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How to Conquer a Thanksgiving Day 5k

Buckle up, Thanksgiving is on its way. For most this means a hearty feast with close friends or family. For others (perhaps a more motivated lot), Thanksgiving day involves a morning 5 kilometer race, or “5k” as it’s casually referred to. This is the American way of earning the calories to come later in the afternoon.


A 5k isn't necessarily a small feat. Without proper training and preparation, 3.1 miles can be a grueling endeavor. So although an 8 day notice may not be long enough to adequately train, you can use this general framework the next time you decide to shoot for a race around the 5k mark.

running- O2 Living blog makers of organic cold-pressed fruit and vegetable Living Juice

The below schedule is made for beginners, so it assumes that at baseline your running ability is almost nothing. Feel free to scale up the mileage or pace, but remember the basic principles that apply to almost all fitness plans, regardless of discipline or sport: go easy when you’re supposed to go easy, and go hard when you’re supposed to go hard. Training at full tilt everyday is a recipe for disaster, and studies have even shown that incorporating more “easy days” than “hard days” results in faster finishing times for long distance runners. In essence, stay disciplined and know when to dial it back. 


Week 1 

Day 1: Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Day 2: Rest or cross-train.

Day 3: Run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Day 4: Rest.

Day 5: Run 7 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Day 6: Rest or cross-train.

Day 7: Rest.

Week 2 

Day 1: Run 7 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Day 2: Rest or cross-train.

Day 3: Run 8 minutes, walk 1 minute. Then, run hard for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes, repeat 3 times. Finish with a 7-minute run, a 1-minute walk.

Day 4: Rest.

Day 5: Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Day 6: Rest or cross-train.

Day 7: Rest.

Week 3 

Day 1: Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 2 times.

Day 2: Cross-train.

Day 3: Run 12 minutes, walk 1 minute. Then run hard for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes. Repeat 4 times.

Day 4: Rest.

Day 5: Run 13 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 2 times.

Day 6: Rest or cross-train.

Day 7: Rest.

Week 4 

Day 1: Run 15 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 2 times.

Day 2: Cross-train.

Day 3: Run 17 minutes, walk 1 minute. Then add two intervals where you run hard for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes.

Day 4: Rest.

Day 5: Run 19 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 7 minutes.

Day 6: Rest or cross-train.

Day 7: Rest.

Week 5 

Day 1: Run 20 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 6 minutes.

Day 2: Cross-train.

Day 3: Run 15 minutes, walk 1 minute. Then run hard for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

Day 4: Rest.

Day 5: Run 26 minutes.

Day 6: Rest or cross-train.

Day 7: Rest.

Week 6 

Day 1: Run 20 minutes, walk 1 minute. Then run hard for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Day 2: Rest or cross-train.

Day 3: Run 30 minutes.

Day 4: Rest.

Day 5: Run 20 minutes.

Day 6: Rest.

Day 7: Race Day. Run 3.1 miles.
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