5K run: 7-week training schedule for beginners

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Doing a 5K run can add a new level of challenge and interest to your exercise program. A 5K run is 3.1 miles. Don't be daunted by the distance. A 5K run is a great distance for a beginner. And you can prepare for a 5K run in just two months.

Consider using this seven-week 5K run training schedule as your guide. This 5K run training schedule was created by Olympian Jeff Galloway. It's tailored for beginners or anyone who wants to complete a 5K race. You don't have to use this training schedule only for a 5K run — you can also adapt it to walk a 5K.

How to use the 5K training schedule

This 5K training schedule incorporates a mix of running, walking and resting. This combination helps reduce the risk of injury, stress and fatigue, while boosting your enjoyment of physical activity. Remember, you can run or walk slowly to help your body adjust to this 5K training schedule.

Under this 5K run schedule, even runners spend a portion of their training walking. For instance, during week one on run/walk days, a runner runs for 15 seconds and then walks for 45 seconds, repeating that cycle for 30 minutes. As the weeks progress, runners gradually increase the amount of time running and reduce the amount of time walking. If you're strictly a walker, you always walk. On walk days, both runners and walkers walk. One day a week — Friday on this 5K schedule — is a day of rest from exercise, giving your muscles time to recover. On Sunday, you can either take a second day of rest or you can enjoy a walk at your choice of distance. On this 5K run training schedule, race day falls on Saturday of your seventh week.

Apr. 19, 2011 See more In-depth

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