Train For A 5K In 6 Weeks

Athletic woman stretching

Maybe it’s just my Facebook timeline, but lately all I’ve been seeing is weddings, graduations and people running all these 5Ks . It’s put the great pressure on me to see what all the fuss is about. If you’re trying to see what it takes to become one of those cool people taking the finish line pictures for the “gram,” let give you the prescription for success. You’ll be ready to conquer that 5K in 6 weeks!

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Sharita Jennings, certified group fitness instructor and creator of Get Fit Like That!, gives our first-time runners some tips on how to mentally and physically prepare for their first 5K. Jennings is actively involved with GirlTrek, a social impact group dedicated to female and community empowerment through walking. Take heeds folks, this isn’t your regular lap around the track. It’s going to take a lot more than stretching to complete this race.

“I usually scope out a simple training plan that I can easily fit into my schedule. Now that I am comfortable with 5Ks, I add at least one day a week of speed runs to help improve my race time,” shared Jennings. For the first time runner of any distance, she stresses the importance of setting up a regular running schedule. “You can have walk/run days, speed drills or track workouts, and long runs to build up endurance.”

The most important part of any race is not race day, but all the days leading up to it, she says. Her advice is to, “Right before race day, ease up on running to give your muscles a break. When race day finally comes, do not stress! Most races are built to be fun and social, so take it easy and enjoy.”

Marquese Martin-Hayes, a self-described ultra marathoner, knows all about the dedication it takes to complete a marathon. The health guru and runner extraordinaire completed a 50 mile marathon. Yes, you’re reading that right, 50 miles. His company The Proper Physique focuses on the habits and skills necessary to complete your fitness goals. His advice for the readers is two-fold: Be consistent in your training and plan to succeed.

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“Mental toughness is developed by consistent habits. The more consistent you train the better your stellar results. Everything you experience on race day are a result of your mental, nutritional and physical habits during training.”

He also recommends that you watch what you eat and bring an amigo along for the journey.

“Plan your week. Plan your meals. Plan your water. Plan your runs. Then allow NO EXCUSES. Do it with a friend. It’ll keep you accountable and make it fun.”

Check out a sample 5K running plan below.

Week 1

Monday: Walk briskly for 1 mile. Run 2 minutes every half mile until you reach 3.5 total miles. Walk 0.5 mile.
Tuesday: Walk 3-5 miles.
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Walk 1 mile. Run 3 minutes every half mile until you reach 3.5 miles. Walk 0.5 mile.
Friday: Off
Saturday: Walk 3-5 miles, including 10 run/walk intervals (run 30 seconds, walk 1 minutes) in the last mile.
Sunday: Off
Week Total: 16-20 miles