Turkey Trot races are the most popular fun runs across the United States. If you’ve ever wanted to run one – this is your sign to GO FOR IT. You have 8 weeks to train for a 5K or a 10K fun run or race. And I’m sharing a free training plan for each distance to help get you going. These plans are for new runners, returning runners who’ve taken time off or anyone who wants a simple 3 day a week schedule to prepare for a fun run.

5K and 10K Turkey Trot Training Plan

The 5K training plan is a Run/Walk plan that starts with 1 minute intervals of each. It’s based on time (not distance) so you know exactly how long each run will take. If you have more time – feel free to start with a warm up and add in a cool down of walking.

The 8 week training plan starts 1 minute of walking / 1 minute of running – repeated 11 times for a total of 22 minutes. You do this run 3 times before increasing the time. Every week you’ll add on to your overall running time to gradually prepare you to run 3.1 miles (a 5K distance).

The plan suggests 1 minute of walking / 1 minute of running as a starting interval combination but adjust it to work for YOU. For example, if you need a longer walking segment to recover after running – make it 2 minutes of walking / 1 minute of running and repeat those intervals for 22 minutes. *Note if you change the intervals: Don’t repeat it 11 times – or that will make for a much longer run. Keep each workout to the time on the plan.

Check out this post for more info on How to Start Running with the RUN / WALK Method.

The 10K Training Plan is intended for someone new to running or returning to running after time off (Level 1). It’s an 8 week plan with each run based on mileage. The shortest run is 2 miles, so it’s important that you can run or run/walk 2 miles to start the program. There are 3 runs each week and the distances increase to get you ready to run 6.2 miles (a 10K distance).

You can use the Run/Walk Method for the 10K Training Plan, but I didn’t write in suggested intervals. So, use whatever Run/Walk combination works for you and adjust as needed. As you follow the plan and feel the running gets easier you can increase your running time or decrease your walking time if you want to run more or run the entire distance without walking – but you don’t have to. The Run/Walk method is very popular and common at most local 10K and 5K races.

The plans are designed to get you ready to run a Turkey Trot about 8 weeks from now. Many local Turkey Trot races are on Thanksgiving Day, but they may also be on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Either way – take it easy in the days leading up to your race so you show up feeling 100%. Don’t run extra if you have extra time before the race. Don’t double up on runs if you miss one due to illness, weather or life.

If you plan on wearing a costume for your Turkey Trot – make sure you can run in it. Do a test run (literally) before race day in your race day outfit.

HAVE FUN! Most Turkey Trots are considered ‘fun runs’ even though it’s a race. The main goal is to have a good time with your friends, family and neighbors. Enjoy yourself as much as possible. (Plus, you need to save energy for some serious eating after!)

Funny Running Meme Turkey Trot

There are thousands of Turkey Trot Fun Runs all around the United States. Some are small ‘fun run’ type races at a local park or school. Some are big ‘fancy race’ situations with timing chips and fancy medals. You may have your pick of several Turkey Trot races nearby depending on how popular they are in your area. Check out local Park and Recreation websites, signs and flyers for smaller races that may not be listed on major race websites (but most of them are as you need to sign up online for 99% of races).

Running in the USA  – Lists races of all sizes and distances across the United States. You can search for races by state, date and/or distance.

Active – Lists races of all sizes and distances across the United States. You can search for “Turkey Trot” or  activities nearby the week of Thanksgiving.

Search ‘Turkey Trot near me’ in your fave search engine – Look for small race websites that may be hosting an event. Race registration sites will also come up, but keep an eye out for familiar local organizations that may have a race.

Check with your local running shoe store. Many running gear stores have running clubs and are in contact with local race organizers. Also, many of the employees are runners – so they usually know about local races.

Parks and Recreation in your city – Check the city’s website and parks schedule for local fun runs and events.

The easiest way for me to share these plans was to put them in the same email. So when you complete the form – I’ll send both the 5K and 10K plans to you. Print out the one you want to use and go for it.

Complete the form below for the printable version of each training plan. If you don’t have a printer or prefer another option – you can screenshot the plan from your phone. Get it on instagram @RunEatRepeat (I’ll save it to my highlights).

Good luck!


Keep Going with these Running & Eating posts:

How to Start Running with the Run / Walk Method

How to use  Run / Walk for Long Runs

Disney World 5K Race Recap

Disney World 10K Race Recap

Boston Athletic Association 5K & Marathon Monday





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