The Simple Track to Your 5K

5 years ago

Welcome to the Road to 5K, part of BlogHer's Inspiration to Fitness program! Hi, I'm Ashley and I blog at where I chronicle my life as a vegan runner, yogi, CrossFitter and triathlete. Fitness excites me and reminds me I’m alive. I became a certified personal trainer to inspire others with their fitness goals and am looking forward to earning my CrossFit Endurance certification next month!

Running clears the mind, strengthens the body and builds toughness. Over the next eight weeks we’re going to cover a training plan to get you from wherever you are to running a 5k race, or 3.1 miles. Even if you don’t have a specific race to train for, this program will improve your fitness for whatever physical challenges you come across.

Don’t worry- nobody expects you to run 3.1 miles next week! We will build a base slowly so that, before you know it, a 5k race will seem like a walk in the park.

The best running plan has you do more than just run so we will incorporate some strength training, cross training and effective stretching to keep you balanced, strong and injury-free.

Your workouts each week will consist of three runs and two strength training sessions. Your strength training sessions can be done after your runs. Add in cross training when possible. This can be anything from walking around your neighborhood to playing a game of basketball to taking a local yoga class.

Before you get started consider keeping a small notebook or joining a site like Daily Mile to track your workouts. Record your run distance, time and pace and how you felt during it. This will help you see how far you’ve come and allow you to spot opportunities in your training.

If you don’t have a watch that tracks your distance, plan run routes and track distance with Map My Run or Google Maps.


Static stretching (or holding a stretch for a long period of time) before a run can lead to injury. Instead, we are going loosen your body for your workouts with dynamic stretches.


Each run will begin with a five minute warm up. The warm up is a good time to visualize how your run will be and regulate your breathing. During your runs, aim to run as much as possible and take walk breaks when necessary. When walking, keep the pace fast. Afterward, walk to cool down for five minutes.


Each strength workout will consist of rounds of a few key movements. Most movements will require only your body weight and can be scaled to your personal ability.

Next week we’re going to jump right in. Right now set yourself up to track your workouts with a notebook or Daily Mile. Exercise for periods of at least 30 minutes to prepare yourself for your first run. It’s going to be good!

“Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.” -Steve Prefontaine

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