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Run 5K in 12 weeks Beginner's plan 3.5-5 hrs per week


Marjaana Rakai - MSc Sports Science, NASM PT, Running Coach

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12 Weeks

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Plan Description

This is a 5K plan for a beginner runner who is able to run continuously for about 30 mins to start with. The plan is structured in 3 weeks cycles, where the third week is a recovery week.

Total hours vary between 3.5 to 5 hrs, very much doable for most people. Intensity is based on Rate of Perceived Effort so you don't need an HR watch or GPS watch to tell you the HR or Pace.

This training plan also teaches you to do proper warm-up sequence for each of your runs, allowing your body to prepare for the main part of the training, running.

This training plan also teaches you to gauge the training intensity by Rate of Perceived Effort (scale 1-10). Why? You may not have a GPS watch or Heart Rate data and even if you do, it is beneficial to be able to run by feel in such cases as Watch malfunction, it's too dark to see the watch, you doubt your ability if your day-to-day Heart Rate happens to be a bit higher in a race, etc. All because I want you to do learn to listen to your body and work with it! You're welcome!
Intensity distribution:

Rating Descriptor Zones %of Hrmax RPE max 10:
0 Rest 1 60-72 0 at rest
1 Very, Very Easy 1 1 very easy
2 Easy 1 2 somewhat easy
3 Moderate 2 72-82 3 moderate
4 Somewhat Hard 2 4 somewhat hard
5 Hard 3 82-87 5 hard
6 3 6
7 Very Hard 4 87-92 7 very hard
8 4 8
9 5 92-97 9
10 Maximal 5 10 very, very hard

This intensity distribution will come with the plan in pdf format, I suggest you print it out for quick reference.

Ok, ready to start? Let's do this!

If you have any questions/comments about the plan, please feel free to contact me directly at

If you need help to determine your intensity zones using pace or HR, please contact me
Coachj MJ

Weekly Mobility and Strength training programs are included. Also one of the cornerstones of this plan is a warm-up/drills routine which makes you a better runner and keeps you healthy and prevents injuries.

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:28 hrs 1:10 hrs
0:48 hrs 1:00 hrs
0:40 hrs 0:40 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:28 hrs 1:10 hrs
0:48 hrs 1:00 hrs
0:40 hrs 0:40 hrs

Training Load By Week

Marjaana Rakai

Be Sisu Fit Inc.

Marjaana believes as an endurance athlete, you need to be able to move better and the roadmap is via deliberate strength and mobility training. All endurance athletes benefit from not only moving better but building stronger muscles to withstand the repetitive movements during our day-to-day training and achieve efficiency to maximize our capacity.
Her services include endurance, strength and nutritional guidance which complement each other so that you can perform at your best!