Run-Walk 5K Training Plan

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Run-Walk 5K Training Plan

“The advice I have for beginners is the same philosophy that I have for runners of all levels of experience and ability – consistency, a sane approach, moderation and making your running an enjoyable, rather than dreaded, part of your life.” – Bill Rodgers

Welcome to the Run-Walk 5K Training Plan, a dynamic and inclusive approach to guide novice and returning runners toward completing a 5K race. With millions of individuals participating in 5K events annually, this program not only taps into the excitement of a thriving global community but also aligns with the universal appeal of the 5K distance as a manageable yet rewarding goal. By incorporating intervals of running and walking, this plan ensures accessibility for all fitness levels, making it an ideal starting point for those new to running or seeking a balanced approach to fitness. Beyond the thrill of crossing the 5K finish line, the benefits extend to overall health, encompassing cardiovascular fitness, mental well-being, and a sense of accomplishment. Lace up your running shoes, embrace the alternating rhythm of run and walk, and join the multitude who discover the transformative power of the 5K journey—a journey that enriches your running experience and contributes to your holistic well-being. Are you ready to step into a healthier, more active lifestyle?

5K Run-Walk Running Plan at a glance:

The Run-Walk 5K running plan follows the following structure and is available for purchase through Coach Andrew Taylor's Final Surge coaching page.

What to Expect:

The 5K Run-Walk training Plan is designed for the first-time runner and those who want to enjoy exercising with minimal risk of injury. This plan is popular among those who wish to train for their first 5K race, learn to run, or get back into running.

I designed this training plan using Run-to-walk intervals. This approach has been proven to transform everyday people into 5K finishers! The plan is 10 weeks long and features three days per week of run-walk intervals. Running is mixed with short walking breaks repeatedly throughout each work. As the plan progresses, the running time increases, and the walking time decreases.

Some may ask, why 10 weeks and run-walk intervals for my first 5K training? My answer is based on my experience as a runner and coach. I know rushing to reach a fitness goal is far too easy. With this structure, there is time for your body to adapt. The blend of running and short walking breaks will reduce the overall impact on your body and the risk of injury. It will also lead to increased enjoyment for running while preparing you to go the 5K distance.

The 5K Run-Walk training plan includes optional cross-training workouts. These cross-training workouts allow you to incorporate other activities you enjoy with this training plan. Cross-training activities may include cycling, yoga, elliptical, swimming, or weight-lifting.

How to Get Started?

Purchase this Run-Walk 5K Running Plan on Final Surge for a one-time fee of $19.99 here. Digitally track your progress from start to finish of the training program.

Run-Walk 5K Running Plan Preview:

The following is a snapshot of what to expect in your purchased Run-Walk 5K Training Plan.

The above training plan preview is designed for educational purposes and is not prescribed for any particular individual. The preview presented does not include complete details of what should be done on each training day. Consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs or if there are any individual health concerns to be aware of.

5K Run-Walk Plan Terminology:

The Run-Walk 5K training plan terms are defined inside the purchased plan, but let me explain them for you here as well.

Warm-Up: Walk for 5 minutes at an easy effort before every workout (run-walk days and cross-training days). A proper warm-up will help to gradually increase heart rate, improve circulation, loosen up muscles, and prepare you for the days workout.

Cool-Down: Walk for 5 minutes at an easy effort after every workout (run-walk days and cross-training days). A proper cool-down will help to gradually bring your heart rate and breathing rate back down to normal levels after the days workout.

Perceived Effort: A way to rate your effort level based on your feelings about the level of intensity on a scale from 1 to 10. 1 is considered ‘At Rest’ and 10 is considered ‘An All Out Level.’ Use this scale to stay in the correct range listed in the training schedule for a given day (i.e. 6-7).

Heart Rate: If you have access to a heart rate monitor then use this device to stay in the correct range listed in the training schedule for a given day (i.e. 60-75% of maximum heart rate).

Cross-Training: Include activities other than running and walking in your training plan. If you are completely new to exercise, then you may want to wait until weeks 4 or 5 to add in a cross-training workouts. If you are already active 3 to 4 days per week, then start the cross-training as scheduled in the plan. Activities for cross-training may include cycling, elliptical, rowing, strength training, swimming, and more. Cross-training allows you to rest your running muscles and work opposing muscle groups. These activities will help to reduce the impact on your body and the risk of injury. Cross-training can also speed up recovery time between run-walk workouts. Cross-training workouts should be done at a moderate level, Perceived Effort of at least 7, or a Heart Rate of 75-80%.

Strength Training: A form of cross-training, strength training can be a great way to increase lean muscle and boost metabolism while at rest. Strength training can be completed using free-weights, resistance bands, weight machines, or classes such as pilates, yoga or cross-fit. Include exercises for upper body, core, and lower body. Warm-up with a walk or another form of cardio. If you are new to strength training, then start with 1 set of each exercise for 12-15 repetitions. The goal is to work your muscles to fatigue or until you can no longer maintain proper form during the exercise. Continue with 1 set of each exercise for weeks 1 through 4, then progress to 2 to 3 sets of each exercise for 8-12 repetitions.

Flexibility: Stretch lightly after every warm-up period. Stretch again after every workout to improve flexibility, increase circulation, and reduce the risk of injury.

Easy Effort: Easy pace/effort is considered slightly above what you can maintain a conversation, 70-75% of maximum heart rate, and 6 to 7 on the Perceived Effort scale.

Moderate Effort: Moderate pace/effort is where you can hear your breathing, but you are not breathing hard, 75-80% of maximum heart rate, and 7 to 8 on the Perceived Effort scale.

Run/Walk Workout: All of the workouts in this training plan are designed as Run/Walk repeats. After a proper warm-up, run at a pace/effort slightly above where you can hold a conversation for the listed amount of time (i.e. Run 1min). Next, walk at a pace/effort where you can easily hold a conversation for the listed amount of time (i.e. Walk 2min). Repeat these Run-Walk intervals for the listed number of times (i.e. Run 30sec / Walk 2min and Repeat 8 times).