Lincoln Themed 5k Training Plan

*We are NOT fitness experts, medical professionals, or even serious runners. Please consult an actual 5k training plan if you aren’t accustomed to running this distance and looking for advice on how to get started.*



One of our favorite fall events, Homecoming, is coming up in just a few weeks! To help you get ready for our Freedom 5K, we put together a few different Lincoln themed runs you can try in preparation for the big race! These runs vary in length and difficulty and you should always use your own best judgement when choosing a running route based on your own fitness level, time of day and year, traffic, and other safety factors. Feel free to share your own favorite running routes or pictures from your Lincoln-themed runs with us on social media!


  1. Getting Ready with the Reflecting Pool Run

Starting on the western side of the Lincoln Memorial, run halfway around the circle, then turn off at the reflecting pool, and head towards the World War Two Memorial. Keep going beyond the World War Two Memorial; another presidential monument, the Washington Monument is your goal this time. Once you get to the Washington Monument, make the loop around the monument before heading back to our favorite: the Lincoln Memorial. Once you’ve made it back to your starting point, you’ll be on your way to being ready Freedom 5k since you will have just run 3.5 km (or 2.2 miles).


  1. Dizzy-ing Memorial Lap

If you really want to soak up the Lincoln Memorial views on your run or maybe you’re more of a lap runner than a trail runner, try running around the Lincoln Memorial 8.5 times to get to your 5k goal. To work your way up to a 5k, you could try just running a few laps. Each lap around the Lincoln Memorial is about 0.6 km (or 0.4 miles)

Aerial view of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Highsmith, Carol M, photographer. Aerial view of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. District of Columbia United States Washington D.C. Washington D.C, 2006. Photograph.

  1. 6 km Lincoln Sites Run

Starting at Ford’s Theater, head south and turn right on E Street. Make a left on 13th and a right on Pennsylvania. Cut through the Eclipse in front of the White House and head West on Constitution Ave. Take a left onto Henry Bacon Drive, and you’ll arrive at the Lincoln Memorial and you’ll have run 2.75 km (1.7 miles)! Take a break and admire the monument, run a few laps, do some yoga, or turn around and head back the way you came to Ford’s Theater. Depending on how many laps you did at the Lincoln Memorial, by the time you get back to Ford’s Theater you should have run at least 5.5 km (3.5 miles). You’ll be all set for our Freedom 5k on September 21st!

  1. Iowa (Logan) Circle Commute Run

Starting at the entrance to the Armed Forces Retirement Home, the home of President Lincoln’s Cottage, head south on Rock Creek Church Road to follow President Lincoln’s daily commute to the White House. When you reach Georgia Avenue, which Lincoln would have known as the 7th Street Turnpike, turn left. If you want to run an exact 5 km loop, turn around at Girard Street and head back to the Cottage. If not, continue past Howard University, which was founded during Reconstruction after the Civil War. Turn right on Rhode Island Avenue and head towards Logan Circle, which used to be called Iowa Circle. Once you’ve reached Logan Circle you will have run almost 5 km (2.9 miles). If you turn around and head back towards the Cottage you can take this route to pass by the African American Civil War Memorial for a total of 9 km (5.6 miles). If you really want to go the distance of Lincoln’s daily commute from the Cottage to the White House, continue down Vermont Avenue to Lafayette Square and the White House. You will have run 6 km (3.8 miles) at this point! But, don’t forget you’ll still have to get yourself home afterwards… You can hop on the Orange/Blue/Silver lines at Farragut West or McPherson Square or Red line at Farragut North. Both stops are just a few blocks north of the White House.


Gates of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC.

Eagle Gate Entrance of the Armed Forces Retirement Home

  1. Fort Stevens

Starting at the entrance to the Armed Forces Retirement Home, where President Lincoln’s Cottage is located, head down Upshur Street and turn right on Illinois Avenue. Stay straight through Grant Circle and Sherman Circle. Take a right onto Georgia Avenue and then a left on Quackenbos Street and Fort Stevens will be on your right. This run will put you just over 3 km (2 miles). Make it a loop back to the Cottage for a total of 6.5 km (4 miles).

Here are some other sites great for learning and exercising! As with the above runs, use your own best judgement when deciding if, where, when, and how long to run. President Lincoln’s Cottage is not associated with or endorsing any of these locations.

Most importantly, don’t forget to register for the Freedom 5k! The race starts at 9 am on Saturday, September 21st. Then, you can stick around for our free Homecoming Family Day event!

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