Your 5-week end of year training plan

by | Nov 16, 2021 | Technical Articles

Finish 2021 strong with your best-ever mini training plan

Don’t take your foot off the gas just because it’s nearly the end of the year! If you’ve got a running goal, these are valuable weeks for making progress. There’s plenty you can achieve in the final month of the year (without piling on the pressure)

Your end of year running goal

Why do you run? Is it to lose weight, to get seriously fit, or to do well in running races?

Whatever your running goal is, there’s always progress to be made. So it doesn’t make sense to write off 1/12 of a year just because it’s a busy time. The fact is, you can make decent progress towards your goal with just a few short runs a week. So don’t worry if you can’t keep up your usual running frequency in December. Every little counts!

What can you achieve in 5 weeks?

5 weeks is plenty of time to increase your fitness, improve your pace, add miles to your long runs, or to lose a couple of pounds if that’s your goal. After all, the famous couch-to-5K programme takes total beginners from run/walk to 20 minutes of running in 5 weeks!

Base fitness – even the most unassuming running goal of “getting out there consistently” will have big benefits if you do it for 5 weeks. Running when and however you can from now until the end of the year will do wonders for your health, fitness, and mental wellbeing

Running endurance – work on your cardiovascular endurance and leg strength by focusing on medium and long runs for the rest of the year. You’ll head into 2022 with great fitness and a solid base mileage.

Weekly mileage – most experts advise you increase weekly mileage by 10%, which translates to a significant increase in weekly mileage over 5 weeks. If you’re currently running a modest 15 miles a week, you will finish the year on 24 miles!

Race prep – got your eye on a New Year 10K or a spring half marathon? December is a great month to lay down that base mileage and work on your fitness. If you can currently run a 5K, you can train to run a very decent 10K in 6 weeks.

Weight loss – we know, December isn’t exactly a dieter’s paradise. But with a bit of planning and mental fortitude, you could reasonably expect to lose 2-3kgs in 5 weeks (especially with the help of running!)

Key running sessions for a 5 week plan

So you’ve decided to focus on the remaining weeks of 2021 as a mini-training block. Great idea! It’s time to get strategic. With so little time available, focus on key running sessions to maximise your results.

Interval training (treadmill, track, outdoor or hills)

Tempo runs and race-pace runs

Distance runs (medium or long)

Your 5-week mini running plan for December 2021

WEEK 1

Run 1 – 30 minutes tempo run

Run 2 – 20 minutes intervals (plus warm up and cool down)

Run 3 – 40 minute steady pace run

WEEK 2

Run 1 – 30 minutes 10K race pace

Run 2 – 10-12 hill sprints or 20 minutes longer hill repeats

Run 3 – 40 minute steady pace run

WEEK 3

Run 1 – 30 minutes tempo run

Run 2 – 30 minutes with middle 15 minutes at 5K pace

Run 3 – 20 minutes intervals (plus warm up and cool down)

Run 4 – 45 minutes steady pace run

WEEK 4

Run 1 – 40 minutes run with middle 30 minutes at 10K pace

Run 2 – 30 minutes hilly run or hill reps (road or treadmill)

Run 3 – 25 minutes intervals (plus warm up and cool down)

Run 4 – 50 minutes steady pace run

WEEK 5

Run 1 – 30 minutes tempo run

Run 2 – 30 minutes with middle 20 minutes at 5K pace

Run 3 – 20 minutes intervals (plus warm up and cool down)

Run 4 – 60 minutes steady pace run