5K Training

5K Training

FOR MANY INDIVIDUALS, five kilometers (5,000 meters, or 3.1 miles) is the first competitive distance they try. It’s their first race T-shirt, their introduction to the world of road racing. But experienced runners like 5K’s too. 5K races are fun to run and easy to race. Unlike marathons, you don’t need to spend 18 weeks training specifically for them, and recovery time is measured in days, not weeks.


For that reason, the 5K is the most popular racing distance in the United States. If you are a beginner, you can be standing at the starting line of your first 5K after only a few months training. It will take some effort on your part, but not a lot. For those who have never run or walked before, you will find information on how to get started in my Beginning Runner’s Guide. (The Novice program below appears in that booklet.)

For those who would like to train a bit harder, here also are training programs for intermediate and advanced runners. And for those who don’t intend to become runners, here is a walking program to help you train for your first 5K.

Click on one of the links below to access my 8-week schedules for 5K runners, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Walkers. On these screens, you will also find instructions on how to do the different workouts, but for more detailed instructions plus extra training advice and tips, consider signing up for one of my interactive programs, available through TrainingPeaks. Click here to access the menu listing all of my Virtual Training programs. For eight weeks leading up to the 5K race of your choice, I will send you daily emails telling you how to train. Regardless of the path you take, let’s get started on it now.

5K Training

Whether a first-time runner or a regular road-warrior, we know how much it means to get that personal best. Choose from four different programs designed for 5K runners.

  • Novice

    This Novice 5K Training Plan is designed for beginning runners or for runners who want to take a low-mileage approach to their training. Never...

  • Intermediate

    This Intermediate 5K Training Plan is designed for experienced runners, who have run 5K races before and want to improve their time by adding...

  • Advanced

    This is the Advanced 5K Training Program. Are you ready for it? Only a small percentage of runners have trained hard enough before or...

  • Walkers

    This program is designed for those training to walk a 5K, or 3.1 mile, race. It is currently not offered in an interactive version...