Tom Pidcock - 13:25 5km

Not sure how many have seen this story, it keeps coming up on various feds.

Wonder how close this Strava 13:25 would be to his genuine track 5km. By the way that is only 5 sec slower than the British record for 5km.

Lets just go with 13:25, roughly what would his V02max be?


Stands to reason if you’re a pro cyclist, you could go pro for most aerobic sports that aren’t about coordination also.

That time is bleeding ridiculous though!


Well, according to a couple of online running calculators (unlikely to be that accurate)

A 13 minute 25 second 5km would need a VO2 Max of 79.2 ml/kg/min.

I’m pretty sure Pidcock’s VO2 Max is in that region or higher, considering his W/kg.

Obviously, there are questions about technique, bad GPS data, and so on, roads etc.

Having said that he does have a couple of things in his favour:

Massive power/weight aerobic engine
Height and weight is in a similar range to the fastest 5k runners in the world (160-170cm, 52-58kg)
Running is part of his training for cyclocross

I don’t think the 13.25 number is accurate. But I do think that he could do it on a track.


Runnersworld reported his weekly running is generally 3km, not sure how accurate that is.

Thanks for the V02max calculation, interesting.

The type of talent Tom has could possibly get him a 15:00 5k on that type of training. 13:25 is not even close to believable. If it is, then we have one of the most astonishing feats in the history of endurance sports.

With years of training he might approach that time, but not on 3k / week. Take that 3k and make it 180k and it’s more plausible.

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Apparently it’s a gps fault for inflating the distance. Not sure if that’s a legit reason though, but the time stated is definitely a dodgy one.

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Mike Woods had stated that based on the video, he thought it was a 15 min 5k. Woods knows a thing to two about running fast.

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Indeed he does. :+1: There were guys when I was in high school who would barely train and get low 15:00s for 5k. I hated those guys. LOL.

Yeah I saw that.

Given he was running laps (short), I think, gps could be way out.

Would like to see what he could do on a track… low 14:xx? Maybe?

No…not even close.

Look at Andrew Talansky for one example…I suppose yes, technically he is a “professional” triathlete, but he is basically non-existent on the tri circuit. He ran a 4:55 marathon at IM Chattanooga in 2019.

Or Gwen Jorgensen…gold medal in the Olympics for triathlon and can’t even come close to qualifying for the Olympic team in the marathon.

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How about a little poll

How fast can Tom Pidcock really run a 5km?
  • 13:25 - 13:30
  • 13:31 - 13:59
  • 14:00 - 14:29
  • 14:30 - 15:00
  • over 15:01

0 voters

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So I just spent more time on this than I probably should have…
But based on his strava file he did about 4 1/3 laps of that triangle as his 5k effort. When I plotted it out on RWGPS that came out to about 3 mi (so basically a 5k). But if you look at this screen shot of the course the GPS track is fixed on the road (the outside of the triangle) while you can see a sidewalk and driveway on the inside of the triangle. I bet he ran around the inside but the garmin GPS was fixed on the road so it inflated his distance. By how much? I don’t care enough to figure out but it could easily be 10% so about 500m or about an extra minute of running time for a 5k.


While the Garmin map may lock on to the closest road, the GPS track data stays the same. I see it all the time on my Garmin where on the map screen it shows me riding a trail, when in reality I am riding a different trail that is parallel. When you look back at the data it shows my correct location.

But GPS errors are a constant issue with these things, and almost always over inflate the distance.