20 Min 5k Pace Chart | KM & Mile Paces

If you want to run a sub 20 Min 5k you will need to average a pace of 06:26 per mile or 04:00 per kilometer to run your target time. It’s also good to have a few seconds buffer on each split to account for some slight extra distance if you are not running the racing line.

The 5k is a great distance for runners of all ages and experience levels. It is usually the first race a beginner will take on in their running career. This is especially true since the increase in popularity of the Park Run and couch to 5k program.

Hitting your goal of running a sub 20 Min 5k will take some training and knowledge of your current ability level. Let’s take a look at the splits you will have to hit if you want to run a sub 20 Min 5k.

I have outlined the splits in both miles and kilometers below depending on your preference. At most 5k and Park Run Events, you will find the course marked in kilometers.

20 Min 5k Splits KM & Miles

Side by Side Tables

Miles Split
1 06:26
2 12:52
3 19:19
3.1 20:00
Kilometers Split
1 04:00
2 08:00
3 12:00
4 16:00
5 20:00

How To Train For A 5k

When it comes to improving your 5k time there are lots of things you can do to get better. Here are a few of the basics that anyone can implement to start decreasing their time.

Get Better Sleep – Aim for at least 7/8 hours of good sleep per night. This will help your body recover and rebuild your muscles.

Lose Weight – If you are currently overweight and have some to lose, losing fat will help you to run faster with less effort. This one really helped me to shave time off my 5k fast.

Eat Better – Even if you are not planning on losing any weight, eating a cleaner diet can help a lot. The better fuel you feed your body with, the better your workouts and races will be. Recovery will be better and you will be able to take on more miles.

Increase Your Mileage – The best way to increase your endurance is simply by running more miles. We would recommend increasing your mileage by no more than 10% per week. This allows your body to adapt to the increase in strain it is taking on. As your endurance improves, you will be to run for longer without gassing out.

Advanced 5k Tips

The tips above are great for any level of 5k runner, whether you are running a 40 minute 50k or a 15 minute 5k they will help everyone. Once you start getting into the 20-25 minute range it can be a great idea to implement some more advanced training into your routine.

Intervals/Tempo Workouts – If you are not currently implementing these on a weekly basis, you could see massive gains from adding them into your routine. Intervals should be ran slightly faster than your 5k target pace. This could be 5 x 1km at 10secs under 5k pace, 90 seconds rest. This type of workout gets your body used to running at the pace you need to.

Tempo workouts are 30-40 min workouts at slightly slower than 5k pace. I tend to do 1 mile warm up, 4 mile at around 40 seconds slower than 5k pace, 1 mile cooldown.

Strength Work – Just because you are running, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing strength work. Strength work helps to strengthen your muscles and tendons, allowing your muscles to work harder while using less energy. It improves your running economy. It will also help to prevent injuries.

How Long Is A 5k?

5k or 5000 meters is equal to 3.1 miles. To complete your 5k race you will have to complete 3.1 miles. Many people mistake the 5k distance as being 3 mile long however this is incorrect. You will have to go slightly further than 3 miles on race day if you want to complete the race.

To run a 20 Min 5k you will need to run the race at a pace of 06:26 per mile or 04:00 per kilometer.

How Many Calories Are Burned During A 5k?

On average an adult will burn approximately 100 calories per mile. This means you will burn roughly 300 calories during a 5k race. However, how many calories you burn will depend on many different factors such as time it takes you to run 5k, your weight and your effort.

If you want a more accurate idea of how many calories you will burn, check out this running calories calculator.

Average Time To Complete A 5k

According to RunRepeat The average time for a man to complete a 5k is 31:28 and the average time for a woman is 37:28.

In the chart below you can see where you stack up against other 5k runners.

Percentile Time
1st percentile 00:18:40
10th percentile 00:25:20
20th percentile 00:28:13
30th percentile 00:30:26
40th percentile 00:32:29
50th percentile 00:34:37
60th percentile 00:36:58
70th percentile 00:39:48
80th percentile 00:43:39
90th percentile 00:50:04

Aiming for a sub 30 minute 5k will put you in the top 30% of all runners. This is a great milestone for runners.

How To Start Training For A 5k

We have put together a couch to 5k training plan that will take you from non runner to running a 5k in 8 weeks. You can download it here.

Hopefully, these tips and pace charts have helped you towards your goal of running a sub 20 Min 5k. Happy training.

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