5K Training Program For New Runners

Ready to train for your first 5K? (Photo credit: Photosani/Shutterstock)
Ready to train for your first 5K? (Photo credit: Photosani/Shutterstock)

Ready to run? The 5K (3.1 miles) may sound like a challenge, but it is the ideal distance for your first race. 

Below is a basic six-week training schedule that has been designed to help novice runners build endurance and complete a 5k.

Note: All training runs in this basic 5K training program should be run at a pace that feels comfortable. You should be breathing hard, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation. Before beginning an exercise program, you should check with your doctor.

Week 1

• Monday – Rest day.

• Tuesday – Run 1 miles.

• Wednesday – Run 2 miles.

• Thursday – Rest or engage in a non-running activity.

• Friday – Run 2 miles.

• Saturday – Run 2 miles.

• Sunday – Run 2 miles.

Week 2

• Monday – Rest day.

• Tuesday – Run 2.5 miles. 

• Wednesday – Run 2 miles.

• Thursday – Rest or engage in a non-running activity.

• Friday – Run 2.5 miles.

• Saturday – Run 2 miles.

• Sunday – Run 2.25 miles.

Week 3

• Monday – Rest day.

• Tuesday – Run 2.25 miles.

• Wednesday – Run 2 miles.

• Thursday – Rest or engage in a non-running activity.

• Friday – Run 2 miles.

• Saturday – Run 2.5 miles.

• Sunday – Run 3 miles.

Week 4

• Monday – Rest day.

• Tuesday – Run 3 miles.

• Wednesday – Run 2 miles.

• Thursday – Rest or engage in a non-running activity.

• Friday – Run 3 miles.

• Saturday – Run 2 miles.

• Sunday – Run 3 miles.

Week 5

• Monday – Rest day.

• Tuesday – Run 3.25 miles.

• Wednesday – Run 2 miles.

• Thursday – Rest or engage in a non-running activity.

• Friday – Run 3 miles.

• Saturday – Run 2 miles.

• Sunday – Run 3.5 miles.

Week 6

• Monday – Rest day.

• Tuesday – Run 3 miles.

• Wednesday – Run 2 miles.

• Thursday – Rest or engage in a non-running activity.

• Friday – Run 2 miles.

• Saturday – Run 1 miles.

• Sunday – 5K Race day! Good luck!

Note: This basic 5K training program uses Monday as a rest day, because Sunday is scheduled as the longest run of the week. You can adjust the schedule to meet your needs, but always remember to make the day after your longest weekly run a rest day.

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