5K Training Schedule For Beginners
This 5K training schedule for beginners is a great motivational tool for the novice runner who wants to get in shape or create a foundational routine to eventually go longer distances, such as a marathon, one day. You won’t only be running, but implementing sport-specific rest and weight-training routines to help you become a stronger and more efficient runner.
To complete a 5K training schedule, you'll need:
- Good running shoes
- Smooth running surfaces, such as a treadmill, sidewalk or park ground.
- At least eight to ten hours of sleep per night.
- Establish a weekly schedule. Dedicate three days out of the week running your designated miles, two rest days, a day of cross-training, and an active rest day (or an extra rest day, if you think you need it). Schedule the days as evenly and spread out as possible, making sure you aren’t doing the same training or resting consecutively.
- Start by running or jogging three times a week. Build up to this gradually; there is no use to burden your body with injuries so early in your running training. When you can comfortably run these distances, it is time to bump up your training a notch.
- Twice a week, do endurance-based weight training. Focusing on your core and legs, work with a weight (through a combination of free weights or machines) with which you can squeeze out a couple of sets of fifteen to eighteen repetitions to build help build up your endurance muscles. You can do the weight training on your active rest days and your cross-training days.
- Top off your training schedule with a cross-training day. Do 30 to 45 minutes of another cardiovascular exercise, whether it’s swimming, biking, elliptical training, stair-stepping, rowing or a kickboxing class.
- Build up to a long run. A component of success for completing a run is building up endurance. Increase your endurance by choosing a day a week where you will add five minutes to that run every other week until you reach an hour. On the other two running days, you’ll stick to regular thirty minute runs.
- Don’t skip warm-ups and stretches before any of your workouts. Spend at least ten to fifteen minutes warming your body up with a brisk walk or a few jumping-jacks before proceeding to your stretches. Good stretches for runners are those that loosen the quadriceps, hamstrings, piriformis and soleus muscles.
- Give yourself at least three to four months before completing your 5K. Obviously, you can take as much time as you need to get ready, but not any sooner than a few months to progress yourself as healthily and safely as possible.