I’m running a 5k in May and true to my past collegiate athlete self, I’ve put together a full training schedule for myself that I’m sticking to. Given my past, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to register for a race and just show up to the starting line without knowing that I put in the time, effort, and miles to give my best effort.
Obviously my best effort now will still be a couple minutes off my college best when my training was nearly a full time job, but I’m not too worried about that. Just getting back into a regular training schedule with a goal in mind, with real workouts and speed work, has reminded me how much I miss running competitively. The idea of racing used to send some of my teammates into nervousness and anxiety, but I always relished the idea of competition — not only against others in the field but also against myself. The smell of hot rubber at the track, the lightness of brand new racing flats in my hands, and the chill of post-workout ice baths at Crissy Field have got me in the racing mood. Running is such a good outlet for me and my competitive side.
I was plagued by injury in my collegiate career, so while my teammates were running 60-70 miles/week, my max was just around 35. Luckily with my running now, I'm setting my own training schedule so I can build in lots of rest days and very low mileage to keep myself from getting injured. So far, I've been surprised at my improvements with so few miles -- it's a wonder what just a few workouts do for me.
Anyhow, here’s my training schedule in a template form so you can copy it if you’d like a place to start for almost two months of training for a ~20:00 to 20:30 5k. Good luck!