Beginners Running Training Plan: Zero to 5K
Written By: SportsShoes
Decided to take the plunge and start running? First off, welcome to the world of running and to one of the most rewarding sports and most supportive communities there is. Secondly, once you’ve decided to lace up your running shoes for the first time, it’s a good idea to follow a structured training plan to make sure you’re getting the best results from your running.
Our in-house athlete, Matthew Pierson, has created the following training plan to get you running from zero mileage to running 5K in 6 weeks. Designed with new runners in mind, this plan is perfect for beginners just starting out on their running journey.
Matt’s Top Tips for New Runners
- Run everything easy. You should be able to easily maintain a conversation while running and if you can’t talk, then you aren’t running at an easy effort level. This is all about getting your body used to the impact of running and building up slowly.
- As with any training plan, the main aim is consistency. There’s no point in doing a big week of running one week and then nothing the week after. Little and often is better than a burst of activity and then nothing.
- Listen to your body. If you’re finding the 0-5K plan too much and you’re struggling there is absolutely no reason not to repeat a week or even extend the plan out to 12 weeks.
- Never stretch before running. The best way to warm up is by walking to get your blood flowing and your body loosened up.
What running gear you’ll need to get started
You’ll find plenty of information about running kit over on the Kit & Gear section of our Running Hub, but there are some basics you’ll definitely need before you get started. We recommend that before start your run training, you at least have:
- Running shoes – while you may feel you could run in regular trainers, you could be increasing your risk of injury. Running shoes are specially designed to cushion and support your feet and also to help soften some of the impact as you run, so are an essential for anyone starting their running journey.
- Running socks – it may seem obvious, but comfortable socks are also important. Running socks can help wick away sweat and prevent friction between your foot and your shoes.
- Sports bra – it’s not just your feet that need support while running; a good sports bra can help prevent breast pain and excess movement around your chest area.
- Running top – a proper running top will be made of breathable material, working to keep you cool and dry as you run, wicking away sweat and moisture and keeping you comfortable.
- Running bottoms, shorts or leggings – as you run for longer, your legs could be creating friction, so comfortable running leggings or shorts are a must. Again, breathable materials will also help moderate your temperature while you’re on the move.
- Running gloves and hat – these are seasonal options, but a must if you’re running through the winter.
Goals for this running plan:
Perfect for beginners who are just starting out, this plan will help you to steadily build up to a 5K race over the course of 6 weeks. Stay at an easy pace, and don’t forget the rest days – they’re important for your body’s recovery.
ZERO TO 5K RUNNING TRAINING PLAN:
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6|
|Monday||5min walk, 1min run, 1min walk x5, 5min walk||5min walk, 1min run, 1min walk x8, 5min walk||5min walk, 2min run, 1min walk x5, 5min walk||5min walk, 5min run, 1min walk x3, 5min walk||5min walk, 12min run, 2min walk, 6min run, 5min walk||5min walk, 16min run, 2min walk, 6min run, 5min walk|
|Wednesday||5min walk, 1min run, 1min walk x5, 5min walk||5min walk, 1min run, 1min walk x8, 5min walk||5min walk, 3min run, 1min walk x4, 5min walk||5min walk, 6min run, 2min walk x3, 5min walk||5min walk, 14min run, 3min walk, 6min run, 5min walk||5min walk, 18min run, 2min walk, 8min run, 5min walk|
|Friday||5min walk, 1min run, 1min walk x5, 5min walk||5min walk, 1min run, 1min walk x10, 5min walk||5min walk, 4min run, 1min walk x3, 5min walk||5min walk, 7min run, 2min walk x3, 5min walk||5min walk, 16min run, 2min walk, 7min run, 5min walk||5min walk, 22min run, 2min walk, 10min run, 5min walk|
|Sunday||30min walk||30 min walk||10min walk, 10min run, 10min walk||5min walk, 15min run, 5min walk||5min walk, 25min run, 5min walk||5k|
Ready to move up to 10K? Check out our 10K training plan.
Matthew Pierson is a seasoned runner of almost 25 years and has competed at national, regional and county level. He has completed the London Marathon many times, finishing at his best 23rd with a time of 2hrs 22mins. He has a degree in Sports Science from the University of Surrey (St Mary’s College), studying and has trained alongside athletes such as Mo Farrah. He also has over 10 years’ experience of working in the running industry and is adept at providing advice and support to runners of all abilities.