The Higher Running 5k Plan – Level 1


Plan Details

Distance: 5k

Goal: PR and/or run stronger and faster

Weekly Volume Max: 20-25 miles / 32-40km

Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate or for someone with previous 5k experience that’s looking for a good plan that stays below 25 miles (40km) per week.

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By downloading this plan, you agree to our Terms and Conditions  Please consult your doctor before trying anything new. Upon checkout, you also subscribe to our email newsletter (which you can easily unsubscribe from, if you don’t like it)

Is This Plan for You?

This plan is for those looking to run a faster and stronger 5k in 12 weeks. If you’ve advanced past a run/walk 5k plan, are looking to consistently run 4-5 days/week, and include speed workouts in your training, you’re in the right place! If you’d like a run/walk plan, check out our free 5k plan.

For this plan, we suggest that you have already been running 12-15 miles (19-24km) per week for a couple of weeks and have previously peaked at least 15-20 miles (24-32km) per week or more while training for past races. This plan starts out at 14 to 16 miles (23-26km) and builds up to a peak mileage of 20 to 25 miles (32-40km). 

What’s Included:

A 12-week calendar grid chart with every day specifically detailed with a training run. After the 12 weeks, there’s a bonus week with post-race suggestions. The plan progresses with periodized phases to build your fitness, speed, and strength so that you peak for your goal race in 12 weeks time. The plan also includes a fillable form so you can write comments and thoughts for each run. The plan also has mindset training tips and inspirational quotes to keep you motivated! Both US and Metric measurement versions of this plan are included!

The Higher Running Training Plan Guide covers everything you need to know to train intelligently and race your best. We’re very thorough so all your questions will be answered. Topics covered include:

  • Pre-run warm-up (video and written workout)
  • Core strength workout (video and written workout)
  • Terms and types of workouts (heart rate, pace, and effort guidance)
  • Race day and long run fueling
  • Pacing
  • What to do if you get sick or injured
  • What to do if you want to add in a “training race” from 5ks to ultras
  • Elevation gain and loss formula as well as how to include hills and mountains in your training
  • Cross-training
  • Race day planning with worksheet
  • How to make the training plan work for your personal schedule
  • How to get the most out of your training plan
  • Post-race advice

Also included is the Key Training Zone Intensity Chart that visually defines key workout efforts.

The Training Plan Notes fillable pdf file.

The Higher Running 5k Plan – Level 1

Why our plans are different

This plan is derived from the theories and practices of the most legendary distance running coaches and exercise scientists from around the world: Arthur Lydiard, Jack Daniels, Renato Canova, and Peter Pfitzinger to name a few. Unlike other “cookie-cutter” training plans that just list mileage and a general pace, this Higher Running plan gives you essential specifics on how to do workouts at the right intensity for the most beneficial training stimuli. Furthermore, it does not follow a strict 7-day cycle (like most competitor’s plans), because at Higher Running we believe some workouts take longer to recover from and adapt to. Therefore sometimes recovery running days are extended and shortened appropriately to give you an ideal boost in fitness. Most other plans do not take this kind of periodization into consideration. Our Higher Running guideline gives you the information you need to make the plan more specific to your needs and the race you’re training for.

We realize that great coaching is both a science and an art – and we’ve used this philosophy (as well as knowledge gained from our own careers as runners) along with experience from coaching many others, to create a plan that emphasizes consistent, smart progression: A true Higher Running™ experience!

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