5k Training Plan for Beginners


With this plan you’ll make slight increases in your running distance while making small decreases in your walking distance each week. After 3 weeks, you’ll be able to run the 5K distance without a walking break. Of course, if you want to take a walking break during your 5K, that’s OK too.

You don’t have to do your runs on specific days; however, you should try not to run two days in a row. Either take a complete rest day or do cross-training on the days in between runs.

Cross-training can be cycling, yoga, swimming, or any other activity (other than running) that you enjoy. Strength training two to three times a week is also very beneficial for runners.

If you find that this training program is progressing too quickly for you, you can add a week and repeat the workouts before moving on to the next week.

Every Runner is a different and each one has his/her own style to achieve something. This plan is curated for the beginners to understand what it takes to start the Running Journey and how it can be implemented through the simple process of following the right approach. You can always modify this according to your requirements and physical capabilities.

Week-by-Week Plan

If you follow this week-by-week plan, you should be able to complete a 5K Race by the end of third week, and without stopping for a walk.

Week 1

  • Day 1: Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes, Repeat * 5
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes, Repeat * 5
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes, Repeat * 4
  • Day 6: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 7: Rest

Week 2

  • Day 1: Run 4 minutes, walk 2 minutes, Repeat * 4
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Run 4 minutes, walk 2 minutes, Repeat * 4
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Run 7 minutes, walk 2 minutes, Repeat * 4
  • Day 6: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 7: Rest

Week 3

  • Day 1: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes, Repeat * 3
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Run 12 minutes, walk 2 minutes, Repeat * 2
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 6: Rest
  • Day 7: 5K Race

Note – Strength Training needs to be done 3 times per week.
Cross-Training includes cycling, swimming, yoga etc.
Strength Training covers – bodyweight workouts: squats (single/double legs) variants, lunges, push-ups, burpees, glute bridge, plank, crunches, leg raise, toe touch etc.

Basic Tips for all Runners

Training for a 5K is a wonderful opportunity to make healthy changes to your routine that will support you in your fitness goals and overall well-being. Below are some tips anyone can follow:

  • Wear the right thing. Use the dry fit t-shirt/shorts & comfortable shoes as per your gait.
  • Do a warmup and cool down. Always include at least a 5-minute warmup and cool down, which can include easy or brisk walking along with dynamic stretches.
  • Rest. Get plenty of sleep and allow for at least 1 full day of rest each week. Take an extra rest day if you’re feeling sick, exhausted, or especially sore so that you can return to your training with restored energy.
  • Get ready for the race. Taper off the intensity of your training during the last week of training and rest the day before the race.
  • Eat right. Follow a healthy diet plan with lots of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Swap out processed foods for fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of sugary options, including alcohol.
  • Drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated, and include healthy drinks such as coconut water, tea, and vegetable juice.
  • Eat on schedule. Eat a few hours before you run to avoid running with a full stomach and avoid any irritating foods.

Pre-RUN Warmup Routine

Warmup at least for 10-20 mins is necessary before any activity be it running, cycling or any form of strength training. Follow this basic warmup routine to get your muscles active before the main workout.

Post-RUN Cool down Stretching

Stretching after a run is very important. It helps relieve tension and soreness, increases flexibility and helps prevents injury. Do these 6 Post-Run Stretches after your workout when your muscles are still warm. They will target your quads, calves, glutes, hamstrings, groin and hips. NEVER stretch on cold muscles.

How to stick with the Plan

Create an incentive plan that motivates you to keep up with your training, whether that’s rewarding yourself or simply having the mental satisfaction of meeting your goals. Find a running partner or group if you’re more likely to run as part of a group. If that’s not possible, find an accountability partner who will check up on your progress. Record your Run/activity in mobile tracking apps like Strava, Runkeeper, Nike Run Club etc. to stay motivated and track the progress. Be consistent and set aside the time you’ll need to stay on target.

The Bottom Line

Training for and running a 5K is an enjoyable way to set individual training goals and get into shape. It’s an attainable distance that can still challenge you and motivate you to push beyond your current fitness level.

Allow yourself enough time to prepare to reduce your risk of injury and train your body to perform at higher levels of intensity.

Give yourself credit for everything that you accomplish, no matter how small it seems.

Hopefully, building up the drive and determination to complete a 5K will boost your confidence and extend to other areas of your life. Whether you become a regular road racer or it’s a one-time event, it can be a positive marker of success in your life.
If you wish to join in our weekly group run session/core training session in Baroda, do send us a whatsapp @ 94088 07065

Let’s Get Fit Together!!!

-Team Run&Ride2Fit

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