Mayor’s 5K Training Plan for Beginning Runners

The Mayor’s Challenge 5K Walk/Run includes both a free, six-week beginner  training program from Sept. 29 – Nov. 7, and an interactive on-line training program for all levels starting Sept. 29 The 5k training plan is offered at each Metro Parks’ regional recreation centers and the Centennial Sportsplex. Each training includes two run workouts per week, which will be spread out to allow for cross-training and recovery time. The training coaches will work with participants of all abilities throughout the training session.. Please note that the Metro Parks’ training sessions are geared toward beginner and intermediate runners.  

In addition to the Metro Parks’ trainings, an on-line training program is also available where participants can track their training and receive regular reminders throughout the six-week training period. The on-line training program will be available starting Sept. 29 at

Both the Metro Parks’ and on-line training plans use walk/run intervals to gradually take the walker’s or runner’s pace from moderate to brisk. These sessions will not emphasize speed; instead, they will focus more on achieving the best balance between workout and recovery. Runners are encouraged to do additional cross-training and strength training on opposite days from 5K training. Staff at the regional recreation centers and Sportsplex can help runners with their cross-training plans.

Complete the training program and earn a free 5K t-shirt

Free 5K t-shirts will be given to everyone who completes the Mayor’s Challenge 5K training program. “Completing” the training program requires training at an official Mayor’s 5K training site listed below at least once a week for six weeks from Sept. 29 - Nov. 7. Participants are encouraged to train at other times during the week, and those walks and runs can be done at a training site or on your own, following the training regimen below. If you start training after the first week, you will still need to complete six training sessions at an official training site in order to receive a free 5K t-shirt.

To be eligible for the free t-shirt, track your attendance on-line at starting Sept. 29. Participants simply create a personal profile then register to attend each training session.  

As encouragement, at your first training session, you will receive a free one-day pass to the recreation center where you attended the training and a discount at Fleet Feet Nashville.

Training Schedules and Locations

Official Mayor’s 5K Training Sites

Each location below is following the same training plan, so runners may choose to train at different locations throughout the week. A range of days and times are offered to accommodate varying schedules.

Mayor’s Challenge 5K Training Schedule 9/29 – 11/7

Hadley Regional Center, 1037 28th Avenue North
Tuesdays 6pm / Thursdays 9:30am

Hartman Regional Center, 2801 Tucker Road
Tuesdays 8am / Thursdays 8am

East Regional Center, 600 Woodland Street
Mondays 6:30am / Wednesday 6pm

Coleman Regional Center, 384 Thompson Lane
Mondays / Wednesdays 5:30pm

Sevier Regional Center, 3021 Lealand Lane
Mondays/ Wednesdays 6pm

McCabe Regional Center, 101 46th Avenue North
Saturdays 9am / Thursdays 6:00pm

Centennial Sportsplex, 222 25th Avenue North
Tuesdays/ Thursdays 11:30am

On-Line Training Plans

Below are four training plans that can help you prepare for the Mayor’s Challenge 5K. Participants can track their training and receive reminder messages by registering for the on-line training plan at Users will create a personal profile then sign up for one of the four training plans listed below.

Each training plan begins with an easy 5 minute warm-up walk, and concludes with a 10 minute cool-down of easy walking and gentle stretching.