Workout of the Week: 089 – 5k Pace Intervals #1

There’s something special about running at 5k pace. It’s demanding on the legs, the lungs and the mind … and it’s also loads of fun and leaves you feeling pumped for the rest of the day. This week we kick off a new series of 5k paced workouts. 


5k Pace Intervals
6x 2 minutes @ your 5k race pace
1-2 minutes jog recovery

Terrain: Flat, measurable pathway or running track

The 2-minute intervals are just approximate, so you can tweak it up or down to fit a certain distance (i.e. making it exactly 500m in 2:05 for a 4:10min/km 5k pace, for example).

Likewise the recoveries can be tweaked based on your current fitness and familiarity with 5k pace. If you’re unsure, just start with 2-minute recoveries. If you’re feeling confident you can crush this workout, go for 1 minute right from the start.


Simply, because 5k pace is fun! It’s fast and it feels free, but you also need to practice it as it is tough on legs, lungs and mind alike.

So, this is why we’re easing you in with 12 minutes total at 5k pace (which will be harder the faster you are) and giving you the freedom to tweak the recoveries. This will prepare us well for some more rigid sessions in a couple of weeks’ time.


The intervals are time-based, so feel free to adjust the time up or down from 2 minutes if there’s a key distance either side of the 2-minute mark (e.g. 500m in 1:50 for a 3:40min/km 5k pace).

Also, feel free to add a few strides on before the session (after you’ve done 15-20min jog warm up and some dynamic stretches and drills). These strides could be as short as 3x50m ascending in speed from 5k pace for the first and to mile pace for the final one.