The 5K/1OK Training Program

An Overview (Level I & II)

Training Game Plan

For any training program, you'll first need to build up your endurance and stamina, after which you can add hills to improve your strength. Finally, as the target race date approaches, you can cut back your mileage in order to have 'fresh legs' for the big day.

Phase Notes Level I Level II
Endurance very little hills 12 weeks 10 weeks
Strength more hills 3 weeks 5 weeks

Training Schedule Reference Key

These are the terms/letter codes used to signify the purpose of each day's workout. In addition, they are placed within the context of each training phase to help better illustrate the overall picture of the training program. Refer to pages 46-47 of the manual to get an explanation for each type of run.

Letter Codes
L = long run SL = semi-long run R = recovery run H = hilly run
O = off day C = cross-training / = or + = and optional
Phase Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Strength C/O R R/C/O H R/C O L

Level I &II Notes:

  • The 5K/10K Training ProgramIf it works better for you, do your recovery runs on Tuesday and semi-long runs on Thursday rather than Monday/Wednesday.
  • Make it a priority to run or cross-train at least 4 days a week during the Endurance Phase to experience progress. It is far more effective to do at least 3 runs every week along with 1-2 cross-training days, rather than the other way around. By the Strength Phase, run or cross-train at least 5 days a week with a minimum of 3 runs a week.

Level I Notes:

  • Plenty of walking breaks are built in to allow you to slowly build up your endurance while minimizing the risk of overdoing it and/or injuring yourself. If you need to take longer walking breaks, do so. On the flip side, be cautious about jumping up too fast in the length of your running time. It's always better to play it conservatively rather than aggressively. Being injured after weeks of progress is more frustrating than feeling like you can do more than what you are currently doing. You should always feel like you could have done more after each workout. Remember that your ego doesn't have to deal with the pounding, your legs do!
  • For clarification on your schedule, 3X2/1 means to perform 3 repetitions of running at a relaxed effort for 2 minutes followed by a 1-minute walking break. On the Saturday long runs, 4(10/1) means for the duration of the 4 miles, alternate running 10 minutes, with a 1-minute walking break.
  • After 12 weeks you should be strong enough to run continuously without risking injury.

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