Rock 'n' Roll 5K

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About this challenge

This challenge will prepare you to take on any Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k event around the world. You’ll receive a week-by-week training plan and you’ll be provided with articles packed full with useful advice to help you complete your event. Expect a fun and vibrant atmosphere from your Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k, featuring live bands, enthusiastic volunteers and cheer teams to help you around the course.


There are beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of the challenge to suit all abilities. Whether it’s your first event or you’re a 5k veteran, a Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k is guaranteed to be a running experience like no other.

beginner Training Plan

Entry requirements: beginner

This 5k beginner plan focuses on everything you need to get started in running and will convert you from complete beginner to a fitter, healthier, successful 5k runner. This level assumes that you have never trained for an event before and focuses on building your running-specific fitness over 12 weeks so that at the end you are ready for your first event.

Start date:
Anytime
Expected finish time:
0:38:00
Duration:
12 weeks
Week 1
Jump to:
Monday
Training

Alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

Alternate 90 seconds of jogging with 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Alternate 2 minutes of jogging with 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Rest
Monday
Training

Complete 2 minutes jogging, 2 minutes walking, 4 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking, 2 minutes jogging, 2 minutes walking, 4 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

Alternate 5 minutes jogging with 3 minutes walking. Repeat 3 times

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Rest

Alternate 8 minutes of jogging with 3 minutes of walking. Repeat 2 times

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Rest
Monday
Training

Alternate 10 minutes of jogging with 3 minutes of walking, repeat 2 times

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Rest

Alternate 6 minutes of jogging with 3 minutes of walking x 4

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Complete 12 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes of walking

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Rest
Monday
Training

Jog for 15 minutes continuously (only take a walking break if you really need to)

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

Complete 10 minutes of jogging, 2 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of jogging

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Rest
Saturday
Training

Jog for 18 minutes continuously (only take a walking break if you really need to)

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Sunday
Rest
Monday
Training

Jog for 20 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Target: Non-stop jogging

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Rest
Thursday
Training

Complete 8 minutes of jogging, 2 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of jogging, 2 minutes of walking

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Training

Jog for 20 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Target: Non-stop jogging

Sunday
Rest
Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Complete 5 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Target: Non-stop jogging

Wednesday
Rest
Thursday
Training

Jog for 15 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Target: Non-stop jogging

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Complete 10 minutes of jogging, 2 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of jogging

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Jog for 20 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Target: Non-stop jogging

Wednesday
Rest
Thursday
Training

Jog for 25 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Target: Non-stop jogging

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Jog for 25 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Target: Non-stop jogging

Monday
Rest

Recovery from Sunday's longer session

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

Jog for 25 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Target: Non-stop jogging

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Complete 7 minutes jog, 3 minutes walk - repeat 4 times

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Jog for 28 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk.

Slowly increasing the length of the runs

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

15 minutes jog

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

20 minutes jog

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Jog for 30 minutes continuously

Building up longest session

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

20 minutes jog

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

15 minutes jog

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Jog for 30 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Monday
Rest

Final higher mileage week before taper

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

Jog for 25 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Jog for 20 minutes continuously

Start with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and finish with a 5 minute gentle cool down walk

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Jog for 30-35 minutes continuously

Last long session

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

10 minutes jog

Jogging all week, keep the pace easy throughout

Wednesday
Rest
Thursday
Training

15 minutes jog

Friday
Rest

Double rest before Sunday's big target

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Race day

RACE DAY!

The big one! Enjoy your event!

Week 1
Jump to:
Have you already completed this?

intermediate Training Plan

Entry requirements: intermediate

This 5k intermediate plan is for you if you fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • You have already completed one or more 5k events

  • You are looking to improve on your current 5k time

  • You are entering your first 5k but have a reasonable base level of aerobic fitness (perhaps from other sports)

Start date:
Anytime
Expected finish time:
0:27:00
Duration:
12 weeks
Week 1
Jump to:
Monday
Training

Easy 20 minutes run

Take it easy with a light warm up and cool down

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

Easy 20 minutes run

Take it easy with a light warm up and cool down

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

25 - 30 minutes easy run 

Finish with some stretching

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Rest
Monday
Rest

Easy 20 minutes run

Week 2 moves up the volume

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

Easy 25 minutes run

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Easy 20 minutes run

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

30 minutes easy jog

4 runs this week so keep this session very relaxed

Monday
Rest

Recovery from Sunday's session

Tuesday
Training

20 mins steady pace

Wednesday
Rest
Thursday
Training

Warm-up then 10-15 minutes alternating 2 minutes quick running, 2 minutes slow running, cool down

Make sure your 2 minutes slow running is a very, very easy jog

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Rest

Double rest day after Thursday's faster session

Sunday
Training

30 mins relaxed pace run

Don't forget to stretch afterwards

Monday
Rest

Recovery from Sunday's session

Tuesday
Training

20 - 25 minutes easy run

Wednesday
Training

Hit the trails or forest for a 30 minute run, alternating fast and slow bursts as you feel

New off-road locations will invigorate your session

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Steady 20 - 25 minutes run

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

35 - 40 minutes slow run

Ignore pace, focus on duration

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Relaxed 20 minutes run

Take this one easy, faster running tomorrow

Wednesday
Training

Warm-up then 3 x 5 minutes brisk running / 3 minutes walking, follow with cool down 

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

25 minutes steady paced run

Long stretch afterwards

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Repeat last Sunday's longer session, still keeping the pace easy

Monday
Rest

Mid plan easy recovery week

Tuesday
Training

Easy 20 minute run

3 sessions this week as part of the recovery plan

Wednesday
Rest
Thursday
Training

25 minutes easy, including 4 to 6 brisker efforts of 60 seconds duration

Quality, faster paced running but for shorter periods than previous weeks

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

25 - 30 minutes steady paced run

Run as you feel, try a different location or off-road for variety

Monday
Training

Easy 20 minutes run

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

Warm-up and then fast paced 20 minute run and cool-down

Aim for a pace that feels ‘comfortably hard’. You should be able to give 3 or 4 word answers when talking but unable to hold a full conversation

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Steady 25 mins run

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Rest

45 minute easy long run

Keep the pace relaxed throughout

Monday
Rest

Recovery from Sunday's longer session

Tuesday
Training

20 - 25 minutes steady pace

Wednesday
Training

Warm-up then 4 x 5 mins brisk running, 3 mins jogging / walking, followed by cool down

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Steady 25 minute run

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

40 mins easy paced run with the middle 20 slightly faster

Finish with some leg stretches

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Hill running. Good warm-up then 12 x brisk 1 min uphill efforts, jogging back down, followed by cool down

Building strength

Wednesday
Training

Easy 20 minutes recovery run

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Steady 25 minute run

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Warm-up, followed by 20 minutes fast, long cool-down

Imagine the 20 minute run is a time-trial

Monday
Training

Recovery run, 20 minutes easy

Tuesday
Rest
Wednesday
Training

30 minutes run over hill circuit, with efforts on all the hills

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Steady 25 minute run

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Long run, 45 minutes easy / steady

Monday
Rest

Final higher mileage week before taper

Tuesday
Training

Warm-up then 4 x 5 mins brisk running, 3 mins jogging / walking, followed by cool-down

Compare your distances with week 8

Wednesday
Training

Easy 25 minute run

Thursday
Rest
Friday
Training

Brisk 25 minute run and cool down

Avoid going flat out

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

Long run, 45 minutes steady

Last long session

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

20 minutes easy running throughout

Keep the pace easy

Wednesday
Rest
Thursday
Training

25 minutes steady, including 5 x 20 seconds brisk running

Run brisk efforts in control, not at racing speed

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Training

Very, very easy 10 minute jog

Unbelievably easy and relaxed

Sunday
Race day

RACE DAY!

The big one! Warm-up, run well and most importantly, enjoy your race!

Week 1
Jump to:
Have you already completed this?

advanced Training Plan

Entry requirements: advanced

This 5k advanced level provides a week-by-week structured programme that will convert you into a fitter, healthier and successful 5k runner. Before you start make sure this level is right for you. It could be dangerous to follow the advanced training guide if you are really a beginner or intermediate runner. If the following applies to you, you have the correct guide. However, if your current level of running training is less than the following, you may need the beginner or intermediate plan.

 

Current level of running training

You are already a runner
You have been running for a year or more
Your weekly long run is currently at least 4 miles
You are currently comfortable with running approximately 20 miles per week
You have already completed several 5k races and are looking to improve your time

 

Start date:
Anytime
Expected finish time:
0:21:00
Duration:
16 weeks
Week 1
Jump to:
Monday
Training

4 mile steady run

Tuesday
Training

Progression run:15 minutes easy/15 minutes steady/15 minutes at threshold effort

Threshold effort should feel ‘comfortably hard’ You should be able to give 3-4 word answers but not hold a full conversation.

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning

A 30 minute session to include arms, legs and core

Thursday
Training

4 miles easy

Recovery run

Friday
Training

5 miles steady

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

6 miles steady

Keep the pace steady as you build on this distance for your long run

Monday
Training

4 miles easy

Active recovery from Sunday's long run

Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 6 x 800 metres (2 mins jog/walk recovery between sets) then cool down

Try and keep all repetitions at same pace

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning – as per week 1

Thursday
Training

3 miles easy

Friday
Training

5 x 5 minutes at tempo effort with 90 seconds walk/jog recovery.

Tempo effort should feel ‘comfortably hard’ You should be able to give 3-4 word answers but not hold a full conversation.

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

7 miles steady

Distance progression from week 1

Monday
Training

4 miles easy

Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 6 x 400 metres, 6 x 200 metres, (2 minutes jog/walk recovery between all sets then cool down

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning, run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Thursday
Training

4 miles easy

Friday
Training

Warm up, 20 minutes at threshold effort, then cool down

Threshold effort should feel ‘comfortably hard’ You should be able to give 3-4 word answers but not hold a full conversation

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

7 miles steady

Same pace as last week

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up. 5 x 600 metres (1 minute jog/walk recovery between sets), then cool down

Keep the pace controlled 

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning

Thursday
Training

5 miles steady off road if possible

Friday
Training

After warm-up, 6 x 1 minute stride outs (1 minute jog recovery between each effort)

Stride outs at your perceived 5k pace

Saturday
Training

2 mile easy jog

Sunday
Training

2 mile time-trial

Pace judgement for full effort from start to finish, remember good 10 minute warm up and 10 minute cool down

Monday
Training

30 minutes mobility and stretch workout to aid recovery from time trial

Tuesday
Training

5 miles steady

Wednesday
Training

4 x 300 metres / 1 minute recovery
3 x 300 metres / 1 minute recovery
2 x 300 metres / 1 minute recovery
1 x 300 metres (3 mins recovery between sets)

Aim to run each set progressively faster

Thursday
Training

Strength & conditioning - run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Friday
Training

3 x 10 minutes at threshold effort with 2 minutes walk/jog recovery 

Threshold effort should feel ‘comfortably hard’ You should be able to give 3-4 word answers but not hold a full conversation

Saturday
Training

4 miles easy

Sunday
Training

8 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 3 x 1600 metres (2 minutes jog/walk recovery between sets) followed by cool down

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning, run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Thursday
Training

5 miles steady

Friday
Training

Warm up, 8 x 400 metres (2 minutes jog/walk recovery between sets) followed by cool down

See if you can improve time on each 400 metres split from week 3 with two extra efforts

Saturday
Training

4 miles easy

Sunday
Training

8 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 3 x  800 metres, 3 x 400 metres, 3 x 200 metre, (2 mins jog/walk recovery between all sets) followed by cool down.

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning – run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Thursday
Training

5 miles building pace to steady

Friday
Training

Warm up, 25 minutes at threshold effort, followed by cool down.

Threshold effort should feel ‘comfortably hard’ You should be able to give 3-4 word answers but not hold a full conversation

Saturday
Training

Run 4 miles easy

Sunday
Training

8-9 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 4 x 1km (90 seconds jog/walk recovery between sets), followed by cool down

Keep the pace controlled

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning

Thursday
Training

5 miles steady

Off road if possible

Friday
Training

After warm-up, 6 x 1 minute stride outs (1 minute jog recovery between each effort)

Stride outs at your perceived 5k pace

Saturday
Training

2 miles easy jog

Pace judgement for full effort from start to finish - Remember good 10 minute warm-up and 10 min warm down

Sunday
Training

2 mile time-trial with 10 minute warm-up and warm down

Compare time to week 4

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

5 miles steady

Wednesday
Training

Warm up, 2 x 200 metres, 2 x 400 metres, 2 x 800 metres, 2 x 400 metres, 2 x 200 metres
(2 minute jog/walk recovery between sets)
Followed by cool down 

Thursday
Training

Strength and conditioning – run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Friday
Training

Warm up, 25 minutes at threshold effort, followed by cool down.

Saturday
Training

5 miles easy

Sunday
Training

8 to 9 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 10 x 400 metre (2 minutes jog/walk recovery between sets) followed by cool down.

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning, run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Thursday
Training

5 miles easy

Friday
Training

Warm up, 3 x 10 minutes at threshold effort with 90 seconds walk/jog recovery, followed by cool down

Saturday
Training

4 miles easy

Sunday
Training

9 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 3 x 800 metres, 3 x 400 metres, 3 x 200 metres, (90 seconds jog/walk recovery between all sets), followed by cool down

Compare to week 7 with less rest this time

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning, run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Thursday
Training

5 miles steady

Friday
Training

1 mile at threshold effort with 2 minutes jog/walk recovery + 5 x 600 metres with 90 seconds jog/walk recovery.

Saturday
Training

5 miles easy

Sunday
Training

9 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 2 x 1km (90 second walk/jog recovery) + 4 x 500 metres (90 second walk jog recovery) followed by cool down

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning

Thursday
Training

5 miles steady off road

Off road if possible

Friday
Training

After warm-up, 6 x 1 minute stride outs
(1 minute jog recovery between each effort)

Stride outs at your perceived 5k pace

Saturday
Training

2 mile jog

Sunday
Training

3 mile (5k) time-trial

Pace judgement for full effort from start to finish, remember good 10 minute warm-up and 10 minute warm down

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 4 x 1 mile with 2 minutes walk/jog recovery, followed by cool down.

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning, run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Thursday
Training

5 miles steady

Friday
Training

Warm up, 25 minutes at threshold effort, cool down.

Threshold effort should feel ‘comfortably hard’ 3-4 word answer pace

Saturday
Training

2 miles easy

Sunday
Training

7 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

3 x 1600 metres
(2 mins jog/walk recovery between sets)

Compare speed to week 6 and include a 10 minute warm up and cool down

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning, run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Thursday
Training

2 miles easy

Friday
Training

Warm up, 10 x 200 metre (2 minutes jog/walk recovery between sets), followed by cool down.

Looking for speed!

Saturday
Training

2 miles easy off road

Sunday
Training

6 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

4 x 400 metres, 4 x 200 metres (2 minutes jog/walk recovery between all sets)

Don’t forget to include a 10 minute warm up and cool down

Wednesday
Training

Strength and conditioning, run 1 mile before and 1 mile after session

Thursday
Training

4 miles easy

Friday
Training

Progression run: 15 minutes easy/15 minutes steady/15 minutes at threshold effort

Saturday
Training

2 miles easy jog

Sunday
Training

5 miles steady

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

Warm up, 6 x 400 metres with 90 seconds jog/walk recovery, followed by a cool down

Keep the efforts controlled, don’t strain

Wednesday
Training

3 miles easy

Thursday
Training

2 miles steady

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Training

2 mile jog

Sunday
Race day

Race day!

Start at a comfortable pace, you will be tired at 2.5 miles (4km), but able to hold pace for final 0.5 mile and sprint finish!

Week 1
Jump to:
Have you already completed this?