August 09, 2017

Run Your Best 5K (Training Plan)

Want to run your fastest 5K? Well, I've written this plan just for you ;)

Click here for the plan PDF

This training plan assumes that you:

   Have already built a solid aerobic base of easy running;
   Can currently run 4-5 times per week, about 45 minutes at a time;
   Are uninjured and have your doctor’s clearance to run per the schedule.

My intention with this plan was for a goal of running a 5K under 30 minutes; but I’ve included other goal times and paces as well, because this plan will work for people with just about any goal from 22:00 to 45:00. The pacing guidelines are on the plan itself.

This plan is designed with an 80/20 ratio of easy running (80% or more of the TIME spent running) to moderate or hard running (20% or less) per WEEK. This is the ideal ratio for reaching your maximum potential as a runner. I highly recommend the book "80/20 Running" by Matt Fitzgerald to explain why that ratio works. Here on this schedule, I’ve done all the math for you, so if you follow the plan as written, you’ll hit that ideal ratio.

I spent a lot of time working on this plan, so I hope that you enjoy it! I tried to keep it neat and organized, but still easy to understand, so please feel free to ask questions if you don’t understand something.


  1. I've just stumbled on your blog today and I'm totally hooked. I've been reading for a couple hours. (Don't tell my manager lol)

    Anyways, I'm what I call in my head "sort of a runner." I started running in May of 2017 and I've done 2 5Ks since then, one on Halloween and one on Thanksgiving. I have my 3rd 5K coming up this month (Disney World Princess 5K!!)

    I would say I'm not great. My two 5ks were both at about 35 min. And during the week when I'm just running, I never manage that kind of distance. I tend to quit between 1.5 and 2 miles (usually just over 20 minutes). I have never experienced a "runner's high" and I absolutely hate every second of my run. Every time I do it.

    So, after all that rambling (sorry btw) I guess what I'd like to know is how you increased from 5K to 10K? Was it just as simple as you decided to run longer, and you did? Was there some sort of mental trick that helped?

    1. Hi there! I'm so glad that you're enjoying my blog :)

      Congrats on your races! I think it's awesome that you would like to increase your mileage. When I hit a 5K distance, I decided to start following a 10K training plan (Hal Higdon's Novice 10K plan). Have you tried slowing your pace? A 5K in 35 minutes is pretty good for someone who hates to run! So maybe you're not enjoying your runs because you are trying to go faster than your body wants. Right now, my body is happy with a 12:00/mile pace--far off from where I was a couple of years ago! But that is a pace that feels good and I can actually enjoy. When I try to go faster, I hate running. If I were you, I'd go out and try to run the slowest pace possible. See if you don't enjoy it much more! ;)

  2. Hi again - thanks a ton for getting back to me.

    I've been doing some research and I was hoping maybe you could give me some insight. The 10K I'm looking at doing is in Disney World, so I was looking at their training plans. They're all made by a guy named Jeff Galloway and he does the Run Walk Run method. It seems to start off super easy - probably a little too easy for where I am - but then it does slowly escalate. It takes 17 weeks to get to 6.5 mile distance. It starts at 1.5 miles as a "long run."

    Do you know anything about that method? Have an opinion?

    Thanks again!

    1. I wish I could be of more help, but I have never done Jeff Galloway's plans. I am very familiar with his method, but the intervals just don't interest me. I do know that there are a LOT of people out there who love and swear by his training method! I think it depends on what YOU want--if the plan looks interesting to you, then give it a go. If you find that you don't like it, you can always switch to something else. Good luck on your training!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

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