Training for Your First 5K Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Avid runners come in all shapes and sizes. They are slow and fast, old and young. One of the beauties of running is that it’s inclusive.

Preparing for your first 5K run may seem like a big challenge, but with a solid training plan and a little dedication you can easily be ready in 8 to 10 weeks. If you’ve never run before, it’s a good idea to spend a couple of weeks amping up for a slightly more intense training program Try this short workout on a 1/8-mile (or similar length) track a few days a week:

  • Moderate pace jog: 1 lap
  • Walking: 1 lap
  • Moderate pace jog: 2 laps
  • Walking: 1 lap
  • Moderate pace jog: 3 laps
  • Walking: 1 lap
  • Moderate pace jog: 4 laps
  • Walking: 1 lap
  • Moderate pace jog: 5 laps
  • Walking: 1 lap

After a couple of weeks of the above workout, you should be more than ready for an eight-week training program.

There are countless 5K training programs available on the internet, but it’s really hard to beat Hal Higdon’s training plans. He’s an accomplished runner, contributing editor for Runner’s World, and has written several books about the sport. Higdon offers training options for all levels of runner and for long and short distances. The one below is perfect for the running novice's first 5K. So, find a fun race in your area that's in a couple of months and use this plan to train. You'll be glad that you did and it's likely that you'll want to run again.