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Run/Walk 5K Training Program

Go from Run/Walking to Running a 5K

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Updated May 16, 2014

sporty young women running on city street
Buero Monaco/Taxi/Getty Images

This eight-week 5K training program is designed for run/walkers who want to build up to running a 5K race (3.1 miles). The program assumes that you can already run/walk (at 5 min/1 min run/walk intervals) for 30 minutes. If you've never run or run/walked before, you may want to start with the "3 Weeks to a 30-Minute Running Habit" e-course. If you can already comfortably run one mile, you might want to instead try this Beginner Runner 5K Training Plan or this 4-Week 5K Training Schedule.

If you'd like to receive weekly emails to go along with this 5K training program, you can sign up here: Run Your First 5K E-Course

If you haven't had a recent physical, visit your doctor to get cleared for running.

Notes about the training schedule:

This program is a run/walk to continuous running program, so some of your workout instructions will displayed in run/walk intervals. The first number displayed will be the amount of minutes to run and the second number is the amount to walk. So, for example, 5/1 means run for 5 minutes, then walk for 1 minute.

You should start each run with a 5-10 minute warm-up walk or slow jog. Finish up with a 5-10 minute cool-down walk or slow jog.

You don't have to do your runs on specific days; however, you should try not to run two days in a row. It's better to take a rest day or do cross-training on the days in between runs. Cross-training can be walking, biking, dancing, swimming, or any other activity (other than running) that you enjoy.

Week 1:
Day 1: 5/1 x 5 (5 minutes run, 1 minute walk x 5, for a total of 30 minutes)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 5/1 x 5
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 6/1 x 5
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 2:
Day 1: 7/1 x 4
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 7/1 x 4
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 8/1 x 4
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 3:
Day 1: 9/1 x 3
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 10/1 x 3
Day 4: 45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 11/1 x 3
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 4:
Day 1: 12/1 x 3
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 14/1 x 2
Day 4: 45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 15/1 x 2
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 5:
Day 1: 16/1 + 12 min run
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 18/1 + 10 min run
Day 4: 45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 20/1 + 10 min run
Day 7: 30 min cross-training

Week 6:
Day 1: 23/1 + 5 min run
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 24/1 + 5 min run
Day 4: 45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 25/1 + 5 min run
Day 7: 30 min cross-training

Week 7:
Day 1: Run 26 minutes
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run 28 minutes
Day 4: 45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run 30 minutes
Day 7: 30 min cross-training

Week 8:
Your first 5K is this week! Try to take it a little easier this week, so that you're well-rested for your 5K. Good luck!
Day 1: Run 25 min
Day 2: 30 min cross-training
Day 3: Run 20 min

More: Tips for Training for a 5K

Related Video
How to Prep for a 5K Race

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