Novice Training Plan for 5K [Perfect for Beginners]

This Novice Training Plan for 5K is designed for beginner runners who want to be consistent throughout the race.

This training plan has the right mix of challenge and motivation to get you going.

It is designed to put you in the best position to finish your 5K strong. 

If you can run three miles with little training or you posses a reasonably good level of fitness, this training plan is right for you. 

TRAINING PLAN TERMS

Easy: The “easy” run on the schedule above should be at a comfortable level.

Don’t focus on how fast you are running, just make sure you get the miles in.

An “easy pace” should be ran at a level that allows you to chat with a running partner without being out of breath. 

Walk: This allows your legs to rest but keeps them loose for other training days. Be sure to walk on these days.

Running instead of walking will make your legs fatigued for other running days.

If you don’t like the idea of walking perhaps some sort of cross-training would work i.e. biking, swimming, etc. 

Rest: The training plan includes “rest” days.

These help you recover from your runs and make sure you taper your training the final week so you are ready to rock your race.

NOVICE TRAINING PLAN WEEK BY WEEK

WEEK 1

MONDAY

01

2 MILE WALK

TUESDAY

01

1.5 MILE RUN

WEDNESDAY

01

REST

THURSDAY

01

2 MILE RUN

FRIDAY

01

REST

SATURDAY

01

2 MILE RUN

SUNDAY

01

45 Min Walk or 3 miles Easy

WEEK 1:

  • 10.50 Total Miles
  • 1-2 Walking & 3-4 Runs

Week One Comments:

It's a good mix walking and short-distance running.

As you begin this training plan you may feel a little sore after the first two days, that's totally normal.

Just make sure you REST on the rest days. That way your body can recover. The soreness feeling will be gone by Sunday.

As you progress through the training plan you will notice a gradual increase of miles to prepare you for a 5K. 


WEEK 2

MONDAY

02

2 MILE WALK

TUESDAY

02

2 MILE RUN

WEDNESDAY

02

REST

THURSDAY

02

1.75 MILE RUN

FRIDAY

02

REST

SATURDAY

02

2 MILE RUN

SUNDAY

02

60 Min Walk

WEEK 2:

  • 11.75 Total Miles
  • 2 Walking & 3 Runs

Week Two Comments:

Tuesday will be the challenge for the week as the first run is two miles.

Be sure to pace yourself and not start out too fast as you will physically feel depleted.

Moving forward, every Tuesday you will notice a slight up-tick in the miles you will run.

Week two has a slight increase of miles and a long walk at the end of the week to refresh your legs. 


WEEK 3

MONDAY

03

2 MILE WALK

TUESDAY

03

2.5 MILE RUN

WEDNESDAY

03

REST

THURSDAY

03

1.75 MILE RUN

FRIDAY

03

REST

SATURDAY

03

2.5 MILE RUN

SUNDAY

03

60 Min Walk or 4 Miles Easy

WEEK 3:

  • 12.75 Total Miles
  • 1-2 Walking & 3-4 Runs

Week Three Comments:

By this week you should be very comfortable with your pacing during your runs and more importantly you have created a running routine.

Routines are great and as long as you keep them every time you run. 

On race day it will be easier to handle the adrenaline.

Practice makes perfect. One point about rest days - be sure to get off of your feet. Y

ou can do crossfit or go for a bike ride if you truly want to get out and exercise.  


WEEK 4

MONDAY

04

2 MILE WALK

TUESDAY

04

2.5 MILE RUN

WEDNESDAY

04

REST

THURSDAY

04

1.75 MILE RUN

FRIDAY

04

2.5 MILE RUN

SATURDAY

04

REST

SUNDAY

04

5K TEST RUN

WEEK 4:

  • 11.75 Total Miles
  • 1 Walk & 4 Runs

Week Four Comments:

You are halfway into the eight week training plan and are running more than walking (Look at you - you are AMAZING!).

Week four also brings the 5K test run on Sunday.

All the work you have done these last three weeks gives you a solid running base. 

This test run will give you clarity of where you are in your training.

Don't focus on breaking records, focus on finishing strong regardless of the time. 

You can do it.  


WEEK 5

MONDAY

05

2 MILE WALK

TUESDAY

05

3 MILE RUN

WEDNESDAY

05

REST

THURSDAY

05

1.75 MILE RUN

FRIDAY

05

REST

SATURDAY

05

2.5 MILE RUN

SUNDAY

05

70 MIN WALK

WEEK 5:

  • 12.75 Total Miles
  • 2 Walking & 4 Runs

Week Five Comments:

You are back up to 12.75 miles this week, which matches your third week.

The amount of walks are diminishing to just the one and the runs are starting to pile up miles.

On Tuesday, you will essentially run a 5K (just .1 miles short). 

The Friday REST day is back and the long walk on Sunday will help you build stamina. 


WEEK 6

MONDAY

06

2 MILE WALK

TUESDAY

06

3 MILE RUN

WEDNESDAY

06

REST

THURSDAY

06

1.75 MILE RUN

FRIDAY

06

REST

SATURDAY

06

2.5 MILE RUN

SUNDAY

06

70 MIN WALK

WEEK 6:

  • 12.75 Total Miles
  • 2 Walking & 4 Runs

Week Six Comments:

Similar to week 5, 12.75 miles this week.

This week is all about consistency.

Between the walking and runs, you should feel very comfortable get into a certain rhythm of your training.


WEEK 7

MONDAY

07

2 MILE WALK

TUESDAY

07

3.5 MILE RUN

WEDNESDAY

07

REST

THURSDAY

07

2 MILE RUN

FRIDAY

07

REST

SATURDAY

07

3 MILE RUN

SUNDAY

07

75 Min Walk or 4.5 Miles Easy

WEEK 7:

  • 15.00 Total Miles
  • 1-2 Walking & 3-4 Runs

Week Seven Comments:

With just two weeks away from your race, week seven provides the most miles you will run during the entire training plan.

The theory is to push you one last time before the race.

The 4.5 or 70 min walk on Sunday is going to be a real test for you.  


WEEK 8

MONDAY

08

2 MILE WALK

TUESDAY

08

3 MILE RUN

WEDNESDAY

08

REST

THURSDAY

08

2 MILE RUN

FRIDAY

08

3 MILE RUN

SATURDAY

08

REST

SUNDAY

08

5K RACE DAY!

WEEK 8:

  • 13 Total Miles
  • 1 Walking, 3 Runs & RACE DAY!

Week Eight Comments:

This is it... it's race week. 

All the training and preparing comes down to Sunday.

During the week, don't push yourself too hard but still get the work in. 

Your legs will will good on race day. 

On Race Day, stick to your pre-race routine and don't let the adrenaline of the race get you out of your comfort zone especially at the beginning of the race. 

Not sure if this is the right training plan for you? Take our Quiz to find out: