With any fitness challenge, maintaining motivation is the key to success, so it helps to follow a training programme with achievable steps. One of the major barriers to motivation is braving the elements outdoors, so this training plan is designed to enable you to train in the gym on the treadmill or on the streets. Of course, it's best to practice running outdoors ahead of the event as well, to get your body used to running under race day conditions - on uneven surfaces or against the wind, for example.
This plan should take an individual from no structured running to completing a 5k run within six weeks. Always consult your GP before undertaking any physical challenges, and also consult with a member of gym staff if you're unsure how to operate any of the equipment or exercises listed within this programme.
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6|
|Monday||Interval 1||Interval 2||Interval 3||Interval 4||Interval 5||Interval 6|
|Tuesday||Strength 1||Strength 1||Strength 1||Strength 1||Strength 1||Strength 1|
|Wednesday||Fartlek 1||Fartlek 2||Fartlek 3||Fartlek 4||Fartlek 5||Fartlek 6|
|Friday||Strength 2||Strength 2||Strength 2||Strength 2||Strength 2||Strength 2|
|Saturday||Long run 1||Long run 2||Long run 3||Long run 4||Long run 5||Long run 6|
The table below provides information on what to do in each of the interval sessions listed above.
For all interval sessions, begin with active stretches and 5 minutes walking or jogging. Upon competing prescribed intervals, finish with a 5 minute walk and foam roll/static stretch. The 30 second runs should be above race pace, therefore more of a sprint than a jog. The 400m jogs should be at about 60-70% effort, just below a race-pace run.
|Interval 1||30 sec run||1 min recovery||x5|
|Interval 2||400m jog||400m walk||x6|
|Interval 3||30 sec run||1 min recovery||x6|
|Interval 4||400m jog||400m walk||x7|
|Interval 5||30 sec run||1 min recovery||x7|
|Interval 6||400m jog||400m walk||x8|
The table below provides information on what to do in each of the fartlek sessions listed in the six-week plan above.
Fartlek training is a form of relaxed intervals. You simply run as long as you can and walk as long as needed, until you have completed the chosen distance. Your aim should be to walk as little as needed. Aim to use a comfortable jog pace rather than a fast run to enable you to complete a further distance.
The table below provides information on what to do in each of the long runs listed in the six-week plan above.
The goal should be to complete each long run at or just below your race pace. Ensure to use a pace that allows you to finish the run, but don’t feel bad if you need to walk for small periods to catch your breath. The final run in week six is the 5k run.
|Long run 1||1.5k|
|Long run 2||2k|
|Long run 3||2.5k|
|Long run 4||3k|
|Long run 5||4k|
|Long run 6||5k|
This is a basic strength programme that will ensure you build strength in all areas. The focus will be to increase the weight used once you are able to reach the numbers prescribed, and still have three more reps ‘in the tank’. Ensure you stick to the rest periods as stated.
|Strength 1||Strength 2||Sets x Reps||Rest/Set|
|Long jump||Tuck jump||3 x 5||1 min|
|Back squat||Deadlift||3 x 8||1 min|
|Bent-over row||Assisted pull up||3 x 8||1 min|
|Dips (assisted)||Bench press||3 x 8||1 min|
|Upright row||Overhead press||3 x 8||1 min|
|Leg raises||Crunches||3 x 12||1 min|
|Back extensions||Russian twists||3 x 15||1 min|
Last updated Monday 24 August 2020
First published on Thursday 27 October 2016