28 minute 5k Training Plan

Target Race Pace: 9:00 per mile / 5:35 per km for a 28 minute 5k

To consider following this 28 minute 5k plan you should already be able to run at a target race pace of 09:00 minute for at least a mile (5:35p/km) and/or have a PB under 30 minutes.

If you are not quite there yet then take a look at the sub 30 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: 28 minute 5k

Pace per Mile / KmTreadmill Pace400m / 800m Splits5km Race Pace
08:55 / 05:346.7 mph / 10.7 km/h2:13 / 4:2727min 50s
*for speed/distance conversation allow for a small amount of rounding up/ down.

Your 28 minute 5k training plan

DayWeek 1Week 2Week 3Rec. Week
Monday30min easyRest/cross-train30min easyRest/cross-train
Reps@5:37 per km / 9:00p/m (90s rec.)
Reps@2:12 per 400m /8:50p/m (60s rec.)
Reps@4:29 per 800m /9:00 p/m
(200m jog rec.)
30min easy
Wednesday30min easy30min easyRest/cross-trainRest/cross-train
Reps@4:29 per 800m /9:00 p/m
(200m jog rec.)
FridayRest/cross-trainRest/cross-trainRest/cross-train30min easy
SaturdayRest/cross-trainRest/cross-train30min easyRest/cross-train
SundayLong runLong runLong runRest/cross-train

28 minute 5k Training Plan Components

Breakeven Sessions – 28 minute 5k

These sessions are used for maintaining fitness & recovery. Preparing you for breakthrough sessions:
  • Steady Run – this doesn't need to be any quicker than 11:00 p/mile. Aim for somewhere between 11:00-11:30 p/mile.
  • Long Run – this should be less than 1 hour. Try not to worry about the pace, just enjoy being out running.
  • Fartlek – unstructured training. Example Fartlek sessions.

Breakthrough Sessions – 28 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 8:50 p/m pace (2:12 per lap) with a 60sec standing recovery.
  • 800m Reps – should be reps at 9:00p/m pace (4:29 per 800m) with a 200m jogged recovery.
  • 1km Intervals – hit 9:00p/m pace (5:37 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

Please remember that to even consider following this 28 minute 5k plan you should already be able to run at a target race pace of 09:00 minute for at least a mile (5:35p/km) and/or have a PB under 30 minutes.

The core work for the 28 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.

49 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Plan is dangerous and misleading. Ask any experienced runner and they will tell you that there is just not enough aerobic runs. The proportion of intensity/harder runs and easier aerobic/recovery runs is a disaster waiting to happen. They are completely short sighted and injury prone.

  2. Anonymous says:

    if you can complete these workout for 3 weeks without feeling warn out you should be able to run a 28 min 5k but you will have push the last half of the race. Try to run 9 laps around the track at race pace for a time trial. This will give you the confidence.

  3. Debbie says:

    Is there really only 2 days of running the 4th week for the recovery week?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Debbie, yes that is correct. The fourth week is all about recovery and keeping the legs ticking over a couple of times. There’s plenty of opportunity for cross training though if (like me) you struggle with having days off.

  4. Dee says:

    This plan is great but how do I translate this into my race strategy?

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