Get Ready to Run

Six-week Beginner 5K Schedule

Ready? Here’s 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.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Walk 1.5 miles

Run 1 min, walk 1 min. Do 10 times

Rest

Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Do 5 times

rest

rest

Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Do 5 times

rest

Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Do 4 times

rest

Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Do 4 times

rest

rest

Run 5 mins, walk 3 mins. Do 3 times

rest

Run 7 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times

rest

Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times

Rest

Rest

Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times

Rest

Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times

rest

Run 10 mins, walk 2 mins. Do twice then run for 5 mins

rest

rest

Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times

Rest

Run 9 mins, walk 1 min. Do 3 times

Rest

Run 12 mins, walk 2 mins. Do twice then run for 5 mins

Rest

Rest

Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times

Rest

Run 15 mins, walk 1 min. Do twice

Rest

Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times

Rest

Rest

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.

Amateur runners who can run for 30 minutes

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Rest

20-25 mins easy run

 

10 mins easy, then 4 x 1 min brisk with 2-min jog recoveries, then 10 mins easy

 

20 mins easy

30 mins easy

 

20-25 mins easy run

 

mins easy, then 4-5 x 90 secs brisk with 2.5-min jog recoveries, then 10 mins easy

 

20 mins easy

35 mins easy

 

20-25 mins easy run

 

10 mins easy, then 20 mins fartlek (free-form fast and slow running)

 

25 mins easy

40 mins easy

 

10 mins easy, then stretch, then 1 measured mile, timed, fast, then 10 mins easy

 

10 mins easy, then 20 mins fartlek, then 10 mins easy

 

20 mins easy

45 mins easy

 

25-30 mins easy

 

10 mins easy, then 3 x 3 mins brisk with 3-min jog recoveries, then 10 mins easy

 

25 mins easy

35 mins easy

 Note: To improve speed, you sometimes need to train at a pace somewhat faster than your race pace for the 5-K, about the pace you would run in a 1500 meter or mile race. Run 400 meters hard, and then recover by jogging and/or walking 400 meters. Before starting this workout, warm-up by jogging a mile or two, stretching, and doing a few sprints of 100 meters. Cool down afterwards with a short jog.
Tempo Runs: This is a continuous run with an easy beginning, a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace, then ease back and cruise to the finish. A typical tempo run would begin with 5-10 minutes easy running, continue with 10-15 faster running, and finish with 5-10 minutes cooling down. You can’t figure out your pace on a watch doing this workout; you need to listen to your body. Tempo runs are very useful for developing anaerobic threshold, essential for fast 5-K racing.

5-K advance runners

Week

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

1

3 m run

5 x 400

Rest or easy run

30 min tempo

Rest

4 m fast

60 min run

2

3 m run

8 x 200

Rest or easy run

30 min tempo

Rest

4 m fast

65 min run

3

3 m run

6 x 400

Rest or easy run

35 min tempo

Rest

5 mi fast

70 min run

4

3 m run

9 x 200

Rest or easy run

35 min tempo

Rest or easy run

Rest

5-K test

5

3 m run

7 x 400

Rest or easy run

40 min tempo

Rest

5 m fast

75 min run

6

3 m run

10 x 200

Rest or easy run

40 min tempo

Rest

6 m fast

85 min run

7

3 m run

8 x 400

Rest or easy run

45 min tempo

Rest

6 m fast

90 min run

8

2 m run

6 x 200

30 min tempo

Rest or easy run

Rest

Rest

5-K Race

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