Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just hoping to finish a race without stopping, training for a 5K can be rewarding. A 5K is a 3.1-mile race where an entry fee is usually required. The fee to run a 5K isn’t expensive, and training for a 5K can be done comfortably in six weeks. Before starting a 5K training program, you should be in reasonably good shape and have done some walking or jogging, according to Girls On the Run St. Louis.
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For week one, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays will be your training days. The first three days will be a walk-jog combination for 20 minutes each day. Walk for one minute and jog for one minute increments during your 20-minute workout. On Sunday, simply walk for 30 minutes at your own pace.
For week two, continue with 20 minutes of walking-jogging for three days, but walk for one-minute and jog for two-minute increments. Sunday’s workout will increase to a 40-minute walk at your own pace.
Things will start to change in week three. On Monday, continue with your 20-minute workout, but walk for one-minute and jog for four-minute increments. On Wednesday, you’ll have a 20-minute workout, but you’ll jog 10 minutes straight followed by a 10-minute walk. Friday’s workout will be a little longer. Instead of a 20-minute workout, you’ll perform a 24-minute workout. Jog for the first five minutes straight and follow this with a three-minute walk. Repeat this two more times. Sunday won’t just be a walking workout. Instead, this 40-minute workout will require increments of jogging for two minutes followed by one minute of walking.
In week four, you’ll start to incorporate longer periods of jogging and phase out walking. For Monday, jog for 12 minutes straight and follow this with 12 minutes of walking. Wednesday, start with an eight-minute jog followed by one minute of walking. Repeat this two more times. Friday, simply jog for 15 minutes straight. Sunday, jog for two minutes followed by walking for one minute. Repeat this until you’ve completed a 40-minute workout.
By week five, you should be able to jog without walking for 20 to 25 minutes. On Monday, jog for 20 minutes straight without walking. Wednesday start with a five-minute run followed by a one-minute walk. Repeat this three times. On Friday, up your game by jogging for 25 minutes straight. Repeat this 25-minute jogging workout on Sunday.
If you decide to train the week of your 5K race, don’t overdo it. If race day is on the following Sunday, perform easy 20-minute jogs on Monday and Wednesday. If you’re feeling sluggish on Friday, either take an extra rest day or jog for five minutes and walk for one minute. Repeat this three times for an 18-minute workout.
For rest days, you shouldn’t exercise at all. For those who want a light workout during rest days, incorporate low-impact exercises such as swimming, yoga or stretching.
Always maintain a comfortable pace when jogging. If you’re huffing and having trouble breathing during a jogging period, you’ve overdone it and need to slow down. A comfortable pace is one where you can hold a conversation when jogging.