8 Week Beginner 5K Training Schedule

Running is something that takes time and perseverance to master, especially if you are a beginner. While it is fairly easy to run 5K after some practise, if you are new to running it is best to consider following a beginner’s schedule to get you started.

To follow this 8 week beginner 5K schedule, we recommend you have a basic level of running experience already. This doesn’t have to be anything extreme, but you will want to be able to maintain a run or slow job for up to five minutes at a time.

8 Week Beginner 5K Training Schedule

When it comes to running, you want to ensure this is something you are capable of doing. If you are currently suffering from any injuries, we would recommend contacting your doctor to be given the clearance to do this type of cardio exercise.

The 8 week beginner 5K training schedule we have put together is the perfect option to follow if you know the basics and want to train your body for longer runs. 5K is the equivalent of 3.1 miles, and it is a good goal to begin with.

We will be talking you through everything you need to know, from the schedule, to our tips on running correctly.

Things To Expect When Following The 8 Week Beginner 5K Training Schedule

This schedule focuses on running and walking continuously. There are no breaks in the schedule, as it is aiming to get you to a place where you can keep moving for the duration of the 5K.

The schedule below has been split up into each week and individual day. When running, it is important that you have two rest days from running per week. While you may be tempted to get out every day, this can have a negative impact on the body, and will ultimately increase your risk of injury.

On these rest days, you can perform other exercises such as swimming or working out on the cross trainer. Stretching, yoga and Pilates can be great exercises for rest days. They allow your body to have time to recover, while still keeping you moving.

8 Week Beginner 5K Training Schedule

For the purpose of this schedule, it will be running from Monday through to Sunday.

When following this training plan, it is important to warm up and cool down. This prevents injury, and prepares your body for exercise. You should aim to briskly walk or slow jog for around 10 minutes before the work-out. After the workout, walk slowly for 10 minutes to cool your body down.

Week 1:

Week one aims to ease you fairly slowly into the training schedule. There are plenty of rest days to allow your body to recover.

Monday — 5 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 5)
Tuesday — Rest day
Wednesday — 5 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 5)
Thursday — 40 – 45 mins cross trainer workout or another low-impact exercise
Friday — 5 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 5)
Saturday — 6 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 5)
Sunday — Rest day or short 20/30 minute walk

Week 2:

Week two takes things a little more seriously, but is fairly easy to keep up with and manage. Again there are plenty of rest and light exercise days.

Monday — 7 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 4)
Tuesday — Rest day
Wednesday — 7 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 4)
Thursday — 40 – 45 mins cross trainer workout or another low-impact exercise
Friday — Rest day
Saturday — 8 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 4)
Sunday — Rest day or short 20/30 minute walk

8 Week Beginner 5K Training Schedule

Week 3:

Week three is the week before the halfway point, and the exercise does get significantly more difficult from here. As you will see, at the end of each week, you are running for one extra minute per cycle, to get your body adjusted for the upcoming week.

Monday — 9 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 3)
Tuesday — Rest Day
Wednesday — 10 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 3)
Thursday — 40 – 45 mins cross trainer workout or another low-impact exercise
Friday — Rest Day
Saturday — 11 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 3)
Sunday — Rest day or short 20/30 minute walk

Week 4:

The program certainly starts to kick at the halfway point. Here you should feel in a comfortable routine, and your body should feel strong enough to run for a longer period.

Monday — 12 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 3)
Tuesday — Rest Day
Wednesday — 14 mins running, 1 min walking (repeat x 3)
Thursday — 40 – 45 mins cross trainer workout or another low-impact exercise
Friday — Rest Day
Saturday —
Sunday — Rest day or short 20/30 minute walk

Week 5:

Week five is where your body will really be put to the test, and you will be running for the majority of the workout.

Monday — 16 mins running, 1 min walking and a 12 min run
Tuesday — Rest Day
Wednesday — 18 mins running, 1 min walking and a 10 min run
Thursday — 40 – 45 mins cross trainer workout or another low-impact exercise
Friday — Rest Day
Saturday — 20 mins running, 1 min walking and a 10 min run
Sunday — 30 mins on cross trainer

Week 6:

During week six, you want to push yourself as much as possible, and ensure you are keeping up with the cross trainer workouts.

Monday — 23 mins running, 1 min walking and a 5 min run
Tuesday — Rest Day
Wednesday — 24 mins running, 1 min walking and a 5 min run
Thursday — 40 – 45 mins cross trainer workout
Friday — Rest Day
Saturday — 25 mins running, 1 min walking and a 5 min run
Sunday — 30 mins cross trainer workout

Week 6 8 Week Beginner 5K Training Schedule

Week 7:


This is the final week before you attempt your first 5K run. This is the most important week to work your hardest to push your body to its full potential.

Monday — 40 – 45 mins cross trainer workout
Tuesday — Rest Day
Wednesday — 28 mins running
Thursday — 40 – 45 mins cross trainer workout
Friday — Rest Day
Saturday — 30 mins running
Sunday — 30 mins cross trainer workout

Week 8:

This is the week of your 5K run. At the start of the week, you don’t want to push yourself too hard. Instead, you want to continue running, but at a slightly shorter distance in comparison to week 7.

Monday — 25 min run
Tuesday — 30 min cross trainer workout
Wednesday — 20 min run

Summary

The 8 week beginner 5K training schedule is that simple. After this time, you will be ready to give your first full 5K a go.

Matt Williams