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Can I Run a 5K?

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Updated January 25, 2014

Green Runners in Road Race
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Question: Can I Run a 5K?
"I just finished the 4 Weeks to Run One Mile training program and I think I'd like to try to run a 5K. I'm just not sure if I can do it. Is it reasonable for a new runner to be able to complete a 5K race?"
Answer: Congratulations on your new running habit! Yes, running a 5K race is definitely a reasonable goal for beginner runners and there are lots of great reasons to run a race. Even someone who is generally inactive (assuming he or she has been cleared to run by a doctor) can be ready to run or run/walk a 5K with three months of training.

Many runners have fears about running races and it's normal to feel anxiety about committing to train for and run a race. I like to encourage new runners to train for a short distance race such as 5K because having a race as your goal is great motivation to continue running. And the rush you feel when you cross that finish line will make you want to stick with it.

Following a training schedule will help you safely prepare for the race and keep you on track. As you continue with the training, your fitness and your running confidence will improve and you'll feel more prepared for race day. Here are some 5K training schedules for beginner runners:

5K Training Schedule for Beginners: This eight-week training schedule is designed for beginner runners who want to run continuously to the finish line of a 5K race.

5K Run/Walk Training Schedule: This eight-week training schedule is designed for those who can run for five minutes at a time and want to build up to running for the entire 5K race.

Train for a 5K in a Month: This four-week training program is designed for beginner run/walkers who want to build up to running a 5K in a month.

Get more tips for 5K training and racing:
Training Tips for Your First 5K
How Long Will It Take Me to Run a 5K?
Race Day Tips for Your First 5K
How Long Should I Train for a 5K?
8 Commonly-Asked Questions About 5K Racing
5 Things to Know Before Running a 5K Race
Common Running Mistakes

Also see:
Can I Run a 10K?
Can I Run a Half Marathon?
Can I Run a Marathon?

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