Leaving the sofa and training for a 5k can feel overwhelming but don’t worry this simple training plan will guide you one step at a time.

This 12-week training schedule is designed for beginners who have set themselves a challenge of running 5k.

You should do 3 runs a week and ideally try to give yourself a day off after each one. Strength training is extremely beneficial for all levels of runners. It enhances endurance and speed whilst helping preventing injury.

You should aim to complete a strength training workout once a week.

  • Week 1 - Say goodbye to the sofa!

    Day 1 - Run for 1 min, walk for 1 min, repeat x10

    Day 2 - Run for 1 min, walk for 1 min, repeat x10

    Day 3 - Run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, repeat x8

    Week 1 Strength Workout

    • 5 squats, repeat x3

    “Find a suitable pair of trainers which will help you reduce your risk of injury and make your running experience an enjoyable one.”

  • Week 2 - The first week is always the hardest, well done!

    ​Day 1 - Run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, repeat x8

    Day 2 - Run for 2 mins, walk for 2 mins, repeat x8

    Day 3 - Run for 2 mins, walk for 2 mins, repeat x8

    Week 2 Strength Workout

    • 5 squats, repeat x3
    • 5 sit ups, repeat x3

    “If you are feeling hungry before you run, eat 1-2 hours before you exercise. Always go for a small portion. Pre-running food ideas:

    • Smoothie
    • Hummus and carrots
    • Slice of toast with peanut butter
    • Meat or vegetable omelette”

  • Week 3 - Keep on going!

    ​Day 1 - Run for 3 mins, walk for 2 mins, repeat x6

    Day 2 - Run for 3 mins, walk for 2 mins, repeat x6

    Day 3 - Run for 3 mins, walk for 90 seconds, repeat x6

    Week 3 Strength Workout

    • 8 squats, repeat x3
    • 8 sit ups, repeat x2

    “Have a good playlist to make your running more pleasurable.”

  • Week 4 - Your confidence should be growing

    Day 1 - Run for 3 mins, walk for 2 mins, repeat x6

    Day 2 - Run for 3 mins, walk for 90 seconds, repeat x6

    Day 3 - Run for 3 mins, walk for 90 seconds, repeat x6

    Week 4 Strength Workout

    • 10 squats, repeat x3
    • 5 forward lunges, repeat x3
    • 10 sit ups, repeat x2

    “Do you have a friend to run with? With your new growing confidence, why not try and get a friend to join you.”

  • Week 5 - Running gives you more energy. Fact!

    ​Day 1 - Run for 4 mins, walk for 2 mins repeat x6

    Day 2 - Run for 4 mins, walk for 2 mins, repeat x6

    Day 3 - Run for 4 mins, walk for 90 seconds, repeat x6

    Week 5 Strength Workout

    • 12 squats, repeat x3
    • 8 forward lunges, repeat x3
    • 10 sit ups, repeat x2
    • 5 bicep curls using dumbells or a
    • can of beans, repeat x3
    • 15 second plank

    “Don’t forget to refuel after your run. Eat carbs for replacing energy and protein for muscle repair.”

  • Week 6 - Approaching the halfway mark

    ​Day 1 - Run for 5 mins, walk for 90 seconds, repeat x4

    Day 2 - Run for 6 mins, walk for 1 min, repeat x4

    Day 3 - Run for 7 mins, walk for 1 min, repeat x4

    Week 6 Strength Workout

    • 12 squats, repeat x3
    • 10 forward lunges, repeat x3
    • 12 sit ups, repeat x2
    • 8 bicep curls using dumbells or a
    • can of beans, repeat x3
    • 20 second plank

    “Drink lots of water throughout each day, you should be aiming for 6-8 glasses each day.”

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