Six-Week 5K Run Training
Give yourself the best possible chance of completing the run.
Running a 5K race is a great way to motivate yourself to start running, or to kick it up a notch if you've been walking and running just a little. A 5K equals 3.1 miles. The distance is significant enough to warrant an entry fee and be rewarded with a T-shirt, but not so daunting that you can't comfortably train for and complete the race in six weeks.
Training for a 5K in six weeks requires achieving the right blend of running, walking and resting, according to Olympic runner Jeff Galloway, a leading coach and proponent of the walk-run method of training and racing endorsed by the Mayo Clinic, Florida. Galloway advocates training only three days a week, with two days of walking and two days of rest. He also advises that beginners mix walking and running to decrease the likelihood of injury. For instance, Galloway suggests running for 15 seconds then walking for 45 seconds when first starting out. As training progresses, the running time increases and the walking time decreases.
For your first 5K, your goal should just be to finish. You shouldn't worry about your time, according to Rick Morris, of runningplanet.com. That means your training runs will be at an easy pace. To measure your effort, Morris recommends the talk method. You should be able to carry on a conversation while running. If not, you're training too hard.
First Three Weeks
On Mondays, rest, or, if you wish, walk or cross train for 20 minutes. On Tuesday of the first week walk/run for 10 minutes, alternating two minutes of walking with two of running. On the second Tuesday, run five minutes and walk five minutes. On the third Tuesday, run 15 minutes. Rest on Wednesdays, or cross train or walk for 20 minutes. On Thursdays, run/walk for 15 minutes the first week, alternating three minutes of running and three minutes of walking. Run 10 minutes the second week, and run 15 minutes the third week. On Fridays, rest, cross train or walk for 20 minutes. Rest on Saturdays. On Sundays, run one mile and walk one mile the first week; run two miles the second week; and run two and a half miles the third week.
Second Three Weeks
On Monday, rest, cross train or walk for 20 minutes. On Tuesday, run 20 minutes the first week, 25 the second and 30 on the third. On Wednesday, rest, cross train or walk for 20 minutes. On Thursday, run 20 minutes the first week, 25 the second and 30 on the third. On the first two Fridays, rest, cross train or walk for 20 minutes. Rest completely on the last Friday. Rest on Saturday. On Sunday run three miles the first week, three-and-a-half the second week and enjoy your race on the last Sunday.