RW Beginners 5K Plan (8 weeks)

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week

This plan is geared for someone who has been exercising regularly - at least four times a week - for at least two months, averaging at least nine miles a week with a long run of three miles. Before you start this plan, you should be able to run 30 minutes without stopping. Unless otherwise noted, all runs should be done at an easy pace. This plan was designed by the experts at Runner's World.

Sample Day 1
1.5mi
1.5 Miles Easy

Welcome to week one of the Beginners 5K plan. Each Monday, you'll get a note about your training for the week ahead. And every day, you'll get an email reminding you about the workout for the day. As you train, check out the online community at runnersworld.com, where you'll find tips on training, nutrition, and injury prevention, and you can connect with other runners and the editors of Runner's World. Each week, you'll have three short weekday runs and a longer run on the weekend. You'll have one day reserved for rest, and two days that you can use for cross-training or rest, depending on how you feel. Today, run 1.5 miles at an easy pace. Focus on getting into a rhythm that feels comfortable enough to hold a conversation. If you're huffing and puffing, you're going too fast. By doing most of your runs at this easy pace, you'll build strong legs and lungs without getting injured.

Sample Day 2
2mi
2 Miles Easy

Today, run 2 miles at an easy pace. In these first few weeks of training, focus on blending your training into the rhythm of your daily life. Map out some safe, well-lit, traffic-free routes that you can take in a variety of weather conditions. Figure out which times of day are most convenient for you to run.

Sample Day 4
2mi
2 Miles Easy

Run 2 miles at your easy pace today. Many people make the mistake of going out too fast and running out of energy--or getting hurt--before they go the distance for the day. To avoid that, try to get into the habit of starting slowly with the idea that you'll finish feeling strong and energetic enough to go longer.

Sample Day 6
3mi
3 Miles Easy

Your first long run is 3 miles today. Weekends are reserved for your longer runs. On these days you'll focus on running farther and building the endurance you need to finish your race feeling strong. Whenever you're pushing your body farther than it's gone before, it's extra important that you start at a pace that feels conservative, so that you have the energy to finish feeling good.

Sample Day 8
1.5mi
1.5 Miles Easy

Welcome to week 2 of training. This week will follow the same pattern as last week, with three short weekday runs and a longer run on the weekend. You'll build on the foundation you laid down last week, and you'll add a half mile to two of your runs. Again, you'll have two days for optional cross-training and one day reserved for rest. At the end of this week, you will have covered 10 miles. Today, run 1.5 miles at your easy pace.

Sample Day 9
2.5mi
2.5 Miles Easy

Run 2.5 miles at your easy, conversational pace. As your training gets under way, invest in shirts, shorts, underwear, jog bras, and socks that are made of technical, lightweight fabrics that wick away moisture. These fabrics, which go by names like Dri-Fit and CoolMax, help prevent blisters and chafing.

Sample Day 11
2.5mi
2.5 Miles Easy

Run 2.5 miles easy today. Don't let boredom derail your training. Map out a new route or find a scenic trail so you feel refreshed. You can find a new route, or map your own, by going to our routefinder at runnersworld.com/routes.