How can I train for a 5k in the next four weeks if I haven’t started training yet?

 

This is a question heard often this time of year. Has this happened to you? “I signed up for a 5k race some time ago, forgot about it, and now it is a month away and I haven’t started training yet! Do I still have time to get in shape?”

One answer is if you can already run ½ mile, or if you regularly train two days per week now, then most likely yes. But you are going to have to follow a rigorous training schedule to be ready by race day.

Below is a walk/run train-up schedule that has you doing combination run/walks every other day. So, your goal of course is to walk less and run more as you get deeper into the schedule. Because everyone starts at different levels and progresses at different rates, there isn’t a standard run/walk ratio – consequently you will have to listen to your body and react accordingly.

As far as how fast you should run, go at a pace where your breathing rate is elevated – you are breathing deeper and faster – but where you can still carry on a conversation with a running partner. As always, it is recommended to get a Fitness Assessment before you start your training regimen

Here is the schedule:

Week One
  • Monday: Run/walk 15 minutes
  • Tuesday: Rest or Level 10 Training
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 20 minutes
  • Thursday: Rest or Level 10 Training
  • Friday: Run/walk 20 minutes
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Run/walk 25-30 minutes

 

Week Two

 

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Run/walk 20 minutes
  • Wednesday: Rest or Level 10 Training
  • Thursday: Run/walk 25 minutes
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Sunday: Rest

 

Week Three

 

  • Monday: Run/walk 25 minutes
  • Tuesday: Rest or Level 10 Training
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 25 minutes
  • Thursday: Rest or Level 10 Training
  • Friday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Run/walk 30-45 minutes

 

Week Four

 

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Wednesday: Rest or Level 10 Training
  • Thursday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Relax and mentally prepare for the run
  • Sunday: Race! Run 3.1 miles
This schedule is intentionally set up so you are not running two consecutive days. The muscles need a day in between to recover.

 

On Level 10 Training days, you will be engage in strength training, power training, cardio training, and stability training. Level 10 Training intentionally uses muscles other than the ones you use when running a long distance.

At the end of your one month train-up, you should be in good enough shape to at least complete a 5K run, and within a respectable time.

Training with a friend or in the Level 10 Class is a great way to stay accountable to your train-up schedule. Most importantly, don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water – more than you think you need, especially if it is hot outside.

If you have not yet signed up for a 5k but are looking for a challenge to start off your 2021, here are a list of upcoming races in Arkansas you can look into:

Mississippi River Marathon (offers a 5K, 13.1M, 26.2M) – February 6th

Valentines Day 5K – February 13th

VFW Run for Warriors 5K – February 27th

Iron Horse 5K – March 6th

Little Rock Marathon (offers a 13.1M, 26.2M) – March 7th

Endure the Dirt 5K Cancer Mud Run – March 13th

 

 

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