5K Training for New Runners

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Hi Everyone!

Getting started with Running can be intimidating. Your lungs hurt, your legs hurt, and sometimes you feel like you could walk faster than you are running! Don’t worry, we all feel that way when we start. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it!

Last month I went to San Francisco and trained Rose from MyChangeforaTen.com. Rose did not believe that she could run, but I knew she could. She is now in love with running!

I created a running training program to get her started. First she is going to train for a 5K. Her long term goal is to complete a Half Marathon.

The first thing I taught Rose was to Slow Down. Huh? Slow Down! That seems counter-productive with running. Doesn’t it?

Nope! With running the first thing you want to build is your running endurance. Before worrying about how fast you are going, you want to know that you can run a certain distance or time period without stopping to walk.

When Rose paced herself she was able to run continuously 1.5 miles, take a short break, run back 1.5 miles…without stopping to walk. She was amazed at her ability to complete this task. The next run we did she was able to go 2 miles straight without stopping for a break, and completed 1.2 miles on the way back home.

Below you will find the Running Training Schedule I created for Rose. She started with a foundation for being able to run continuously. If you are still building to that point check out this article: Running for Beginners. If you are already able to run 20-30 Minutes without stopping you can follow the plan below.

Part 1:

Run 3X Per Week for 2 Weeks

Goal: Run 3.1 Miles or 30 Minutes continuously at a comfortable pace.

Types of Runs:

1. Slow Easy Run: Run Continuously without Walking. Don’t worry about pace.

Part 2:

Run 3-4X Per Week for 4 Weeks

Goal: Improve consistency and pacing.

Types of Runs:

1. Two to three Easy paced runs at a comfortable pace: 3.1 miles or 30 minutes.

2. One to two runs at a slightly faster pace. Moderate Pace: You should be pushing and breathing heavier, but able to talk if needed. Use a stopwatch, phone running app or GPS watch during runs. Complete the same run you do on your Easy days, but focus on doing it a little bit faster. Don’t go to fast, you still want to complete the run without stopping to walk.

Part 3:

Run 3-5X Per Week

Goal: Improve Speed, Consistency and Endurance.

1. Two to three Easy paced runs at a comfortable pace: 3.1 miles or 30 minutes.

2. One Moderate Pace Run per Week.

3. One to Two Speed Workouts. Select 1-2 of the workouts below and incorporate them into your week).

  • 5 Minutes Easy/5 Minutes Hard:

-5 Minute Warm-up, Run 5 Minutes at Easy Training Pace, Transition into 5 Minutes Hard (Faster than your Moderate Training Pace), 5 Minutes Easy, Complete with 5 Minute Cool Down. Total Workout Time: 25 Minutes.

  • In-Run Sprints:

During your run incorporate 20-Seconds Hard Sprinting followed by 40 seconds at normal running pace. Repeat this 4-6 times during a normal 30-minute run. Start the sprints at the 10 or 15 minute running mark.

  • Run 25-30 Minutes at your normal pace. Complete the run with four to six 20-second sprints. In between sprints walk back to your starting point.

If you are ready to start improving your running speed/Race Times check out these articles:

6 Training Runs You Should Be Doing to Improve Your Speed

Track Workout for Speed & Endurance: Goal Race Pace Memorization

Progression Run: How To & Benefits

How To: Run a Ladder Workout


6 thoughts on “5K Training for New Runners

  1. Great post! Thanks! I include your workouts in some of my blog posts. We have been going to your website for over a year now. I love the variety of workouts and style! Thanks again!

    • benderfitness

      I try to base my pace off of my breathing. It’s okay to breath heavy/hear yourself breathing if it’s controlled. For lighter paces you should slow down until you can maintain a short conversation while running. For faster paces you should be breathing hard enough that you are only responding in 1-2 words when asked a question. With practice it gets easier, and your body becomes more efficient at using oxygen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *