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6-Week Training Plan To Run Your First 5K

Cross the finish line of your first 5K strong with this training plan.

Don't give up. Keep moving. Clear your mind of "I can't". Cross the finish line of your first 5K strong with this training plan. Click through to download the training plan. Pin it now, download later.  @jillconyers

Running a 5K is a great goal for new runners. You’ll have the starting and finishing lines as your motivation. The excitement and anticipation of running your first race will carry you through the 6 weeks of training. There will be days when it’s not easy.

Don’t give up. Keep moving. Clear your mind of “I can’t”.

Live your best life!

Follow this beginner program if you perform aerobic exercise or sports consistently 2-3 days a week.Don't give up. Keep moving. Clear your mind of "I can't". Cross the finish line of your first 5K strong with this training plan. Click through to download the training plan. Pin it now, download later.  @jillconyers

Right click the image above to save to your mobile device or download the plan to print.

Training plan download.

You CAN run a 5K. Be smart about training. Many new runners make the mistake of doing too much, too fast and too soon. Listen to your body and don’t push it faster than your body can adapt.

This plan is designed with a balance of running, strength training and cross training. If the specific days don’t work for you make changes to the schedule, but don’t schedule running on consecutive days. Keep in mind, your runs should feel like you could have run longer.

I can do this!

Taking the steps to run your first 5K

  • Choose a race 6-8 weeks in advance.
  • Schedule your workouts.
  • Find the right running shoe (visit a local running store for shoe fittings, information and recommendations)
  • Find a training partner.
  • Commit! Sign up and pay the entry fee for a race.
  • Make training a priority.
  • Choose a safe place and routes to run.
  • Follow a plan that progresses gradually.
  • Cross train.
  • Warm up before and cool down after every run.

For me.

I am a certified personal trainer, but this plan was not created for your specific fitness needs. Make modifications as needed. See your physician before beginning any exercise program. This web site is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice and supervision of your personal physician.

Need a few 30 minute workouts for strength training days?

I would love to chat:

Have you ever run a 5K? Have you ever considered running a race? What distance would you like to run, 5K, 10K, Half, Full, Ultra?

be the best version of YOU

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43 Comments

  1. Great plan! I’ve been out of running and want to get back in – downloading and pinning your post – thanks – Visiting from the blogger’s pit stop!

  2. Hi Jill,
    I haven’t seen you in a long time! How are you?
    Do you know Coach Debbie? This is her niche.
    Thanks for bringing your post to Blogger’s Pit Stop.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

  3. Awesome tips, Jill! I’m hoping to run a short race in the fall!

  4. When I lived in Chicago, I was running 5ks almost every weekend when the weather was nice. The longest race I have ever done was the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. It was 39 miles in two days (26 miles the first day and 13 the second day). Even though it was a walk, I still ran part of it, but I was also 6 1/2 months pregnant!

  5. This is a very useful schedule, especially with your additional cross training links at the end of the post. What a great way to motivate people to push themselves for their first (or first in a while) 5K!

  6. Today is the very first day in a long time that I have actually felt strong enough and well enough to get off the couch.
    Baby steps right? I am going to go for a walk this morning and hopefully by weeks end I will be able to run.
    You never know how much you need your body to be healthy until it isn’t! I normally can run 2.5K so 5 k isn’t that huge of a stretch.

  7. Running is my least favorite activity. Truthfully your post makes me want to give it a shot! I will let you know how it goes!

  8. Megan McCoig says:

    Great plan and tips! I love doing a long run, the endorphins are just amazing.

  9. When I took up running a few years ago I started with the 5K plan, very similar to what you posted. It was amazing at how effective it was! Thanks for the encouragement!

  10. I love running, but my body hates it. I have tried so many times and only end up injured and unable to exercise for weeks. So I have accepted that I am not going to run a 5k. Ever. I’m OK with it! 😉

  11. It all starts in the mind and that is why that quote at the beginning is so very important. Once you think you can, it gets easier

  12. Great tips for getting started on a 5k. I love that you have a printable so you can put it on your fridge as a little reminder to get out there and run!

  13. this is good to know what to do in case I ever decide to run a 5k. I really don’t think I would ever do it but ya never know

  14. Three friends in my Weight Watchers group and I are running our first 5K this fall. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. We will be following your plan!

    1. Toni that is awesome that a group of you friends are working on your goals together. I would love love to know how the training goes and your race date. Run happy!

  15. This is a great plan! I’ve never run a race before but I would love to do a marathon at Disney World or Land! I love all things Disney so I feel like being at the happiest place on earth would help me like doing the marathon just a little bit more.

  16. This is perfect needed by sooo many myself included. I’m such a beginner and sometimes feel stuck

  17. Great plan! Breaking it down into days/weeks makes it easier to tackle!

    1. I also use an app that helps me and my friend manage the 5K training experience. It helps me become more accountable.

  18. love that you shared this Jill!! looks like an awesome plan that will have people kicking butt at their first 5K. perfect mix of running and cross training which is so key

  19. I swear that was the hardest thing…getting ready for the first distance over 1 mile. Great step-by-step plan you’ve shared here Jill! BTW, your site is really great. So much information and so nice, clean, easy to follow!

  20. Running is always something that I have wanted to be able to do. I can successfully run about 2.5 miles – so not quite a 5k, but it is something I am striving towards. I think I will try your plan – as soon as this late april snow decides to melt and go away!

  21. I did one of those couch to 5K things. I was so proud of myself that I got to week 4 but those workouts kicked my butt! I need to start over. FOR ME!

  22. Wow. I don’t think I am in good enough shape to run a marathon but with these steps I could be. My husband would love to if it wasn’t for his knee that bothers him.

  23. love this! i have never “run” a 5K but have walked over 150 of them. they are so much fun and great exercise! i have one coming up this saturday!

  24. I love that you add in strength training and cross training, Jill!! Great program for anyone who wants to work up to a 5K.

  25. I saw the word beginners and you had me. I’d love to be uber fit and able to take on more than a 5k, but I know my limits. Thanks for the great plan.

  26. Hey Jill!
    How is the yoga going? I’m teaching regular yoga classes and loving it.
    Also I’ve signed up for a triathlon this year as my personal challenge.
    hugs

    Di

  27. I need this! I am not going to run my first 5K but my first one in years and years and I need to get ready for it!

  28. I don’t think I will be running 5 K anytime soon but it is a fitness goal I would like to work towards one day! Great training plan!

  29. Perhaps that’s why I always feel my best… because I believe in myself 🙂

  30. My daughter just ran her first half marathon and I cannot imagine what her training must have looked like. This looks really hard to me.

  31. This is a great plan! I remember when I started running I was so completely overwhelmed. I never thought I’d be able to run more than a mile!

  32. This chart is so incredibly helpful. Its precise and helpful to reach that 5K goal! I love how easily you broke it down!
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  33. I never imagine myself running a marathon but your tips do make it seem tangible.

  34. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    I had no idea that I could train for such a big race in such a short amount of time. I will have to try this and muster the courage to run my first.

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