New to running? This beginner’s 5K training plan, written by experienced runner Stacey Johnson, will help get you from beginner to confident 5K runner in just six weeks. On your marks, set, go!

If you’re working towards a planned race, you’ll find that these are usually held on a Saturday or Sunday. Whichever day your event is scheduled for, it’s good to practice running on this day of the week and at the same time the race will start. This will get your body used to working harder at that time of the day. This may be difficult if you’re juggling a busy family and work life, but try to do it at least three weeks outside of race day.

By working with this approach you can also practice your nutritional preparation. For a 5K, you shouldn’t need any extra calories during the race. Just make sure you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal two to three hours before, and take on plenty of fluids.

The beginner’s training plan below is a good guide for the complete novice looking to complete their first 5K race. It requires a minimum of six weeks training to improve fitness and to condition the body to run at a sustained pace with little or no breaks.

 

Pace options

Throughout the guide below, we’ll mention the following four paces. They are:

– Power walking/jogging: Breathing pattern is relaxed and very controlled.

– Steady running: You could sustain a chat with a running partner.

– Threshold running: Breathing is a little heavier; you could have short conversation with running partner.

– Race pace: Running as fast as you can with relation to the distance, breathing is harder but still controlled.

Warm up

Skipping rope

Before you exercise, make sure you complete a warm up for a few minutes. Some gentle skipping and jogging, as well as some bodyweight lunges, lateral lunges and single leg lunges will do the job.

Beginner’s six week 5K training plan

Week 1

Monday: Alternate between running at a steady pace for one minute, then walking for one minute – for a total of 20 minutes. Post session PowerPlate stretching to aid recovery.

Tuesday: Rest/yoga class.

Wednesday: Alternate between running two minutes (steady pace) and walking for one minute – for a total of 20 minutes.

Thursday: Steady, easy jog for 15 minutes (try not to stop, but if necessary then drop down to a power walk to recover, but keep this brief).

Friday: Rest/yoga class.

Saturday: Run three steady minutes, then walk for two minutes. Repeat four times, but try to pick up the pace each time you run.

Sunday: Rest.

 

Week 2

Monday: Alternate between one minute at a steady pace, one minute walk for 20 minutes. Post session PowerPlate stretching recovery.

Tuesday: Rest/yoga class.

Wednesday: Five minutes easy pace, five minutes steady pace, two minutes walk, five minutes steady, five minutes easy.

Thursday: 15 minutes easy.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: Like a pyramid starting with just one minute and going up to three, follow the workout: One minute threshold pace, one minute walk. Two minutes steady pace, two minutes walk. Three minutes steady, three minutes walk, three minutes steady. Two minutes walk, two minutes steady. One minute walk, one minute threshold.

Sunday: Rest/yoga.

Week 3

Monday: One minute threshold, one minute walk, one minute steady, one minute walk. Repeat five times. Post session PowerPlate stretching recovery.

Tuesday: Rest/yoga.

Wednesday: Five minutes steady, two minutes walk. Repeat three times.

Thursday: 15 minutes easy pace.

Friday: Rest/yoga.

Saturday: Five minutes easy pace, two minutes walk. Four minutes steady, two minutes walk. Three minutes steady, two minutes walk. Two minutes threshold, one minute walk. One minute threshold, one minute walk, two minutes jog.

Sunday: Rest.

Week 4

Monday: Alternate between one minute threshold pace, one minute walk for 20 minutes. Post session PowerPlate stretching recovery.

Tuesday: Rest/yoga.

Wednesday: Five minutes easy, five minutes steady, five minutes easy, five minutes steady.

Thursday: Two minutes steady, one minute walk. Repeat five times.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: Three minutes steady, two minutes walk. Two minutes steady, one minute walk. One minute threshold, two minutes walk. Repeat three times. Post workout PowerPlate stretching session.

Sunday: Rest.

Week 5

Monday: Alternate between one minute threshold pace and one minute walk – for 20 minutes.

Tuesday: Rest.

Wednesday: Five minutes steady pace, three minutes easy. Repeat three times.

Thursday: 15 minutes easy pace.

Friday: Rest/yoga.

Saturday: One minute threshold, one minute walk. Two minutes steady, one minute walk. Three minutes steady, two minutes walk. Three minutes steady, two minutes walk. Two minutes steady, one minute walk. One minute threshold, one minute walk. One minute threshold, one minute walk. Two minutes steady, one minute walk. Three minutes steady.

This totals 18 minutes of running. Post workout PowerPlate stretching session.

Sunday: Rest.

Week 6

Monday: One minute threshold pace, one minute walk. Repeat eight times. Post workout PowerPlate session.

Tuesday: 15 minutes easy pace.

Wednesday: Yoga and/or massage.

Thursday: Two minutes steady, one minute easy. Repeat five times.

Friday: Rest or easy 15 minute run.

Saturday: Race day!

Sunday: Two minutes easy pace, one minute walk. Repeat ten times and follow with a PowerPlate session.

 

We hope this training plan helps you reach your 5K target – and wish you luck if you’re running a race! If you’d like to train in your local David Lloyd Club, then you can find out more information here.

Summary
Beginner training plan: Six weeks to a 5K
Article Name
Beginner training plan: Six weeks to a 5K
Description
New to running? This beginner's 5K training plan, written by experienced runner Stacey Johnson, will help get you from beginner to confident 5K runner in just six weeks. On your marks, set, go!
Author
Publisher Name
David Lloyd
Publisher Logo