5k Training Plan | Sub 19, 20, 21, 24 | running parkrun

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5k Training Plan – Running a PB/PR

This is a personalised 5K training plan for running races, tailored to your precise ability level to give you the best guidance on achieving the best you can over a 6-week or 12-week timeframe.

Signup for a 6-week rapid-improver plan for a 5k PR/PB

New 12-week option – Special Offers Below

This is a paid-for 5k training plan which is PRECISELY PERSONALISED to your current ability level using several proven running algorithms. The resulting 5k training plan gives optimal training for 6-12 weeks with everything directed towards a maximum PB / PR performance on your RACE day.

Your 5k training plan provides detailed, daily instructions for effective training. Further, extensive, guidance & notes enable you to adapt your training to work even harder on key days when you feel good OR what to do when you feel the need to back off.

From a recognised Age-Group triathlon/run coach who has guided numerous athletes into international competition, highly placed finishers and a European medallist.

For those in the UK: If your target race is a parkrun then this plan is parkrun-friendly ie most Saturdays have 5k runs in the schedule.

What you need to send me (use the form below):

  1. A recent 5k PB / PR. ‘Recent’ means within the last 2-3 months. Alternatively, an estimate of what you could achieve NOW but please DO NOT SEND your target time. The plan is based on what you can achieve NOT what you would like to achieve.
  2. Your email address
  3. Payment for your selected option by PayPal to – you submit your answers AND then click the Paypal button

(Plan details, below)


All the optional information is useful to the personalisation of the plan and enables me to give you extra feedback.

You must click the SUBMIT BUTTON as well complete PAYPAL checkout

The personalised 6 week 5k plan rapid improver plan is GBP£5.50. Clicking/acceptance means you are medically fit for strenuous exercise. Thank you!


The personalised 12 week 5k plan is GBP£7.99. Clicking/acceptance means you are medically fit for strenuous exercise. Thank you!

Don’t forget to PAYPAL Checkout – REQUIRED – no plan will be sent otherwise!:

You must hit the BLUE SUBMIT BUTTON as well complete PAYPAL checkout

ESSENTIAL READING: Personalised 10K Training Plan – Sub 40, Sub 45, Sub 50


Optionally please provide the following which further refines and improve the personalised plan you get.

  1. OPTIONAL: A race date (day & month). (Default: day 1 starts on the first Sunday after payment is received)
  2. OPTIONAL: The format in which you want speed/pace presented ie pace or speed, metric or imperial (Default: metric pace)
  3. OPTIONAL: Additionally send me a RECENT STANDARD RACE DISTANCE long-distance PB/PR. So that could be a marathon, half marathon or 10 miles or 10k (optional). This is because generic race prediction tools are usually inaccurate. Such tools state trained- long-term potential against a standardised distance/pace curve. The reality is that YOUR distance/pace curve has more than one inflexion point depending on how well trained you over various distances. Providing a long-distance time enables better long-term training targets to be set for you
  4. OPTIONAL: Your current number of RUNNING hours per week. This is important to supply but is not required.
  5. OPTIONAL: Your name
  6. OPTIONAL: Gender Male/Female
  7. OPTIONAL: Date of birth or age (your age and gender are required to produce age-graded info)
  8. OPTIONAL: Your parkrun ID number.
  9. OPTIONAL: The maximum number of hours you want to build up to train to (12-week plan only)


The 12-week plan is provided in two 6-week parts with the second being adapted to your actual progress over the first 6 weeks. The two plans are VERY different in structure and with very different training intentions. The first 6 weeks deliver modest improvements in performances BUT better prepares you for the rigours of the second 6 weeks.

What you will get from your personalised 5k training plan

  1. A customised/personalised day-by-day training plan for 6 weeks in PDF/text format, sent by email, finishing on your race day is sent within 24 hours. IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED IT PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER – I ALMOST ALWAYS SEND WITHIN 24 HOURS. If your PayPal address is different check the inbox for that too. (Your PayPal address should be verified but the email address you typed in might be miss-typed)
  2. The plan will be specified with speed/pace provided in the format you requested with an additional indication of Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
  3. Correct intensity workouts that are correctly structured and spaced throughout the plan.
  4. Proper amounts of recovery time to adapt to your workouts
  5. Increased intensities over the weeks before peaking and tapering to your race.
  6. Notes to tell you how to over-achieve in selected sessions if you feel particularly good on those days
  7. Notes to give you alternative workouts on selected days.
  8. A projected race-day target time/pace
  9. Race-day nutrition/supplementation guidance
  10. Race-day warmup guidance.
  11. Optional: A longer-term generic target (based on the optional provision by you of your parkrun ID and long-distance performances) along with a general guide on weaknesses to address in your longterm training.
  12. Day 1 of the week is assumed to be Sunday with the last day AND RACE DAY on a Day 7, Saturday.
    • If your race is on a Sunday then the plan WILL AUTOMATICALLY have your CORRECT dates and days of the week. HOWEVER, Monday will then default to your long run day (on the occasions when a long run is specified)
  13. New Feature: With gender, age, time and current 5k PB info I will also send an analysis of the difficulty/ease for you to achieve 30 seconds improvements from where you are now. Not available anywhere else AFAIK!

What you will not get from the personalised 5k training plan

  1. Please comment, below, for support. Please note that your plan may well be very differently structured to someone else who gets a plan from here.
  2. HR Zones: See the FAQ below
  3. There is no opportunity to exchange emails to discuss the plan BUT I will address any errors in the plan for whatever reasons and will enter into a discussion about errors to resolve any issue.
  4. Rest days will be set. You will not have the ability to specify the day-of-the-week for ‘rest days’ or ‘long run’ days. (When set, the long run is on the first day of the week, usually Sunday). If you want this level of adaptability or to know what to do in the event of missed training sessions; mis-performed training session; or illness, then you need to get a coach! I’m happy to train you one-to-one, explained (here).


For an additional GBP 19.99 you get the same plan and I’m happy to exchange 2 or 3 emails and give a reasonably considered response, either to answer questions about the plan or to point your training in a good direction. I’m making this option as I sometimes get into detailed email conversations for the basic option. I have to eat and my time is limited! You can pay the GBP 19.99 also by PayPal. Included in this option is the estimation of your Heart Rate training zones if you will send a TCX, FIT or HRM file that includes a flat out 20-minute effort with elevated heart rate ie just running 20 minutes is not enough as your heart will take 5-10 minutes to ‘get up to a proper level’. A 10k PB/PR IS PERFECT or a 5K PB might be OK if you are finishing in over 25 minutes. It doesn’t matter too much if this is from a performance 6-9 months ago as your HR zones will likely be similar now.

Caveats: (This) page lists many of the caveats and indicates how honest you need to be to yourself about what you can achieve. The main caveat is that you need to ensure you are fit to undertake strenuous exercise.

Thank you for supporting this site: Please recommend this plan to others if you like it and/or comment below. You can always pay more though PayPal if you like 😉 Instead, you could click on one of the Amazon links on the right-hand side of the desktop version of this site and the next thing you buy there I get a small commission from (you pay the same price). If you want to do your entire Christmas shopping that way I’d be super happy 😉 Thank you!


  1. What if my race is 9 weeks away?
    • A: Sign up for the 12-week plan and start 3 weeks into it…or wait 3 weeks and sign up for the 6-week plan (I schedule for your race date in either case)
  2. What if I want to achieve a sub20 5k? Which plan should I choose
    • It’s great to have goals but you can only improve by so much in a given period of time. I could send you a sub-15 minute 5k plan but you would not be able to execute it (neither could I !!). Your plan is targeted to your CURRENT ability and to your target race date and available time to train.
    • As a guide, if you can already run for 4:00/km for 6 (six) minutes then this plan should get you to sub20.
  3. I want to train by HR. Dos your plan support this?
    • Strictly ‘no’ it does not but it, sort of, does. RPE zones are provided for each workout and, for longer runs, these should match your HR zones. In any case, for shorter intervals, you should be training by running-power, RPE or PACE/SPEED and NOT BY HR as it takes 30 seconds, or so, for your heart to respond to your actual effort.
  4. I’ve paid, where is my plan?
    • Most likely you haven’t completed the PayPal checkout, this happens a LOT.
    • If payment was sent in the wrong currency I simply refund it.
    • Please allow 24 hours. It’s EXTREMELY rare that I do not respond much quicker than 24 hours. Something is wrong if you have not received it after 12 hours.
    • Have you included your CORRECT email address? this happens **a LOT**. I try the one you supply AND the one linked to your PayPal account.  Sometimes I put a message below in the comments to try to find you!
    • Check your junk email folder.
  5. Is the plan fixed?
    • There are some elements of the plan that are fixed in terms of the scheduling but, no, it is not a ‘fixed’ plan.
    • Some sessions are removed for some abilities
    • All speeds/paces are personalised
    • The 5k running plan is regularly updated with a version number. Usually, a new version is just clarifying some of the wording used. There has only been one bug found so far in the running times/paces…which I’m relatively proud of (not the bug…the LACK of bugs 😉 )
    • You will most likely be supplied with MORE sessions each week than you would like to follow. Optional ones are indicated
  6. How is the 5k training plan provided and created?
    • The 5k training plan is provided in a PDF format, by email.
    • The 5k running plan is created on a complicated spreadsheet.
  7. What is the typical ability level?
    • For the 6 week plan, it’s 24 minutes/5k as your current time. The pace/speeds supplied will be correct.
    • For the 12 week plan, it’s 26 minutes/5k
    • About 80% of athletes requesting a plan are men, typically between 21 and 23 minutes.
    • For athletes already under 20 minutes, there is roughly an equal split between men and women. And, no, I’ve no idea why that is the case!
  8. Will the plan work for any ability level?
    • Probably for those of you wanting to get below 18 or 18:30, then this plan is NOT for you.
  9. Can I delay the start date so that the plan coincides with my race
    • Yes
    • I also suggest a couple of generic workouts that lead you up to the start of the plan (12 or 6-weeks). So, if there are 14/15 weeks to go the plan will help you as from NOW.
  10. GDPR – Opt-in/Opt-out – I have no desire to hold your personal data and later use it. However, you MUST consent to give me the info above otherwise I simply can’t produce the plan. Email me when you want the info deleted.

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