24 minute 5k Training Plan

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

To consider following this 24 minute 5k plan you should already be able to run at a target race pace of 07:41 minute for at least a mile (4:46p/km) and/or have a PB under 26 minutes.

If you are not quite there yet then take a look at the 25 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: 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.

Your 24 minute 5k training plan

Week123Rec. Week
Monday30min easy30min easyRest/ Cross-trainRest/ Cross-train
Reps@4:46 per km/
7:41p/m (90s rec.)
Reps@1:54 per 400m/
7:41p/m (60s Rec)
Reps@4:46 per km/
7:41p/m (90s rec.)
Rest/ Cross-train
WednesdayRest/ Cross-train30min easy30min easy30min easy
Reps@3:48 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

24 minute 5k Training Plan Components

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 09:40. Aim for somewhere between 09:40 and 10:10 p/mile.
  • 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.

About this Plan

Remember that to even consider following this 24 minute 5k plan you should already be able to run at a target race pace of 07:41 minute for at least a mile (4:46p/km) and/or have a PB under 26 minutes.

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.

86 Responses

  1. Deepak Acharya says:

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Patrick Murphy says:

    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.

    • Patrick Murphy says:

      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 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.

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