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Road races, charity 5Ks, and fun runs have hit a new level of popularity worldwide. If you’ve always wanted to participate in a 5K but don’t have experience in distance running, there are free podcasts can help you achieve your goal in just 8-9 weeks.
Each of the three 5K training podcasts listed below includes information about the training schedule, music to jog/walk to, and tips and tricks for finding the right pace.
The major differences between the three podcasts are the host’s voice, music selection, and amount of other info that’s included to help you out.
Download one of these three 5K training podcasts today and start working towards your goal!
3 Best 5K Training Podcasts
1. Couch To 5K (C25K) by Running Mate Media
This podcast series has 13 episodes, which is all it needs to accomplish its goal: to get you ready for your first 5K! Each of the first 8 episodes represents one week in the training program, and includes instruction, tips, and music.
Week 1 assumes that you’re a beginner runner and guides you through the first runs of your training. The music comes on while you jog your intervals, and then the coaching continues during your walking recovery. Each week (or new episode) is aimed at increasing the time spent jogging/running and decreasing the time spent walking.
I like that the host of this podcast, Todd Lang, breaks down every episode right at the beginning: how many times per week to listen to the episode/do the workout, how many running/walking intervals there will be in the episode, what other tips or info he’s going to provide.
If you’ve never trained for a race before, you can gain a lot from Todd’s advice on staying motivated and learning how to run better. Over the course of the program, he chats about finding accountability partners, logging miles, joining Facebook groups for people training for 5Ks, and developing a personal breathing pattern.
This podcast series is suitable for listeners of all ages.
2. NHS Couch to 5K
Hosted by Laura (who has a lovely British accent), this Couch to 5K program features a mix of pop, light rock, hip-hop, and techno music. I think the music is pretty neutral; it’s chosen to be upbeat and motivating during your running intervals, and a little slower during the walking intervals.
This podcast also has 13 episodes, but weeks 5 and 6 are broken out into 3 episodes each, and are the most intense/ramp-up episodes of the program. These are the runs that really get you over the hump as you train to run a 5K.
Laura doesn’t provide as many tips and tricks as she could, but she’s still more informative than some of the other 5K podcasts I’ve listened to. This popular podcast has a follow-up series for people who want to keep training for longer runs/races.
This podcast is suitable for adult and teen listeners. The music choices are clean and none of the episodes are marked Explicit.
3. Podrunner Intervals
This is not your typical 5K training podcast. Podrunner Intervals has over 70 episodes, 14 of which are dedicated to training for a 5K. The rest of the episodes are geared towards increasing your distance to 8K, 10K or more. Experienced runners can select from episodes that are based on the target BPM listed in the episode title.
Each episode includes a brief intro from host DJ Steve Boyett. He provides a quick breakdown of the episode and updates on the program schedule. After his intro, the techno/house music starts and the transitions between walking/running intervals are marked by the sound of an electronic chime.
There aren’t many tips and tricks provided by this podcast, but I like that it goes beyond just the 5K training, since many people find it hard to stay motivated without new podcast episodes to keep them on course.
Podrunner Intervals is suitable for listeners of all ages and runners of all levels.
Related post: 5 Motivating Podcasts for Runners
Are you training for a 5K? Have you completed a 5K by listening to a podcast? Leave a comment below to share your experience.