Anyone can run a 5K, no matter how inexperienced you are with running. If you want to train on your own for an upcoming race in your area, these smart (and safe) tips will help you to get in shape.
- Join a group. Many cities have running groups that help one another to train for a 5K. Visit a running store in your area to see if there’s a group that you can join.
- Make a plan. Begin training eight weeks before race day. Begin by running 1 mile four days per week, with alternating rest days in between training days. Build up your running distances in quarter-mile increments each week until you finally make it to 5K.
- Add in cross-training. If you prefer, you can replace one day of training with a day of cross training, such as biking, swimming, or working out on an elliptical machine for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Don’t skip rest days. Even if you feel strong enough to add in additional running days, remember that your body needs rest in order to build muscle and prevent injury.
- Switch days. If you have a busy schedule, feel free to switch training days and rest days from week to week. It’s better to switch your schedule around than to miss a training day entirely.
How to Train for Your First 5K [Active]
The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan [Cool Running]
How to Train to Run Your First 5K [About Health]
Beginner 5K Training Schedule: Go from the Couch to the Finish Line! [Shape]