Barefoot 5K Competitive Training Program

 

By Rick Morris

 

Do you want to begin to compete in your bare feet? A good place to start is with the 5K. The relatively short distance of the 5K will give you an opportunity to test the barefoot waters before you consider moving on to longer barefoot distances. 5K races are also easy to find in most areas at nearly any time of the year.

 

This program is for runners that already have some competitive experience and are able to run at least 1/2 mile in their bare feet. If you are completely new to barefoot running I would suggest beginning with our bare basics barefoot running program before starting this one.

 

The Workouts

 

This 8 week barefoot 5K running training program is designed to prepare an intermediate competitive runner to complete a 5K barefoot race. The barefoot program includes rest days, easy runs, long runs, speed training workouts, tempo runs and lactate threshold workouts. The workouts include both barefoot running and shod running.

 

Be sure you warm up properly before each workout with some easy running and dynamic warm up drills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 1

 

Monday - Rest. Each Monday is a rest day in the program.

 

Tuesday - Perform a 30-minute fartlek run. Fartlek is a Swedish word for speed play. This is a non-structured workout in which you run at a steady pace and add in short surges of faster running. For this workout, alternate running for 5 minutes at an easy pace with 1 minute at 5K pace. Run the first 24 minutes in your shoes and the last 6 minutes in your bare feet.

 

Wednesday - Run 3 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Thursday - Standard warm up. Run 4 x 400 meters at 5 seconds per mile faster than your current 5K pace in your shoes. Rest for 2 minutes between repeats. Next, run 4 x 200 meters at full, but controlled pace in your bare feet. Rest for 2 minutes between repeats. Rest for 4 minutes between the two sets. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging in your bare feet.

 

Friday - Rest

 

Saturday - Run 3 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Sunday - Run 4 miles at an easy pace. Run the first 3 miles in your shoes and the final mile in your bare feet.

 

Week 2

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Standard warm up, run 3 x 800 meter repeats at 5 seconds per mile faster than your 5K pace in your shoes. Rest for 1 minute between repeats. Run 6 x 200 meter repeats at full but controlled pace in your bare feet. Rest for 1 minute between repeats. Rest for 2 minutes between the two sets. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging in your bare feet.

 

Wednesday - Run 3 miles at an easy pace in your shoes..

 

Thursday - Standard warm up. Run 6 x 400 meter repeats at 15 seconds per mile faster than your 5K pace in your shoes. Rest for 2 minutes between repeats. Run 4 x 200 meters at full but controlled pace in your bare feet. Rest for 2 minutes between repeats. Rest for 4 minutes between the two sets. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging in your bare feet.

 

Friday - Rest

 

Saturday - Run 4 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Sunday - Run 5 miles. Run the first 4 miles at an easy pace in your shoes and the final mile at tempo pace in your bare feet.

 

Week 3

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Standard warm up. Run 2 x 1600 meter repeats at 5K pace. Run the first 1600 meter repeat in your shoes and the second in your bare feet. Rest for 1 minute between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging in your bare feet.

 

Wednesday - Run 4 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Thursday - Standard warm up. Run 8 x 400 meter repeats at 15 seconds per mile faster than your current 5K pace in your shoes. Rest for 2 minutes between repeats. Run 4 x 200 meter repeats at full but controlled pace in your bare feet. Rest for 2 minutes between repeats. Rest for 4 minutes between the two sets. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging in your bare feet.

 

Friday - Rest

 

Saturday - Run 4 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Sunday - Run 6 miles. Run the first 4 miles at an easy pace in your shoes and the final 2 miles at an easy pace in your bare feet.

 

Week 4

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Standard warm up, run 6 x hill repeats. Find a hill that is fairly steep and at least 100 meters in length. Run up the hill at a pace that feels like 5K pace in your shoes. Run 20 meters past the top of the hill and jog back down. Repeat this 6 times.

 

Wednesday - Run 4 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Thursday - Standard warm up. 3 x 400/800 meter supersets. Run 400 meters at 20 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace, then slow down to 5K pace for 800 meters. Do not rest between the two distances. Recover between the three sets with 4 minutes of rest. Run the first two supersets in our shoes and the final superset in your bare feet. Cool down with 800 meters at an easy pace in your bare feet.

 

Friday - Rest

 

Saturday - Run 5 miles. Run the first 4 miles in your shoes and the final mile in your bare feet.

 

Sunday- Run 7 miles. Run the first 5 miles at an easy pace in your shoes and the final 2 miles at tempo pace in your bare feet.

 

Week 5

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Standard warm up. Run 3 x 1200 meter repeats at 5K pace. Run the first repeat in your shoes and the final two repeats in your bare feet. Rest for 1 minute between repeats. Next, run 4 x 400 meters at 15 seconds faster than your 5K pace in your bare feet. Rest for 1 minute between repeats. Rest for 4 minutes between the two sets. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging in your bare feet.

 

Wednesday - Run 5 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Thursday - Standard warm up. Run 2 x (4 x 400) meter repeats at 5 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace. Run the last 400 meter repeat of each set at 20 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace. Run both sets in your bare feet. Rest for 1 minute between each 400 meter repeat. Rest for two minutes between the sets. Cool down with 800 meters at an easy pace in your bare feet.

 

Friday - Rest

 

Saturday - Run 5 miles. Run the first 3 miles in your shoes and the final 2 miles in your bare feet..

 

Sunday - Run 8 miles. Run the first 5 miles at an easy pace in your shoes and the final 3 miles at an easy pace in your bare feet.

 

Week 6

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Standard warm up, run 8 x hill repeats of around 100 meters each. Run the repeats in your bare feet at what feels like 5K pace. Run 20 to 50 meters past the top of the hill. Jog back down the hill for recovery.

 

Wednesday - Run 6 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Thursday - Standard warm up. Run 20 minutes in your bare feet alternating between 30 seconds at 20 seconds per mile faster than your 5K pace and 30 seconds at an easy pace. Cool down with 5 minutes at an easy pace in your bare feet.

 

Friday - Rest

 

Saturday - Run 6 miles. Run the first 3 miles in your shoes and the final 3 miles in your bare feet.

 

Sunday - Run 9 miles. Run the first 6 miles at an easy pace in your bare feet and the final 3 miles at tempo pace in your bare feet.

 

Week 7

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Standard warm up. Run 3 x 1600 meter repeats at 5K pace in your bare feet. Rest for 2 minutes between each repeat. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging in your bare feet.

 

Wednesday - Run 6 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Thursday - Standard warm up. Run 3 x 1200 meter barefoot repeats at 5 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace. Recover between the repeats with 2 minutes of rest. Cool down with 800 meters at an easy pace in your bare feet.

 

Friday - Rest

 

Saturday - Run 4 miles barefoot.

 

Sunday - Run 10 miles. Run the first 6 miles at an easy pace in your shoes. Run the next 3 miles at tempo pace in your bare feet. Finish this run with 1 mile at 5K pace in your bare feet.

 

Week 8

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Standard warm up. Run for 1 mile in your bare feet on a trail that is consistently and gradually uphill. Run at a pace that is hard, but not maximal. Run down the hill at an easy pace. If you do not have an uphill trail in your area, you can do this work out on a treadmill that is elevated at 3 to 5 degrees.

 

Wednesday - Run 6 miles at an easy pace in your shoes.

 

Thursday> - Standard warm up. Run for 30 minutes in your bare feet alternating between 30 seconds at 20 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace and 30 seconds at an easy pace. Cool down with 5 minutes at an easy pace in your bare feet.

 

Friday - Rest

 

Saturday - Rest

 

Sunday - Race Day. Run 3.1 miles at race pace in your bare feet.

 

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