Beginners 5k Training Plan – How to start and where to go!

Now that I have several 5ks, 10ks, and 5-milers under my belt, I thought I could offer some advice to other beginner runners, I can offer a few tips for a Beginners 5k Training Plan and a handful of various 5k Training Plans. If you are a beginner runner keeping reading if you are ready to give running a shot!

Beginners 5k Training Plan

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Beginners 5k Training Plan

I tried to convince my sister to do it with me, but it never happened. I tried to do it on my own and I think I got up to being able to do about 20 minutes straight on the treadmill but then I kind of stopped. Then my husband and I tried again, and failed. There are so many excuses but it just comes down to laziness.

Finally, I just had to get tough with myself and develop the discipline needed to make running a habit. Running is something that I try to do three to four times a week now. If you really want to do it, you will find a way!

Beginner Runners 5k Training Plan Tips

A Few Tips I’d Like to Pass Along for a Beginner Runner:

When I first started running, I was doing the Couch to 5k program. I had to run inside on the treadmill at first, because there was about 4 feet of snow on the ground and temperatures even colder than -20 Celsius. There was no way I was going to start training outside in that! That might be my first tip… Make it as easy as possible to create the habit. When it warmed up towards the end of March/beginning of April, I was nearly done the program but decided to re-do a couple weeks on the pavement. It’s a lot easier to run on a treadmill than it is to run outside, I believe by completing the program both inside and outside it gave me a good, varied amount of training.

My next tip is to get fitted for running shoes, I promise it is a great investment! A professional can tell you what kind of shoes you need, based on how you walk/run. I am now able to go to Winners and pick out a good pair of running shoes that work for *me*. After I got a good pair of running shoes, I got a couple of running shirts and jogging shorts, and even handheld water bottles too.

Finally training for a 5k!

If you are really serious about starting a running plan, you will want to read up a bit on training plans, because they can vary greatly. Depending on how physically fit or active you are already, you can choose from a variety of plans.

Maybe you don’t want to use a training plan at all, that’s okay too! You could just start running and add a little bit on each time. Aim to run one mile or for 10 minutes straight, and then slowly add on to that every week.

How Long Will it Take to Complete a Beginners 5k Training Plan?

Figuring out how long it will take someone to finish a 5k training program will vary widely. While you can find programs that last 8-12 weeks, or even more, the actual time it will take to complete the program will depend on whether or not you can keep on schedule with running 3-4 times a week.

Other things that may effect your actual completion of the program: weather, injuries, discipline, and of course, how much time you have to dedicate to running. If you can’t find consistent time slots in your schedule for running, it will take longer for you to complete a training plan.

A lot of this just comes down to having the discipline to make running, and your health, and priority. If you are able to make exercise an important part of your day, at least 3-4 times a week, you will have no problem completing the program on time.

In my opinion, it is really important for a beginner runner to find a safe plan, and follow it. Don’t try to do too much, too soon! You may end up burning yourself out or injuring yourself.

Cross-Training During Your 5k Training Plans

Even though 5k training plans are about running, cross training days are important to your success too. Cross training includes walking, biking, swimming, zumba, pilates, etc. Any other aerobic activity that will get your heart pumping and help you work your muscles.

It’s also important to make sure you include weight training and regular stretching into your weekly workouts. You can do yoga for stretching, you can find a lot of guided practices on Youtube, that are free and easy for beginners, right on up to experts.

For strength training, you can check out a few of the easy plans I use here:

Of course, regular training is important and having a varied training plan is awesome… But remember that muscles need rest periods too!

beginner runners training plans

5k Training Plans You Can Use

In my opinion, a beginner runner should always start with a safe plan! If you are looking to start running and would like a training plan, I’ve found a few that I would like to share with you. Here are a few 5k Training Plans for beginners. They are all completely free, and I’ve found a variety so you can pick one that suits your goals and current ability.

  1. Four Week 5k Training Plan for Beginners
  2. Six Week 5k Training Plan for Beginners (in case you want progress slower)
  3. Novice 5k Training Plan
  4. Couch to 5k Training Plan (I’ve personally used this plan)

Going Beyond 5k

If you have already ran a couple 5ks and you are looking to up your running game, check out the plans I found below. I hope that once you have successfully completed a 5k training plan, you will continue running and set additional goals.  All these plans are all completely free too!

  1. Couch to 5k Training Plan
  2. Hal Higdon’s Advanced 5k Training Plan
  3. Beginner 10k Training Plan
  4. Novice Half-Marathon Training Plan
  5.  I created my own free 10k training plan you can find here.
Need even more workout ideas? Check out these posts:

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