Beginner 5K Plan

This plan is aimed at someone who is not currently running, but wants to complete a 5K. It is a 12-week plan, with 3 workouts per week. Each subsequent week builds on the preceding week until you are able to run 25 minutes at a time before your goal race. By that point, you should be able to complete a 5K, even though it will most likely take longer than that for most of you. If need be, you can always inject a walking break into your race in order to complete the distance.

Notes:

1) All running sections should be EASY effort. This means that you should be able to carry on a conversation or sing a song without getting too out of breath while running. Do not go too fast or you won’t be able to complete the workout.
2) Form: try to run tall, and create as much length in your spine as possible. Tuck your hips underneath your torso, and land with your feet directly underneath you – do not land with your foot way out in front of you! To get a sense of the correct form, try jogging in place for a few seconds before starting to run. That is how you want to run as well.
3) Shoes: I believe most people can get away with regular “cushioning” running shoes. Go to a specialty running store and have them recommend some. Try a bunch on and get whichever ones feel the most comfortable for you. I am a big proponent that “less is more.” You generally want as little shoe as possible, and if you have biomechanical issues (like overpronation or flat arches), it’s better to work on correcting them through strengthening exercises than relying on an outside force to try to account for it.
4) Stretching: it is generally not recommended to stretch before running, as your muscles will not be warmed up and you can pull something. Rather, it is better to do some dynamic warmups like leg swings or lunges to warm up your legs before running. You may stretch as much as you like after your workout, and I highly recommend doing so to avoid injury. Some people can get away with not stretching at all, but most runners find they feel better the next day if they stretch afterward.

Without further adieu, here is The Plan:

Week Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
1 5-10 min walk
10x 1 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
8x 2 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
5x 3 min run + 3 min walk
5-10 min walk
2 5-10 min walk
8x 2 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
5x 3 min run + 3 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
5x 4 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
3 5-10 min walk
6x 3 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
5x 4 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
4x 5 min run + 3 min walk
5-10 min walk
4 5-10 min walk
6x 4 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
4x 5 min run + 3 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
3x 6 min run + 4 min walk
5-10 min walk
5 5-10 min walk
5x 5 min run + 1 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
4x 6 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
3x 8 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
6 5-10 min walk
4x 6 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
3x 8 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
2x 10 min run + 5 min walk
5-10 min walk
7 5-10 min walk
3x 8 min run + 2 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
2x 10 min run + 5 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
2x 12 min run + 4 min walk
5-10 min walk
8 5-10 min walk
2x 10 min run + 5 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
2x 12 min run + 4 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
2x 15 min run + 5 min walk
5-10 min walk
9 5-10 min walk
2x 12 min run + 4 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
2x 15 min run + 5 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
18 min run
5-10 min walk
10 5-10 min walk
2x 15 min run + 5 min walk
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
18 min run
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
20 min run
5-10 min walk
11 5-10 min walk
18 min run
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
20 min run
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
25 min run
5-10 min walk
12 5-10 min walk
20 min run
5-10 min walk
5-10 min walk
25 min run
5-10 min walk
RACE – run tuff!