20 km training

Frédéric Solvel.

05 Jul 2012, 05:07 Last Updated: 26 Feb 2018, 15:02

Though running 20 kilometers is doable for the majority of us, it shouldn't be underestimated. How much fun you have on the day of the race will be proportional to your diligence during training.

You don't want to leave anything to the last minute? Make sure you've got everything going for you. In collaboration with Trakks, proposes this 10 week training plan to be in shape for May 18, the day of the Brussels 20 Kilometers

To start, a test

To measure your vVO2max and to be able to correctly use these plans, you should do a test to determine your level. vVO2max what, you say? This is your speed when you are uptaking the maximum amount of oxygen. To determine this, you have to run for 6 minutes at the fastest pace you can maintain.


  • Choose a flat and uniform running area, where you are aware of the distance you run (a track is the best way to go - 1 loop is 400 meters).
  • Start by warming up for 15 or 20 minutes and finish with some accelerations to get your heart rate up.
  • Then start your 6 minute run, keeping track of your distance. 
  • Cool down with a light jog for about 10 minutes. 

After some simple math, you will have your vVO2max and will be able to use it to follow one of the two plans below. Divide the number of meters you ran by 360 seconds to get your vVO2 max in meters/second. This is your max pace, the pace you should try to improve.

Training plans

We would like to offer you two different plans. The first is for beginner runners, and the second is for the experienced. Click on the icons to download. Good luck training...


For more specific plans and advice, the whole staff at Trakks is available to help. 

Last pieces of advice

Feel free to change up your course and activities throughout your training. Have you already thought about going to the Forêt de Soignes? Or maybe you would like to punctuate your training with one or two races? The Uccle 10 km or the ULB equivalent could be perfect benchmarks along the way. Don't forget about the Avenue de Tervuren climb that has a knack of causing people problems...

Once the day of the course is here, make sure to eat at least 3 hours before your start. Don't run too fast in the beginning, you will have the time to accelerate later on if you have the energy. And of course: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 

Individual sports Running