Training Plans: Your first 5k

It seems like running is all the rage right now. Or maybe I was just late to the party? Anyways, it seems like more and more people are lacing up their shoes and hitting the pavement which I think is awesome. If you are new to running or would like to start, a 5k race is the perfect distance. Well, you could do the 1 mile fun run, but I don’t think the kids would appreciate it.

If you are thinking about running your first 5k I say “go for it!”. Why not? What do you have to lose? Think of all you have to gain! In my opinion, the first step in running your first 5k is to pick your race. Twelve weeks out is a good idea since most training plans are 12 weeks long. However, pick a plan that seems right for your starting level. Picking your race gives you something to work towards; a light at the end of the training program. Once you pick your race, you need to decide what your training is going to look like. You should map out every day for the entire training period. Below are some 5k training plans I have created. Next, tell people about your goal. Don’t be embarrassed or shy. Telling people your running plans will not only encourage you, it will also let your friends cheer you on.  Finally, treat yourself to a little something after you complete your race. Maybe a new running accessory? You worked hard so you deserve to treat yourself.

This program is inspired by the Jeff Galloway “run injury free” plan. Race day is on Sunday, but you can bump everything back a day if your race is on Saturday.

This plan has 3 run days, 3 walk/cross train days and one rest day. The long runs increase by 1/2 mile every two weeks. I would recommend this plan for individuals who have some experience with running.




This plan has 3 run days, 2 cross training days and 2 off days. Long runs increase by .25 miles each week. This plan is great for first time runners.


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