A 5K Training Plan For Beginners

Running your first 5K this year? Here’s a 5K training plan that will get you to the finish line.

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Running your first 5K this year? Here’s a 5K training plan that will get you to the finish line.

There are few feelings better than the one of crossing the finish line of a race. Regardless of your age, ability level or experience, the energy and excitement at a road race is contagious and more often than not has a lifelong, lasting effect on a runner.

As a non-runner, the thought of running a long-distance race, and the amount of training that goes into such an endeavor, intimidates you. While you want to replicate the “runner’s high” your marathoning friends live for, you don’t necessarily want to run 26.2 or 13.1 miles to do it. But who says you need to start there?



While half marathons and marathons are rapidly growing in popularity, new runners seem to forget about the 5K. While the tendency is to want to go big or go home, there’s nothing wrong with starting small and working your way up the distance ladder.

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For running newbies, tackling the 5K distance is the perfect goal to get you going toward your first finish line, and it will set you up to cross many more finish lines in the future.

The workouts in this training blueprint are designed to help you start from scratch and safely work your way up to running 3.1 miles without stopping. Using a run/walk approach, you will gradually increasing the distance you run while decreasing the distance you walk over the course of 10 weeks.

Beyond crossing the finish line of your first 5K, however, this is a plan aimed at encouraging you to embrace the endurance lifestyle: goal-setting, hard work, camaraderie, fun, adventure and accomplishment.

So give yourself the goal of becoming a runner, commit yourself to training your body over to run these next 10 weeks and reward yourself with that unforgettable feeling of crossing the first of many finish lines.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide To Half Marathon

This training plan first appeared in Competitor Magazine.