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4 Week Intermediate 5K Training Schedule

Running a 5K is a difficult task, and you will need to ensure that you have a running training program or a schedule in place before you start the race.

Running 5K races is becoming increasingly popular, with people of all athletic and sporting backgrounds training to take part. 

4 Week Intermediate 5K Training Schedule

If you have signed up to a 5K race in the near future, but have yet to start your training schedule, then don’t worry. We will still have you getting a great finishing time with just our 4 week intermediate 5K training routine!

With our 4 week intermediate 5K training schedule, you will be ready to run in no time. However, this routine is intended for those who are more used to running, and not beginners in the field.

The 4 week intermediate 5K training schedule is more suited to runners who are capable of running at least 15 miles a week currently. 

If you are more of a beginner hoping to run a 5K race in the next few weeks, then check out our 4 Week 5K Training Plan for Beginners instead.

What Types of Training Runs Are In The Schedule?

With this 4 Week Intermediate 5K Training Schedule, you can expect to see a lot of different types of training runs to help you reach your goals.

This training routine will have a combination of tempo runs, long runs, 5K interval workouts, hill repeats, and rest days. If you have no idea what any of these mean, then do not worry we will explain them for you!

Tempo Runs (TR)

Tempo runs are perfect for helping you develop your anaerobic endurance and threshold, which is exactly what you need for fast 5K running, and will help you reach a good finish time.

For this, you will need to start your run with about 10 mins of easy running, and then continue with 15-20 minutes of running at a speed about 10 seconds per miles slower than your usual 10K race pace.

If you do not know what this is, then basically this means that you are running at a pace that is hard, yet comfortable for you.

Long Runs (LR)

Although 5K is not typically classed as a long distance race or event, you will need to improve your long runs technique to help you with your stamina and running skills for 5K racing. You will want to be able to complete your long runs at a comfortable pace.

The best pace to do this is a conversational pace, which means that you can talk whilst running, without running out of breath. You will want to be able to breathe easily whilst doing the long runs, as this will ensure that you can keep up your stamina. 

Easy Pace Runs (EP)

You will also want to do easy pace runs like your long runs with enough breathing and at a conversational pace.

5K Interval Workouts

You will want to run your interval workout at a 5K effort or race pace, with 2 minutes of easy paced recovery in between intervals.

Your interval workouts should start and end with about 1 mile of easy running to help you warm up and cool down in your workouts. These are your workouts in between your 5K runs, cross training exercises and other training.

Hill Repeats (HR)

Hill repeats will need to be done on a hill that is around 200-400 meters long, but make sure that it is not too steep for you.

You will want to run up the hill at a consistent speed and pace, and try to run up at your usual 5K race effort. Do not forget about recovery and run down the hill at an easy pace to gather your breath.

Rest Days

On rest days you might want to do just that. However, on these days you can do a little of your favorite cross training activities, such as swimming, yoga, biking or any other exercises that you enjoy.

4 Week Intermediate 5K Training Schedule:

With all of those keywords in mind, it is time to look at the Intermediate Training Schedule.

This schedule works best when you begin at the point where there is 4 weeks until your rest, so it will end with your actual 5K race. 

Week One

Day 1: Start with 40 minutes of cross training (CT) or rest day.

Day 2: Complete 25 minutes of tempo runs (TR) and do 2 hill repeats (HR). 

Day 3: Do 30 minutes of cross training, or have a rest day.

Day 4: Complete 4 minutes @ 5K effort, with two minutes of EP, and do this 3 times.

Day 5: Rest day.

Day 6: Do 5 miles of long runs (LR).

Day 7: Run 3 miles (EP). 

Week Two

Day 1: Do 40 minutes of CT or rest day.

Day 2: Complete 30 minutes of TR and do 3 HR. 

Day 3: Finish 30 minutes of cross training or rest. 

Day 4: Do 4 minutes @ 5K effort, with 2 minutes of EP, and do this 4 times. 

Day 5: Rest day.

Day 6: Complete 7 miles of long runs (LR). 

Day 7: Run 3 miles (EP). 

Week Three

Day 1: 40 minutes of cross training or rest.

Day 2: Do 25 minutes of tempo runs (TR) along with 3 hill repeats.

Day 3: 30 minutes CT or rest day.

Day 4: Complete 4 minutes @ 5K effort, with two minutes of EP, and do this 3 times.

Day 5: Rest day.

Day 6: Run 6 miles of long runs (LR).

Day 7: Run 3 miles (EP). 

Week Four

Day 1: 30 minutes of cross straining.

Day 2: Rest day.

Day 3: Finish 20 minutes of tempo runs.

Day 4: Rest day.

Day 5: Do 3 miles of easy paced running.

Day 6: Rest day.

Day 7: Complete your 5K race!

What counts as a good time for a 5K run?

If you have completed your 5K, or it’s getting closer, then you may be wondering what counts as a good finish time.

The answer to this question is very relative, and will depend on your fitness levels and expectations. What some people view as a poor time could be a great finish time to others, so it is hard to pin down.

The best way to find out what the average time for a 5K is, is to check online with the race’s previous results and winners. This can be done on the 5K race’s website. On there, you can look at the different age group, sex, and various runners and how their times differ.

The thing about 5K races is that so many people join in, and many professional or serious runners will finish very quickly, whereas those who are walking the race, or raising money for charity will take much longer to finish. So many people take part, that you will most likely notice a wide range of finishing times. 

However, you can compare your own running style to the times of those at the front of the pack, depending on your skill level, or the middle of the pack to see what time you should be aiming towards.

The winning males will typically take around 15 minutes to complete a 5K race, whereas the females can take around 16-18 minutes to finish. However, people who choose to walk the race may take over an hour to cross the finish line.

We would argue that most fit and athletic people would aim to finish in about 20 minutes to 25 minutes, based on your level of fitness.

That being said, if this is your first 5K race, then do not worry too much about the time, and focus on pacing yourself, your breathing, performance and getting to the finish.

We guarantee that whatever your time is, you will want to try again and do better next time, so that you can beat your personal record! This way, you can focus on your own progress, rather than what your time was compared to others.   


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