There are many great ways to begin training for a 5K.  The following example, taken from ACTIVE.COM, is just one that we found that eases the beginner into an exercise plan that works for them.  The key with any plan is simply doing it.  Grab a friend and make a commitment together to do this thing.  YOU CAN DO IT! Just begin.  Don’t wait till Monday or the weekend just begin.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly you see changes in your fitness.

Also, there is no shame in walking all, half or part of a 5K.  The goal is not to set records but to begin and finish the race.  Just like our faith, it is not a sprint but a marathon.  Some days feel great but others not so much.  Some days are easy to get outside and get moving other days we just want to sit inside and eat ice cream.  This is why having a friend or group in your corner is so important.

Now get up and let’s do this…

Weeks 1 and 2:  3 Days/Week

Walk out the door and travel 15 minutes in one direction, turn around, and return 15 minutes to where you started—30 minutes total. Follow these rules:

1st five: walk—no running

middle20 minutes of the workout, you’re free to jog or run—as long as you do so easily and don’t push yourself. Here’s how to run during those middle 20 minutes: Alternate between jogging and walking. Jog until you start feeling tired (or a minimum of 30 seconds), walk until you are recovered, and repeat throughout running portion.

last five: walk—no running

GOAL: 3 times/week for 2 weeks

Weeks 3 & 4: 4 Days/Week

Walk out the door and travel 18 minutes in one direction, turn around, and return 18 minutes to where you started—36 minutes total.

1st five: walk—no running

middle26 minutes of the workout, you’re free to jog or run, as long as you do so easily and don’t push yourself. Here’s how to run during those middle 26 minutes: Alternate between jogging and walking. Jog until you start feeling tired (or a minimum of 45 seconds), walk until you are recovered, and repeat throughout running portion.

last five: walk—no running

GOAL: 4 times/week for 2 weeks

Weeks 5 & 6: Four to Five Days/Week

Walk out the door and travel 20 minutes in one direction, turn around, and return 20 minutes to where you started—40 minutes total.

1st five: walk—no running

middle30 minutes of the workout, jog or run. Keep an easy pace and don’t push yourself. Here’s how to run during those middle 30 minutes: Alternate between jogging and walking. Jog until you start feeling tired (or a minimum of 60 seconds), walk until you are recovered, and repeat throughout running portion.

last five: walk—no running

GOAL:  four – five times/week for 2 weeks

Weeks 7 & 8: Four to Five Days/Week

Walk out the door and head in one direction for 23 minutes. Turn around and return 23 minutes to where you started—46 minutes total.

1st five: walk—no running

middle36 minutes of the workout, jog or run at an easy pace. You should be able to hold a conversation with someone. Alternate between jogging and walking. Jog until you start feeling tired (or a minimum of 90 seconds), walk until you are recovered. Repeat this process throughout the running portion.

last five: walk—no running

GOAL: four-five times/week for 2 weeks

Weeks 9 & 10: Five Days/Week

Walk out the door and head in one direction for 25 minutes. Turn around and return 25 minutes to where you started—50 minutes total.

1st five: walk—no running

middle40 minutes of the workout, jog or run at an easy pace. Jog until you start feeling tired (or a minimum of two minutes), walk until you are recovered, and repeat throughout running portion.

last five: walk—no running

GOAL: five times/week for 2 weeks