December 03, 2021

So, I’ve run 5km! Now what?

Congratulations on completing the 5km KICRUN program! What a massive achievement. If you’re wondering ‘well, what now?’ We spoke to Hannah from Upwell Health Collective about how you can continue to develop your running! 

Having completed the 8 week KICRUN program from start to finish, what should I do next and how can I continue to improve my running?

If my goal is to run faster: How do I improve speed? Now that you are confident with running the distance of 5KM, you can repeat the program again but use run/jog intervals instead of run/walk. If you have a specific time in mind (ie, 5km in 30 minutes), then you can work out the pace you would need to run at to achieve this goal (6 mins per km). Use this pace for your ‘run’ intervals and reduce to a light jog or brisk walk for your ‘walk’ intervals. This will build you up gradually to running 5km at your desired pace.

To maintain my fitness: A good way to maintain the fitness gains you have made is to continue running 3 times per week using a similar format to the program (1 easier run, 1 interval run and 1 longer run). It can be really enjoyable after reaching a running goal to just run for fun for a few months. You could keep your long run at 5km and play around with increasing the speed in your interval session. Or as you gain confidence you could start to increase your long run some weeks. There is also nothing wrong with running the exact same distance each week if you are enjoying this! The main guideline when not following a specific program is to only increase by 10% per week and only increase one variable at a time (speed, distance or terrain).

If my goal is to run further, how do I improve distance: I’d suggest getting comfortable with 5km before starting to increase again, it’s important to give your body time to adapt rather than pushing to run further every week. A good idea would be to repeat weeks 7 and 8 again before starting the brand new KICRUN 5-10km program!!! Similarly to beginner program, you’ll gradually increase your distance over a period of 8 weeks, making sure you have a variety of intensity across your week.

I've completed the KICRUN program, but I'm not ready to run 5km again. Are there any weeks / runs I should go back to complete again?

This is a really great way to build your confidence and also allow your body to adapt to the time you are now spending running. Depending on how you felt after the final week of the program, you could go back to week 5 or 6 and follow the program again from there. Giving yourself the extra 3-4 weeks will give you a lot more confidence and endurance by the time you reach 5km again.

Following the KIC planner, with runs on Weds & Sunday, what runs/weeks should I complete?

Although we do suggest running 3 days per week to allow your body to adapt and progress, if you are only able to run 2 days per week, I would remove Run 2 and complete Run 1 on Wednesday and Run 3 on Sunday. I would also suggest repeating weeks 3, 5 and 7 twice so that you have had enough time on your legs to get to the 5km goal safely.

How many runs per week should I aim for to maintain my fitness?

This depends a little on how long you have been running for. If you just started running with this 5km program, I would suggest trying to fit in 3 runs per week, even if you make 2 of them easy/short runs, so that you can maintain your cardiovascular fitness but also the shock absorbing ability of your legs. Once you have been running for a while, it is ok to run twice per week, but if you were ever aiming for another goal, you would want to increase back to 3 runs per week. If you really love running and want to run 4 days per week, go for it! You would just want to make sure that 2 of these runs are quite gentle and only 1 is a longer run.