Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Training Plans

customized for you and the race.

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  • Smarter Training Plans Smarter Plans
  • Safe Training Plans Fewer Injuries
  • Successful Training Plans Better Results

Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K/5K
Training Plans

Custom Training Plans are designed around you and the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K/5K course. We take into account variables that no other training plans can match because we know how important it is to achieve your specific Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K/5K goals.

  • Expert Training Plans

    expert plans

    Developed by certified coaches with time-tested results.

  • Runner Specific Training Plans

    Runner Specific

    We know you’re unique. Your training plan should match.

  • Race Specific Training Plans

    race Specific

    Race profile, time of year, and altitude all factor into our plans.

  • Affordable Training Plans


    Custom plans shouldn’t cost more than the race itself.


In 2008, Chicago's first Hot Chocolate 15K/5K was held. Since then, it's grown to become the largest 5K in the United States, with over 20,000 participants in the 5K alone. This event takes place in early November, so it's anyone's guess what the Windy City's weather might have in store for racers. Though the conditions may be unpredictable, you can make sure that you're as prepared as you can be by following a Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K training plan or Hot Chocolate 5K training plan from Custom Training Plans.

Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Training Plan

Many local runners start the season with the Shamrock Shuffle in the spring and end with the Hot Chocolate 5K. The Chicago edition of the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K is the series’ largest event – over 32,000 people finished one distance last year, and a large percentage of those were first-timers. Chicago’s flat terrain makes this an attractive race for both 15K and 5K runners as well. Whether you’re lacing up your shoes for your first 5K race ever or aiming for a pre-Thanksgiving PR, CTP can help. Every one of our training plans is completely customizable to suit your present fitness level, helping you to train for your race at an intensity level that’s right for you.

The Hot Chocolate Chicago 5K and 15K courses share a start and finish line in Millennium Park. Portions of the course overlap that of the Chicago Marathon, so this is also a great way to familiarize yourself with some of the terrain if you’ve ever thought about tackling that challenge. After the start, runners pass under the Columbus Drive Tunnel and emerge onto Lower Wacker Drive, overlooking the Chicago Riverwalk. At the 1K mark, the route zigzags to head south on Clark and runs past City Hall. The route then cuts east to Michigan Avenue, passing the Museum of Contemporary Art. As the route reaches the Formal Gardens, the 5K course diverges from the 15K course to head toward the finish line in Grant Park.

15K competitors continue south on Michigan Ave. for about two miles before making their way east once the route reaches the Illinois Institute of Technology. There, runners will make the turn to head toward the Lakefront Trail on the shores of Lake Michigan. The course reaches the 10K mark just after turning onto the trail and follows the path all the way back toward Grant Park for three miles, circling Soldier Field and The Field Museum before arriving at the finish line, where a crowd of cheering spectators – and a goody bag full of chocolate treats – await.

Combined with the area’s flat terrain, Chicago’s cool November weather makes this set of races a great way to start your racing career or end a long racing season. When you prepare for your Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K or 5K race with Custom Training Plans, you’ll get a customized, comprehensive training plan that’s so much more than just a mileage schedule. Every one of the workouts in each Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K training plan and Hot Chocolate Chicago 5K training plan is designed to contribute to your overall goals.

Our training plans prepare you for the course you’re about to run with workouts that address the terrain. Each Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K/5K training plan is designed to prepare you for the distance you’re running, so your 15K plan won’t just be a 10K and 5K plan slapped together. Our plans incorporate mobility exercises, cross-training, and more to help you increase not only your cardiovascular fitness, but also the strength and endurance that can help you reach for your race goals safely. Our Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K and 5K training plans include running workouts that are designed to help you take advantage of the flat, fast course. In addition to mileage, our plans include sprints, intervals, and hill repeats. The variety doesn’t just spice up your workouts – it also builds speed and power, helping you get to the finish line faster.

Whatever your distance, be it 5K or 15K, it’s vital to follow a program that can be tailored to fit your current physical fitness level. Generic plans that ask athletes to do too little can lead to racers showing up at the line without adequate preparation, and vice versa. Both of these scenarios can lead to injury or a dreaded DNF. At Custom Training Plans, we partner with professional athletic trainers to create workouts that can be adjusted to provide the intensity that’s right for you. Following a CTP Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K training plan or Hot Chocolate Chicago 5K training plan can make a significant difference during your race prep. You can trust Custom Training Plans to help you get you to the finish line safely.

Here’s what you’ll receive in your plan package:

  • Daily Plans


  • Pace Chart

    Pace chart

  • Lift Workouts

    Lift workouts

  • Coaching Letter

    Letter from your coach

  • Mobility Workouts

    Mobility workouts

  • RPE Chart

    RPE chart

  • Running Podcast


  • Motivational Emails

    Weekly motivation email

How Training Plans Work

How it works

  1. Complete our proprietary runner questionnaire so we can get to know you better.
  2. Your custom Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K/5K plan is built based on advanced analytics with expert coaching oversight.
  3. Receive your custom Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K/5K training plan, lifting + mobility guide, a letter from our coaches, and more within 24 hours.
  4. Finish the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K/5K with confidence.

Our method

  1. Certified Coaches

    With the expertise of USATF certified coaches and physical therapists, we built an advanced model to weigh the effects of runner-specific variables on training outcomes.

  2. Custom Race Profile

    We analyzed unique characteristics of hundreds of races across the country to build a “race profile” into our model that accounts for elevation gain, altitude, time of year, and more.

  3. Training Plan Model

    Our model generates a unique training plan for you and your race, and all plans are reviewed by a coach and hand-tweaked before they make their way to you.