The Pacer Pre-Conditioners Training Program will get you from couch to five miles in 12 weeks. Whether you’re new to running or coming back to the sport after taking time off, the Pre-Conditioners will give you a great base for recreational running or to train for longer distances and races. We start off slow—with intervals of running for one minute, then walking for five—and gradually build your running intervals as you get stronger.

At the end of the Pre-Conditioners program you’ll be in shape for running on a regular basis, for finishing a 5K, and for continuing on to other Pacers programs.

Main Workout
Run Walk Total
week 1 1 min 5 min 30 min
week 2 2 min 4 min 30 min
week 3 3 min 3 min 30 min
week 4 4 min 2 min 30 min
week 5 5 min 1 min 30 min
week 6 5 min 1 min 36 min
week 7 5 min 1 min 42 min
week 8 5 min 1 min 48 min
week 9 5 min 1 min 54 min
week 10 5 min 1 min 60 min
week 11 5 min 1 min 66 min
week 12 5 min 1 min 5 mile run!
Monday: Cross Train
Tuesday: Run/walk 20-30 min (weeks 1-6); 30-40 min (weeks 7-12)
Wednesday: Cross Train
Thursday: Run/walk 20-30 min (weeks 1-6); 30-40 min (weeks 7-12)
Friday: Rest Day

What to Bring
As with any Pacer program or run, all you need is a water bottle and some comfortable running shoes. We also recommend a sports watch or phone with a run tracker app (loads of Pacers are on Strava or Garmin), but it is by no means required.

Helpful Advice
In order to get the most out of your training, we have these recommendations to keep you motivated and enjoying your workouts:

  • Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.
  • Always run at your own pace. A benefit of running with a training group like the Pacers is that there’s probably someone else running at your pace so you’ll have company to help keep you going.
  • If you feel any pain while running, stop immediately and let your coach/team doctor know.
  • Set goals for yourself and track your progress. For example, signing up for a 5K race after the program’s competition can help keep you motivated.
  • Find a partner for your workouts. One of your fellow Pacers might be the perfect candidate. You’ll keep one another motivated and take your mind off the hard work!
  • Midweek cross training helps balance your training by engaging different muscles. These workouts can take the form of just about anything; yoga, biking, weight training, and walking are all great.
  • Stretch after your workout when your muscles are warm to help your body recover.