5K Training Plan - Level 1

Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 02:48

The Cutting-Edge Runner 5K Training Plan, Level 1, is recommended for runners who want to complete a successful 5K race in 9 to 12 weeks and whose current fitness level allows them to run about 3 times per week, 22 to 30 minutes per run.

The first 3 weeks of the plan are optional, making it adjustable from 9 to 12 weeks. If you choose to do fewer than 12 weeks of the plan, it is hoped that your recent training has been similar to the first 1-3 weeks of this plan.

The workout schedule includes 3 runs per week, plus 2 optional strength workouts per week and an optional cross-training workout. It begins with a weekly total of 1 hour and 14 minutes of running and builds up to 2 hours and 2 minutes.

All of the running workouts are based on the Cutting-Edge Runner Pace Zone Index (PZI), which allows you to do every step of every workout at precisely the right effort level for you. Learn more about the PZI system here: https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/using-pace-zone-index-pzi/ The PZI table that you will use to determine your zones based on a race race or time-trial performance is attached to the first workout in the plan itself.

Key workouts in this plan include the following:

Foundation Runs: Steady, 20-50-minute runs mainly at Moderate Aerobic pace (Pace Zone 3)

Fartlek Runs: Foundation-type runs including 30-second bursts at VO2max pace (Pace Zone 8)

Short Intervals (1): Runs featuring 30-second intervals at VO2max pace separated by jogging recoveries at Low Aerobic pace (Pace Zone 2)

Weeks 4, 7, and 10 of the plan are recovery weeks. Training is slightly reduced in these weeks to afford an opportunity to absorb recent training and prepare for more challenging training to follow. Week 12 – race week – is a taper week, meaning training tapers down during the week to ensure you’re rested and ready to perform on race day.

Sample Day 1
0:20:00
Foundation Run

WU: Run 5 minutes @ Pace Zone 2 (Low Aerobic)
MS: Run 10 minutes @ Pace Zone 3 (Moderate Aerobic)
CD: Run 5 minutes @ Pace Zone 2

Sample Day 2
0:20:00
Strength Workout

Do the workout described in the linked file.

Sample Day 3
0:25:00
Foundation Run

WU: Run 5 minutes @ Pace Zone 2 (Low Aerobic)
MS: Run 15 minutes @ Pace Zone 3 (Moderate Aerobic)
CD: Run 5 minutes @ Pace Zone 2

Sample Day 4
0:20:00
Cross-Training

Perform a workout of moderate intensity in a non-impact cardio activity of your choice. Recommended activities are bicycling (outdoors or indoors), pool running, inline skating, elliptical training, cross-country skiing, and swimming.

Sample Day 5
0:20:00
Strength Workout

Do the workout described in the linked file.

Sample Day 6
0:30:00
Foundation Run

WU: Run 5 minutes @ Pace Zone 2 (Low Aerobic)
MS: Run 20 minutes @ Pace Zone 3 (Moderate Aerobic)
CD: Run 5 minutes @ Pace Zone 2

Sample Day 8
0:25:00
Foundation Run

WU: Run 5 minutes @ Pace Zone 2 (Low Aerobic)
MS: Run 15 minutes @ Pace Zone 3 (Moderate Aerobic)
CD: Run 5 minutes @ Pace Zone 2

Matt Fitzgerald
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80/20 Endurance

I offer three tiers of coaching service to endurance athletes:

*Readymade training plans for runners, triathletes ultrarunners, and obstacle course racers of all levels. $19.95 to $84.95.

* Custom training plans. Simply fill out a questionnaire, submit it to me, and I will build you a unique training plan from scratch, fully individualized to your needs. $15/week for runners, $20/week for triathletes.

* One-one-one coaching. $400/month for runners, $500/month for triathletes.