Skip to Content

Get prepared for the 5K — an eight-week training plan for new runners

Published on February 28, 2017

Get prepared for the 5K — an eight-week training plan for new runners

Kelijo Fernholz
Exercise Physiologist
CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center

Earth Day Run logo

The 2017 CentraCare Earth Day Weekend is April 21-22.

Sign up now to secure your spot. Rates increase beginning March 15.

Friday, April 21:

11 a.m. to 8 p.m. - Packet Pickup/Health & Fitness Expo

6 p.m. - BLEND 1K

6:30 p.m. - 5K

Saturday, April 22:

8:30 a.m. - Half Marathon & Relay

Learn more and register now at RunEarthDay.com.

Couch to 5K Training

CentraCare Earth Day Run Weekend is just under two months away and one of its signature events is Friday night’s St. Cloud Subaru 5K. It’s an evening of fun and activities for the whole family.

Starting at 2 p.m., the BLEND Kids Expo at St. Cloud State’s Halenbeck Fieldhouse is a great place for kids to get out and enjoy activities promoting exercise and healthy choices. Then at 6 p.m., kids can then put all they’ve learned into action by participating in the BLEND 1K presented by Capital One at Husky Stadium.

Finally, the 5K at 6:30 p.m. is a chance for runners of all ages and abilities to celebrate the beginning of spring on a fun course. After starting outside the National Hockey Center, you’ll wind through St. Cloud State’s campus, make your way to Lake George and then return to make your finish on the field at Husky Stadium.

For those of you who can’t imagine running (or even walking) a little more than three miles, I encourage you to give it a try. First of all, the race is full of runners of all ages and abilities. So don’t worry if you will need to walk some or much of the race. You certainly won’t be alone. The most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy getting out and about.

For those who would like a training program to help you do well during your 5K, please read through my list of seven tips for new runners and review the training plan below. The website www.coolrunning.com also has a very good training program to get ready for a 5K, which includes apps with the program.

It’s important to note that the training program is just a general guideline. Listen to your own body and if something hurts or doesn’t feel right — either stop or ease your training. Do what’s best for you on a given day.

But if you are able to follow this training plan, you’ll be in great position to do well for your 5K, you should already be seeing the benefits of regular exercise and you’ll be in a great place to do more 5Ks — or even longer races — as the summer running season kicks into gear.

Good luck and hope to see many of you at Earth Day Run Weekend!

5K Training Plan for New Runners

Three workouts for each week leading up to the 5K are shown here. Don’t do the workouts on back-to-back days. Instead, give your body time to rest in-between workouts. Either by not exercising that day or just going for a short walk.

Prior to each workout, start with a five minute warmup walk — to get your muscles ready.

Week 1

Three workouts, each containing eight repetitions of:

  • 60 seconds of jogging
  • 90 seconds of walking
Week 2

Three workouts, each containing six repetitions of:

  • 90 seconds of jogging
  • Two minutes of walking
Week 3

Three workouts, each containing two repetitions of:

  • 90 seconds of jogging
  • 90 seconds of walking
  • Three minutes of jogging
  • Three minutes of walking
Week 4

Three workouts, each containing

  • Three minutes of jogging
  • 90 seconds of walking
  • Five minutes of jogging
  • Two and a half minutes of walking
  • Three minutes of jogging
  • 90 seconds of walking
  • Five minutes of jogging
Week 5
  • One workout consisting of a five-minute jog, three-minute walk, five-minute jog, three-minute walk, five-minute jog
  • One workout consisting of a eight-minute jog, five-minute walk, eight-minute jog
  • One workout of consisting of 20 minutes of jogging with no walking
Week 6
  • One workout consisting of a five-minute jog, three-minute walk, eight-minute jog, three-minute walk, five-minute jog
  • One workout consisting of a 10-minute jog, three-minute walk, 10-minute jog
  • One workout of consisting of 25 minutes of jogging with no walking
Weeks 7 and 8
  • In week seven, jog 25 minutes three times.
  • In week eight, jog 28-30 minutes two or three times. Be sure to give yourself at least one day of rest prior to your 5K race.

Health information accessed through www.centracare.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

About the Author

Kelijo Fernholz

Kelijo Fernholz
Exercise Physiologist
CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center

Also by this Author

Share This Post

For the Health of It