30 minute 5k Training Plan

Target Race Pace 9:40 per mile / 6:00 per km for a Sub 30 minute 5k

To run a sub 30 minute 5k you will need to be able to run at a target race pace of 9:40 minutes per mile pace for the full 3.1 mile/5k distance. To start this training plan it is recommended that you are not completely new running and have completed our couch to 5k training plan and you are able to run at a pace of 9:40 per mile for at least 1km.


Your Speed/Distance Training Zones: Sub 30 minute 5k

Pace per Mile / KmTreadmill Pace400m / 800m Splits5km Race Pace
09:40 / 06:006.2 mph / 10.0 km/h2:24 / 4:4830min
*for speed/distance conversation allow for a small amount of rounding up/ down.

During the course of this 30 minute 5k training plan you will be running at a slightly faster pace than 9:40 p/mile for short durations, so you need to ensure that you can maintain a pace of 9:40 for at least 1km before we start to think about maintaining it for 30 minutes.

If you are not quite at the 30 minute 5k mark yet, then have a check out the couch-to-5k training plan 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 || 30 minute 5k training plan || Couch to 5k Training Plan

Your Sub 30 minute 5k training plan

Please read before starting a training plan:
Frequently Asked Questions
Signs of Overtraining
DayWeek 1Week 2Week 3Rec. Week
Monday30mins easyRest/cross-trainRest/cross-trainRest/cross-train
Tuesday3x1km
[email protected]:00 per km / 9:40p/m (90s rec.)
10x400m
[email protected]:24 per 400m / 9:40p/m (60s rec.)
3x1km
[email protected]:00 per km / 9:40p/m (90s rec.)
Rest/cross-train
WednesdayRest/cross-train30mins easyRest/cross-train30mins easy
Thursday4x800m
[email protected]:48 per 800m / 9:40p/m
(200m jog rec).
Rest/cross-train30mins easyRest/cross-train
FridayRest/cross-trainRestRest/cross-train30mins easy
SaturdayRest/cross-train4x800m
[email protected]:48 per 800m / 9:40p/m
(200m jog rec).
Rest/cross-trainRest/cross-train
SundayLong runRest/cross-trainLong runRest/cross-train

Time commitment: You should be looking to commit roughly 2 hours of work a week over the course of the sub 30 minute 5k training plan in addition to any time spent cross training.

Breakeven Sessions – Sub 30 minute 5k

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

  • Steady Run – this should be no quicker than 11:40 p/mile. Aim for somewhere between 11:40-12:10 per mile.
  • Long Run – this doesn’t need to be any longer than 60-75 minutes.

Breakthrough Sessions – Sub 30 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 9:40 p/m pace (2:24 per lap) with a 60sec standing recovery.
  • 800m Reps – should be reps at 9:40 p/m pace (4:48 per 800m) with a 200m jogged recovery.
  • 1km Intervals – aim for 9:35-9:40 p/m pace (6:00 per km) with a 90sec jogged recovery.

The core work for the 30 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.

To realise improvements it’s worth remembering that training is cumulative and it takes time and dedication to follow any training plan and achieve the results you want. You should not start this plan if you cannot commit to doing 3 sessions a week.

50 Responses

  1. Stan says:

    Where is the plan? Only three weeks is shown.

  2. Sai says:

    For the breakthrough sessions, how long of a warmup/cooldown would you recommend doing?

  3. Luis says:

    Hi, what runs should I add if I would like to run 4-5 times a week?

  4. Luis says:

    I have a question, if I would like to run atleast 4-5 times a week what training or session should I add?

  5. Faizy says:

    I was using the plan to run 5km in 30 minutes – and it worked like a treat – thanks a bunch Matt!
    For context, I ran ad-hoc and anytime I ran a 5k, I’ll consistently do it around 37minutes.
    Following Matt’s plan, in the 5th week I ran it in 29minutes, 8 minutes faster.
    Matt – I’m now targeting a 10k plan – thanks a mil

  6. Faizy says:

    I was using the plan to run 5km in 30 minutes – and it worked like a treat – thanks a bunch Matt!
    For context, I ran ad-hoc and anytime I ran a 5k, I’ll consistently do it around 37minutes.
    Following Matt’s plan, in the 5th week I ran it in 29minutes, 8 minutes faster.
    Matt – I’m now targeting a 10k plan – thanks a mil

  7. Jhansen says:

    Thanks for this plan. It’s rather effective.

    I was stuck at 32 minutes on low heart rate training.

    After week 2 during an Easy run, I was able to hit sub-30 while keeping my heart rate really low (I didn’t even touch my aerobic zone). So, I decided to adjust the plan to hit sub-28.

    I ran my 5 km trial today and hit 24:35!!! 7 minutes was spent in my threshold zone.

    I’m going to try the sub-24 training plan. I’m certain I’ll be able to hit that no problem.

    I can’t believe this is all available for free!!!

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