Training Plan for a Barefoot 5K

So here we are–the last post in my Lose the Shoes series. If you’ve been following along for the past eight weeks and practicing as you go, no doubt you’ve learned a thing or two about running barefoot and avoiding injuries. The main tip I can give you if you’re new to barefoot and/or minimalist running is to take it slow and listen to your body. You’re unlearning bad habits and awakening muscles that haven’t been used in years. Don’t run two days in a row when you are just getting started.

Lose the Shoes: Barefoot & Minimalist Running Tips

You might’ve noticed that I posted this a bit later than usual. This is partly because I had some CSS trouble that my charming and talented hubby had to fix for me. But it worked out nicely this way anyway so I could update you on my 5K results. (Drumroll, please . . . )

I DID IT! I accomplished my goal of running a sub-30 minute 5K with a time of 29:19! It’s crazy to think about the days when I struggled to run down the street and back for 15 minutes without stopping, much less run a full 3.1 miles in under thirty minutes. We both ran the race in our FiveFingers since we weren’t familiar with the course and it had been raining that morning.

After Running a 5K & 10K

Sweaty but happy after finishing our 5K & 10K

We ran to support A Girl Called Hope, a residential Christ-centered counseling ministry that gives hope to girls in New Zealand struggling with life controlling issues like eating disorders, self-harm, and sexual abuse. If you want to help us meet our fundraising goal of $300, click here to donate whatever you can–even $5 or $10 makes a huge difference to the girls who are able to go through this program completely free of charge!

After the Walk for Hope

With girls from the Girl Called Hope home after the race

Maybe you’re in the same place I was a few years ago. Let’s say you’ve never been much of a runner, but you’re intrigued by this barefoot running stuff. Luckily, you won’t have too much to unlearn, but taking it slow is still vastly important. Barefoot Ken Bob offers a fantastic sample training plan for newbies to barefooting. This comes from his book Barefoot Running Step by Step.

Barefoot Running Training Plan for Beginners

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Mon5 min barefoot run10 min barefoot run15 min barefoot run20 min barefoot run
Wed5 min barefoot run15 min barefoot run15 min barefoot run20 min barefoot run
Fri10 min barefoot run15 min barefoot run20 min barefoot run25 min barefoot run
Ken Bob also offers a sample training plan for veteran runners who just can’t bear to give up their running shoes but want to train barefoot to strengthen their feet & legs and get faster. But to be honest, I will never put on a pair of running shoes again. I think they cause far more injury than barefoot running every could. So simply as a matter of principle, I won’t post that mixed plan here.

Once you’ve become more comfortable with proper barefoot technique, then put your form to the test! There’s nothing like a 5K race to get you excited about running barefoot and connect you with other runners. Training for a race is a great motivator to exercise as well.

Sample 5K Training Plan

If you’re a beginner, use this sample 5K training plan to prepare:

WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
11.5 mile runStrength and/or interval training1.5 mile runRest1.5 mile runStrength and/or interval trainingRest
21.75 mile runStrength and/or interval training1.5 mile runRest1.75 mile runStrength and/or interval trainingRest
32 mile runStrength and/or interval training1.5 mile runRest2 mile runStrength and/or interval trainingRest
42.25 mile runStrength and/or interval training1.5 mile runRest2.25 mile runStrength and/or interval trainingRest
52.5 mile runStrength and/or interval training2 mile runRest2.5 mile runStrength and/or interval trainingRest
62.75 mile runStrength and/or interval training2 mile runRest2.75 mile runStrength and/or interval trainingRest
73 mile runStrength and/or interval training2 mile runRest3 mile runStrength and/or interval trainingRest
83 mile runStrength and/or interval training2 mile runRestRestRace Day!Rest

Series Posts:

  1. Lose the Shoes & Keep Your Head Up
  2. Lose the Shoes & RELAX Your Shoulders
  3. Lose the Shoes & Bend Your Knees
  4. The All-Important Barefoot Running Landing
  5. Lose the Shoes & Feel Like You’re Falling
  6. Conserve Energy When Running Barefoot
  7. Training Plan for a Barefoot 5K

Who’s ready to race? What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned from this Lose the Shoes series?

This post is linked to Sunday School at Butter Believer