1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Train for a 5K in One Month

Beginner Training Program to Run 3.1 Miles

By

Updated May 16, 2014

Florida, USA
Gary John Norman/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Did you sign up for a 5K race and forget to train? If you suddenly realized that your 5K is about a month away, then this training schedule is for you. It's a four-week training program designed for beginner run/walkers who want to build up to continuously running a 5K (3.1 miles) in a month. (If you're a more experienced runner who wants to run a 5K that's four weeks away, check out this 4-Week Intermediate 5K schedule or this 4-Week Advanced 5K schedule.)

This training schedule (see below) is a run/walk to continuous running program. Each week, you'll make slight increases in your running distance while making small decreases in your walking distances. After four weeks, you'll be able to run the 5K distance without walking break. Of course, if you want to take a walking break during your 5K, that's OK, too!

Although this schedule is for beginners, I wouldn't advise using it if you haven't been active in the past month. Ideally, to start this training program, you should have either completed the 4 Weeks to 1 Mile program, you're active a couple days a week, or you can already run a 1/2 mile comfortably.

If you have more time to train, here are three other beginner 5K training schedules:
6-Week 5K Run/Walk 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 progressing too quickly for you, you can stay on a week and repeat the workouts before moving on to the next week.

Week 1:
Day 1: Run 10 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 2 times
Day 2: Rest or 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 2:
Day 1: Run 15 minutes, walk 1 min - repeat 2 times
Day 2: Rest or 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 3:
Day 1: Run 20 minutes, walk 1 min, run 6 min
Day 2: Rest or 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 4:
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

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

Also see: Absolute Beginners Guide to Running
Race Day Tips for Your First Race

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.