The ultimate 8 week beginner 5k training plan

  • Post last modified:November 7, 2021
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The 5k is one of the most popular running distances in the world. Many people underestimate a 5k, when in fact a lot goes into training and running a 5k, especially if you want to run it in a decent time.

This 8 week beginner 5k training plan is for you if you’re just starting out on your running journey, or if you’ve recently completed a walking/running plan like my Couch to 5k training plan.

This plan is designed for anyone who has recently started running and wants to build up their running distance slowly and gradually, with the aim of running a 5k at the end of the 8 weeks. It will ease you gently into running over the 8 weeks.

You should possess a good base level of fitness before starting this plan. If you feel that 1 mile run is too difficult in the first week, then consider completing my Couch to 5k training plan instead.

Likewise, if you feel this 8 week beginner 5k training plan is too easy for you, then check out my intermediate 5k training plan

Related: How to run a 5k in 30 minutes or less

beginner 5k training plan

The ultimate 8 week beginner 5k training plan

About the plan

I’ve deliberately kept this 8 week beginner 5k training plan simple by only including easy runs, walking and rest days in the plan. Each week includes three runs, three rest days and one long walk at the end of the week.

An easy run is where you run at a comfortable pace where you are able to hold a conversation without getting out of breath. 

Rest days are important to allow your body to recover after each run and in between runs. Don’t be tempted to run every day of the plan as you could risk burnout or injury. 

Walking is a great way to build your endurance and stamina whilst not running and you should aim to walk for the period of time prescribed in this plan. You don’t have to walk fast – just walk at your normal speed. 

You’ll notice that I haven’t included a race at the end of this 8 week beginner 5k training plan. However, you can choose to include one if you wanted to. I recommend Parkrun as a good way to end this plan. If you’ve never run Parkrun before, then check out my post on what to expect at your first Parkrun.

Related: How to run for 30 minutes without stopping

beginner 5k training plan

Week by week plan

At the end of this post you will find a handy download that contains all the week by week runs in my 8 week beginner 5k training plan.

Week 1

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 1 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – Rest day
  • Thursday – 1 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 1 mile easy run
  • Sunday – 30 minute walk

Week 2

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 1.5 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – Rest day
  • Thursday – 1 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 1.5 mile easy run
  • Sunday – 35 minute walk

Week 3

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 2 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – Rest day
  • Thursday – 1.5 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 2 mile easy run
  • Sunday – 40 minute walk

Week 4

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 2.5 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – Rest day
  • Thursday – 1.5 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 2.5 mile easy run
  • Sunday – 45 minute walk
beginner 5k training plan

Week 5

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 2.5 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – Rest day
  • Thursday – 1.5 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 2.5 mile easy run
  • Sunday – 50 minute walk

Week 6

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 2.75 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – Rest day
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 2.75 mile easy run
  • Sunday – 50 minute walk

Week 7

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – Rest day
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 3 mile easy run
  • Sunday – 55 minute walk

Week 8

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – Rest day
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 3 mile easy run
  • Sunday – 60 minute walk
beginner 5k training plan

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Caroline Geoghegan

Caroline Geoghegan (aka Run With Caroline) helps people become faster and stronger runners. She started her blog in 2018 to share her passion for running. Caroline is a UK Athletics qualified Run Leader and Run Coach and NASM qualified Personal Trainer.

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