Training


5-K Training: Novice

Click here for the TrainingPeaks interactive programs 

The following 5-K novice training program lasts eight weeks and climaxes at the end of Week 8 with a 5-K (3.1 mile) race. It is among the easiest programs I offer both online and in books.

“Do you need to race to call yourself a runner?” I ask in the new edition of RunFast (planned for publication fall of 2016).  Not really. Nevertheless, nailing a fast time in a 5-K and comparing it a few months or years later to a time previously run can be an important motivational tool. 

5-K novice assumes that you have no major health problems, are in reasonably good shape, and have done at least some jogging or walking. If running 1.5 miles for your first workout in Week 1 seems too difficult, you might want to begin with my 5-K walking program. If 5-K novice seems too easy, consider 5-K intermediate or even 5-K advanced. (Be aware as you begin, that you can purchase an interactive version of this program, where I send you daily emails telling you how to train, from TrainingPeaks.)

The terms used in the training schedule are somewhat obvious, but let me explain what I mean anyway.

Rest: Rest days are as vital as training days. They give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Actually, your muscles will build in strength as you rest.

Run: Don't worry about how fast you run; just cover the distance--or approximately the distance suggested. Ideally, you should be able to run at a pace that allows you to converse comfortably while you do so.

Run/Walk:  There's nothing in the rules that suggests you have to run continuously, either in training or in the 5-K race itself. Run until fatigued; walk until recovered.

Walk: Don't worry about how fast you walk, or how much distance you cover. Begin with about 30 minutes and add 5 minutes a week until you peak with a full hour in Week 7.

The following schedule is only a guide. Feel free to make minor modifications to suit your work and family schedule. You will find more information on 5-K training in my book, RunFast.

5K Training: Novice | Intermediate | Advanced | Walk

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 Rest or run/walk 1.5 m run Rest or run/walk 1.5 m run Rest 1.5 m run 30 min walk
2 Rest or run/walk 1.75 m run Rest or run/walk 1.5 m run Rest 1.75 m run 35 min walk
3 Rest or run/walk 2 m run Rest or run/walk 1.5 m run Rest 2 m run 40 min walk
4 Rest or run/walk 2.25 m run Rest or run/walk 1.5 m run Rest 2.25 m run 45 min walk
5 Rest or run/walk 2.5 m run Rest or run/walk 2 m run Rest 2.5 m run 50 min walk
6 Rest or run/walk 2.75 m run Rest or run/walk 2 m run Rest 2.75 m run 55 min walk
7 Rest or run/walk 3 m run Rest or run/walk 2 m run Rest 3 m run 60 min walk
8 Rest or run/walk 3 m run Rest or run/walk 2 m run Rest Rest 5-K Race

Click Here for a printer-friendly version of the Novice schedule.
 

 

Click here for the TrainingPeaks interactive programs