6 Week Intermediate 5K Schedule

Runners competing in a 5K race

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Are you planning to run a 5K race but haven't started training for it yet? Even if it's weeks away, you still have time to prepare. The six-week training program below is designed for intermediate runners who are currently running at least 15 miles a week.

If you're a beginner runner who wants to run a 5K that's six weeks away, use the 6-week beginner 5K training schedule. If you're an advanced runner, you can use the advanced 5K training schedule.

If you're an intermediate runner and you have more time to train, try the 8-week intermediate 5K schedule. If you only have a month to train, you can try a 4-week intermediate 5K schedule.

Types of Training Runs

This 5K training schedule includes several different types of running workouts to help you prepare for your race—along with some recovery time. Each week, you will alternate between the various runs to get your body ready for your race.

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs (TR on the training schedule below) help you develop your anaerobic threshold, which is critical for fast 5K racing. Start with 10 minutes at an easy pace, then continue with 15 to 20 minutes at about 10 seconds per mile slower than your 10K race pace. Finish with 10 minutes cooling down. If you're not sure what your 10K race pace is, run at a pace that feels comfortably hard.

Hill Repeats

For your hill repeats, pick a hill about 200 to 400 meters long that isn't too steep. Try to run up at your 5K race effort. Recover down the hill at an easy pace.

Intervals

Run your intervals at your 5K race pace, with a two-minute easy-paced recovery between each interval. You should start and finish your 5K interval workouts with 1 mile of easy running to warm up and cool down.

Long Runs/Easy Pace Runs

You're not training for a long-distance event, but long runs (LR) will help you develop your stamina, which is important in 5K racing. Do your long runs at a comfortable, conversational pace. You should be able to breathe easily and talk in complete sentences. Your easy-pace runs (EP) should also be done at this same easy level of effort.

Rest Days

On rest days, take the day off or do some easy cross-training (CT), such as biking, swimming, using the elliptical trainer, strength training, or another physical activity you enjoy.

5K Training Schedule

Following this schedule to prep for your 5K will help you improve your time—and feel ready to give your all on race day. If your "Day 1" is Monday, your long runs will fall on Saturday. If you prefer Sunday for long runs, start your training week on Tuesday, or start Monday but flip days 6 and 7.

Week 1

Day 1: 40 min CT or rest
Day 2: 25 min TR + 2 hill repeats
Day 3: 30 min CT or rest
Day 4: Intervals (4 min @ 5K effort + 2 min EP) x 3
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 5 miles LR
Day 7: 3 miles EP

Week 2

Day 1: 40 min CT or rest
Day 2: 30 min TR + 3 hill repeats
Day 3: 30 min CT or rest
Day 4: Intervals (4 min @ 5K effort + 2 min EP) x 4
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 7 miles LR
Day 7: 3 miles EP

Week 3

Day 1: 40 min CT or rest
Day 2: 25 min TR + 3 hill repeats
Day 3: 30 min CT or rest
Day 4: Intervals (4 min @ 5K effort + 2 min EP) x 3
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 6 miles LR
Day 7: 3 miles EP

Week 4

Day 1: 40 min CT or rest
Day 2: 25 min TR + 4 hill repeats
Day 3: 30 min CT or rest
Day 4: Intervals (4 min @ 5K effort + 2 min EP) x 4
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 7 miles LR
Day 7: 3 miles EP

Week 5

Day 1: 40 min CT or rest
Day 2: 25 min TR + 4 hill repeats
Day 3: 30 min CT or rest
Day 4: Intervals (4 min @ 5K effort + 2 min EP) x 3
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 6 miles LR
Day 7: 3 miles EP

Week 6

Day 1: 30 min CT
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 20 min TR
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 3 miles EP
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 5K Race!

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Article Sources
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