September 30 Day Challenge: 5K Training Plan

Published on August 26, 2015

Updated on November 4, 2019

Fall Back on Track with this 30 Day 5K Training Plan!

This is exciting! Several Months ago the Prevent Cancer Foundation reached out to me about their 7th Annual 5K Walk/Run at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. which will be held on October 4, 2015. They were looking for support with a 5K training plan for their members and creating awareness for their charge. You don’t have to ask me twice to help promote cancer prevention and exercising more! So here you have it, I’m hosting the 30 Day 5K Training Challenge this month. You don’t have to be in DC to participate, you can be anywhere in the world. We can train, walk/run, and achieve our goals together…virtually!


5k training plan

Why you should follow the 30 Day 5K Training Plan:

Have you ever seen a local race and watched people cross the finish line and thought, “I could never do that?” Or were you an active runner, jogger, walker in “another life” and you’re itching to get back into it? Are you active and you know you can cross the finish line, but just not quite sure on how to get there? Either way, the 30-Day 5K Training Plan can help you cross the finish line with satisfaction and a smile.

There is no better feeling than setting a goal, working towards it and then knocking it out of the park. There is no better literal expression of achievement than physically crossing the finish line. And this isn’t a proverbial “finish line” you really do get to run across it and it’s the best feeling ever. Once you commit to this challenge, you have already seen yourself finish the race. Then all you have to do is follow the 30 days of simple instructions to help you get there as pain free and happy as possible. Whether it seems far-fetched or exciting – you can do it!

How to do the 30 Days to 5K Training Plan?

It’s September and time to Fall back on track! What better way than to commit to 30 days of fitness with a fun goal at the end?! Simply follow the plan every day to the best of your ability and be amazed by how strong you get. You’ll want to look for a local 5K in early October in your area. If you are in or near DC, you must sign up for the 7th Annual 5K Walk/Run from the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

If you can’t find one close by — fear not! We will host a “virtual 5K” on Sunday October 4th! You map your course, you time yourself and you report back how it went and post pictures. Having the support of the challenge series will make it more fun and you more successful. This is where recruiting running buddies is essential!

If the 30 Day 5K Training Plan Looks to Easy…

If you’re already an active runner, jogger or walker and heading out for a mile run seems too easy, then double up the mileage and train for a faster 5K or even 10K! The whole goal here is to get more people on a plan that is not too intimidating, but challenging at the same time. You can race any distance you want in the Virtual 5k race on October 4th!


5K Training Plan Workout Descriptions:

Mileage Days: On these days, you will walk or run the designated distance. In week one, you start with one mile and max out at 3 miles towards the end of the challenge. Your 5K is just over 3 miles, so you will know you can finish, the only variable will be how fast you go. On these days, be sure to warm up for 5 easy minutes, put in your distance at a pace you feel comfortable with, and then cool down for 5 easy minutes. Then end with these good stretches for runners, or any of your favorite post run stretches.  Also review this quick post for a few notes on good running form.

Cross Train Days: The day after your longer mileage day, you will want to get in a cross training/cardio day. This will keep your muscles moving and help with recovery, without any unnecessary high impact mileage. It will also help build your endurance. Good examples of cardio cross training would be biking, swimming, elliptical or rowing machines.

Rest/Stretch/Weight Days: These days are challengers’ choice. Stretching and strength training are both important parts of your training plan. Strength training leads to stronger quadriceps, which creates stronger knees, decreasing your chance of injury.  Adding a yoga class to your schedule can also be important to improve your flexibility, also decreasing your chance of injury. Choose days that work best for your schedule, but try to dedicate at least one day a week to weight training and stretching.  If you’re not feeling it, then take a rest day.

Mandatory Rest Day: No matter how good you are feeing, it is essential that you take at least one full day per week to completely recover. Rest is just as essential as running when it comes to a good training plan. 

Getting Started on the 30 Days to 5K Training Plan

  1. Search for a local 5K in early October, or start charting your own course and participate in the 30 Day Challenge Series Virtual 5K!
  2. Find the event on FaceBook Here and click “going” then share with your friends! Recruit a training team! Running buddies can be your best line of defense when looking to follow through on your goals. The more buddies you start with, the more likely you all are to finish together.
  3. Join the Fun, Healthy, Fit Community to get access to a customized training plan for this month. If you are already a member, you will get an email on Thursday the 27th.
  4. Get social for more support and motivation. Like the 30-Day Challenge Series onFaceBook and/or Follow @30_Challenge on Twitter.
  5. Starting Tuesday, September 1st, follow your training plan!
  6. Stay tuned for more posts on proper stretching, eating and race day tips and strategies!

Looking to Lose Weight This Month?

Don’t forget to sign up for the weight loss challenge too! If you’re going to do the work, you may as well get paid for it 😉 It starts September 9th and ends October 7th.

Are you ready to cross the finish line? We Can Do This! 

We’re all very excited to get up and get moving with an excellent wellness charge!

Are you in?! 

Teresa Howes is a fitness coach in San Diego, California. This post was originally published here on her blog Eat, Drink and Be Skinny. Teresa created this challenge to get you ready for our 5K. You can visit her blog here to learn more about her fitness programs and 30 day challenges.

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