How To Run 5k In 22 Minutes: Guide + Training Plan

The 5k is one of the most beloved race distances and certainly the most popular. It’s an impressive yet feasible milestone for new runners and offers experienced runners and marathoners the chance to step down the distance and ramp up the speed.

Just finishing a 5k can be a great goal, especially for beginners, but if you’ve been running for some time, setting a 5k time goal is a good way to work on your speed and set a PR

Many runners are appropriately challenged by running a 5k in 22 minutes.  In this guide, we will cover how to run 5k in 22 minutes and provide a training plan to run 5k in 22 minutes.

We will look at: 

  • How Far Is 5k?
  • 5k In 22 Minutes Pace
  • 5k in 22 Minutes Running Speed
  • How to Run 5k in 22 Minutes
  • Elements of Training to Run 5k in 22 Minutes
  • 5km In 22 Minutes Training Plan

Let’s get started!

A group of people trying to run 5k In 22 minutes.

How Far Is 5k?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of running 5k in 22 minutes, let’s cover the basics. 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 22 Minutes Pace

To run 5k in 22 minutes, you will need to run 7:03 per mile or 4:24 per kilometer. This means a 22-minute 5k pace is 7:03 per mile (7 minutes, 3 seconds) or 4:24 per kilometer (4 minutes, 24 seconds).

However, since most people looking to run 5k in 22 minutes want to break 22 minutes as a barrier (running 21:59 or faster), aim to run the race at a 7-minute per mile pace. This will give you a tiny buffer to come in under 22 minutes.

If you are running on a track, 5k in 22 minutes works out to 1:45 per 400 meters and 3:30 for 800 meters.

A man running on a treadmill.

5k in 22 Minutes Running Speed

If you are training to run 5k in 22 minutes on the treadmill, your race pace workouts will be run at a treadmill speed of 8.5 mph (13.7 km/hr).

How to Run 5k in 22 Minutes

Running a 5k in 22 minutes is an appropriate goal if you’ve run a 5k in 24 minutes or faster. If you have yet to run fairly close to this time, you might want to start with running 5k in 25 minutes.

You should also be able to run one mile in 7 minutes, as this will be your race pace for 5k in 22 minutes.

A road race.

Elements of Training to Run 5k in 22 Minutes

Our 22-minute 5k training plan involves running 4-5 days per week and resting at least one. You should be able to run 3-4 miles comfortably without stopping and have about 5-10 hours per week to train.

To run a 5k in 22 minutes, you need to follow a well-rounded training program with interval workouts, hills, distance runs, cross-training, and strength training.

Long Runs

You’ll have a long run just about every week. It serves as your primary endurance-building workout that gets progressively longer to help your body to improve your aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, and mental strength.

Long runs increase your mitochondrial density so that your muscles get more efficient at burning fat and producing energy aerobically. They strengthen your muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissues, along with your heart and lungs.

A close-up of people's leg while running.

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. Beyond this point, you will rapidly fatigue, and your legs feel heavy and tired.

Threshold intervals train your body to handle running faster before hitting anaerobic efforts.

The lactate threshold occurs around 83-88% of your VO2 max, so your threshold run pace would be the pace you are running at 83-88% of your VO2 max according to your lab results or roughly the pace you could hold at max effort for an hour of running. 

For most runners, the threshold run pace is about 25-30 seconds per mile slower than the 5k race pace. Therefore, if you are training to run 5K in 22 minutes, your threshold workouts should be run around 7:20-7:30 per mile pace.

Hill Repeats

Hill repeats involve sprinting uphill, usually at near max effort. Hill sprints develop power, speed, and strength and can help increase your cadence or turnover.

When running hill sprints, drive with your glutes and hips, bring your knees up, keep your stride short and powerful, engage your core, and use a powerful arm swing. Because the focus is to build speed, run each hill as fast as possible.

A person running uphill.

Speed Workouts

Speed workouts on the track will involve race pace intervals (1:45/400 meters for the goal of 5k in 22 minutes), and intervals run slightly faster than race pace. These workouts get your body used to running fast and build comfort and tolerance to race pace.

Easy Runs

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

Strides

Strides are usually anywhere from 50-200 meters or so and should be run at near-maximal speeds. Running at this pace trains your neuromuscular system to handle faster paces in a controlled and coordinated manner.

A person running fast on the road.

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.

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. 

A person doing a plank.

5km In 22 Minutes Training Plan

This 6-week 5k training plan will help you break 22 minutes in the 5k. Try to add 2-3 days of strength training per week.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Rest or 30-45 minutes of cross-trainingWarm-up 1 mile
10 x 400 meters in 1:44-1:46 with 200-meter jog in between
Cooldown 1 mile
3 miles easy runRest dayWarm-up 2 miles 
8-10 x 100 meter or 30-45 second hill sprints
1 mile cool down
30 minutes easy run or 3-4 milesLong run 4 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes of cross-trainingWarm-up 1 mile
5 x 1,000 meters in 4:20 with 200-meter jog in between
Cooldown 1 mile
3-4 miles easy runRest dayWarm-up 1 mile
2 x 8 minutes at 7:10-7:20 pace with 90 seconds in between
4 x 30 seconds at sprint/mile pace with 30 seconds rest
Cooldown 1 mile
30 minutes easy run or 3-4 milesLong run 5 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes of cross-trainingWarm-up 1 mile
3 x 1 mile in 7 minutes with 200-meter jog in between
Cooldown 1 mile
3-4 miles easy run Rest dayWarm-up 1 mile
3 x 8 minutes at 7:05-7:15 pace with 90 seconds in between
4 x 30 seconds at sprint/mile pace with 30 seconds rest
Cooldown 1 mile
30 minutes easy run or 3-4 miles
4 x 50-75m strides
Long run 6 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes of cross-trainingWarm-up 1 mile
1 x 2 miles in 13:50 – 14:00 
200-meter jog 
4 x 400 meters in 1:40-1:42 with 90 seconds recovery
Cooldown 1 mile
4-5 miles easy runRest dayWarm-up 2 miles 
10-12 x 100 meter or 30-45 second hill sprints
1 mile cool down
30 minutes easy run or 3-4 miles
4 x 50-75m strides
Long run 7 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes of cross-trainingWarm-up 1 mile
1 x 1 mile in 6:50-7:00
200-meter jog 
4 x 1,000 meters in 4:15-4:20 with 60 seconds recovery
Cooldown 1 mile
4-5 miles easy runRest dayWarm-up 1 mile
25 minutes at threshold pace (7:20-7:30 min/mile)
1 mile cool down
30 minutes easy run or 3-4 miles 
4 x 50-75m strides
Long run 5 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes of cross-trainingWarm-up 1 mile
6 x 800 meters in 3:30 with 200-meter jog in between
Cooldown 1 mile
4-mile easy runRest day15-20  minute easy jog + 4 strides5k RaceShake out or active recovery walk

Let us know how your race goes! Once you break 22 minutes, set your sights on breaking 21 minutes or even 20 minutes. You’ve got this! 

If you are looking to increase your distance after having mastered your 5k, it may be time to move on to some 10k work. Take a look at our 10k training plans to take the next step distance-wise:

How to Run 10k in 40 minutes

A person winning a race and breaking the tape at the finish line.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. 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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