Work It Out: Train for a 5K in 5 weeks | SummitDaily.com

Work It Out: Train for a 5K in 5 weeks

Trent Johnson
Special to the Daily
Personal trainer Trent Johnson.
Special to the Daily |

5-week training plan

Training for a 5K in just five weeks sounds simple enough. But how do you get started? Here’s a sample schedule for any beginner who want to finish a race without stopping. Note: Every Sunday is a rest day. You deserve (and need) it.

Week 1

On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday — Run 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes. Repeat 10 times.

On Tuesday and Thursday — Walk for 30 minutes at an easy pace.

Week 2

Monday — Run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 10 times.

Tuesday and Thursday — Walk 30 minutes.

Wednesday — Run 3 minutes, walk 2 minute, repeat seven times.

Friday and Saturday — Run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat six times.

Week 3

Monday and Wednesday — Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat five times.

Tuesday and Thursday — Walk 30 minutes at an easy pace

Friday and Saturday — Run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat five times.

Week 4

Monday — Run 8 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat three times.

Tuesday and Thursday — Walk 30 minutes.

Wednesday — Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat three times.

Friday — Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat two times.

Saturday — Run 11 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat three times.

Week 5

Monday — Run 12 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat three times.

Tuesday and Thursday — Walk 30 minutes.

Wednesday — Run 13 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat three times.

Friday — Run 14 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat three times.

Saturday — Run 15 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat three times.

Standing there at the starting line, feeling the endorphins running through your veins, listening to the announcer count down: five, four, three, two …

We are getting a little ahead of ourselves, so let’s start from the beginning. When we talk about running races, most people think that you have to be a natural-born runner or a professional runner to tackle a 5K race. This is wrong. As human beings, we are designed to be natural-born runners. Our bodies are made to run great distances without the need to replenish our fuel.

Most of us believe that it is too late to start training for a 5K race, and others believe that your body will give up on you during the race. While these are reasonable thoughts, they are simply not true. Through a proper training plan, anyone can go from sitting on a couch to running a 5K race in as little as 5 weeks. It takes at least 5 weeks for your body to get used to using a new energy pathway and for your lungs to fully adapt to the new workload.

When training, you will start to notice that you are tired more often than before. This is due to the increased energy expenditure from running. Do not be alarmed if this happens because your body will take time to get used to the new workload. As a professional runner for the past 8 years, I highly recommend getting at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to combat the exhaustion or sluggishness.

Then comes diet. With your body becoming more active through running, you will notice that you are hungrier than before and tempted to eat more. This comes from the amount of calories that you burn from running. Your body wants to maintain homeostasis (equilibrium), and, to achieve this after a run, you will need to eat to give your body the fuel it needs to succeed in a run.

Healthy eating habits and functional movements are key to becoming a stronger and more efficient runner. There may be a point in your training where you will notice that you are a little heavier, but your cloths are fitting looser than before. This is very common for starting any cardio-intense exercise due to muscle building in your legs and core. While you are running, you are building and working all of the slow-twitch muscles in your legs, which will increase their mass and strength.

Do not worry about your weight during the training periods. When you are running, you use your aerobic metabolic pathway to burn excess fat storage in your body and legs while building the muscles at the same time. As a result, your scale will tell you that you have either maintained or gained weight, while your clothing will tell you that you are losing weight from running and eating healthier.

Not only will running increase your strength — it will also increase your overall energy. The feeling that you get from a successful run will boost your mood, and you will be more likely to exercise again to have a similar euphoric feeling the following day.

Trent Johnson is a personal trainer certified through the National Association of Fitness Certifications. As a trainer and runner, he has years of experience training people of all abilities, from high-level athletes to Average Joes who just want to find better fitness.


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