Who should use this 5k Running plan?
This 4 week plan is for a beginning to intermediate 5k runner with a time of 29-30 minutes personal best. This plan assumes you can run 30 minutes continuously, have been running about 3 times per week, and have a 5k Personal Best of 29 to 30 minutes. The paces are in MPH to account for treadmill workouts, as the original plan was for someone living in Florida during the dog days of summer.
When to use this plan:
Use this 4 week plan in between 5ks. These paces are based off of your most recent 5k, so you should have the ability to do all of the intervals! The long runs are longer than you are used to, but likely slower than you’ve been running them. The idea is to add some mileage. The interval training is specific to your current level of fitness. Try to finish each one if possible. If you can’t finish a workout, do as many intervals as you can. If you can’t finish an interval, run at the correct pace (MPH) and cut off 30 sec to a min of the interval as needed to finish.
Run 3 times a week, and Walk on 2 other days
Each week has three key running workouts. Cross train on at least 2 additional days a week and one of these should be 45-60 minutes of brisk walking, but not running. This keeps the blood flowing to your legs, but eases some of the impact you’d otherwise experience if you added another running day. By increasing the intensity , you need to allow for your body to recover a bit more than you may be used to.
Start each workout with 5 minutes of brisk walking and jogging, then start your workout. After each workout, finish with 5 minutes of brisk walking and stretch. Do 10-15 minutes of core work after each run…that way the core work is done for the day!
Basic Nutrition for the 5k Runner
Hydrate well each day inbetween your workout days. Before your workout, eat a 250 cal snack at least 1-2 hours prior to the workout. Drink plain water during the workout (these aren’t long enough to deplete glycogen or electrolyte stores). After the workout, have a 100 cal snack within 15 minutes or so of finishing. You don’t need a lot of calories as these workouts aren’t long…so don’t use them as an excuse to eat a lot. Eat a meal within 2 hours of finishing the workout.
Week 1 Begin Tempo Training
Workout 1: 2 x 1.5 miles @ 6mph 2-5 min recovery between intervals
Workout 2: 4 x .25 miles @ 6.5mph w/ 2 min walk recovery
Workout 3: 2 x 2 mi at 4.9mph (YOU CAN DO IT!)
Week 2 Continue Tempo Training
Workout 1: 6 x .25 miles @ 6.5mph 2 min walk recovery btwn each. 5 min recovery then 1 mile @ 6mph
Workout 2: 1 x 2 miles at 6mph with 2 min rest
Workout 3: 3 – 4 miles 4.9 mph (GO for 4 straight miles! You can DO IT!)
Week 3 Begin Interval Interval Training
Workout 1: 3 x 1 miles at 6mph with 2 min rest
Workout 2: 1 mile at 6mph pace, 1 min rest; 1 x 0.5 mile at 6.5mph, walk 4 min, 4 x 1 minute at 6.9mph, walk 2 min rest
Workout 3: 5k race simulation at venue if possible (fast and continuous!) Try to negative split this run, doing the first mile at your previous 5k pace and picking up the pace as you go.
Week 4 Race Week
Workout 1: 30 min 6mph
Workout 2: 4 x 1 min at 6.9mph (walk 2min), 2 x 0.5mile 6.5mph walk 4 min
Workout 3: Race. Practice the “negative split” that you did last week. Start off moderate (but not slow). in the 2nd half of the race, start choosing people to gradually pass and slowly pickkup the pace till the end of the race.