Your Guide To Training for a 5k or 10K Here in Charleston


Love to run or exercise? Then you’re in the right city! Downtown Charleston is filled with beautiful routes to run, especially around Marion Square and down at Battery Park by the water.


When living in such a historic and mesmerizing city, it’s impossible not to want to explore all of the interesting and exciting places around the downtown campus area. I’ve been here for two years now, and am still discovering new places I have never seen before. Walking and biking is the typical form of transportation for college students downtown, so why not step it up a notch and make running a part of your daily routine?


Running not only gives you some quality “me” time that allows you to sort out everything boggling around in your head, but it is also scientifically proven to help in many areas of health such as keeping your blood pressure healthy, strengthening your bones, bettering your concentration abilities, and giving you a good sleep schedule.


While you may think that running is a difficult habit to pick up or improve on, it’s actually not at all. Running is essentially all about training your body both mentally and physically, as well as taking the necessary steps needed to create endurance. If you’re interested in training for races, all you need is the right mindset and some dedication. Here are some tips on how to train for both 5K and 10k races:



While 3.1 miles may seem like a long distance, if you’ve had any running experience at all, or if you’re able to run a full mile without stopping, it shouldn’t come that difficult to you. All people are different in regard to running and endurance capabilities for various reasons; however, training for a 5K should typically take about 8 weeks in order to prepare your body.  

According to popular running and training websites, you should dedicate two out of the seven days a week as your rest days. Rest days are highly critical in training, because your body needs that time to rejuvenate. Three out of the seven days a week, you should warm up your body accordingly, and then run at a designated pace, starting at the distance of one mile. Each week, you should increase your distance on these three days by a quarter of a mile.


Make sure to cool down and stretch after every run as well. On the day you’ve chosen not to run or rest, you should do a cross training activity such as biking, swimming, or other cardio activity that builds strength. Finally, on the one day you choose not to rest, run, or cross train, you should take an easy run/walk combination, or another cross train of your choice. Here is a sample chart of an 8-week training schedule for a 5K:


While a 10K is usually geared more toward intermediate and advanced level runners, you can definitely still train in a limited amount of time.  However, if you’ve had little to no running experience, I would absolutely recommend beginning with the 5K training plan, and gradually working yourself up to the 10K. 

The training schedule for a 10K race is quite similar to that of a 5K, only with an added third day of rest and more cardio on your active days. On one active day, you should run 4 miles with aerobic intervals, meaning that the 4 miles will include spurts of high intense activity throughout. These high intense activity spurts should occur in distances of about 400 meters. On your second active day, you should run 4 easy miles, or do a cross training activity of your choice. On your third active day, you should do 4 easy miles with gentle pick-ups, meaning that you should gradually increase your pace during 100-meter intervals at random times throughout your run. On your fourth active day, you should run 5 miles at a comfortable pace. 


Races of all kinds are such a fun way to get involved with your community, and Charleston has a ridiculous amount to offer! Also, if you don’t want to train alone, we have plenty of running clubs around town. There’s a running club here on our campus, and I was recently informed that LuluLemon has a running club, which meets every Wednesday at 6pm to run a 3 or 5-mile route of your preference.  Joining a running club is a great way to train, because you get to meet new people in the process. Check out the 2013 Race Calendar for the Charleston Area. Races are offered almost every weekend throughout the year. That leaves you more than enough time to train in this beautiful city! Good luck and go explore!