How I’m Training For My First 5k

Hey, hey Friday! Today marks a pretty big personal milestone – I just finished week four of my 5k training! So, I wanted to share a little bit about my decision to dive into this and exactly how I’m training for my first 5k.

How I'm Training For My First 5k

I had different photos all planned for this post, and then Mother Nature sent a monsoon our way. Such is life!

You know how we sometimes write bucket lists or seasonal goals, but then we forget about them and never speak of it again? Even though it’s out there for the Internet to see? (Hi! I’m guilty of that!) That’s exactly why I waited until now to check in and share my progress. I wanted to make sure I truly was committed to this running thing. And, guess what? I am 100% into it!

Opening up about my struggle with negative body image kind of is what kicked me into gear. I needed to find an outlet not only for my physical benefit but emotional and mental, too. Training for a 5k has given me both something to work toward and look forward to. It has been a long time since I’ve felt so accomplished! Not to mention the positive effects running seems to have on my body and overall self-esteem/confidence.


Now, I totally get that for some of you a 5k is a piece of cake. No big deal. But, for someone like me that used to hate running I needed a structured plan to get through this. Enter my badass brother who competes in triathlons (he’s finished two Ironman races!) and is basically our family fitness guru.

He developed a 12-week training plan, three days a week. Each of the three days consist of a different run – tempo, speed and endurance. My end-goal is to complete the 5k at 6.0 mph or 10 minutes per mile. To get there, the plan has me steadily increasing my speed and time each week. So, my tempo runs started at 5.2 mph for 20 minutes (plus five-minutes each for warm up and cool down), and now at week four I’m at 5.6 mph for 20 minutes. That’s running comfortably, too! I laugh at how I was four weeks ago when I thought I would die at the end of 20 minutes at 5.2 mph.

My least favorite days are my speed runs. I know that interval training is great for you and important for building up muscle tolerance, but I literally always feel like I’m going to puke after. Me + sprints = no bueno. Week three was the only speed run that I couldn’t finish. I was doing 6.0 mph sprints for five minutes with a one-minute jog in between. But, besides that week I’ve been able to get through the full 30-minute session. I’ll take that as an accomplishment.

The endurance runs are my absolute favorite. These are the only runs where I’m not increasing speed each week – I stay around 5.0 mph – but I run a full 40 minutes, and that time will start to increase next week. These runs simply make me feel good! I never EVER thought that I’d be able to run nonstop for that long, but I have yet to fail this far into my training. It’s a good way to show myself that I’m stronger and more able than I give myself credit for.

The race is at the end of July, so I won’t be quite finished with the full 12-week training but close enough. I might do another progress check-in before the race, and of course I can’t wait to share my experience after the race. Running my first 5k has been a goal for a few years now, so I’m excited and proud for finally working toward it!

Have you ever ran a 5k? Please share any of your tips or wisdom!

Want more health and fitness? I shared an easy workout routine around the same time last year!

Leave a Comment


  1. 6.20.17
    Pamela C said:

    oh! I have done a few 5ks a few years ago and would like to try again. Would you mind sharing you whole 12 week plan?

  2. 6.19.17

    Karly, you go girl! I think the last 5k I was in, my goal was just to run the whole time ha:). Love this training plan he’s set up for you, it sounds manageable and like it’s definitely working! That’s awesome!

  3. 6.18.17
    Anna Wagner said:

    What a great goal! I did the C25K app to train for my first 5k, though your plan sounds great for attaining a speed goal – my goal was just to finish! I’ve now done a half marathon and a 5k is no longer a big deal, but I’m still slow. It’s very rare that even an interval for me is a 10 minute mile, so that’s my next area to work on.

    • 6.19.17

      A half marathon, wow! Hopefully I can train to your level at some point.

      • 6.19.17
        Anna Wagner said:

        Once I’d been doing 5ks a couple years it was just about ramping up the distance, which I found easier than going faster. I still have a hard time actually running a full 5k and took plenty of walking breaks during my half! You’ll definitely get there!

  4. 6.16.17

    So impressed by you! I am definitely not a runner.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  5. 6.16.17
    Debra Stachelski said:

    So proud of you and I know you’ll do great! Not easy to decide to take on something so challenging and stick with it!

  6. 6.16.17

    I’m totally one of those people that has to train for a 5K too, so I totally understand needing to have a plan! Plus I feel like the plan keeps you accountable too! That’s awesome that your brother was able to set something up for you and that you’ve been able to stay on track with everything too! You’ll be kicking that 5K’s butt before you know it!

    • 6.19.17

      I hope you’re right! The plan definitely keeps me more accountable, and I can’t come up with any excuses for skipping a day.

  7. 6.16.17
    Christina Sotherden said:

    Training for a 5K – you go girl!!!