Run for the Journey

Run for the Journey

The Return to parkrun – 6 Week Training Plan

As we progress along the roadmap out of lockdown, one key date for the running community is the return of parkrun on 5th June. We give you a six-week training plan aimed to get you back into shape in time to rejoin this well-loved community running event.

A global pandemic is a pretty good reason for all runners to have drifted away from normal training. WFH, new challenges, children off school; there’s not one person in the UK who hasn’t been affected. 

Taking time off running due to the recent pressures should never be labelled as ‘lazy’. Winter running also always creates an extra layer of challenge when wanting to get out the door. But spring has most definitely arrived in all four corners of the British Isles, giving us all that much needed boost we’ve been waiting for. 

When parkrun is due to start again on Saturday June 5th, runners around the globe will come together to celebrate what will be a major step towards returning to pre-Covid normality. In England alone there are 729 parkruns to choose from, which means hundreds of thousands of runners will be gearing up to stepping back into community running. 

When your alarm goes off on the 5th, make sure you’ll be turning up to the first parkrun of 2021 feeling ready to savour every step by following our six-week 5k tune up plan, below. Being able to participate in parkrun again offers so many benefits, not just a celebration of our way out of lockdown. You get to run for free with people of all abilities, you kick off your weekend with an endorphin-fuelled local event and catching up for a cuppa after – well, there’s nothing like it. 

This plan is aimed at regular runners who can run at least 30 minutes and train four times per week. You will have been running through Lockdown 3 and can already run 5k confidently but are ready to introduce more speed work into your schedule to improve your running fitness. You’ll need to combine both faster intervals and longer, slower runs to balance recovery from the tougher sessions below. Make sure your long runs are slow enough that you can hold a conversation. 

You’ll do a 5k time trial in the first week so you can see where your fitness is, and this time will be your benchmark that you can refer back to on the 5th to see how much you’ve progressed. As with all training, regardless of your goal distance, doing a warm-up and cool down is essential to allow both your body and mind to get ready for what you’re asking it to do. The last week is all about easy pacing, so your legs are fresh and ready for parkrun. 

Remember, when you do make it back to parkrun and want to push yourself, pacing is going to be important. No one wants to go off too fast and blow up before the last mile. Running 5k fast is hard! Practicing your target pace over shorter intervals will help your body become accustomed to running fast for three miles so that come June 5th, you can relax and enjoy every step. 

You can keep an eye on parkrun’s roadmap back to re-starting on their website at: parkrun.org.uk.  And good luck!

Return to parkrun – 6 Week Training Plan

Intermediate 6-week 5k plan 

KEY

S&C – strength and conditioning e.g. lunges (forward, reverse and lateral), squats (split squats, squat jumps), calf raises, hip bridges, planks

WUP – Warm up

CD – Cool down

Tempo – roughly 10 seconds slower than your 10k minute mile pace

 

Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1

REST

10 mins WUP

8x600m hard, 90 sec recovery

10 mins CD

REST

or

10 mins S&C

30 mins tempo

10 mins WUP

10 mins tempo

10 mins CD

Rest or cross train

5k time trial

30-40 mins

2

REST

10 mins WUP

6x 2 min uphill, slow jog down recovery

10 mins CD

REST

or

10 mins S&C

35 mins tempo

10 mins WUP

15 mins tempo

10 mins CD

Rest or cross train

20 mins easy

35-45 mins

3

REST

10 mins WUP

5 x 1k @ 10k pace, 90 sec recovery

10 mins CD

REST

or

10 mins S&C

40 mins tempo

10 mins WUP

20 mins tempo

10 mins CD

Rest or cross train

25 mins easy

40-50 mins

4

REST

10 minsWUP

4-6 x 800m @ target 5k pace, 2 mins recovery

10 mins CD

REST

or

10 mins S&C

35 mins tempo

10 mins WUP

15 mins tempo

10 mins CD

Rest or cross train

25 mins easy

45-55 mins

5

REST

10mins WUP

5 x 1k @ 5k pace, 90 sec recovery

10mins CD

REST

or

10 mins S&C

30 mins tempo

10 mins WUP

10 mins tempo

10 mins CD

Rest or cross train

20 mins easy

35 mins

6

REST

10 mins WUP

10 x 1 min hard

10 mins CD

REST

25 mins easy

15 mins easy with 4 x 100m strides or REST

parkrun

Good luck!

 

Well deserved REST

 

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