Personal Trainer Denver Co here, Heather, @MindSweep asked for training advice for a 5k run. Running a 5K is an excellent goal for new runners. You’ll get lots of motivation, as well as enjoyment, from participating in a race, and 5K (3.1 miles) is the perfect distance for first-timers. Below is a program that is suitable for the beginning runner.
Consult a doctor before beginning any fitness training program.
Below is an eight-week training schedule to help get you to the finish line. It assumes that you can already run at least 1.5 miles. Modify this with the run/walk method if you’ve never run before. The run/walk method will be outlined in a post to follow. If this schedule doesn’t seem challenging enough for your running level, ask me nicely, and I might help you to modify it.
Notes about the schedule:
Mondays and Fridays: Mondays and Fridays are rest days. Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don’t ignore rest days. Your muscles actually build and repair themselves during your rest days. So if you run every day without taking days off, you won’t see much improvement.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays: After you warm up, run at a comfortable pace for the designated mileage. Make sure you cool down and stretch after your run.
Each week, you’ll increase your runs by a quarter mile, which is a lap on most outdoor tracks. If most of your runs are on the road and you’re not sure how far you run, you can figure out the mileage by using sites such as MapMyRun.com. Or, you can always drive your route in your car and measure the mileage using your car odometer.
Wednesdays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (circuit weight training, biking, swimming, elliptical trainer) at a moderate intensity for 30 to 40 minutes. If you’re feeling very sluggish or sore, take a rest day.
Sundays: This is an active recovery day. Your run should be at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles. Or, you can do a run/walk combination.
You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So if you’re busy on another day and prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it’s fine to swap a rest day for a run day.
The training schedule:
Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 1.5 m run CT or Rest 1.5 m run Rest 1.5 m run 20-30 min EZ
2 Rest 1.75 m run CT or Rest 1.5 m run Rest 1.75 m run 20-30 min EZ
3 Rest 2 mi run CT or Rest 1.5 m run Rest 2 m run 20-30 min EZ
4 Rest 2.25 m run CT or Rest 1.5 m run Rest 2.25 m run 25-35 min EZ
5 Rest 2.5 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 2.5 m run 25-35 min EZ
6 Rest 2.75 m run CT 2 m run Rest 2.75 m run 35-40 min EZ
7 Rest 3 m run CT 2 m run Rest 3 m run 40 min EZ
8 Rest 3 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest Rest 5K Race!
Enjoy your training!