12-Week 5K Training Program

December 18, 2012 | Joe Lopez

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5K runs are becoming increasingly popular around the country, whether for charity or competition. Some might be apprehensive about embarking on their first 5K, but worry not. This training plan will get you ready for a 5K in only 12 weeks.

This 12-week plan features three conditioning workouts per week, supplemented by two strength training workouts. Combine them and you will build the endurance needed to complete a 5K and develop the strength you need to stay healthy throughout your training and during the race.

Guidelines

  • If you can't hold a conversation when running, you are going too hard
  • Perform 2 sets of 12-15 reps for each strength exercise unless otherwise specified
  • Complete the same strength exercises each scheduled day
  • Start with a dynamic warm-up to activate your hips, legs and back
  • ST = Strength Training
  • Fartlek = Repeated cycles of slow jogging for one minute followed by 30-second sprints
  • LSD (Long-Slow Distance) = slower than your normal pace

Schedule

  • Week 1: Monday, .25 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, .25 miles; Thursday, ST; Saturday, .5 mile LSD
  • Week 2: Monday, .25 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, .5 miles; Thursday, ST; Saturday, .5 miles LSD
  • Week 3: Monday, .25 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, .5 miles Fartlek; Thursday, ST; Saturday, .75 miles LSD
  • Week 4: Monday, .25 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, .5 miles Fartlek; Thursday, ST; Saturday, .75 miles LSD
  • Week 5: Monday, .5 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, .5 miles; Thursday, ST; Saturday, 1 mile LSD
  • Week 6: Monday, .5 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, .75 miles Fartlek; Thursday, ST; Saturday, 1.25 mile LSD
  • Week 7: Monday, .75 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, .75 miles Fartlek; Thursday, ST; Saturday, 1.25 miles LSD
  • Week 8: Monday, .75 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, 1 mile LSD; Thursday, ST; Saturday, 1.5 miles LSD
  • Week 9: Monday, 1 mile; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, 1 mile Fartlek; Thursday, ST; Saturday, 1.5 miles LSD
  • Week 10: Monday, 1 mile; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, 1 mile Fartlek; Thursday, ST Saturday, 2 miles LSD
  • Week 11: Monday, 1.25 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, 1.5 miles; Thursday, ST; Saturday, 2.5 mile LSD
  • Week 12: Monday, 1.25 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, 1.5 miles; Thursday, ST; Saturday, 3 miles LSD
  • Race Week: Monday, .5 miles; Tuesday, ST; Wednesday, 1 mile; Saturday, 5K Race

Strength Workout

Following this workout will help you successfully complete your first 5K. You might not finish first, but this shouldn't be a concern. Your goal should be to simply finish the race.

Topics: WORKOUT PLAN
Joe Lopez
- Joe Lopez, CSCS, works with many different athletes at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, N.J. His expertise is in track & field,...
Joe Lopez
- Joe Lopez, CSCS, works with many different athletes at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, N.J. His expertise is in track & field,...
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