THE N&G HEALTH CHALLENGE: Train for a 5K in 8 Weeks

Genevieve Padalecki training for 5k marathon

Are you tired of hearing about my marathon training yet? I hope not because I really need your help. Sticking to an exercise plan is so much easier when you have a workout buddy and I’m hoping you will be mine!

Don’t worry. You don’t have to run 26.2 miles (unless you really want to). I’ve been working with Erik Stanley, a rockstar running coach here in Austin and founder of the training group Trail Roots. He specializes in training runners of all skill levels and created this awesome 8-week 5K training plan just for Now & Gen.

Download My Training Plan HERE!

Genevieve stretching after 5k training plan exercise

If you want to sign up for a 5K near you, visit Active for a list of races around the country. Not interested in running an organized race? That’s ok too! Just run for fun or ignore the running workouts altogether and aim to walk or get some form of heart-pumping exercise on the designated cardio days.

I’ll also be sharing workout videos, healthy recipes, self-care ideas and more, so, even if you’re not a runner, I hope you’ll still be able to find some healthy inspiration by joining this little health challenge with me.

Start today (or as soon as you can!) and we’ll train together as I countdown the last two months before Boston. Tag pics during or after your workouts with #ngchallenge and #runpadsrun and sign up for the Now & Gen running club with the free Strava App so we can share our progress and help keep each other motivated!


Psst…please check in with your healthcare practitioner before making any big changes to your exercise habits—especially if you have any underlying health issues.

Download My Training Plan HERE!



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  • Antoinette

    You are truly my inspiration, I am doing a 5K may 11 and can use all the support I can get because I have a hard time to push myself over my comfort zone, I printed out your schedule and to me it looks hard but I will try, I will visit Austin May 1 till 8 with my daughter for the very first time and very excited about that and hope to do some running or hiking over there so if you have tips on where is a good spot to do so, maybe you can let me know through your blog, thanks for having us come along 😉

  • Carly

    So excited to try this and looking forward to more marathon stuff!

  • Sabrina Travers

    I’m really happy you’re running Boston! I live here and it’s always been a big day here. I unfortunately was injured and can no longer run right now but ran a half marathon last May in Boston. Boston is an awesome city to run, I hope you enjoy it! Keep up with the running posts though, I’m still a runner even if I’m grounded right now.

  • Hailey Owens

    This could NOT have come at a better time!! I have been looking for a plan like this for a while now. I tend to be a procrastinator if I’m doing something on my own. I’m glad that we will be able to encourage and cheer for each other on the way. Thank you, Gen! #runpadsrun

  • Alicia

    I’m going to try to do this challenge. I’m so out of shape and I really need to get into a routine so this may be the kick in the ass I need.

  • Priya

    I do like 20-30 mins of cardio everyday which makes me want to cry a bit at every step. So I dont know how much I would be able to stick with this plan, but I will definately try. Will probabaly start with a bit watered down version of it though. I am definately not a runner, but you are really making me want to run lol. I will probably be fit enough for a marathon something at the end of this year though. Lets see. I hope I can do it. Good luck to and all others in training, rock it fellas.

  • michaela

    Hi Gen, this is another amazing post. I have downloaded your programme and I am going to try it out. I was a long distance runner when I was younger and I do love the freedom running gives you. I have all the gear for that and to try yoga, which I have wanted to learn but I thought I couldnt. Thank you for reminding me that I can gen ? I will be honored to train by your side ????

  • Karen Graham

    Hi Gen, thanks for creating this running/training club. I’ve joined, but not with the goal of running a marathon. I just want to keep myself motivated for walking and cycling. I have spent a couple of years getting over a knee injury and losing a bit of weight, because I wanted to get back into doing some of the things that I really love but had become too hard to do (including travel, hiking, biking). I’m super excited that I’ve taken the first step and have started a walking tour in my home town. My knee is holding up, but I need to keep training to maintain my health and fitness. I’ve also signed up for a 400-km bike ride (over 4 days) later in the year – so that will be my marathon. Good luck with yours! Cheers, Karen

  • Jane Hightower

    Thanks for posting this. I’m wondering if it can be adapted to a marathon training plan? Or perhaps you could share more specifics from your training plan. I love the things your are posting about strength training/ core strength/other things than distance running. That’s what I need. I have killed/injured myself by just trying to log distance and have neglected the other areas of core strength and even rest days. I’d love to see this plan adapted for marathon training.

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