5K Training Schedule for Beginner: Your First Five Kilometres, a Complete Guide

There are more and more people realizing that running is one of the most excellent exercise activities that they can engage in. It is effective, and simple. It is one of the most excellent cardio workouts available today. It is very easy to do so that anyone can do it without having to undergo any form of specialized training. This can explain the great number of people who are trying running. It is a growing sport.

I can still remember when I was just starting out in running. I started it relatively late in life. I was already in my 20s when I became conscious about my fitness and health. About the same time that I started watching the food that I eat, my friend also convinced me to join him in his morning ritual which involved running around our neighborhood. At first I didn’t want to. I was convinced that it was enough to be careful with what I ate, but my friend told me that if I really wanted to become healthy then I needed to do some form of exercise. So I decided that it was high time that I engaged in running. I joined my friend. During the first few times that we ran around the neighborhood I could really feel my lack of cardio fitness. I would be out of breath after a few minutes of running. I have made tremendous progress since then, but I never forgot those first few days of running.

My friend helped me out. He made me follow a 5k training schedule for beginner. It was really effective. The secret in running is to set your goals in stages. Once you have reached the 5k mark then you can set your eyes on 7k then and after that you can go for 10k runs. If you can consistently run 10 kilometres or about 6 miles then joining in with marathons and half marathons is no biggie, it just requires more training and more miles run.

The 5k training schedule for beginner that my friend started me on was a 12 week program that prepared me to run for 5 kilometer runs by the end of the program. The first 8 weeks of the program was spent on focusing on the exercises or running and walking combos. I had to concentrate on those two activities. The last four weeks of the program are focused on the distance to be run. The first part should be a gentle conditioning of the body and the last part is the real preparation for the run.

The program was very effective for me. After that I was able to run for 5 kilometers with ease but not necessarily with swiftness. I did learn some valuable lessons while following it. One is that a good running shoe is very essential to running. Another one is that soreness will be inevitable especially for those who have not undergone any form of workout. There are several variations of the training schedule for learning how to accomplish a 5k run. Some are shorter than the one that I have tried, but the secret with all of these programs is following them religiously. You need to be serious about achieving your set goal distance, because if not then you will not find the discipline needed in order to finish the program.

Here is a 5k training schedule for beginners that you might want to try. Consult your doctor obviously before starting any exercise program. My advice is that you should be able to walk for about 20 minutes before starting this beginners 5k running schedule. By the end of this 8 week 5k training schedule for beginners, you should be able to run steadily for 30 minutes. This is not a distance program but rather a 5k running schedule based on time. Everyone has a watch, but not everyone has access to determining distance.

Also, if you can run steadily for 30 minutes, that is likely to get you a distance of around 5k for most people who are of average fitness. If you fall a bit short, don’t worry about it, the more you practice the faster you’ll get at running. Try enter a 5k race so you can get a feel for your “official” 5k time. That might be motivating.

Before each workout please walk briskly for around 3 to 5 minutes just to get the heart pumping and muscles and joints limber. I have not included this advice in the table below and it is for additional time, not part of the time you spend in each day’s workout. Lastly, some muscle soreness is to be expected, however, muscle or joint pain is something else and should be dealt with immediately by consulting your doctor and/or physiotherapist.

Good luck, you will love this 5k running schedule and program and you’ll come to love the health benefits of running including but not limited to weight loss. The workouts below should take anywhere from around 15 minutes in the beginning to 35 minutes at most towards the end. Try and have a day’s rest in-between each workout. I like a Monday, Wednesday, Friday 5k training schedule but other variations work well too:

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1 Jog/run for 1 minute followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 5 laps. Jog/run for 1 minute followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 5 laps. Jog/run for 1 minute followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 7 laps.
2 Jog/run for 1 minute and 30 seconds followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 6 laps. Jog/run for 1 minute and 30 seconds followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 6 laps. Jog/run for 1 minute and 30 seconds followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 7 laps.
3 Jog/run for 2 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 6 laps. Jog/run for 2 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 6 laps. Jog/run for 2 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 7 laps.
4 Jog/run for 3 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 5 laps. Jog/run for 3 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 6 laps. Jog/run for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 4 laps.
5 Jog/run for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 5 laps. Jog/run for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 5 laps. Jog/run for 8 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 3 laps.
6 Jog/run for 10 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 3 laps. Jog/run for 10 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 3 laps. Jog/run for 13 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 2 laps.
7 Jog/run for 15 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 2 laps. Jog/run for 15 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes. We’ll call that one lap. Do 2 laps. Jog/run for 17 minutes.
8 Jog/run for 15 minutes followed by walking for 1 minute. We’ll call that one lap. Do 2 laps. Jog/run for 20 minutes. Jog/run for 30 minutes. GREAT JOB!

Well done, you’re now healthy, wealthy and wise. Well, at least you’re definitely healthy. 5k is a great distance that can be accomplished in around 30 minutes and if you do that 3 times a week consistently you’ll get fit and be in great shape. You can go on to 10k and marathons if you wish, but the extra effort and time involved does not reap you any further health benefits in my opinion.

Indeed, there is some suggestion that routinely training for marathon distances can in fact harm your health in the long run if you do it for years. 5 to 10k runs 3 to 5 times a week seems optimal for overall health and longevity. Well done, and good luck!