Running 5k Field Test Protocol

5K Field Test or Race

This is a 5K  field test or race used to determine training paces based off of your recent best known 5k race times.

5K Field test or Race Warmup

(Why you should warmup before testing, training and racing, Sample warmups depending on your fitness level)

5-10 minutes brisk walking with muscle activation drills.  5-10 minutes easy jogging, with 2 20 second strides thrown in, 2-3 minute recovery between strides. Minimum 3 minute recovery before beginning test.

  • Begin 5K race effort at maximum sustainable effort.
  • If needed start slightly below what you think you can sustain, but continue increasing effort without going harder than you can sustain for the duration of the test. You should finish knowing you gave it everything you had.
  • 15 minutes easy cool down with stretching

You should record your 5k time and average heart rate in your training log.

Your training paces can be determined by using the Jack Daniel’s VDOT tables.  Run Bayou has an automatic pace calculator. Note that if your 5K time is longer than 30 minutes you will need to consult your coach for your paces as the calculator only works up to 30:00 for a 5k run time. Write down your current training paces and VDOT number in your training log as well.

Regular racing or testing of a known distance can help you determine when to make changes in training paces as well as measure progress in your training. 

Other Running Tests that Your Coach May Prescribe

Running Threshold Field Test 20 minute Protocol


Please send comments/corrections to coach AT steelcityendurance DOT com


References: Jack Daniels, PhD;  Bobby McGee, Run Workouts for Multisport Athletes; Run Less, Run Faster,