Note: Before starting any new exercise regime or taking up running for the first time, make sure that you speak to a health professional if you have any existing medical conditions.
Whether you’re new to running or you’d like to improve your performance and endurance, our 5K training plan will help you to gradually build up your stamina and push yourself to run a little further every week. The 5K training plan covers an 8-week period and has been designed to challenge you and help you to improve your overall level of fitness, as well as building the stamina to run for 5km. It doesn’t just include running – our 5k training plan also works on general cardio and strength training to help build up muscle and stamina.
The average time it takes to run 5K is around 30 to 60 mins. This might seem like a really long time to be running without a break, but after week 3 of our 5K training plan, you will already be running for 15 mins at a time. You’ll be half way there!
One of the most important things to keep in mind while following our 5K training plan is to listen to your body. If you don’t feel capable of running, are in pain, or you’re not feeling well on a particular day, that’s OK. As long as you maintain a steady level of activity throughout the week and try to stick to our 5K training plan as much as possible, you can skip days- if you honestly don’t feel up to running. A running training plan, after all, is a guide. If you believe that you have injured yourself whilst exercising, stop the activity immediately and seek professional health advice.
Check out our warm up and cool down guides and our delicious meal ideas too!
Warm Up Inspiration for a 5K Race
It is vital to warm up your body and muscles before working out in order to help avoid injury. It’s so easy to forget to stretch before running; but, without a warm up, you risk pulling a muscle which can set your training back for weeks, if not months.
Here are some fun ways to warm up before each run of our 5k training schedule::
- 10 Jumping jacks and 5 squats and repeat 3 times. Finish with hip rotations.
- Jumping rope for 10 seconds and 6 lunges, repeat 3 times. Stretch to your side, with your hand pressed against your leg and slowly stretching down towards your toes.
- 10 Side squats and 5 jumping jacks, repeat 5 times. Finish with 6 deep lunges.
Did you know that we have our very own Alder Hey Running Spotify playlist that you can listen to while working out!
Cool Down Inspiration
Bringing your heart rate down and slowly reducing your cardio workout will help to prevent any injuries after a workout or run and can help minimise any aches and pains the next day too. A cool down usually features deep breathing exercises and stretching. Cooling down helps to prevent dizziness and fainting after a workout and will aid recovery.
Here are some creative cool down ideas:
- Walk for two minutes, followed by yoga for 5 minutes, with focus on your breathing.
- Side squats 5 followed by 8 knee raises for 5 minutes
- On a yoga mat, lie on your back and raise your legs. Perform a cycling motion for 30 seconds and then cuddle your knees for 5 seconds, taking deep breaths. Repeat 3 times.
Delicious and Nutritious Meals for Runners
Increasing your physical activity is one way to improve your overall fitness, but making sure that your fuel your body with the right levels of vitamins, minerals and protein is essential if you want maximum benefit from your exercise, and to progress through the 5k training plan as smoothly as possible. Your body will be burning calories during each workout and you’ll need to stop any cravings from tempting you to overeat or choose sugary snacks; instead prepare yourself delicious and healthy meals that will not only satisfy your hunger but also help your body to become strong.
Here are some delicious meals to try at home:
Run for Alder Hey
If you are planning on signing up for a 5K race, we would love you to consider running for Alder Hey Children’s Charity. Every penny that’s raised for Alder Hey goes towards life changing research and support for thousands of children and their families.
You can find our handy sponsorship form here.