Beginners Running Tips

How to Run a 5k in 15 Weeks

One of the most popular running resolutions is the “couch to 5k,” where participants make it their goal to transform from sedentary individual to runner in a short period of time.  Listed here is a training program to help you complete a 5k in as little as 15 weeks. 

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 15:00 of 2:00 run 3:00 walk 10:00 walk 15:00 of 2:00 run 3:00 walk 10:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 5:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
2 20:00 of 2:00 run 3:00 walk 10:00 walk 20:00 of 2:00 run 3:00 walk 10:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 6:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
3 20:00 of 2:30 run 2:30 walk 15:00 walk 20:00 of 2:30 run 2:30 walk 15:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 7:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
4 20:00 of 3:00 run 2:00 walk 15:00 walk 20:00 of 3:00 run 2:00 walk 15:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 8:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
5 25:00 of 3:00 run 2:00 walk 20:00 walk 25:00 of 3:00 run 2:00 walk 20:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 9:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
6 25:00 of 3:30 run 1:30 walk 20:00 walk 25:00 of 3:30 run 1:30 walk 20:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 10:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
7 30:00 of 3:30 run 1:30 walk 25:00 walk 30:00 of 3:30 run 1:30 walk 25:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 11:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
8 30:00 of 4:00 run 1:00 walk 25:00 walk 30:00 of 4:00 run 1:00 walk 25:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 12:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
9 35:00 of 4:00 run 1:00 walk 25:00 walk 35:00 of 4:00 run 1:00 walk 30:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 13:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
10 40:00 of 4:30 run :30 walk 10:00 run 40:00 of 4:30 run :30 walk 30:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 14:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
11 45:00 of 4:30 run :30 walk 10:00 run 45:00 of 4:30 run :30 walk 30:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 15:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
12 45:00 of 5:00 run :15 walk 10:00 run 45:00 of 5:00 run :15 walk 30:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 20:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
13 10:00 run 5:00 walk 10:00 run 12:00 run 10:00 run 5:00 walk 10:00 walk 30:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 22:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
14 12:00 run 2:00 walk 12:00 run 12:00 run 12:00 run 2:00 walk 12:00 run 30:00
Cross Train
Stretching 5:00 Walk 25:00 Run 5:00 Walk Off
15 15:00 run 10:00 run 8 :00 run Off Stretching 5k Run  

Training
In this program you will gradually build the endurance required to complete 5k without walking.  Mondays and Wednesdays will be run-walk days throughout the program which will slowly increase the amount of time spent running and decrease the amount of time spent walking.  Tuesdays will start as walking days and eventually morph into short runs.  This day is intended to be easy, so make sure to keep it light.  Saturdays will serve as your long run.  Over the course of the fifteen weeks you will gradually build the amount of time you are able to spend running.  Throughout this process it is important to run at a pace that is comfortable.  Sundays should be taken completely off, and Thursdays and Fridays will be discussed below. 

Cross Training
Cross training on Thursdays is a way to increase your fitness and aerobic capacity without placing additional strain on your legs.  Appropriate cross training activities for runners include cycling, walking, using an elliptical machine, and swimming. 

Stretching
Running leads to muscle constrictions, so it is important to stretch.  When starting a new running program it can be difficult to find the time to engage in this important activity, so Fridays should be devoted to stretching.  A great stretching routine for runners can be found here.    

Nutrition
When you begin a new workout routine, you will experience an increase in hunger cues because your metabolism is burning more calories.  It is important to refuel your body with wholesome foods as opposed to quick carbohydrates, such as energy bars and processed foods.  Aim to eat three wholesome meals per day that include a complex carbohydrate, a lean protein, and a healthy fat.  In addition to three meals, you should aim to consume 3 – 4 snacks per day to keep your metabolism high.  Suggested food swaps include brown rice instead of white rice, steak instead of ground beef, and olive oil instead of canola oil.

Hydration
The human body is comprised mostly of water, and the loss of hydration via sweat and other bodily processes during exercise can lead to dehydration, muscle soreness, and injury.  As a guide, you should drink enough water, tea, or other hydrating fluids throughout the day such that your urine is light yellow in color.  After exercise, be sure to replenish lost electrolytes with a low-calorie sports drink. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *