When training for a 5K should I run every day? This really depends on your goals, fitness, age and other commitments. Also, depending on what training plan you select, you’ll find the plans provided here do not include any options for running every day. Realistically, you can only do 4 quality training sessions per week. Every other run would then be designated as a “recovery” run in which you are basically shaking it out after a tough training session the day before. A much better approach is cross-training.Training “like” a triathlete is the way to go. Between your quality training sessions, you can substitute running for either swimming and biking. It’s also good to have a complete rest day where you do nothing.

Runners Training “Like” Triathletes

A good structure for a training week might look like:

Day Training
Sunday Run
Monday Swim
Tuesday Run
Wednesday Bike
Thursday Run
Friday Day Off
Saturday Run


Of course, it depends on the training plan you’re using but fitting in some cycling and swimming is a huge benefit to runners. It exercises other supporting muscles and gives you an overall fitness you don’t get from running alone.

If you are planning on trying swimming or cycling or both, make sure you have a plan with it. By plan, that means you plan exactly what you’re doing and make sure it’s complimentary to your overall goals for your running.


My normal week looks like:

Day Training
Sunday Run and Bike
Monday Swim and Bike
Tuesday Run and Gym (Calisthenics)
Wednesday Swim and Bike
Thursday Run and Gym (Calisthenics)
Friday Swim and Bike
Saturday Swim, Run and Bike


Might seem like I don’t have time for anything else but the swimming normally takes place before my family is out of bed. I’m biking to and from work on those days and the gym sessions are at home thanks to calisthenics mostly being body weight workouts and something you can do with your family if they’re keen!!

Typical Swimming Session for Runners

A typical swimming session would look something like:

250 metres warm up
6 x 25 drills
Some specific training, i.e. 800m swim, 4 x 100m at medium pace or build-up/build-down lengths
6 x 25 kick set
250 metres warm down

If you are keen on getting some swim drills to add to your weekly training, you can either enrol in a masters swim squad who will look after you or get some swim drill sets by searching on Google. Again, be sensible about what you’re doing. If you are experienced at swimming, no problems. If not, it may pay to get some swimming lessons. There’s no shame as an adult in getting swimming lessons. They’ll pay off. I had lessons from my kids and the advice was fantastic. Having said that, one of my kids is a swimming instructor so knew what he was doing!!

The same applies with cycling although just going for a bike ride is actually not a bad idea. It’s a lot of fun too depending on what you enjoy. Either off-road or road biking, either are good fun if the weather is good. Again, cycling specific drills can improve your running through actually helping your V02MAX. That’s a topic for another day…

The book I use for my swimming training is from Matt Fitzgerald. I specifically use the Level 4 training for Olympic Distance Triathlons.