The Endure EQ

The Endure EQ Vol. 020 | How to run your first 5 km and actually enjoy it

Published over 1 year ago • 4 min read

Hello Reader,

Welcome to Vol. 020 of The Endure EQ.

Every week you'll get a deep dive into a topic related to endurance training, maximizing your potential or reaching peak performance.

Let’s jump in.

How to run your first 5 km and actually enjoy it

This will be a foundational guide.

The basics of learning how to run.

This might be simple for the more experienced athletes but helpful for the new runners.

There is a big difference between running one 5km, and building a long-term running habit.

Here are some principles for you to apply as you begin your training.

Training principles to guide your training

Most of your runs should feel easy/slow only a few should feel hard/fast.

Most runners (even experienced ones) are running way too fast for the majority of their runs.

You will gain a lot more fitness and enjoy the experience more if you learn to slow down at first.

There are 2 ways to encourage you to slow down, 1) be able to carry on a conversation while you are running. 2) Learn rate of perceived exertion (RPE).

Intervals are your opportunity to go fast.

These sessions should feel harder and above your normal running pace. These types of sessions help you build top end fitness.

You will get to those eventually.

But when in doubt, keep it easy.

Understand how hard you’re working

To better understand how hard you are working you need to understand RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion).

There are more advanced ways like (speed, heart rate, pace, & power) to understand how hard you are working but simple does just the trick.

Learning RPE for training is a skill and does take a little practice but you will get the hang of it while you training.

It boils down to asking this questions: “How hard am I working on a scale of 0-10?”

Most of your runs should remain below a 3. Interval work should be in the 7-8 range.

Duration vs. Distance for running

Keep it simple.

Duration is easier to plan with than distance.

But, distance helps refine your pacing for the race and check your progress.

I recommend only focusing on duration in training.

Especially as you get started running.

Your goal is to get really comfortable running for longer time frames, not shorter distances.

Building a plan

Know your starting point.

Running is about building up tolerance in your body.

You want to build this up slowly.

In order to accomplish this you need to know where you are starting. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you run before?
  • What’s the furthest distance you have completed?
  • When did you last run?
  • How far have you hiked or walked before?

Answering these honestly will give you a starting point for training.

Define what you want to achieve.

Once you know your starting point you need to decide what it is you hope to accomplish. Is this a one and done goal or the start of a running habit or do you intend to finish in a certain time?

These types of questions define where it is you want to get too.

How to build up duration if only able to run 1-2 mins?

Walk-Runs are going to be your strategy.

Plan each session to be around 30 min in length. Starting and ending with a 5 min walk to warm-up and cool down.

After you warm up you will start your intervals.

Using the following progressions.

Continue adding 1 min of running and keep the walk at 2 minutes repeated for the 20ish minutes for your session.

Once you get to 8 and 2 the next jump can be 9 and 1 which is a great strategy for any race if you need it.

Once you cross the 10 min mark start to push your run for as long as you can handle followed by a 1-2 min walk. This should allow for enough recovery to go again for another period of time.

Plan for all of your sessions to be this progression for the first 2-3 weeks. You can progress as you are able from here into increasing duration to cover the race distance.

Build your 5 km plan

Having a plan keeps you on track and will help you build towards your race.

Within your plan try to add 3-4 runs per week to start.

  • 1 x long run (Adding distance/duration each week)
  • 1 x intervals (mix of running and walking at higher intensity)
  • 1-2 x easy run/walk keeping intensity really low.

Space these out with a day of rest in-between and you have a rough training plan for the whole race.

For the long run:

Aim to build slowly by adding 10-15% time or distance each week (This is roughly 500m or 8-10 mins).

Don’t stress if you’re not capable of these distances.

You can build it up from as little as 1 minute of running.

For the intervals:

Try a 2/2 session.

2 mins at moderate pace, 2 min easy walk repeated 6-8 times

The remaining time can be spent easy running for warm up and cool down.

For the easy sessions:

Keep these easy.

RPE under 3.

Settle into the pace and spend time on your feet.


  • Running takes time to build up but you can run a 5km if you work at it.
  • Run slower than you think you need to as you build it up.
  • Make a plan for yourself to build up your total running distance and time.

Thank you for being here!

- Chandler

Ps. If this email sparked your interest in learning how to run a 5km. Email me and I will send you a 10 weeks plan to run your first 5km.

When you’re ready here are 3 ways that Excel Endurance by Chandler Scott can help you:

  • Join our free community: find more resources, ask questions, and share workout ideas. Join Community
  • EE Training Squad: Monthly sustainable training and access to on-demand race programs. Join Squad
  • 1-1 Coaching: Take your training to the next level with 1-1 access to Chandler. Coaching Request

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The Endure EQ

By Excel Endurance

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