5K Training Plan for Beginners
and Those Starting Up Again

Our 5k training plan is designed for someone who is already able to run one mile comfortably without stopping.

If running a mile is difficult, you should start with our Seven Week Jog & Walk Training Plan to help you get started correctly and reduce your chance of injury. 

For those who are ready to jump right in; our 5k Training Plan (listed below) was designed to help a fairly new runner gearing up for their first competitive race and for someone who has taken some time off and decided to start running again.


5K  Training Tips

  • Start slowly - Even though a 5K can be fairly easy to train for, it is a good idea to ease into it slowly and avoid frustrating aches and pains. The body teaches itself to adapt to the stress of running and to perform better and better.
  • Keep a Journal - By keeping a running log you will be able to track your progress and the things you did right and wrong. By also setting forward goals in the journal, you can provide yourself with extra motivation.

  • Rest Days - Listen to your body and treat the off days with the same importance as your running days. Everyone needs recovery days to allow the muscles recovery time to rebuild stronger. By attempting to push it too hard, it can result in you needing extra time off due to a running injury.

  • Running Form - Try and keep a short stride when you're running. A lengthy stride puts too much stress on the knees and leg muscles. Also, make sure to keep your feet directly under you. Leaning too far forward will create pain in the neck, shoulders, and lower back areas.
  • Strength Training - To become a strong runner you need to do more than just hit the pavement. Strength training can be a vital part of a 5k training plan. Having stronger muscles and keeping your muscles balanced can be an important part of progressing as a runner and avoiding running-related injuries. 

  • Incline Training - Make sure to include some incline training with your 5k training plan. Running up hills is a form of strength training that can quickly increase leg strength, and keep the hips flexible.

    As your legs get stronger you will reduce your chances of running injury significantly. Try and keep a slightly shorter stride and make sure to keep your feet directly beneath you when you're running up hills.

Other Running Workouts for a Challenge and Change of Pace



8 Week 5K Training Plan

This 8-week 5k training plan will help you get to the finish line and enjoy your 5k experience. It is designed to slowly let your body adjust to a little more stress week by week without taking any injury risk from overtraining. 

jog walk plan


8 week Training Schedule

WeekMonTuesWedThuFriSatSun
11
mile run
Rest1
mile run
Rest1.25
mile run
1.25
mile run
Rest
21.25
mile run
Rest1.5
mile run
Rest1.5
mile run
1.5
mile run
Rest
31.5
mile run
Rest1.75
mile run
Rest1.75
mile run
1.75
mile run
Rest
41.75
mile run
Rest2
mile run
Rest1.5
mile run
2
mile run
Rest
52
mile run
Rest2.25
mile run
Rest2
mile run
2.25
mile run
Rest
62.25
mile run
Rest2.5
mile run
Rest2.5
mile run
2.5
mile run
Rest
72.25
mile run
Rest2.75
mile run
Rest3
mile run
2.5
mile run
Rest
83
mile run
Rest2
mile run
Rest3
mile run
RestRace Day


Interval Training for the Runner

You can change the pace of your training and run stronger races. Researchers have found that interval training sessions of short bursts of speed followed by much slower sessions of recovery can elevate your speed and fitness. Interval training helps to improve your running form as you develop some faster-running skills.

Interval training can also help you to be in peak condition before your race. By keeping the short bursts of speed the same and shortening the recovery time of the slower session, your body will be ready to challenge itself on race day.


running a 5k


Finding a Race

It's important to find a friendly and enjoyable 5k race. Usually, the bigger races that have been around for a while are better organized and have an enthusiastic atmosphere. 

A local running store can be a good place to find a fun 5k. Once you find a race you like, try and make it an annual event and invite your family and friends. Who knows, you might even get some of them to join you running the race.


Motivational Tips for the Runner

  • Include your family and friends - You would be surprised how the training and running in a 5K can be such a social event.

  • Keep a journal. By keeping a journal that notes things like your diet, and workout results, you can monitor yourself on a regular basis. The updates should help to keep you motivated.

  • Sign up for a race. Just having a scheduled race can be the motivator you need to get you out the door for a run.


Other pages that might interest you:


I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.




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