5K: RACE PROGRAM
The focus of this twelve-week program is to polish your speed, strength and endurance so you can, if conditions allow, PR a 5K. You’ll increase endurance and stamina with long runs; strength with heart-pumping circuits and fun workouts; and speed with intervals and hill workouts.
A quick note about racing a 5K: A common misconception in the running community is the longer the distance, the harder the race. Not true! Keeping your personal accelerator pushed to the floor during the full 5K (3.1 miles) requires physical strength, endurance and mental toughness. You will push yourself plenty during this program, so you’re ready to gun it on race day.
PREREQS: For at least the past month, you have run 30-40 minutes (without walking) at least 3-4 times per week; your total weekly mileage should be at 15, if not higher. Race experience, especially in a 5K, is very helpful, so you’ll know how demanding a full-on 3.1 miles can be.
An injury-free body is also key; if you’ve got lingering issues that are on their way out the door, be sure to keep up the physical therapy and/or foam rolling to continue to encourage their exit.
BIGGEST WEEK OF TRAINING: 21 miles + 90–150 minutes of strength/cross training
LONGEST LONG RUN DISTANCE: 8 miles
CROSS TRAINING + STRENGTH TRAINING INCLUDED? One day a week is a straight-up cross-training day; another day is your choice: cross training or a rest day. Plus, there are two weekly strength circuits that you can easily follow. Two of those routines include resistance bands.
WEEKLY OVERVIEW: Four runs; one cross-training session; one with a choice of cross-training session or rest day; two strength circuits; one rest day.
FIRST AND PEAK WEEKS: (explained fully in the program)