8 Weeks to 5K Program

With the weather getting better here in Michigan, I thought it would be a good idea to write a program dedicated to running. In particular, running a 5k. I feel many are a little confused on how to supplement the running with other workouts in order to reduce the risk of injury and improve performance. I am not a runner but I have done tremendous amounts of research on how to prepare for a race. Training the proper energy systems and taking care of your body are the most important factors. You also have to be efficient and effective with your training. When entering any kind of race, a well thought out plan is important to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Just running will not get you optimal results. There are many components of training that must be taken into account when getting ready for a race.

The most common race distance that people engage in is a 5k. Entering a local 5k is a great way to get you motivated to work out more. It gives you a goal to focus on for a certain period of time. One problem I see with peoples training programs is they just run. In order to perform better and feel better you need to do more.

Below I have outlined a complete 8-week guide to running a 5k. A proper dynamic warm-up, foam rolling, full-body strength training and a proper running regimen are all part of the program. You will do without the “junk” miles and focus on efficient running. You will never run more than 2.5 miles during this time, but the miles you do run will be at your race pace. This will better prepare you for race day and reduce the risk of injuries associated for running. As an added benefit, you will become stronger and lose body fat.

Trail running.
Trail running.

Make sure to perform a proper dynamic warm-up before each workout. Foam rolling should be done everyday. On your rest days, you should foam roll even more to improve recovery.

Week 1
Monday:
Full-body Strength training
Tuesday:
Run 1.5 miles

Wednesday:
Rest and Foam Roll

Thursday:
Run 400 meters. Repeat the following four times: Run 100 meters. Try to improve your time with each 100-meter run. After every interval, rest for as much time as it took you to complete the distance.

Friday:
Full-body Strength Training

Saturday:
Run 1 mile at race pace—the speed that you plan to run on race day.
Sunday:
Rest and Foam Roll

Week 2
Monday:
Full-body Strength Training

Tuesday:
Run 1.5 miles at a faster pace than the previous week. 

Wednesday:
Rest
and Foam Roll
Thursday: 
Hill Runs: Find a hill that it pretty steep, but not too steep where you have to walk up the hill. Run up the hill as fast as you can. Walk back down the hill slowly and then sprint back up. Perform 6 intervals.
Friday:
Full-body Strength Training

Saturday:
Run 1.5 miles at race pace

Sunday:
Off and Foam Rolling

Week 3
Monday:
Full-body Strength Training

Tuesday: Run 1.5 miles at a faster pace than the previous week. 

Wednesday:
Rest
and Foam Roll
Thursday:
Run 400 meters two times. Repeat the following four times: Run 100 meters. Try to improve your time with each 100-meter run. After every interval, rest for as much time as it took you to complete the distance.

Friday:
Full-body Strength training

Saturday:
Run 1.5 miles at race pace

Sunday:
Rest and Foam Roll

Week 4
Monday:
Full-body Strength Training

Tuesday: Run 1.5 miles at a faster pace than the previous week. 

Wednesday:
Rest

Thursday: Hill Runs: Find a hill that it pretty steep, but not too steep where you have to walk up the hill. Run up the hill as fast as you can. Walk back down the hill slowly and then sprint back up. Perform 8 intervals.
Friday:
Full-body Strength Training
Saturday:
Run 2 miles at race pace

Sunday:
Rest and Foam Roll

Week 5
Monday:
Full-body Strength Training

Tuesday:
Run 2 miles

Wednesday:
Rest
and Foam Roll
Thursday:
Mid-Distance Intervals. After every interval, rest for as much time as it took you to complete the distance.
• Run 800 meters.
• Run 400 meters. Repeat twice.
• Run 100 meters. Repeat four times. Try to improve your time with each 100-meter run. 

Friday:
Full-body Strength Training

Saturday:
Run 2.5 miles at race pace

Sunday:
Rest and Foam Roll

Week 6
Monday:
Full-body Strength Training
Tuesday:
Run 2 miles. This should feel short at this point in your training. Push yourself to see how fast you can do it.

Wednesday:
Rest and Foam Roll 

Thursday:
Hill Runs: Find a hill that it pretty steep, but not too steep where you have to walk up the hill. Run up the hill as fast as you can. Walk back down the hill slowly and then sprint back up. Perform 10 intervals.
Friday:
Full-body Strength Training

Saturday
Run 2.5 miles close to your goal race pace.
Sunday
Rest and Foam Roll

Week 7
Monday:
Full-body Strength Training 

Tuesday: Run 2 miles at a faster pace than the previous week. 

Wednesday:
Rest
and Foam Roll
Thursday: Mid-Distance Intervals. After every interval, rest for as much time as it took you to complete the distance. 
• Run 800 meters. 
• Run 400 meters. Repeat twice. 
• Run 100 meters. Repeat four times. Try to improve your time with each 100-meter run. 

Friday:
Full-body Strength Training

Saturday:
Run 1.5 miles fast
as possible
Sunday:
Rest and Foam Roll

Week 8
EXTRA foam rolling and dynamic stretching this week!

Monday:
Full-body Strength Training 

Tuesday:
Run 1 mile.
Wednesday:
Full-body Strength Training
Thursday:
Rest. Foam roll and stretch. 

Friday:
Rest. Foam roll and stretch. 

Saturday:
Race day! 

Sunday:
Have Fun!

finish-line

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