These days everybody is running 5K’s. And now you can join the masses with this simple plan!

Does the idea of completing 3.1 miles seem daunting, maybe even impossible? Follow this beginner 5K training plan and you’ll cross that 5K finish line with satisfaction. You’ll probably be looking for another one to sign up for!

So once you’ve committed yourself to training for a 5K, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to prepare. If you just started exercising last week, you should give yourself at least 6 or 7 weeks to prepare. If you’ve been consistently exercising for a while, but just haven’t crossed off a 5K yet you could aim for a shorter training period of around 4 to 5 weeks if you absolutely had to cut it that short.

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Cross Training

With running, long gradual plans are the best way to make sure you don’t pick up an injury. Plenty of rest in between runs and some cross training is also vital to your running success. Cross training just means any other form of low impact cardiovascular exercise. Biking, Swimming and the elliptical are all great ways to cross train!

Also check out this Beginner 5k training plan

Kick it off – start your training now!

Week 1

If you’ve been doing a little bit of running, go ahead and begin the plan running. If you’ve never ran, start off walking, then add short intervals of running. Try walking 3 minutes, running 1 and repeating. The plan for the first week of training looks like this:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Walk or Run 10 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 12 minutes

Cross train 10 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 15 Minutes

Rest

Week 2

After the initial week or training, if you are a beginner that is walking with intervals of running, try to increase the time you spend in the running phase. So if you did the 3 minute walk, 1 minute run example from last week, try running for 2 minutes. If that’s easy reduce the time spent walking by a minute.

Everyone’s fitness levels increase at an individualized rate so customize the times each week to work for you as you progress through this beginner 5K training plan.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Walk or Run 10 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 12 minutes

Cross train 12 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 17 Minutes

Rest

Week 3

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Walk or Run 15 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 17 minutes

Cross train 17 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 20  Minutes

Rest

Week 4

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Walk or Run 17 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 20 minutes

Cross train 20 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 22  Minutes

Rest

Week 5 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Walk or Run 15 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 17 minutes

Cross train 20 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 23  Minutes

Rest

Week 6

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Walk or Run 25 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 30 minutes

Cross train 30 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 33  Minutes

Rest 

Week 7 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Walk or Run 20 minutes

Rest

Walk or Run 15 minutes

Cross train 20 minutes

Rest

5K!

Rest

During this trek to the 5K, you should also be doing some stretching at least 2-3 times per week.Kick-it-off-with-this-beginner-5k-training-plan_2.jpgA good time to fit this in is after your longest workouts that week. In addition to stretching, you can also benefit from doing a few strengthening exercises. Stick to functional resistance exercises using body weight, like planks, pushups, squats and lunges.

Do the best to stick to the plan, but don’t fret or try to make up for a missed training session. Just pick up the next session and keep going.

After following this plan, you’ll be ready to conquer that 5K you signed up for. Happy Training!

Also learn how to fuel for your run with Shona Thomson’s diet plan, designed specifically for runners!

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