Intermediate 5k Training Plan [To Help You Improve Your Times]

INTERMEDIATE TRAINING PLAN FOR 5K

Intermediate 5K Training Plan [To Help Improve Your Times]

This Intermediate 5K training plan is designed for runners who are looking to finish at specific time. It's designed for runners who are finishing 5K's under 25 minutes. This training plan offers interval training days, short runs and longer runs to help you build stamina. This training plan was developed to help you hit a target time goal.

Download the FREE PDF: INTERMEDIATE TRAINING PLAN

TRAINING PLAN TERMS

Easy: The “easy” run on the schedule above should be at a comfortable level. Don’t focus on how fast you are running, just make sure you get the miles in. An “easy pace” should be run at a level that allows you to chat with a running partner without being out of breath.

Tempo Runs: Tempo Runs are a continuous run with a warm-up, build up to a race pace and then cool down to finish. The warm-up should be about 5-10 minutes of easy running and then 10-15 at the faster pace and finish with a 5-10 minute cool down. Be sure to listen to your body when you run tempo runs as they are very useful for developing anaerobic threshold which is extremely essential for a very fast 5k race.

Fast: As part of this training plan there are a few "fast" runs. So what is exactly is "fast"? That depends on how comfortable you feel. Go a little faster than the "easy" run days specifically fast enough that you would not be able to hold a conversation with your running partner. Expect to be out of breathe.

Rest: The training plan includes "rest" days. These help you recover from your runs and make sure you taper your training the final week so you are ready to rock your race.

Interval Training: To improve your speed interval training is imperative. What happens when you run interval runs is that you train faster than your race pace for the 5K. Be sure to run a specific amount of time hard, then recover by jogging or walking for shorter time to catch your breathe or 400 meters. Make sure you are warmed up before the intervals. Doing sprints of 100 meters beforehand and stretching would be ideal.

INTERMEDIATE 5K TRAINING PLAN WEEK BY WEEK

WEEK

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

1

REST

3 MILE EASY

2 MILE WARM-UP

5 x 400(5 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

3 MILES EASY

REST

3 MILES EASY

5 MILES EASY

WEEK 1:

  • 19.25 Total Miles
  • 4 Easy Run & 5 Interval Runs (400 METERS OR 1/4 MILE)

Week One Comments: 19.25 total miles with one day of interval running will get you going quickly. Be careful not to over-do-it on the easy run on Tuesday, as you will feel sluggish during the Interval runs on Wednesday. The warm up and cool down miles are very important to warm up your legs and to stabilize your heart rate when cooling down. This gives your body a natural decrease in heart rate as you finish your run. Be sure to REST on the rest days, which means do not go out for a stroll. Cross-training or bike riding is a perfect substitute. The interval runs work best to run fast for the 400 or 1/4, once you hit the the specific distance STOP to catch your breathe and then go at it again. How long should you stop to catch you breathe, how ever long it took you to run the 400 or 1/4 mile. So if it took you two minutes to run the 1/4 interval, you rest for two minutes and then go continue to the next interval run. Don't be surprised, normally the first interval run will be your fastest and then the time will go down each time.


WEEK

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

2

REST

3 MILE EASY

30 MIN TEMPO

3 MILES EASY

REST

4 MILES FAST

5 MILES EASY

WEEK 2:

  • 20.0 Total Miles
  • 3 Easy Run & 1 Tempo Run, 1 Fast (goal of getting to race pace)

Week Two Comments: You waist no time diving head first into week 2. Week two features a tempo runs, which is essentially warming up over a couple miles, holding a specific pace for a mile or two and then a cool down. The cool down allows your heart rate to get back to a normal pace. The fast run on Saturday will be a great test to see where you and where you want to be. Don't be discouraged if that fast run doesn't get you the results you were looking for (i.e. a time or a specific per mile pace), you are only on week two of the training plan. On Sundays, make sure to take it easy on your run. This is a day that allows you to stay active, get miles and give your legs a little workout.


WEEK

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

3

REST

3 MILE EASY

2 MILE WARM-UP

6 x 400(6 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

3 MILES EASY

REST

2 MILE WARM-UP

4 MILES EASY

2 MILE COOL DOWN

  6 MILES EASY

WEEK 3:

  • 25.50 Total Miles
  • 4 Easy Run & 6 Interval Runs (6-400 meters or 1/4 miles)

Week Three Comments: The interval run has increased to now six (as opposed to five which was week one). Remember the rule about resting after each interval run. Break to catch your breathe for however it took you to run that interval. This interval running will be hard on your legs so you have a few easy run days in to make sure you get solid miles in. On Sunday the mileage has increased to six miles which helps build endurance on your body and legs. Not only are you training your breathing and legs for hard running via the intervals but you are also training to increase the endurance. This will prove monumental during the race.


WEEK

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

4

REST

3 MILE EASY

40 MIN TEMPO

3 MILES EASY

REST

3 MILES EASY

  5K TEST RUN

WEEK 4:

  • 17.75 Total Miles
  • 3 Easy Runs & 1 Tempo & 5K Test Run

Week Four Comments: You are halfway into the eight week training plan, you increase your increase your strength, improving your speed endurance and piling up solid miles. Week four also brings the 5K test run on Sunday. This test run will give you great idea of where you are and how closer you are to reach your goal time for the race.  The 5K Test Run should be ran at a pace a little slower than what your ultimate goal race pace would be, for example if your goal is to run each mile at 6:25, this run should be at 6:40-:45 range. After the test run be sure to do a two mile cool down as your legs will build up lactic acid which will make running next week especially tougher.


WEEK

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

5

REST

3 MILE EASY

2 MILE WARM-UP

7 x 400(7 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

3 MILES EASY

REST

2 MILE WARM-UP

4 MILES FAST

2 MILE COOL DOWN

6.25 MILES EASY

WEEK 5:

  • 26.00 Total Miles
  • 3 Easy Runs, 7 (7 X 400 or 1/2) interval runs and 1 Fast Run

Week Five Comments: You have reached 26 miles this week with a ton of interval running and a hard four mile run on Saturday. Your interval runs will become tough on runs five through seven but you have got to keep pushing hard through them. The easy run on Thursday will feel a little tough to get going but once you are warmed up you should feel pretty good. Just don't get going too fast as you might find yourself struggling on Saturday. Saturday will be a great test to see how wells your legs recovered from the interval runs and you can push yourself a little. The easiest way to do it is to run at a little above your race pace and then try to get down to your race pace (the goal pace you are aiming for) and do your best hold that pace for two miles. This way you know how much more you need to get there. Take Sunday easy, it's a lot of miles to run after a hard day on Saturday so be cautious and don't over do it.


WEEK

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

6

REST

3 MILE EASY

45 MIN TEMPO

3 MILES EASY

REST

4 MILES EASY

8 MILES EASY

WEEK 6:

  • 24.00 Total Miles
  • 4 Easy Runs & a 45 minutes Tempo Run

Week Six Comments: This week provides two longer runs, one on Wednesday and the other on Sunday. These longer runs will help you build strength in your legs for the entirety of the race. The Tempo Run on Wednesday provides a longer duration of time which allows you to focus on your breathing, form and pacing. The eight mile run on Sunday stretches out out your legs and pushes your stamina little bit. You are few weeks from the race so the mileage will spike next week as well as the speed work.


WEEK

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

7

REST

3 MILE EASY

2 MILE WARM-UP

8 x 400(8 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

3 MILES EASY

REST

2 MILE WARM-UP

4 MILES FAST

2 MILE COOL DOWN

8 MILES EASY

WEEK 7:

  • 28.00 Total Miles
  • 3 Easy Run & 8 Interval Runs (8 X 400 or 1/4 miles), & 1 Fast Run

Week Seven Comments: With just two weeks away from your race, week seven pushes you one last time before the race. For the eight interval runs on Wednesday, think of these as your last "run as hard as you can" type runs. So we want to make sure you leave nothing left in the tank after these runs. Saturday provides another hard run day as you push yourself to try to hold the goal race pace for at least two miles.  The eight miles on Sunday cements the solid foundation you have of miles on your legs and the conditioning you have put yourself through. 


WEEK

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

8

REST

3 MILE EASY

45 MIN TEMPO

3 MILES EASY

2 MILES EASY

REST

5K RACE DAY

WEEK 8:

  • 17.1 Total Miles
  • 3 Easy Run & 1 Tempo & RACE DAY!

Week Eight Comments: This is it... it's race week. All the training and preparing comes down to Sunday. During the week, don't push yourself too hard but still get the work in. Your legs will be good on race day. On Race Day, stick to your pre-race routine and don't let the adrenaline of the race get you out of your comfort zone especially at the beginning of the race.Try to get to your goal race pace within the first mile of the race. If you can do that and hold it, you have a really good chance of reaching your goal. Once you get to the last 1/2 mile or 1/4 mile, run very hard to the finish line. That time will be make up for the time it took you to get to  to your race pace.

Download the FREE PDF: INTERMEDIATE TRAINING PLAN

Got a question about the training plan? Send me an email and I will respond as quick as possible = trainfora5k@gmail.com.

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