I have created a sub 25 minute 5K training plan. Now… sharing this before running a sub 25 minute 5K may be considered unwise by some. However I feel that its important for me to document my journey as a type 1 diabetic runner. I want to allow others to learn from my wins and losses. Hopefully my honest account of going from almost zero (here), to running my first 5K post diagnosis (here)  has shown that you don’t need to know absolutely everything to get started.

Of course, it does seem that after running an initial 5K it is wise to come up with some kind of plan. (I do think running a 5K is a great goal for anyone starting out by the way. See ‘Why parkrun Is a Good Goal For This Type 1 Diabetic‘ )

Sub 25 Minute 5K Training Plan


  1. My version of an interval is to run as fast as I can for the 30 second time frame. I will rest for 90 seconds inbetween.
  2. I define a tempo run as running at a 7 out of 10 effort for the time given. (At the current time, as I have no ‘race pace’ to adjust from).
  3. When I say ‘jog’ I mean set out with the sole intention of completing the distance. This requires running slow enough to not have to stop.
  4. Running 3 times a week is just what suits me at this stage of my life. This is not any kind of recommendation as to how often you should/shouldn’t be running.

A few questions you may have….

Will ‘only’ running 3 times a week hold me back?

I’d imagine an extra run each week would only be beneficial in terms of making me faster and improve my endurance. However, on the flip side, its an easy thing to improve on if I don’t make the sub 25 minute mark on my first attempt. (I’m starting this next week… so that will be on February 10th 2019). Also, I’m really uncomfortable with the word ‘only’. As a beginner its important to remember that where you start will NOT be where you end up. Who knows? In 2 years time I might be running 5/6 times a week. Patience is key.

Why intervals/tempo runs? 

I’ve covered these in more detail in previous articles. See ‘Introducing Interval Training To A Running Routine’ and ‘Adding The Tempo Run To Your Running Routine‘ .

Essentially, the main reason for both off these is to get used to running a distance with the intent of running it quickly. So far its just been about finishing. Therefore, this is a massive mindset change for me, and something I will need do deliberately train for.

Are the days / routines set in stone? 

In a word… no. Illness could easily strike me again (see ‘A fever Strikes‘ ), as in fact it has done this week. If I am too ill to run, then I will not!

I am not a professional athlete, just somebody training to improve their fitness. Therefore, if I feel the risk of running is too great to justify the benefits, then I will skip a session. If I really can not bring myself to finish a distance, I will stop or walk the rest of the way. The main thing here is I have a guideline for my next 10 weeks of running, and if I follow to this to any kind of reasonable level I will be fitter and quicker than I am now.

Also, in terms of specific days… if I feel like a run on a Monday then I will run on Monday. It seems unwise to not run if the motivation is there and the opportunity presents itself.

Not convinced that its ok to adapt your training plan? Have a look at this article from Runner’s World:

Allowing Wiggle Room In Your Training Plan Could Lead to Better Results

Allie Kieffer finished 7th in the New York Marathon. She posted her training plan publicly, and included sections where she went off plan. If its good enough for her, then its certainly good enough for me.

Disclaimer – It is essential that you do not take on board any advice given on this website without first seeking the advice of a medical professional. Any descriptions of different ways in which I manage my type 1 diabetes on this website, including in the comments, are given in good faith, and are shared merely as suggestions which should be ran past a doctor or diabetes specialist nurse. 

Published by Marcus Pezzaioli

I started www.diabeticstokebloke.com in September 2018 to document my attempts to get fit after a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes in April the same year. I believe sharing my story can help anyone who is afraid to exercise with type 1 diabetes, and show that it is not as complicated as it may appear from other sources of information out there. If I can do it, with no CGM and on MDI, starting out as somebody who does not fit the athletic profile whatseover; then anybody can.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply