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.

Saturday Main Workout
Week Run interval Walk interval Workout Duration
1 1 min 5 min 30 min
2 2 min 4 min 30 min
3 3 min 3 min 30 min
4 4 min 2 min 30 min
5 5 min 1 min 30 min
6 5 min 1 min 36 min
7 5 min 1 min 42 min
8 5 min 1 min 48 min
9 5 min 1 min 54 min
10 5 min 1 min 60 min
11 5 min 1 min 66 min
12 5 min 1 min 5 mile run!
Sunday: Rest Day
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
When We Meet
Photo credit: Sabrina Weisz
Photo credit: Sabrina Weisz

Pre-Conditioners meet at the general all-club meetup at 7:00 on Saturday mornings. Mid-week runs are on your own, but you’ll frequently find other Pre-Conditioners out at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Training groups meet just south of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center on the south end of Lot I. Check the Pacers calendar to verify specific location and time as conflicts occasionally cause a change in location.

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 Pre-Conditioners 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 know.
  • Set goals for yourself and track your progress. Do you have a target time for completing a 5-mile run? Maybe you want to register for a 5K race scheduled after the end of the Pre-Conditioners program?
  • 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! Use the club Facebook page to find and stay in touch with running partners.
  • Stretch after your workout when your muscles are warm to help your body recover.
  • Midweek alternate or cross-training workouts help 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!
  • Follow the rules of the road.