Lees-Bell says:

        Hi Matt,

        Great training plan here! One question though- why are we doing only 3 x 1 km intervals? Should it not be 4 x 1 km or more like you have added into the faster training plans? Thanks