Low-Mileage 5k Training Plan

Training plans call for running 1-2 key workouts per week. Plans include primary and secondary key workouts. Primary workouts stress your body in a way that gets you ready for your specific race. Secondary workouts focus more on speed and help support your next primary workout.


  • Run 2-5 days per week
  • Space your key workouts so that you have at least 48-72 hours of recovery between key workouts
  • Key workouts should begin with a 1/2 mile to 1-mile warmup
  • Run the second key workout only if you are feeling completely recovered
  • On the non-key workout days rest, walk, cross-train, or run easy 20-60 min
  • You can substitute a race of approximate workout length for a key workout
  • Run key workouts at maximum speed and intensity
  • Start at a pace that allows you to finish faster than you started
  • On your easy runs, incorporate occasional 10-20 second sprints during the course of your run. Include 1-2 sprints per mile


The 5k plan assumes you can run at least 3 miles

Primary Key Workouts

  • 2-4 mile time trials
  • 6 x 1/2 mile w 1 min rest
  • 3 x 1-mile w 2 min rest

Secondary Key Workouts

  • 1-2 mile time trials
  • 12 x 1/4 mile w 45-sec rest

Week Key Workout 1 Key Workout 2 (optional)
1 5k time trial 6 x 1/2 mile w/ 1 min rest
2 3 x 1 mile w/ 2 min rest 1-2 mile time trial
3 2-4 mile time trial 12 x 1/4 mile w/ 45 sec rest
4 6 x 1/2 mile w/ 1 min rest 1-2 mile time trial
5 3 x 1 mile w/ 2 min rest 12 x 1/4 mile w/ 45 sec rest
6 2-4 mile time trial 1-2 mile time trial
7 3 x 1 mile w/ 2 min rest 1 mile at 5k pace
8 5k Race

See my other training plans below:

4 thoughts on “Low-Mileage 5k Training Plan

  1. Does 2-4 mile time trial mean I run 4 miles as fast as I can, then rest for some time, then run 4 miles as fast as I can again, on the same day? If so, how do I decide how long to rest?

    Or does it mean I run somewhere between 2 and 4 miles as fast as I can?

    I have the same question about the 1-2 mile time trials… Is it 2 separate time trials or are you suggesting we choose a distance of at least 1 mile or up to 2 miles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Aaron, I just finished reading your book and I have a question. Do you recommend taking time off between each training plan? Or, do you recommend “stacking” a training plan on-top-of another? For example, if I finish the 8 week 5K plan could I just start the marathon plan the next week, or would it be better to take a few weeks off? Furthermore, do you use your low mileage/high intensity plan year round? Thank you in advance for your time in answering these questions. Awesome book by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adam, always listen to your body if you’re feeling good I don’t recommend taking any time off. If you’re feeling tired out then take a few days or a week off. Thanks for the kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

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