While running 3.1 miles (a 5-kilometer race) may have sounded as preposterous as swimming the English Channel a few months ago, today, it is within your reach. You know what they say about learning to walk before you can run? That's what you did!

Once you hit that 1-mile mark as a runner, so many possibilities open up. Now it’s time to take the leap into the public running world and sign up for a 5K race!

Training for a 5K is the best way to take that next step as a runner. Not only will it encourage you to run further than you have before, it’ll also allow you to get involved in a local athletic event. As you progress through this program, keep in mind how it will feel to cross the finish line alongside your fellow runners. Sure, your lungs and legs might burn a little (or a lot), but the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when they hang that finisher’s medal around your neck will be well worth it.

As you progress through this plan, keep in mind that eating right, drinking enough water (and some sports drinks), and getting enough sleep all play huge roles in making you a better runner. Set yourself up for success by not only putting in the miles, but also taking care of your body and mind when you aren’t out pounding the pavement or ground.

To print the Run a 5K Training Plan, click here.

Ready to Take The Next Step?

Here's how to keep improving after you've finished your 5K.

First, take a few days off to allow your body to recover from your race. If you’re interested in graduating to a 10K (6.2 miles) or beyond (a marathon is 26.2 miles, and a half-marathon is 13.1 miles), you'll want to focus your training on running for longer periods of time without needing to take a walk break. By chipping away at the number of minutes you’re walking, you’ll soon find yourself running for distances you probably never thought possible.

If you want to do a "multi-sport" event--one that combines different sports--we can help you train for a sprint (shorter-distance) triathlon, that usually includes a 750-meter swim, then a 20-kilometer bike ride, and finally a 5K run.

--Mackenzie Lobby

To print the Run a 5K Training Plan, click here.


Are You Ready to Change?

Goal: Run 1 Mile

Choosing a Fitness Goal That's Right for You





Mackenzie Lobby is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer with a master's in kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. Mackenzie has run 10 marathons and a USATF-certified coach who has worked with runners and walkers of all levels. 


The information on this site and related sites and platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter should not be treated as medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for the advice, treatment, evaluation, diagnosis, or care of a qualified healthcare professional. Please see your physician if you have questions or concerns about your health.


Photo by surabky

Black and white photo of winter runners by Stefania Bonacasa