By-The-Numbers 5K Schedules

According to Williams, an 18-minute 5K is an equivalent effort to a 29:29 5-miler and a 5:14 mile; a 22-minute 5K is equivalent to a 36:02 5-miler and a 6:27 mile; and a 26-minute 5K is equivalent to a 42:31 5-miler and a 7:41 mile. In this programme, you’ll be doing your longer, stamina-building repetitions at 5-mile race pace, your medium-length repetitions at 5K race pace, and your shorter, speed-enhancing repetitions at one-mile race pace.

The schedules below are coded based on 18-minute, 22-minute and 26-minute 5K goal times. (If your goal time differs from these, extrapolate accordingly.) If you’re hoping to break 18 minutes for the 5K, run the times marked in italics. If your goal is 22 minutes, run the times in normal text. And if your goal is 26 minutes, run the times in bold text. If there is no text coding, the session should be self-explanatory. (Note: the 5K time you run in the race in Week Four will become the basis for subsequent 5K-pace repetitions.)

WEEK ONE

Mon 2-3M
Tue 2 x 800m at 5-mile pace (2:56/3:38/4:18), then 2 x 400m at 5K pace (1:26/1:46/2:05)
Wed 3M or Rest
Thu 5M
Fri Rest
Sat 8-9M
Sun Rest

WEEK TWO

Mon 2-3M
Tue 2 x 1000m at 5-mile pace (3:45/4:32/5:23), then 4 x 400m at 5K pace
Wed Rest
Thu 5M, then 6 x 100m (2 easy/2 med/2 med-hard)
Fri Rest
Sat 9-10M, then 6 x 50m (2 easy/2 med/2 med-hard)
Sun Rest

WEEK THREE

Mon 3M
Tue 2 x 1200m at 5-mile pace (4:24/5:26/6:27), then 2 x 800m at 5K pace (2:52/3:32/4:10)
Wed 3M or Rest
Thu 3M, then 8 x 100m at 1-mile pace (19.5/24.2/28.7)
Fri Rest
Sat 10M, then 6 x 50m (2 easy/2 med/2 med-hard)
Sun Rest

WEEK FOUR

Mon 4M
Tue 6 x 400m at 5K pace, then 6 x 100m at 1-mile pace
Wed 4M or Rest
Thu 4M, then 8 x 100m at 1-mile pace
Fri 2M, then 4 x 100m fast strides
Sat Rest
Sun 5K race

WEEK FIVE

Mon 3M
Tue 4M, then 6 x 100m at 1-mile pace
Wed 3M or Rest
Thu 2 x 1000m at 5-mile pace, then 2 x 800m at new 5K pace, then 2 x 400m at 1-mile pace (1:18/1:37/1:55)
Fri Rest

Sat 10-11M, then 6 x 50m (fast but relaxed)
Sun Rest

WEEK SIX

Mon 4M
Tue 1 x 1600m at 5-mile pace (5:55/7:15/8:33), then 1 x 1200m at new 5K pace, then 4 x 400m at 1-mile pace
Wed 4M or Rest
Thu 2M, then 6 x 200m at new 5K pace
Fri Rest
Sat 10-12M, then 6 x 50m (fast but relaxed)
Sun Rest

WEEK SEVEN

Mon 4M
Tue 1 x 1600m at 5-mile pace, then 1 x 1600m at new 5K pace, then 4 x 400m at 1-mile pace
Wed 4M or Rest
Thu 4M, then 6 x 200m at new 5K pace
Fri Rest
Sat 10-12M, then 6 x 50m (fast but relaxed)
Sun Rest

WEEK EIGHT

Mon 4M
Tue 4 x 400m at 1-mile pace, then 4 x 200m at 1-mile pace
Wed 3M or Rest
Thu 3M, then 6 x 100m at 1-mile pace
Fri Rest
Sat 1M race or time trial
Sun Rest

WEEK NINE

Mon 3M
Tue 2 x 1200m at new 5K pace, then 4 x 400m and 4 x 200m at 1-mile pace
Wed 3M or Rest
Thu 2M, then 6 x 200m and 6 x 100m at 1-mile pace
Fri Rest
Sat 10-12M, then 6 x 100m (fast but relaxed)
Sun Rest

WEEK TEN

Mon 3M
Tue 1 x 1600m and 2 x 800m at new 5K pace, then 4 x 200m at 1-mile pace
Wed 3M or Rest
Thu 2M, then 6 x 200m at 1-mile pace
Fri Rest
Sat 10-12M, then 6 x 100m (fast but relaxed)
Sun Rest

WEEK ELEVEN

Mon 3M
Tue 1 x 1600m at 5-mile pace, then 1 x 800m at new 5K pace, then 1 x (600m-400m-200m) at 1-mile pace
Wed 3M or Rest
Thu 2M, then 6 x 200m at 1-mile pace
Fri Rest
Sat 10M, then 6 x 100m (fast but relaxed)
Sun Rest

WEEK TWELVE

Mon 3M
Tue 1 x 800m at 5-mile pace, then 4 x 400m at new 5K pace, then 4 x 200m at 1-mile pace
Wed 3M or Rest
Thu 3M, then 4 x 200m at 1-mile pace
Fri 2M, then 4 x 200m at 1-mile pace
Sat Rest
Sun 5K goal race