Beginner 5K Prep

If one of your goals this year is to run a 5K then now is the time to start preparing yourself. While you can find 5K races throughout the year, many of them are held in April & May before the summer vacations start and are usually held for a local charity or fund-raiser. I enjoy participating in the local races because it’s much less about competition and more about being a part of the event.

For beginners it’s the best place to start. You set a goal for yourself of running the race and finishing it which gives you the motivation to train for it and the committment to keep at it because you’ve already signed up. And for beginners who take that leap toward their first race, the satisfaction of crossing the finish line is exhilarating! It can be addicting – “runner’s high” is a real thing.

So, how do you get started? You just need to start…

This weekend is the perfect time to start your training. Try this:
Week 1 – twice this week alternate between walk and run for 15 minutes
Week 2 – same thing but bump it up to 20 minutes
Week 3 – again…this time for 30 minutes
Week 4 – drop it back down to 15 minutes but no walking this time
Week 5 – add in a 3rd day – 15 minutes straight running
Week 6 – keep with the 3 days 20 minutes – no walking this time
Week 7 – 3 days, 30 minutes run – walk a tiny little bit every 10 minutes but only if in you need it
Week 8 – 3 days, 35 minutes run
Week 9 – 3 days , 40 minutes straight run
Week 10 – your first 5K!!!!

If you have access to a track than I would suggest starting there. If you want to measure distance then once around a track is a quarter-mile. That can get a little boring if you do that every day so you may want to run around your neighborhood or in a park trail. This is also more realistic since your 5K is probably going to have your running on black top.

Happy Training!

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3 responses

  1. This is an awesome schedule – I will strive to do my best but under dr orders right now = no running until my legs are healed (until the end of March) so not sure if I will still have time to get into shape to run a 5K.

  2. Pingback: 5k: Straightforward Sub 20 minute 5k running and training plan « the5krunner

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