Fast 5K

25 Crucial Keys and 4 Training Plans

By Pete Magill


Fast 5K shares running coach Pete Magill’s 25 essential keys to running your fastest 5K ever.

In stock


Spend two hours with Pete Magill’s Fast 5K and you’ll know how to run your fastest 5K.

In his fast-paced, ultimate guide to 5K running races, celebrated running coach Pete Magill reveals the 25 crucial keys to setting your next 5K PR. Magill shares hard-earned lessons he gained while leading 19 teams to national championship wins and setting multiple American and world age-group and masters records.

Fast 5K shares Magill’s essential keys to finding your fastest running fitness and race readiness. The 25 keys include optimal training mileage, effective tempo runs, VO2 max workouts, hill repeats, plyometrics that work, ways to prevent injuries, recovery tips, guides to diet and racing weight, choosing racing flats, and much more. Offering three 12-week and one 16-week 5K training plans, Fast 5K is the key to your best 5K running times.

Pete Magill is a world-class 5K runner, personally holds multiple American and world age-group records in track & field and road racing and is a 5-time USA Masters Cross Country Runner of the Year. Now in this distilled guide, you can get world-class advice on how to run your fastest 5K ever.

Read excerpts from Fast 5K.

Fast 5K: 25 Crucial Keys and 4 Training Plans
Pete Magill
Paperback. Two-color interior with charts and tables throughout.
6″ x 9″, 200 pp., $19.95, 9781937715922

Fast 5K: 25 Crucial Keys and 4 Training Plans

Pete Magill

Paperback. Two-color interior with charts and tables throughout.

Shipping Dimensions: 6in x 9in x .75in 200pp $19.95, Inventory 9781937715922, Shipping .75lbs

Introduction: A Fast 5K


Key 1: Set a Reasonable Goal

Key 2: Schedule a Sensible Training Volume and Intensity

Key 3: Train All Your 5K Running Muscles

Key 4: Slow Down Your Distance Runs

Key 5: Split Tempo Runs into Repetitions

Key 6: Include VO2max Workouts

Key 7: Schedule Short Repetitions/Intervals

Key 8: Join the Over-the-Hill Gang

Key 9: Schedule Hill Repeats

Key 10: Lengthen Your Long Run

Key 11: Try Downhill Running

Key 12: Perform Goal-Pace Repetitions at the Right Time

Key 13: Run a 5K Tune-Up Race

Key 14: Schedule Injury-Prevention Exercises and Resistance Training

Key 15: Schedule Technique Drills and Plyometrics


Key 16: Eat a Runner’s Diet

Key 17: Run Light

Key 18: Wear Light Racing Flats

Key 19: Sleep, Rest, Recover

Key 20: Review Non-Running Activities and Hobbies


Key 21: Try a Mini-Taper

Key 22: Beat the Jitters

Key 23: Race-Day Guidelines (Pre-Race)

Key 24: Racing Guidelines

Key 25: Assess Your Performance

Bonus Masters Key: Age-Related Adjustments and Advice


1: Warm-Up Routines

2: Length of Distance Runs

3: Training Paces

4: Training Schedules

Beginner’s 12-Week Plan

2-Week Adjustment for 5K Race (Beginners)

12-Week Plan

16-Week Extended Plan

12-Week Low-Intensity Plan

2-Week Adjustment for 5K Race



About the Author

Preview book.

Praise for Fast 5K and Pete Magill

“Pete Magill’s running career has shown he’s the ‘master of the 5K.’ This guidebook proves that he’s also the best at teaching others how to improve their 5K performance. Do what Pete says, and you’re sure to run stronger, healthier, and faster.”

—Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon winner and author of Run Forever and The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life

“If you want to run a faster 5K but don’t know where to start, Pete Magill has done the research so you don’t have to. In Fast 5K, he combines years of experience as a coach and competitor with the latest science to help you get the most out of your training. He’s truly a 5K runner’s best friend.”

—Claudette Groenendaal, USA National Champion, NCAA Champion, former NCAA Women’s national record holder for 800 meters

“I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again: If you want to run faster, do what Pete Magill says. It’s that simple.”

—Scott Douglas, Runner’s World contributing writer and author of Advanced Marathoning and The Athlete’s Guide to CBD

“Pete’s latest marvel of scholarship is a hoot to read and a treasure to follow. Pete explodes all ignorance while sharing the most intelligent steps to 5K excellence.”

—Ken Stone, founder and editor of Masters Track and Field News, contributing editor for Times of San Diego

“Pete Magill’s Fast 5K is like having a personal coach at your fingertips. His easy-to-digest keys break down the components of 5K training in a way that will benefit runners of all abilities. You’ll want to read this book before you start training for your next 5K—or you might get beat by someone who did.”

—Sean Wade, Olympic marathoner, masters world record holder, and founder of the Kenyan Way

“Pete Magill is the Mr. Miyagi of running. He will build you up comprehensively for a lifetime of happy running, and you won’t even have to paint his fence or wax his car.”

—Jay Duplass, American film director, author, and actor

“This thorough book covers all aspects of training and racing the 5K, yet reads with an easy familiarity, based on Magill’s experience as a runner, coach, and student of the sport. Magill knows what you need to do to improve and where you’re likely to make mistakes. Anyone who reads and follows this book will undoubtedly become a better runner and likely end up with a 5K PR.”

—Jonathan Beverly, editor-in-chief of PodiumRunner, and author of Run Strong, Stay Hungry and Your Best Stride

“If I were looking for advice on how to run smart, race smart, and stay injury-free over the years, I’d buy Pete Magill’s Fast 5K. Pete is one of the most knowledgeable running coaches in the USA and proves his successful racing year after year after year.”

—Bill Rodgers, four-time winner of both the New York City and Boston marathons

“Whether you’re just starting out as a runner or starting afresh, you can do no better than heed the guidance of running’s ultimate comeback kid, Pete Magill.”

—Matt Fitzgerald, author of How Bad Do You Want It? and Racing Weight

“Pete Magill must have found the fountain of youth. I coach college students, and he consistently outruns half my team! He must know something the rest of us don’t!”

—Steve Scott, head track coach at Cal State San Marcos, 3-time Olympian, former American record holder in the mile

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