It doesn’t take a crazy amount of training time to get you happily across the finish line of a 5K—even if you’ve been seeing far more of your couch than your workout clothes in the past year.
We asked Jeff Galloway to create these 5K Training Schedules for Shape.com. Not only is he an Olympic runner who trained himself to run a 5K in 13:41. He’s also coached hundreds of thousands of everyday runners and walkers to cross the finish line, without injury, through Galloway training programs, retreats, fitness schools and books. His methods allow average people to reduce stress, enjoy the training while receiving the satisfaction and achievement of crossing the finish line.
Here’s what’s even better: you only need to train 3 days a week, and walking is part of your “running” plan, even if you’re an experienced runner. Walk breaks allow your body to recover, even as you’re increasing your distance. If you walk often, you can erase training and race fatigue before it gets you down. Use these programs and top tips to get that finish line high for yourself.
Beginner 5K Training Schedule: Go from Couch to Finish Line!
The non-runner’s guide to getting off the couch and across the finish line
By Jeff Galloway
Even if you haven’t been working out, this 5K training schedule will let you claim finish line bragging rights in just 8 weeks. You only need to train three days a week, and when you train, you use a combination of walking and running.
Success is yours if you follow the training schedule and use these principles:
1. Your mission each day is to cover the distance — don’t run hard.
2. Run so slowly that you are not huffing and puffing — even at the end of your workout.
3. Walkers: Every 3 to 5 minutes, on your long walks, shorten your stride to “baby steps” for 30 seconds. This takes pressure off your legs, feet and joints.
4. Recruit someone to join you. Having an exercise partner improves motivation. Get a whole team together.
Beginner 5K Training Schedule
WEEK TUESDAY THURSDAY WEEKENDS (1day)
WEEK 1 15MINS. WALK/RUN 15MINS. WALK/RUN 2KM
WEEK 2 15MINS. WALK/RUN 20MINS. WALK/RUN 2.5KM
WEEK 3 20MINS. WALK/RUN 20MINS. WALK/RUN 3KM
WEEK 4 20MINS. WALK/RUN 25MINS. WALK/RUN 3.5KM
WEEK 5 25MINS. WALK/RUN 30MINS. WALK/RUN 4KM
WEEK 6 30MINS. WALK/RUN 30MINS. WALK/RUN 4.5KM
WEEK 7 25MINS. WALK/RUN 25MINS. WALK/RUN Race Day
how much time do i need to walk/run??
Use this chart to figure out how many of your workout minutes you should spend running and how many you should be walking. First, figure out how fast you walk or run a mile, then look below and find out what ratio of walking to running you should be doing.
IF YOU RUN/WALK… FINISH TIME
6MINS PER KM 30:00
6:30 PER KM 32:30
7MINS PER KM 35:00
7:30 PER KM 37:30
8MINS PER KM 40:00
8:0 PER KM 42:30
9MINS PER KM 45:00
9:30 PER KM 47:30
10MINS PER KM 50:00
10:30 PER KM 52:30
11MINS PER KM 55:00
11:30 PER KM 57:00
12MINS PER KM 1 hour
You can find Galloway marathon programs in 85+ cities; find out more at jeffgalloway.com.