Top tips on how to train for your next 5k

5K Running Tips

1. Find a Running Training Plan that fits your fitness

Making sure your 5k training plan suits you will make a huge difference. It’s not fun training at a speed designed for someone faster or more experienced. And you won’t improve if it’s too easy either.

2. Do some interval training

If you’re an absolute beginner, then your interval training will be doing repeats of speed-walking or jogging for a distance and then recovering with a walk. If you can already sustain a jog, you should work on repeats of sprinting and a recovery jog.

3. Do some speed running

Not just sprints, you want to also train at the specific pace you’ll run at during the race. That would be a training session of a warm-up, a distance run at race pace, and then that same distance recovery jog. Repeats of that, and then a cool-down. You can choose the distance you run, but you should try and push yourself and make it longer and longer to build your endurance.

4. Run more than just 5k

Even though you technically just need to be able to cross that finish line, you will do it much more comfortably if you can already run further. Plus you’ll go much faster. If you’re not fussed about your time, it might be just a matter of making race day that little bit more bearable and fun. Either way it’s worth it.

5. Do hill running and workouts

For core strength training you can go to the gym or a steep incline. It’ll make your body stronger, more injury resistant, and help you run faster and better. If you’ve not done much exercise before (or in a while) you will definitely feel it if you start with no core strength.

6. Finish your runs at pace

If you’re already near the end you might as well push yourself. It will make the whole run that bit more efficient. And it’s much better than starting off fast, which will make the rest of the run exhausting and not much fun.

7. Take rest days

Particularly if you’re not used to running, then rest days will transform your whole experience. They’ll help prevent running injuries and make following a training plan a bit more sustainable. Even if you’re overwhelmingly keen you should force yourself to stay in sometimes.

8. Find a running group

As the team at Hip and Healthy agree, joining a running group will make the whole experience more fun. And you’re more likely to push yourself if there are others who are forcing you out of bed in the morning, and to race against. Having said that, you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Different runners are good at different things. And definitely have different running histories.

9. Run consistently

Training for two weeks and then taking two weeks off is not the most effective way of training. It’s fine if you can’t do the same number of runs each week, but trying to go for even a quick run when you’re busy is worth it. Apart from losing some of your fitness, it can also be a matter of getting you out of the habit of running.

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