How To Run A 5K

Hey friends!

Hope life is treating you awesomely!

I hope today is better than yesterday….for some reason I was just not as happy as usual (work was somewhat tedious) and I was ready to end the day. I hate when that happens :(

This pic from Nov 2011 made me happier though:

However, there are always awesome points–even on crappy days.  One of the highlights of that day was my quick 5K run (well, it wasn’t so quick actually, because of this past weekend-but whatever). My legs felt like lead, but I did it and it was under 29 minutes, so that’s what counts, right?

I have a wide variety of readers here, so here are some tips on how to run a 5k well!

How To Run A 5K (well)

If you’re brand new to running:

  • start by walking 15 minutes every other day
  • after 2 weeks, increase that walking to 30 minutes
  • after 2 weeks of that, add in running intervals (i.e. walk for 2 minutes, run for 1 minute) for 20 minutes (walk the rest of the 10 minutes)
  • after 2 weeks of that, increase the running interval time (i.e. running for 2 minutes instead of 1)
  • over a 3-month period, continue this pattern until there are no walking breaks!!

It is doable, I promise! I know some of my readers are new to running and have no idea where to start. Walking counts, and is always a great place to begin.

Often times I just blab about how awesome fitness is and post workouts that are crazy fast (for me too!), so use those pointers and you’ll be able to run any 5K–and maybe even rock that first 5K!

{from ’09}

If you like running but want to work up to a faster 5K:

  • every other week add in faster intervals to your runs (i.e. run 4 2-minute intervals at 0.5 mph faster than you normally do during a 2-mile run)
  • after 4 weeks of that, increase the total mileage to 3 miles at your ‘regular’ pace
  • after 2 weeks of that, every other week add in 5 intervals to your 3-mile runs (i.e. run 5 intervals at a 0.5 mph faster than you normally do) ->do this for 4 weeks
  • after that step, try running a 5K with a person who is slightly faster than you
  • and after you’re done with that, you are ready to hit up a 5K race!

Anyone can run a 5K if they are prepared correctly. If you train properly, efficiently, and with goals in mind, you can achieve it!

However, with any changes in fitness, remember the F.I.T.T principle –alter each of them on different weeks to avoid overtraining, possible injuries, or even overuse and fatigue.

Any time you want to do better in a fitness aspect, tweak one of those principles and you’re sure to see changes in your body and fitness level. (This is science, people) :)

If you want to KILL the 5K:

These tips (and these tips) worked for me when I tried to run a quick 5K a few weeks ago on the treadmill. I ended up running a 26:40 5K without pushing too hard (I am not a crazy-fast runner like she is or she is, mind you), but I KNOW I have it in me to go quicker if I really want to work at it…..

We shall see 😉 I am more of a distance runner than a sprinter anyways, so I am more comfortable with 10Ks and half-marathons than 5Ks (weird, eh??). BUT, with all this talk of stepping out of our comfort zones and all, well, I guess I should put that into my life in different areas too, eh?

Use these tips and you WILL see your 5K times increase (and/or) even run a 5K in the near future! Running really is a fun sport if you like to do it and enjoy the wind whipping your face and the awesome feel of being able to use your body in that way. Best of luck to you all in using these tips to better your running!

Have a LOVELY day! I am off to teach some PUMP :)

What level do YOU want to work at for a 5K?? Any awesome 5K PR’s out there?? If YOU’RE not a runner, what fitness challenge are YOU working towards??

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  1. 26:40? holy cow you rock girl! i’m looking forward to getting back into running when the weather is nice… totally have not been feeling the mill lately!

  2. I’ve been wanting to work on my 5-K times! I’m usually better at long-distances but don’t want to deal with the injury risk, and Ben wants to try to run a 5-K! He doesn’t run at all, so I want to support him!

  3. caroline says:

    I don’t know why but for some reason I have a hard time paying to run 5k races. If I am going to enter a race then the distance has to be far enough that I feel like I am getting a return on my money. Sounds kinda silly! Maybe thats what I need to do to get outside my comfort zone. Run a 5k? Know of any in the area?

    • I agree with the paying thing….that’s why I do on them on my own and time myself :) I’d just google it if you’re looking for a race nearby. But halfs could be fun soon…… (wink)

  4. ahhh cafe rio! that photo makes me happy too! :)

  5. i’ve had alot of people ask me about how to get into running too and I just direct them to the couch to 5k program..its good to start with a walk/run program, makes the task seem alot less daunting! i must be weird because when i first starting running i could run for a few miles no problem..i guess I was just in good shape from working out already, no idea! i’m not crazy fast, but i ran my first 5k in 27:00..i’m much more of a distance runner, ive only done one 5k , lol!

    love this post!! have a great weds! :)

    • That is a good program, you’re right!

      YEP-it would be easier if you already work out–so that’s why you’re so strong and fast! WOW, girl :)

  6. Great post! I love how it has options for all fitness levels. :)

  7. Great tips! I also prefer longer distances. I’d rather sign up for a half marathon or a full marathon than a 5K! I think part of that is that I’m not at all fast so I don’t want to bother with short distances. After my crazy schedule of Spring races though, I want to try to focus on improving my 5K time. I’ll keep these tips in mind!

  8. I love this.
    So many people talk about halfmarathons and marathons….

  9. My 5K PR is from August (24:41) so I’m sure at this point I could probably beat that since that was about a month after I got back into running from an injury. However, I HATE the 5K distance! The second and third mile are always the roughest for me, so I prefer races that go beyond that! I think a 10K is probably my ideal. But I’m training for a half right now!

  10. great post!!!

  11. This is awesome!! I’ve never done a race but I think I would like a 5k! Anything over 5 miles and I’m kinda over running haha, so the 5k distance would be perfect.



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