Are you wondering what is is 15km in miles? If so, welcome to Nutrition Geeks. As a 2:19 marathoner, I, too, have asked this question. I ran a lot of 15k road races in my running career. So, wondering what 15km in miles came out to as well. It is 9.3 miles or 15,000 meters in length. The 15k road race distances is one of the most popular around the world. Remember, the faster you can run for these shorter distances the more competitive you will be in the longer ones.
Perhaps you have a goal of running a sub 4 hour marathon or even a 3 hour marathon. You may be seeking a 10 mile training plan or looking for a 15k running plan. Running a faster 15k race time will help to make your goal 10 mile, half marathon or marathon race pace to feel easier. I would first focus on running easy for at least 4 weeks.
The goal here is to build general fitness by running aerobically. In addition, strengthen your tendons, ligaments and muscles to better handle the faster, anaerobic workouts. The best time frame to train for a 15k is a minimum of 12 weeks and preferably 16 to 20 weeks in length. I have created 15k running plans that range from 8 to 16 weeks in length. You can click on any of the green buttons on this post to find out more information about our running resources.
How Long Should a 15K Run Take?
We all run at different paces. Pace sustainment is one of the biggest challenges for many runners. Of course, we can hold goal race pace for a portion of our races. That being said, it is another challenge to sustain faster than goal race pace for the entire duration of our races. The average 15k time is run in around and hour and 44 minutes. The world record for men for the 15k is 40 minutes and 27 seconds seconds set by Jacob Kilimo of Kenya.
The world record for women was set by Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey who ran an astounding time of 44:20 in 2019. There are many elite-level men that can run as fast as she did, respectfully. One tool I highly recommend you investing in is a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 and it helps me to sustain the proper paces at the correct heart rate zones.
In addition, ensures I am not running too fast or too slow. It is much wiser to focus on heart rate rather than pace. Your pace per mile or kilometer will quicken the fitter you get. The end goal here is to improve your lactate tolerance. The only way to do this is running at considerably faster than goal 15k race pace. The world's top middle to long distance runners run around 40% of their weekly volume at or below their anaerobic threshold.LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PRIVATE, MEMBERSHIP COMMUNITY
How Long Does it Take to Prepare for a 15K?
15km in miles comes out to 9.3 miles or 15,000 meters. So, to run a fast 15 kilometer race a longer build up is better than a shorter one. I would recommend a minimum of 12 weeks and preferably 16 to 20 weeks. As mentioned above, before starting a 12 to 16 week training plan, run easy for 4 weeks. I would also recommend doing strides twice per week.
Strides are short 100 meter long acceleration drills. No, I don't want you doing your entire stride all out. You want to gradually increase the intensity of the sprint until you are running all out the last 20 meters of the stride. Strides are great for working on your form, acceleration and leg turnover.
So, the longer build up, the better. You won't be rushing to get into great fitness. Also, you will provide sufficient time for your body to adapt to and recover from the faster workouts you are doing.
Can You Train for a 15K in 10 Weeks?
Yes, of course. Again, for most runners, 8 weeks is enough time to train to start and finish a 15k. Remember, the faster you are aiming to run the more that is going to be required out of you. So, 10 weeks is a solid time frame for most beginner to advanced level runners to get into legitimate shape. I would focus on a 12 to 20 week build up the more experienced you get in the sport.
Again, a shorter training build up simply means you really have to pay attention to quality. In addition, running slow enough during your easy days to ensure adaptation occurs. Your time is precious and priceless. So, you want to make sure you are training in such as a way that you get the highest return on your investment. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel.
I focus on making new training as well as racing videos there each week. More importantly, to share the tactics and fundamentals I followed to compete at the elite level. How much time are you devoting each week to mental preparation? Mental training is used by the world's top middle to long distance runners. The problem is most runners only focus on physical training and bypass this vital part of running success.
Do You Need Fuel for 15K Run?
So, definitely start taking at least 10 minutes out of your day and see yourself getting across the finish line in your goal time. Also, running relaxed, confident and passing people. Remember, we have to train our mind equally as much as we train our body. Are you only focusing on physical training? If so, you are only doing 50 percent of the work.
Success leaves clues. So, study what the very best runners do and duplicate their work habits. Yes, you most certainly need fuel in a 15k race. One of the biggest mistakes runners make is not hydrating well enough in their races. In addition, not taking in enough calories throughout their race. Yes, you may be able to get away with this in a 5k but not a 15k, 10 mile, half marathon or marathon race.
My recommendation is to start sitting water bottles out every 3 miles or 5 kilometers along your long run route. The very best runners drink, they do not sip, in their races. Again, study what these top athletes are doing and duplicate their habits.
Remember, you have to follow all the fundamentals to run a great 15k race. You can just run easy all of the time either. Yes, running easy will build endurance. It will not recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. Faster, more anaerobic running will.LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR RUNNING COURSES
How Do I Prepare for a 15K Run?
As mentioned above, focus on building a strong base of mileage first, preferably 4 weeks. Once you have done that you can start training for your 15k. I would recommend doing 1, vo2 max (speed workout) session, 1, tempo runs and 1 long run per week. The longer you can spend running at your lactate threshold the more you will improve your running economy.
What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past training for your 15k races? 3 miles? 4 miles? I would focus on working your way toward 6 to 8 miles. Again, longer durations will produce a larger physiological boost. Of course, we have to first adapt to a 3 or 4 mile tempo run. So, be patient during your build up. 15km in miles comes out to 9.3 miles or 15,000 meters. It is basically the equivalent of running around the track 37 and half laps.
JOG on Recovery Days
It is okay to run slowly on recovery days. I think far too many runners get caught up with what pace they are running on easy days. Pay attention to your pace on tempo runs, track workouts and longer, faster long runs. Easy days are there for a reason. Again, you want to get the highest return on your time investment. So, train smarter, not harder.
Also, you can click on any of the green buttons on this post to learn about our running resources. I would also highly recommend doing faster long runs. Of course, you won't want to run fast every single weekend. I would do a faster, varied paced long run one weekend followed the next weekend by an easy, relaxed long run. Below is an example of a varied paced long run I was doing prior to breaking 2:20 for the marathon
- 2 mile jog, 6 miles@5:40 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 5:00, 7 miles@5:55 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 2 mile cool-down jog (23 miles)
My following week's long run would be spent running between 8 to 9 minute mile pace. Of course, you don't need to be doing 23 mile long runs training for a 5k. A long run may be 12 to 14 miles in length but you get the idea.
I hope that this post has been helpful to you. The 15k race distance will test you both mentally as well as physically. That being said, if you follow the strategies I have discussed in this article I am sure you will do much better. Make sure to watch your pacing in the race. I always tell the athletes I coach and mentor here as well as at our sister site, rundreamachieve.com, to run a negative split.
So, focus on running the second half of your 15k faster than you run the first half. It is much more fun to be increasing or maintaining goal race pace in the latter stages of the race than to be slowing down. Lastly, do your best to get as much as sleep as you can. Also, focus on the things you can control yourself and disregard the rest. Less mental and physical tension and stress equals better performance. Keep me posted on your progress over at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel, mentioned above.LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR RUNNING TRAINING PLANS