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How to Train for a 5K

By: Value News | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: May 2020

Pictured, in green shirt, Jeff Galloway.

Pictured, in green shirt, Jeff Galloway.

Okay, so many of us have been indoors and gained a few unwanted pounds over the past few months.  One of the best, lowest-cost ways, to improve your lifestyle and lose weight is to set a goal and train for a 5K or 10K.  Realistically, a 5K is a great distance for a beginner; its 3.1 miles and you can prepare in just two months.  We found Jeff Galloway’s training schedule to be efficient and effective.  Jeff has worked with over 300,000 runners of all ages and abilities and is the inventor of the Galloway RUN-WALK-RUN method.  His innovative ideas have opened up the possibility of running and completing a marathon to almost everyone.  Philosophically, Jeff believes that we are all designed to run and walk – and he keeps finding ways to bring more people into the positive world of exercise. 

 On the right are Jeff’s 5K and 10K training calendars.  Need more information?  Jeff Galloway’s website,, is host to Jeff’s training and coaching programs, products and services, retreats, training groups and more. 

How to use the 5K training schedule:

Consider using this fifteen-week 5K run training schedule as your guide. It’s tailored for beginners or anyone who wants to complete a 5K race. You can also adapt it for a 5K walk.

This 5K training schedule includes a mix of running, walking and resting. This combination helps reduce the risk of injury, stress and fatigue while boosting your enjoyment of physical activity. Remember, you can run or walk slowly to help your body adjust to this 5K training schedule.

If you’d like to choose a different exercise instead of walking on the walking days, you can try cross-training and do alternative exercises such as water running, cycling or rowing.

Under this 5K run training schedule, you’ll spend some of your time walking. For instance, during week one on run/walk days, you’ll run for 15 seconds and then walk for 45 seconds, repeating that cycle for 15 minutes.

As the weeks progress, you’ll gradually increase time spent running and reduce the time spent walking. Or you can always walk, if you’re adapting the training for a 5K walk.

One day a week — Friday on this 5K schedule — is a day of rest from exercise. This gives your muscles time to recover. On Sunday, you can either take another day of rest or enjoy a walk for as long as you’d like. Also take a day of rest the day before your race. On this 5K run training schedule, race day falls on Saturday of your fifteenth week.

5K/10K Training Schedules

Don’t wait to take walk breaks. By alternating walking and running from the beginning, you speed recovery without losing any of the endurance effect of the long one.

Be sure to do the running portion slow enough at the beginning of every run (especially the long run) so that you’ll feel tired but strong at the end. The conservatism will allow you to recover faster.

Every other day you can cross-train instead of walking. Cross country ski machines, water running, cycling, and any other mode which you find fun and interesting (but non-pounding) will improve overall fitness.

Stay conversational on all of your exercise sessions. This means that you should be exerting yourself at a low enough level that you could talk. It’s okay to take deep breaths between sentences, but you don’t want to “huff and puff” between every word.

As the runs get longer, be sure to keep your blood sugar boosted by eating an energy bar (or equivalent) about an hour before exercise.

To learn more about the supportive and friendly Galloway training group in Tulsa, email Maurine Dobson at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0.

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