Finding the right 15k training plan is key to your success on race day. However, it can often feel overwhelming trying to decide on just the right training for your goals and race distance. If you’re considering a 15k as your next race goal, this training plan will set you up for success.
How far is a 15k?
A 15k run is exactly 9.3 miles. The distance falls halfway between a 10k and half marathon, making it the perfect trial race for those hoping to increase distance or planning their first half marathon in the future. It is also a great goal race for long distance runners hoping to PR.
How long should you train for a 15k?
15k training plans vary greatly in length. The amount of time runners need to spend training for a 15k race will depend on a number of factors. Current fitness level, race goals, overall health and availability all play in to finding the right length training plan.
Seasoned distance runners are often able to train for a 15k in 4 weeks or less, as the mileage is usually equal to or less than their typical training. Runners training for their first 15k, those coming back from a break or those hoping to set a new PR will usually need anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to adequately train.
Who can use the 15k Training Plan?
This 15k Training Plan is designed for beginner to intermediate runners. It has three scheduled runs per week, with an optional fourth, making it easy to modify and adapt to any fitness level. More advanced runners can add that fourth run as well as any speed workout or interval training they would like.
Beginners will find this 15k Training Plan a great next step after a 10k or recent race. The first week requires a fitness base of being able to comfortably complete 2-3 miles at a time.
15k Running Plan Structure
The breakdown of this 15k Training Plan is as follows:
- Monday – active recovery and/or optional 2 mile recovery run
- Tuesday – easy run
- Wednesday – strength training
- Thursday – easy run
- Friday – cross training
- Saturday – long run
- Sunday – rest
15k Training Plan Workouts
The mileage in this training plan gradually increases over the course of 8 weeks, with a few cutback weeks to recover. Long run mileage begins with 3 miles and increases to peak at 8 miles, with two easy runs and an optional recovery run.
Active recovery – this refers to activities that are relatively low impact, such as walking, yoga, swimming, etc.
Strength training – refers to either bodyweight or weighted exercises that help strengthen muscles throughout the entire body. When time is limited, focus on leg strength, but whenever possible, incorporate full body exercises. This Strength Training for Runners Workout is a great at home option.
Cross training – any form of exercise other than running. Swimming, biking, walking, sports, weight lifting, hiking, yoga, pilates, etc. Cross training workouts are typically more active than strength training and require similar cardiovascular effort as running.
Download the free 15k Training Plan
This training plan is available to download for free! Download the 15k Training Plan PDF here.
15k Training Tips
Training for a 15k, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth, requires commitment. Here are a few tips for a successful race day, regardless of your goals.
Focus on quality over quantity
It can be tempting to want to go all in and increase mileage or workouts in the beginning of training when things are feeling pretty easy. However, doing so can often cause the quality of overall training to decrease.
If things are feeling a bit too easy, increase the intensity. Add some intervals or focus on your form, cadence or foot strike. Focus on giving every workout or run your best effort, rather than filling your days with junk miles.
Set realistic goals
There’s nothing worse than planning to run a certain PR, only to begin training and find that those paces feel way too fast. Or, similarly, hoping to achieve a certain PR if this is your first time running the 15k distance.
Before you begin training, set realistic goals for yourself. If this is your first 15k, first focus on completing the distance before trying to implement any type of speed. If you are a 15k veteran, make sure your time goals are realistic with your current training and fitness levels.
Much like training for any other distance, success on race day requires consistency during training. Don’t let your ego fool you with thinking you can skip a ton of runs or workouts and still meet your goals on race day.
Make training a priority and be sure to complete all the runs and workouts possible unless and injury or illness arises.
Training to hit new goals requires even more than just simply completing the scheduled runs and workouts – it requires time to recover as well. Longer distances or higher intensities require intentional recovery periods.
Take the time to stretch, foam roll, ice or do any other recovery measures that are required to keep your muscles fresh and healthy for race day.
Don’t skip off days
It can be tempting to add in some extra workouts or runs to “make up” for missed miles or build your training base. However, skipping rest or recovery days can quickly lead to overtraining and burnout.
Prioritize rest and recovery just as much as workouts during training.
Committing to a 15k training plan is a first step in helping you hit your new running goals. This 8 week training will increase your fitness and help you arrive at the starting line feeling confident and strong. Sign up for a race and get started!