How to Run a 24 Minute 5K: Achievable Step-By-Step Training Schedule

If you’re a regular runner, you’ve probably tried running 5K at some point along your journey.

5K is one of the most common distances among runners, so many of them often set time goals related to it.

Today, we’re discussing how to run a 24 minute 5K.

From explaining the average time needed and the required average pace to providing a training plan and sharing tips for training and racing, this article has everything you need to know to achieve your goal of running a 24 minute 5k.

Let’s get started!

How Long Does It Take to Run 5K?

If you’re thinking about improving your 5K time, you should first thing be familiar with the average time it takes to cover such a distance.

As such, one of the most common questions we get regarding 5K runs is “how long does it take?”.

We’ll start the answer by translating the 5K distance to miles to give you a better perspective on the matter.

A distance of 5K, which is 5 kilometers, is equivalent to 3.1 miles. This distance shouldn’t be problematic for a runner — even if you’re a beginner, 3.1 miles is just long enough to give you a challenge and short enough that you don’t experience issues.

If you’re a beginner runner, covering a 5K distance should take you around 30 minutes.

The average runner will complete a mile within 9 to 12 minutes, which means that the average time it takes to run 5K falls somewhere between 27 to 37 minutes.

As such, beginner runners should start their training by aiming to run the 5K distance within a maximum of 30 minutes. Then, they can gradually improve their time as they develop their running skills.

That said, if you take 8 minutes to run a mile, your 5K time will be between 24 and 25 minutes. However, achieving this requires an intermediate level of skills, not a beginner.

As we mentioned above, most beginner runners will have a pace of around 9 to 12 or 13 minutes per mile. So, if you’re just starting to train for 5K, don’t try to break the 24-minute mark too soon to avoid injuries.

What Is the Target Pace for Running a 24 minute 5k?

Your running pace is how long it takes you to cover the distance of 1 mile or 1 kilometer. Knowing the target pace is a crucial element in training for your goal time.

That said, running the distance of a 24 minute 5k means that your average pace should be 7 minutes and 43 seconds per mile or 4 minutes and 48 seconds per kilometer.

The lower your average pace, the shorter time you’ll need to complete a 5K run.

How to Run a 24 Minute 5K: Everything You Need to Know:Group Of Runners On Suburban Street

How to Run a 24 Minute 5K

To help you reach your goal of running a 24 minute 5k, we’ve put together the following training plan:

6-Week 5K Training Schedule

Week 1

  • Day 1: run for 30 to 40 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 2: run for 5 minutes at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 3 times with recovery intervals of 5 minutes running at an easy pace
  • Day 3: cross-training or rest
  • Day 4: run for 40 to 45 minutes using fartlek methods (varying intensities) with several bursts of 30-second runs at a pace faster than the target pace
  • Day 5: rest
  • Day 6: run for 2 minutes at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 6 times with recovery intervals of 2 minutes running at an easy pace
  • Day 7: run for 50 to 60 minutes at an easy pace

Week 2

  • Day 1: run for 30 to 40 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 2: run for 90 seconds at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 6 times with recovery intervals of 90 seconds running at an easy pace
  • Day 3: cross-training or rest
  • Day 4: run uphill for 40 seconds at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 8 times with recovery intervals of 40 seconds running at an easy pace
  • Day 5: rest
  • Day 6: run for 15 minutes at an easy pace, then run for 15 mins at the target pace, then run 10 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 7: run for 60 to 75 minutes at an easy pace

Week 3

  • Day 1: run for 30 to 40 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 2: run for 4 minutes at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 4 times with recovery intervals of 4 minutes running at an easy pace
  • Day 3: cross-training or rest
  • Day 4: run for 40 to 45 minutes using fartlek methods (varying intensities) with several bursts of 30-second runs at a pace faster than the target pace
  • Day 5: rest
  • Day 6: run for 1 minute at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 8 times with recovery intervals of 1 minute running at an easy pace
  • Day 7: run for 50 to 60 minutes at an easy pace

Week 4

  • Day 1: run for 30 to 40 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 2: run for 3 minutes at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 5 times with recovery intervals of 2 minutes running at an easy pace
  • Day 3: cross-training or rest
  • Day 4: run uphill for 40 seconds at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 8 times with recovery intervals of 40 seconds running at an easy pace
  • Day 5: rest
  • Day 6: run for 15 minutes at an easy pace, then run for 15 mins at the target pace, then run 15 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 7: run for 60 to 75 minutes at an easy pace

Week 5

  • Day 1: run for 40 to 50 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 2: run for 5 minutes at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 3 times with recovery intervals of 5 minutes running at an easy pace
  • Day 3: cross-training or rest
  • Day 4: run for 40 to 45 minutes using fartlek methods (varying intensities) with several bursts of 30-second runs at a pace faster than the target pace
  • Day 5: rest
  • Day 6: run for 2 minutes at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 6 times with recovery intervals of 2 minutes running at an easy pace
  • Day 7: run for 50 to 60 minutes at an easy pace

Week 6

  • Day 1: run for 30 to 40 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 2: run for 90 seconds at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 6 times with recovery intervals of 90 seconds running at an easy pace
  • Day 3: cross-training or rest
  • Day 4: run for 1 minute at a pace faster than the target pace, repeat 6 times with recovery intervals of 1 minute running at an easy pace
  • Day 5: rest
  • Day 6: run for 30 to 50 minutes at an easy pace
  • Day 7: run a 24 minute 5k

Training Tips to Improve Your 5K Time

Sportsmen running at stadium 24 Minute 5K

Now that you have an appropriate 5K training plan in place, we’ve put together a few pointers to help you improve your 5K time whether you’re trying to break your personal best or training for a race. Incorporate them into your training plan for maximum benefits.

1. Invest in a Pair of Dedicated Running Shoes

Shoes that are specifically designed for running are made to provide proper support for a runner’s feet and legs. It helps them boost your performance by increasing comfort and reducing fatigue, which ultimately improves their pace.

Be sure to pay attention to the shoe’s size and fit. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight, preferably with lots of arch support.

2. Choose the Right Surface for Training

The type of running surface you should use for training depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the running session.

For example, if you want to run very fast, pavement is appropriate because it’s smooth and less likely to cause strains. But it’s not the best option if you have sensitive joints as it doesn’t offer enough cushioning.

Off-road routes are more gentle on the joints because they’re softer than pavement and provide more cushioning. But since they can be quite bumpy, tripping and slipping injuries are more possible.

3. Use Running Apps to Track Progress

Nike Run Club, Adidas Running, and Runkeeper are a few examples of running apps that can track your progress. This will help you monitor your stats and improve your performance.

You can also track your running data in real-time using sports smartwatches such as Fitbit and Amazfit.

4. Consider the Help of a Running Coach

If you haven’t thought about it before but it’s something you can afford, then consider hiring a running coach to guide you on your training journey.

This is a good idea for 24 minute 5K training, and even more so if you’re planning to participate in a race.

A running coach can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Motivate you to continue training, especially on days when you just want to slack off.
  • Give you tips and show you new techniques regarding breathing, pacing, endurance, and so on.
  • Build a personalized training plan according to your fitness level and timetable.

Tips for 5K Race Day

When you finally reach the day of your 5K race, keep the following tips in mind to ensure you perform as efficiently as possible:

  • Carb-loading isn’t crucial for running a 5K race as the distance is the shortest of the long-distance races. So, you should avoid overeating and simply rely on your regular meal portion for dinner the night before the race and breakfast on the day of.

Also, stick to foods that you’re familiar with and stay away from new foods.

Otherwise, you’ll be putting yourself at risk of gastrointestinal distress, which is the last thing you want to experience during a race.

  • Before the race starts (about 15 minutes), make sure you warm up with some stretches, a slow jog, and a few cardio exercises.

Never skip this step as it gets your muscles fired up and your heart pumping. Otherwise, you’ll be risking an injury.

  • Use the gear you’re accustomed to during the race. Don’t run wearing anything that’s brand new, whether it’s shoes, clothes, or accessories. If you do, you’ll likely experience discomfort or pain that’ll hinder your performance.

fitness, sport, exercising and lifestyle concept - close up of couple running downstairs on stadium a 24 Minute 5K

Is a 24 Minute 5K Good Training for a Half Marathon?

If you’re planning to run a half marathon and you’re currently capable of running 5K in 24 minutes or less, you may be wondering if the training at the latter pace can help prepare you to complete a half marathon.

While 5K is a distance of 3.1 miles, a half marathon is equivalent to 13.1 miles. This may make you question the effectiveness of training for a 5K in training for a half marathon.

Well, we have good news for you!

Running a 24 minute 5k is a great way to get your body and mind accustomed to the longer distance of a half marathon.

With a proper 5K training plan, a runner achieves a certain level of physical and mental fitness that’s necessary to, later on, meet the demands of running a half marathon.

For example, both beginner and intermediate runners can try different pacing and experiment with pace planning while running during their 5K training.

If you’re a beginner runner, training for and participating in a 5K race is an excellent way to experience the conditions of such events. Additionally, a 5K race is a good chance for runners to implement various running economy strategies.

Not to mention 5K training and races allows you to get a better idea of your preferences when it comes to running gear such as shoes, hats, shirts, and so on.

Wrap Up

There you have it, everything you need to know about how to run a 24 minute 5K. This goal time is achievable whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate runner — all you need to do is stay determined and stick with training!

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