A Fun 5k Workout


3 miles used to be my standard run. Over time, as I built up my ability and endurance, my daily running mileage increased to the point where I completely eliminated the 3 mile run as part of my routine.

But see, running long distances day after day not only can burn you out and contribute to overtraining but trying to squeeze in all of those miles in the midst of a busy schedule can be real time consuming.

Since implementing some structure to my workout routine a few months back, I have built shorter distance runs back into my week as part of my running balancing act. The shorter distances are good for my recovery from the longer/harder runs and perfect for those days where I just don’t have enough time to run very long.

My problem though, and this may sound funny, sometimes the shorter distance runs seem more daunting than the longer runs.

Makes no sense, right? I know! But it’s true. When you are used to running let’s say 6 or 8 miles, the 3 mile runs should fly by in a flash but they don’t. Instead, they often bore me and seem longer than when I run double the distance.

In order to make the 3 mile distance more appealing and mentally stimulating as well as slightly challenging, I came up with this workout which I really enjoy.

5K workout

I like giving my miles some purpose and breaking things up like this keeps things interesting.

Even though I had time yesterday morning to run more than 3 miles, I didn’t really feel like it. I wasn’t sore but felt a little fatigue left over from Saturday’s long run so I went with this workout to give me a few miles of purpose without overdoing it.

5k workout splits

What I love about this workout is that it works for any pace. Some days you may start out slower, some days your fast pace isn’t your speediest, but either way, it’s going to challenge you more than just mindlessly running.

Important note: This 5k workout is not a training workout for a 5k race. At least I wouldn’t think so. It will certainly help you to run the distance but I don’t think it will help you to build your racing strategy.

Informative 5k posts worth checking out:

Fast Finish Focused 5k Workout

5k & 10k Specific Training

How To Determine Your 5k Pace Without Racing A 5K

How To Improve Your Marathon PR By Training For A 5k

A fun 5k running workout plus valuable 5k links #running #workouts #5k #fitfluential @runningoutowine @thisrunnersrecipes #runnersconnect Click To Tweet


Favorite race distance?

Do you have a routine distance you like to run when you aren’t training for a race?

Favorite time of day to run?


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  • Susie @ SuzLyfe October 13, 2015, 7:37 am

    I’m not sore today thanks to that massage therapist, but I can tell you right now that the thought of doing a 5k is NOT OK. Fave race distance? It used to be the half marathon, now I think it is the full!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Review and RecapMy Profile

  • Michele @ paleorunningmomma October 13, 2015, 8:19 am

    I am definitely a distance runner and don’t feel the appeal for shorter distances! The only time I run 3 miles is 2 days before a marathon, lol 🙂

  • Sheena @ Paws and Pavement October 13, 2015, 9:27 am

    Good idea! I totally agree that the short runs seem more daunting! I definitely add speed work to my short runs feel harder and go by even faster.
    Sheena @ Paws and Pavement recently posted…Weekly Workout Recap (10/12)My Profile

  • Jamie October 13, 2015, 9:38 am

    Favorite race distance is definitely the half marathon. And I usually stick to a 60 minute run when I’m not training so the distance can really range from a little over 7 to 8.5/9 depending on the day. And I ALWAYS have to run in the morning. Otherwise, it probably just won’t happen.
    Jamie recently posted…Running FastedMy Profile

  • Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl October 13, 2015, 10:02 am

    Favorite race distance – I would have said the half because anything shorter doesn’t feel like enough of a “race” but then again, now that I finally am considering trying to *actually race* and get faster I think the 10K might become it. But I also want to just finish a marathon next year. So two different races, two different reasons!
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  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 13, 2015, 10:14 am

    I keep hearing people say that they prefer running longer distances over shorter ones, and it always blows my mind. I’m still routinely running 5k, but I’ve been thinking about throwing some longer runs in there too. I just need a kick in the butt to actually do it 😛

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes October 13, 2015, 10:53 am

    I prefer long distances over shorter ones for the same reasons you said – 3 miles is not long enough to get in the zone! I usually run for at least 6 miles, except when I take Charlie on a run and then I stick to 3-4 for his little puggle legs. Favorite distance is the half marathon.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…6 Best Types of Cross-Training for RunnersMy Profile

  • Hayley @ Full of Life October 13, 2015, 11:14 am

    I pretty much only run 3 miles when I run these days, but it does get monotonous! I will have to try this to switch it up!

  • Beverley @ sweaty&fit October 13, 2015, 3:08 pm

    that is so interesting that you find the shorter distances boring!! i feel the same way about long distances haha… which is probably why i dont go further than 3 miles most of the time =P this run/workout looks great but tough work as well. thanks for sharing!
    Beverley @ sweaty&fit recently posted…5 Ways to Bounce Back from an Indulgent WeekendMy Profile

  • Caroline M October 13, 2015, 4:53 pm

    My favorite race distance is definitely the half. As for routine distance when I’m not training…hmm it honestly ranges from day to day! Usually I just run whatever I’m in the mood for. Sometimes thats 6-8 miles, other times it’s a speedy 2-3. I just listen to whatever my body wants from me and give it what I have 🙂 I honestly don’t care what time of day I run. I’ve done morning, afternoon and night and there are advantages and disadvantages to both!

  • heather October 13, 2015, 8:01 pm

    I like 10ks for racing. I really love running in the morning. If I wait too late to go run it probably isn’t happening.

  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine October 13, 2015, 8:48 pm

    I think it would feel weird to go out and run 3 miles these days! During my cutback week even 4 miles felt weird. This looks like a great workout, and thanks for sharing my post!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Route 66 Marathon Training Week 10My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles October 14, 2015, 4:04 pm

      right?! 3 and 4 miles seem so short and weird – I am trying to run those distances more often though in between my longer runs to get some balance.

  • Janelle @ Wholly Healthy October 15, 2015, 1:02 am

    This sounds fun! I too find 5K boring and like mixing things up like this.
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