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Simple 5K Training Plan For Beginning Runners

10 Weeks To 5K – A Training Plan For Beginning Runners ~

If you’ve always wanted to join the fun in running a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, Christmas 5K, New Year’s Run, St. Patrick’s Day race or a July 4th Firecracker run, now’s your chance.

Here’s a very simple 5K training plan for beginners who are healthy, have never run, but would like to run. If you don’t know if you’re healthy enough to run, you should get a doctor’s ok before starting.

Walking Transitions To 35 Minutes Of Running

The 5K (3.1 miles) training plan progresses you from walking to running in a very deliberate way.  As you build a solid base of cardiovascular endurance, you’ll gradually shift to running more than walking.

This plan will train you to the point where you’re running for 35 minutes, non-stop. When you’re able to do that at a comfortable pace, you should be able to easily finish a 5K race. Most new runners can finish a 5K run somewhere between 35-50 minutes.

We’ve helped train many people who’ve never run, on plans just like this. So you can do it, too!

Keep reading below the plan for key training tips for beginner runners on this plan.

The Simple 5K Training Plan

Week 1: 

  • Walk for 1 minute, then run/jog easily for 1 minute
  • Repeat this cycle 10 times. You’ll have done 10 minutes walking and 10 minutes running= 20 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 2

  • Walk for 1 minute, then run/jog easily for 2 minutes
  • Repeat this cycle 7 times. You’ll have done 7 minutes walking and 14 minutes running= 21 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 3

  • Walk for 1 minute, then run/jog easily for 4 minutes
  • Repeat this cycle 6 times. You’ll have done 6 minutes walking and 24 minutes running= 30 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 4

  • Walk for 2 minutes, then run/jog easily for 6 minutes
  • Repeat this cycle 4 times. You’ll have done 8 minutes walking and 24 minutes running= 32 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 5

  • Walk for 2 minutes, then run/jog easily for 9 minutes
  • Repeat this cycle 3 times. You’ll have done 6 minutes walking and 27 minutes running= 33 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 6

  • Walk for 1 minute, then run/jog easily for 12 minutes
  • Repeat this cycle 3 times. You’ll have done 3 minutes walking and 36 minutes running= 39 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 7

  • Walk for 1 minute, then run/jog easily for 15 minutes
  • Repeat this cycle 2 times. You’ll have done 2 minutes walking and 30 minutes running= 32 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 8

  • Walk for 1 minute, then run/jog easily for 30 minutes
  • You’ll have done 30 minutes running and 1 minute walking= 31 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 9

  • Run/jog easily for 35 minutes, then walk for 5 minutes
  • You’ll have done 35 minutes running and 5 minutes walking= 40 minutes total time in your workout
  • Do this same routine every other day 3 times per week
  • Walk for 30 minutes on 3 non-running days and rest completely for 1 day

Week 10

5K Race! 

If you run a 5K race, start out easy and run just like you ran during your training. If you’re feeling pretty good after the Mile 2 sign, you can gradually pick up the pace a little and challenge yourself. When you see the Mile 3 sign, you should be able to almost see the finish line, so go ahead and run harder to finish strong.

6 Simple Training Tips For Beginning Runners

  1. Be sure to run 3 times per week.
  2. Run at whatever time of day is convenient for you, but try to be consistent with those days and times. It’s much easier to stick to the training plan when you establish a routine.
  3. Be sure to take at least one rest day per week. You can also take other rest days on the walking days. Just be sure to run on your running days.
  4. Commit to your plan by making sure you have a stopwatch that counts minutes.
  5. If one week seems particularly challenging, go ahead and repeat that week’s training before moving on to the next week’s plan.
  6. Most importantly: Don’t try to run fast–go slowly! If you run too fast, you’ll get tired quickly, stop and lose confidence. Run slowly enough that you can talk fairly easily to yourself or someone you’re with.

Congratulations!! We’ll see you at the next fun 5K!

(Thanks to San Diego Magazine and Race for Life 5K for use of the images.)

sea of 5k racers

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