The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Finish a 5k in 2018!
Posted: Thursday, December 28, 2017
There are many different training plans available to choose from to train for your first 5k. They key is to stay consistent and build slowly/steadily. Whether you want to run, walk, or a combination of both – completing a 5k is a great goal for the New Year! As with any exercise program, please consult your physician before beginning to ensure you are well enough to participate.

A quick web search of 5k training plans will yield numerous results. Finding one that suits your preferences is a personal choice but the objective remains the same: To be able to complete 3.1 miles (5k). We have had success with training groups in the past following Hal Higdon’s program (see below). However – there are others to choose from (also referenced below). The overarching theme is to run or walk 3 to 4 times per week over several weeks with the objective of completing a 3 mile run. Pace / finish time is not usually a priority with beginner 5k programs. Although you probably find most races DO have cutoff times for completing the race – more often than not, most 5k races allow adequate time for first timers / walkers of all abilities to cover the course.

Following a program can be as simple as printing out the training calendar and following along – or keeping a detailed log (date, time, weather conditions, heart rate, diet, etc.). There are also several apps one can use to track progress. As for required running gear – most is a matter of budget and preference, but shoes should be given proper attention. Please be sure to visit a local running store to be properly fitted for running shoes! A device for tracking distance/time is needed as well. There are many devices specifically for this purpose (Garmin, Fitbit, Polar), but several free apps are also available (Runkeeper, DailyBurn, & more) if device purchase is not in the budget. Please also keep in mind that training for a spring 5k will likely require training in cold temps and possibly in the dark. Be safe and wear reflective, brightly colored clothing! Check out these great cold weather running tips from the Road Runner’s Club of America:

5K Novice Training Program – Hal Higdon’s Program
We’ve had several training groups complete this program with success. There are certainly others to choose from, as well as the option of hiring a coach to customize a plan. If your physician has given you the all-clear and you’re ready for a solid 6-week plan – this should do the trick! For more information on this plan, or information on intermediate, advanced, or walking programs, visit

Dates have been added to reflect training for the Classic 150 5k (Saturday, March 3rd as part of Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon’s race weekend). If you’re looking to get a head start the week of 1/1/18 – Give week #1 a go and plan to repeat the week of 1/7/18! (CTC MEMBERS – log in to get your 20% discount on this race if you haven’t already registered!)


Runner’s World 8 week Program & tips: offers a 10 week Program:

Mayo Clinic’s 7 week Program:

Women’s Running 12 week Program:

Competitor Running’s 10 week Program:


Chattanooga Track Club • 1014 Dallas Road • Suite 101 • Chattanooga, TN 37405 • (423) 842-6265