“Run to Worlds” 5k Training Program

Follow this training program to prepare you to jog or run the 5 kilometre distance on Saturday, October 7th. It is a beginner, yet progressive, program that will permit you to complete the 5 K distance without stopping and at a pace that will be reasonable for you.

Click here to get the PDF handout which lists, in calendar format, what to do on each day from now until the race on October 7th.

It was designed by The Youldon Group who have been involved in fitness, personal training and athlete development for over 20 years.


The program comprises 3 workouts per week, assuming that you may play your favourite sport and pursue other recreational physical activities. Each week has at least 2 full days of rest to promote recovery. Adjust to suit your lifestyle and activity schedule.

For each workout, follow the sequence of warm-up, workout and cooldown. A warm-up includes brisk walking, skipping, sliding, backward jogging and joint mobility movements to get you ready for your workout.

The cool-down includes a few minutes of walking, followed by static stretching and perhaps some core exercises, such as the plank.

The workout comprises the description listed on the schedule.

With respect to “effort” use the 1 to 10 “Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion” (1 is rest and 10 is exhausting, with 4 to 6 as comfortable workout intensities). A running pace of 4 out of 10 is comfortable and sustainable. Use the “talk test:” if you can chat during the run, than the pace is just right. A pace of 9 out of 10 is good for a few seconds, but not worth continuing – slow down to the 4 to 6 range).

Intervals: 5 repeats of 10 seconds each, followed by a walking recovery of 20 seconds.” This means: following the warm-up you would jog or run for 10 seconds, then walk for 20 seconds and repeat this pattern 5 times. The pace should be strong, not easy. Each interval should be about 6 to 8 on the 10 point scale. Finish with your cool-down.

Walk / Run: “Walk 30 seconds and Jog / Run for 30 seconds and repeat for 10 minutes.” This means following the warm-up, you would jog or run for 30 seconds at a pace that you feel you would like to run your 5k (i.e. assuming a 30 minute time for the 5k that is 6 minutes per km.) Each week, the schedule will increase the amount of running time, while keeping the walking time to 30 seconds. Finish with your cool-down.

Continuous Run: this means you jog or run, without walking for the entire time recommended. So, if it says 10 minutes, find a pace – remember the talk test and the 1 to 10 scale – that you can sustain for the entire time, without having to walk. As you get on in the program, into October, if you find that you have to walk in order to recover, don’t fret. Take 20 seconds of walking, catch your breath and resume the jog or run. Finish with your cool-down.

Train with a partner or a small group. The social support will make the whole thing more enjoyable and will help you keep up with the program.

Keep a diary of your effort and results. Print out the schedule and note what which workouts you have completed. Tracking your workouts is what experts recommend so that you learn about yourself and so that you reflect on your success and feel good about yourself.

Find a place to train. Walking and jogging paths, away from too many cyclists, is preferable.  Find a path that is level to encourage normal foot plant on the ground. Avoid uneven ground. Treadmills in gyms can work well, as they cushion each step and you don’t have to worry about the weather and other distractions, such as your favourite shopping malls.

Make sure you are well hydrated. Get a water bottle, fill it and drink from it in the middle of your workouts. Train yourself to take water during and after the workout.

Get the right clothing. Wear light-weight clothing that encourages heat loss. Get running shoes that have a good heel cushion. Running shoes differ from basketball, tennis, fashion sneakers and cross-training shoes. No flip flops please – save them for after the workout.


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