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6-week Beginner 5K Training Plan

A basic 5K schedule that assumes you don’t run at all yet, and is designed to get you round comfortably, probably with a few short walk breaks

Short and snappy, 5K races are the perfect distance for beginners targeting a first race, but an equally satisfying target for a speed-demon with more racing experience.

Want to run your first 5K? Follow this beginner’s 5K training plan to help prepare yourself for your first race.

This plan is pretty basic and assumes that you don’t run at all yet. It has been designed to get you round your first 5K race, probably with a few short walking breaks. The schedule will take you through six weeks, starting with short runs with walk breaks. If you find this too easy, or are already used to running for up to 30 minutes a few times a week, take a look at our intermediate 5K training plan.

What running shoes are best for beginners?

If you’re new to running, the chances are you’ll be looking to invest in a pair of running shoes that will get you moving (no, those old converse won’t do). We’ve rounded up the best running shoes for men and women here.

Our beginner 5K training plan:


Week one

Mon: Rest

Tue: Run 1 min, walk 1 min. Repeat 10 times.

Wed: Rest

Thur: Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Repeat 5 times.

Fri: Rest

Sat: Rest

Sun: Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Repeat 5 times.


Week two

Mon: Rest

Tue: Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 4 times.

Wed: Rest

Thur: Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 4 times.

Fri: Rest

Sat: Rest

Sun: Run 5 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 3 times.


Week three

Mon: Rest

Tue: Run 7 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.

Wed: Rest

Thur: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.

Fri: Rest

Sat: Rest

Sun: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.


Week four

Mon: Rest

Tue: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.

Wed: Rest

Thur: Run 10 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat twice, then run for 5 mins.

Fri: Rest

Sat: Rest

Sun: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.


Week five

Mon: Rest

Tue: Run 9 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat 3 times.

Wed: Rest

Thur: Run 12 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat twice, then run for 5 mins.

Fri: Rest

Sat: Rest

Sun: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.


Week six

Mon: Rest

Tue: Run 15 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat twice.

Wed: Rest

Thur: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.

Fri: Rest

Sat: Rest

Sun: 5K Race!

On race day: You will probably find that you can run at least 20 minutes before you need a break, but whatever your plan, start slowly and don’t wait until you are exhausted before taking some one-minute walk breaks.

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