How To Run 5k In 19 Minutes: Complete Guide + Training Plan

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One of the best things about the 5k is that it’s an accessible and approachable distance for most runners. You can train to run your first 5k in a couple of months, and most people can fit in 5k training even with a full-time job or busy schedule.

However, once you’ve run your first 5k, if you don’t feel like stepping up the distance to the 10k or half marathon, you might want to set your sights on running a 5k PR

Many advanced runners are interested in learning how to run 5k in 19 minutes. Running 19 minutes for 5k is an impressive accomplishment, yet one that may be completely possible with dedicated training and hard work.

According to Run Repeat, males who can run 5k in 19 minutes are faster than 98.90% of other male runners at this distance, while females who can run 5k in 19 minutes are faster than 99.70% of female runners. In other words, running 5k in 19 minutes places you in the uppermost echelon of runners these days. 

In this guide, we will discuss how to run 5k in 19 minutes and provide a training plan to run 5k in 19 minutes.

We will look at: 

  • How Far Is 5k?
  • 5k in 19 Minutes Pace
  • 5k in 19 Minutes Running Speed
  • 5k in 19 Minutes Splits
  • How to Run 5k in 19 Minutes
  • Elements of Training to Run 5k in 19 Minutes
  • 5k In 19 Minutes Training Plan

Let’s get started!

People running a 5k.

How Far Is 5k?

Runners looking into how to run 5k in 19 minutes are speedy, as a 19:00 5k is a very impressive time. Therefore, there’s a good chance you’re well aware of the ins and outs of the 5k distance.

However, in case you’re a newer runner with a great deal of natural talent and speed, let’s cover the basics before we get into the training plan for running 5k in 19 minutes. 

The “k” component of the 5k distance stands for the metric distance of a kilometer, so a 5k is 5000 meters. For runners in the United States who are more accustomed to miles, this converts to slightly longer than 3.1 miles. 

5k In 19 Minutes Pace

To run 5k in 19 minutes, you will need to run 6:07 per mile or 3:48 per kilometer. This means a 19 minute 5k pace is 6:07 per mile (6 minutes and 7 seconds) or 3:48 per kilometer (3 minutes and 48 seconds).

However, since most people looking to run 5k in 19 minutes want to break 19 minutes as a barrier (running 18:59 or faster), you’ll want to shave a second or two over the course of the race.

If you are running on a track, 5k in 19 minutes works out to just over 91 seconds (1:31) per 400 meters and 3:03 for 800 meters.

People running on the road.

5k in 19 Minutes Running Speed

If you are training to run 5k in 19 minutes on the treadmill, your race pace workouts will be run at a treadmill speed of 9.8 mph (roughly 6:07 pace) or 15.8 km/hr.

5k in 19 Minutes Splits

To run 5k in 19 minutes with even splits, you’ll be aiming for 6:07 at mile 1, hitting 2 miles in 12:14, hitting 3 miles in 18:21, and closing in just under 19 minutes. For kilometers, aim for 3:48 at 1k, 7:36 at 2k, 11:24 at 3k, 15:12 at 4k, and 19:00 at 5k.

How to Run 5k in 19 Minutes

Running 5k in 19 minutes is an impressive goal for advanced runners. A 5k in 19 minutes is an appropriate goal if you’ve run 5k in 20 minutes or faster. You should also be able to run one mile in 6:07 or faster, or at least 2 km at 3:48 pace (7:36 for 2 km), as this will be your race pace for running 5k in 19 minutes.

Remember, your success as a runner doesn’t come down to just what you do in training, but in all aspects of your life. 

A person doing a lunge.

While your running workouts, strength training, and cross training certainly play a significant role in your ability to reach your running goals, when you start getting down to faster running goals like running 5k in 19 minutes, the other elements of your lifestyle also work to help you or harm you in reaching your goals.

Make sure you’re getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night on a consistent basis, eating a nutritious and adequate diet to support your workouts and recovery, drinking plenty of water, and minimizing unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, allowing stress to become all-consuming, and eating a poor quality diet.

Elements of Training to Run 5k in 19 Minutes

Our 19-minute 5k training plan involves running 4-5 days per week, and resting at least one. You should be able to run 5 miles comfortably without stopping and have about 6-12 hours per week to train.

To run a 5k in 19 minutes, you need to follow a well-rounded training program with long runs, interval workouts, hills, base-building runs, threshold workouts, cross-training, and strength training.

A person running.

Easy Runs

Easy runs help develop your aerobic base without taxing your body in the way that speed workouts do. Pace isn’t important here. You should run your easy runs at a comfortable, conversational pace, at an effort of 5-6 on a RPE scale of 1-10, where 10 is max effort.  

Long Runs

Long runs build physical and mental endurance. They strengthen your musculoskeletal system and cardiovascular system, and help increase the ability of your Type I muscle fibers to oxidize fat and produce energy through aerobic respiration.

Most 5k training plans include a long run once a week. Your long run typically gets progressively longer over your training program until the taper period before your race.

Speed Workouts

Speed workouts on the track involve running specific distances at race pace (91-92 seconds/400 meters for the goal of 5k in 19 minutes) or faster. 

Speed workouts improve your fitness, allowing you to run faster and longer. They also train your body to be more metabolically flexible, so that you can use fuel more efficiently and burn fat at higher effort levels. 

Good speed workouts for the 5k include hill sprints, fartlek runs, and intervals like 10-12 x 400 meters, 6 x 800 meters, 5-6 x 1000 meters, mile repeats, and various other ladders and pyramids run at race pace or faster.

A person sprinting on a track.

Threshold Workouts

Threshold workouts are designed to improve your lactate threshold, or the point at which your body is no longer able to clear lactate from the muscles as quickly as it is being produced, so these workouts train your body to handle running faster before hitting anaerobic efforts.

For most runners, the threshold run pace is about 25-30 seconds per mile slower than 5k race pace. Therefore, if you are training to run 5K in 19 minutes, your threshold workouts should be run around 6:32-6:37 per mile pace (3:58-4:03 per km). This pace should be equivalent to an effort that’s about 83-88% of your VO2 max effort.

Hill Repeats

Hill sprints build strength, power, and speed. They are also a good opportunity to work on your running form, and prepare you for tackling hills during your 5k race. They can also help increase your cadence or turnover.

A person running uphill.

Strides

Strides are typically anywhere from 50-200 meters or so, and should be run at near-maximal speeds.

Running strides conditions your neuromuscular system to handle faster paces in a controlled and coordinated manner, increases your turnover, and is a great way to add little pockets of speed work to an easy run day without really taxing the body like a full interval workout.

Cross-Training Workouts

Cross-training is a great way to get an aerobic workout while using different muscles and reducing the impact of your activity. Low-impact exercises like cycling, pool running, swimming, elliptical, and rowing can supplement your running and help prevent overuse injuries.

Rest Days

Rest days give your legs and feet time off to recover and rebound from training.

A person swimming.

Strength Training

Make sure you are fitting in core work, mobility exercises, and strength training workouts 2-3 times per week.

Total-body strength training workouts help prevent injuries by correcting strength imbalances and building functional stability so that your body can handle the miles of running. 

5k In 19 Minutes Training Plan

This 6-week 5k training plan will help you break 19 minutes in the 5k. Plan to do 2-3 days of strength training per week on top of this program.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

10 x 400 meters in 1:30-1:32 with 200 meter jog in between

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
3 miles easy run (5 km)Rest dayWarm up 2 miles or 3 km 

10-12 x 100 meter or 30-45 second hill sprints

Cool down 2 miles or 3 km
30 minutes easy run or 3-4 miles (5-7 km)Long run 5 miles (8 km)
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

5 x 1,000 meters in 3:44-3:48 with 200 meter jog in between

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
3-4 miles easy run (5-6 km)Rest dayWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

2 x 8 minutes at 6:32-6:37 per mile pace (3:58-4:03 per km) with 90 seconds in between

4 x 30 seconds at sprint/mile pace with 30 seconds rest

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
30 minutes easy run or 3-4 miles (5-7 km) 4 x 50 m stridesLong run 6 miles (9-10 klm)
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

3 x 1600 meters in 6:02-6:07 with 200 meter jog in between

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
3-5 miles easy run (5-8 km)Rest dayWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

3 x 8 minutes at 6:31-6:36 per mile pace (3:57-4:01 per km) with 90 seconds in between

4 x 30 seconds at sprint/mile pace with 30 seconds rest

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
4-5 mile easy run (6-8 km)
4 x 50-75m strides
Long run 7 miles (11 km)
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

1 x 2 miles or 3200 meters in 12:09-12:14 
200 meter jog 

4 x 400 meters in 1:28-1:31 with 90 seconds recovery

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
4-6 miles easy run (7-10 km) Rest dayWarm up 2 miles or 3 km

12-15 x 100 meter or 30-45 second hill sprints

Cool down 2 miles or 3 km
5 mile easy run (8 km)
4 x 50-75m strides
Long run 8 miles (12-13 km)
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

1 x 1600 meters in 6:02-6:07
200 meter jog 

4 x 1,000 meters in 3:43-3:48 with 60 seconds recovery

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
4-6 miles easy run (7-10 km)Rest dayWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

25 minutes at threshold pace (5:50-5:55 min/mile)

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
4-5 miles easy run (7-8 km) 4 x 50-75m stridesLong run 6 miles (10 km)
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile or 2 km

6 x 800 meters in 3:11-3:14 with 200 meter jog in between

Cool down 1 mile or 2 km
4 mile (7 km) easy runRest day20 minute easy jog + 4 strides5k RaceShake out or active recovery walk

Let us know how your race goes! Once you break 19 minutes, set your sights on breaking 18 minutes in the 5k. Chip away at your goals!

A close-up of people's legs running on the side of the road.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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