First 5k Training Program

first 5k training program
In 25 years of running and triathlon and nearly 20 years of  coaching, I know the hardest step that anyone takes when starting a new fitness routine is the first. In this article, we’re going to take that initial step right alongside you with the 5k First Training Program.

Why the 5K? 

It’s easy to wrap your brain around—only 3.1 miles! You can fit it into your schedule by simply completing three 40-45-minute workouts a week. It’s the perfect launching pad for your fitness goals—regardless of age or body type–and the most common distance of running, triathlon, and obstacle races.


Before You Start

  • Schedule a check-up—get your doctor’s okay to start a running/walking program.
  • Purchase a good pair of running shoes—investing in a proper fitting
    shoe will help you finish your event with a smile.
  • Have a plan—use our “First Finish Line” 5K Program to guide you!
  • Tell your friends! With their encouragement, or better yet,  companionship, you’re likely to be more successful in your training.
You’re almost ready to go! A few more points
  • Schedule your workouts ahead of time, and try to plan them with a day off in between. The number one goal should be to accomplish all three workouts each week—even if that means training on consecutive days.
  • Start each session with a warm-up. Walk spiritedly, ride the exercise bike, or use the elliptical for 5 minutes before you begin your jog.
  • Maintain a “conversational pace”–You should be able to converse with your workout partner

The 5k First Program

 The 5k First Training Program Program is an 8-week training program that alternates jogging with 1-minute walking segments to enable your body to comfortably adjust to 20-minutes of continuous running once the program is complete.

The training table provided in this article is the road map to your workouts.

  • Each row in the table represents a week of training.  
  • The three columns represent days and provide the recommended workouts for a given week
  • In each cell of the table, the top line indicates the total time for each run/walk (not including warm-up) for that day. The bottom line specifies the ratio of time running to walking through which you will be alternating

For example, for the first workout—You’ll be alternating between jogging one minute and walking one minute for a total of 20 minutes.

first 5k training program first 5k training program
 Follow these pre-race strategies and use the training plan above before your next event and tell us what 5k you will be training to race!

First 5k



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