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home > training > training plans > intermediate 5k program

Intermediate 5K Program
A training schedule for intermediate runners who want to improve performance in the 5K race distance.

  
Intermediate 5K Program

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Related info:
Find 5k Training Schedules - Beginner to Advanced | ActiveTrainer

Register for a 5k Race | Active.com
 

Posted Monday, 8 September, 1997

First things first: bookmark this page so that you can check on your progress. You can also add daily run reminders to the Cool Running homepage as you roll through the weeks of this training program (to do this, edit your start page preferences).

This program contains speed workouts. (For more information on the types of speed workouts, we lay it all out in "The Runner's Building Blocks"). A few quick notes on how speedwork is described here:

  • The distance in parentheses below fartlek runs includes a mile each of warmup and warmdown, in addition to your fartlek sessions. Don't know what a fartlek is? Check out our page about "The Runner's Building Blocks".
  • Whenever you see a pace denoted as 5K pace or 10K pace, this refers to the speed at which you estimate you could run a 5K or 10K on that given day.
  • When you read "4-5 hills," that means you should do 4-5 repeats at 5K pace on a hill about 150 or 200 yards long. Long hills should be 400-600 yards long. If you find it too tedious to run repeats on a single hill, you can also find a route that incorporates the same number of hills, as long as the route is not very long.
  • When you read the notation "4 x 880s," that means you should run four repeats of 880 yards each (two laps on the track). The pace below tells you how fast you should run them. For 880s, give yourself 2 minutes of rest between intervals; for 440s, give yourself 1-2 minutes.

All other workouts (including the long runs) should be run at an easy training pace -- emphasis on "easy." Hold yourself back to a pace about 90 seconds or 2 minutes per mile slower than your current 10K pace.

Finally, the pre-training schedule. You should be able to run this schedule for four to five weeks without much discomfort before starting the 5K program. If not, give yourself some time to build up to that level gradually, or you may risk injury.

  Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
Pre-
Train
Off 3M 3M 5M 3M 3M 5M

 
The schedule

The schedule peaks at about 30 miles per week. If you prefer metric distances, use our distance-conversion calculator to convert to kilometers.

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
1 Off 3M Fartlek
(5M)
3M 5M 3M 5M
2 Off 4M Fartlek
(5M)
3M 5M 3M 5M
3 Off 3M 5-6 Hills
5K pace
3M 5M 3M 7M
4 Off 5M 5 x 440s
5K pace
4M 5M 3M 6M
5 Off 5M 4-5 long hills
5K pace
4M 5M 3M 5K race
(Or 6M)
6 Off 4M 5 x 880s
5K pace
4M 5M 4M 8M
7 Off 5M 5-6 long hills
5K pace
4M 5M 4M 7M
8 Off 5M 6 x 880s
5K pace
4M 5M 4M 8M
9 Off 5M 7 x 440s
5K pace
4M 5M 4M 5K race
(Or 7M)
10 Off 7 x 440s
5K pace
3M 5M 5 x Fast 440s
5K minus 10 secs
4M 6M
11 Off 5 x hills
5K pace
4M 5M 5 x 880s
5K pace
4M 5M
12 Off 6 x 440s
5K pace
5M 3M Off 4M Race Day
 

 

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