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Six-Week 5K Training Schedule

Beginner Training Program to Run 3.1 Miles

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Updated May 16, 2014

Team running together on bridge, New York, USA
Cultura/Edwin Jimenez/Riser/Getty Images

This six-week 5K training program is designed for beginner run/walkers who want to build up to running a 5K (3.1 miles). This training schedule (see below) is a run/walk to continuous running program. Each week, you'll make small increases in your running distance while making slight decreases in your walking intervals. At the end of six weeks, you'll be ready to run the 5k distance without walking break. (Although if you want to take walking breaks during the race, that’s fine, too!)

Although this schedule is for beginners, I wouldn't advise using it if you've been inactive for at least the past three months. Ideally, to start this training program, you're able to run non-stop for 5 minutes. If you're a total beginner, try this 4 Weeks to 1 Mile program before taking on the 5K distance.

If you have more or less time to train, here are some more 5K training schedules to check out:
4-Week 5K Training Schedule
8-Week 5K Run/Walk Training Schedule
8-Week Beginner Runner 5K Training Schedule

Notes about the training schedules:

You don't have to do your runs on specific days; however, you should try not to run two days in a row. Either take a complete rest day or do cross-training on the days in between runs. Cross-training can be cycling, yoga, swimming, or any other activity (other than running) that you enjoy. Strength-training 2-3 times a week is also very beneficial for runners.

If you find that this training program is moving too quickly (and you don't have a race deadline), you can stay on a week and repeat the workouts before moving on to the next week.

Week 1:
Day 1: Run 5 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 3 times
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 6 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 3 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 7 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 3 times
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest

Week 2:
Day 1: Run 7 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 3 times
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 8 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 3 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 9 minutes mile, walk 1 min – repeat 3 times
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest

Week 3:
Day 1: Run 10 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 2 times
Day 2: Cross-train
Day 3: Run 12 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 2 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 13 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 2 times
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest

Week 4:
Day 1: Run 15 minutes, walk 1 min - repeat 2 times
Day 2: Cross-train
Day 3: Run 17 minutes, walk 1 min, run 7 min
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 19 minutes, walk 1 min, run 7 min
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest

Week 5:
Day 1: Run 20 minutes, walk 1 min, run 6 min
Day 2: Cross-train
Day 3: Run 24 minutes
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 26 minutes
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest

Week 6:
Day 1: Run 28 minutes
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 30 minutes
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 20 minutes
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Race! Run 3.1 miles

Get tips on what to expect for your first 5K and find out how to avoid 5K racing mistakes.

Ready your next challenge? Try this beginner 10K or beginner half marathon training program.

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