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Run 5km in 8 Weeks

This plan beginner training plan is aimed at runners who are new to structured training and who may not have tried to run a fast 5km before but who can run 20-30 minutes continuously.

The majority of the sessions are runs, but you can replace with cardiovascular cross training using a bike, rowing machine, swimming or elliptical trainer. You might see cross training included in the plan to – these are labelled as ‘XT’. Take ownership of the plan and adapt it to suit your situation, background and needs.

  • If you need to swap days try not to do two runs harder than 7/10 effort on back to back days.
  • It’s fine to add more running but always remember you need to recover well to progress and you are better to do a little less than too much.
  • If you are tired, sore, have a cold or are worried about a niggle stop, rest and if necessary speak to a physio or medical expert.
  • Only start on this training plan if you feel confident in your health and we always recommend undergoing a medical check up with a professional before undertaking any running training plan.

Effort Level 0-10 scale using rate of perceived exertion (RPE)

Week One

MondayRest
Tuesday20 min easy run at 2-3 effort
WednesdayRest
ThursdayWarm up: 10 min easy run at 2-3 effort 

Main Session: 4 sets of 4 minutes at 6-7 effort with 90-120s brisk walk recovery

Cool down: 5-10 min easy run at 2-3 effort
FridayRest
SaturdayRest or 20 min easy run or XT at 2-3 effort
Sunday30-40 min easy run at 3-4 effort with short brisk walk breaks if needed

Week Two

MondayRest
Tuesday20-30 min easy run at 2-3 effort
WednesdayRest
ThursdayWarm up: 10 min easy run at 2-3 effort 

Main Session: 3 sets of 5 minutes at 6-7 effort with 90-120s brisk walk recovery

Cool down: 5-10 min easy run at 2-3 effort
FridayRest
SaturdayRest or 20 min easy run or XT at 2-3 effort
Sunday30-40 min easy run at 3-4 effort with short brisk walk breaks if needed

Week Three

MondayRest
Tuesday30 min easy run at 2-3 effort
WednesdayRest
ThursdayWarm up: 10 min easy run at 2-3 effort 

Main Session: 4 sets of 5 minutes at 6-7 effort with 90-120s brisk walk recovery

Cool down: 5-10 min easy run at 2-3 effort
FridayRest
SaturdayRest or 30 min easy run or XT at 2-3 effort
Sunday40 min easy run at 3-4 effort with short brisk walk breaks if needed

Week Four

MondayRest
Tuesday20-30 min easy run at 2-3 effort
WednesdayRest
Thursday30 min easy run at 2-3 effort
FridayRest
Saturday2km time trial, or Rest if tired
Sunday30 min easy run at 2-3 effort

Week Five

MondayRest
Tuesday30 min run broken up as:
10 mins easy at 2-3,
10 mins steady at 4-5,
10 mins at controlled discomfort of 6-7 effort
WednesdayRest
ThursdayWarm up: 10 min easy run at 2-3 effort

Main Session: 6-8 sets of 90 secs at 8-9 effort with 90s rest or jog recovery

Cool down: 5-10 min easy run at 2-3 effort
FridayRest
SaturdayRest or 30 min easy run or XT at 2-3 effort
Sunday40-50 min easy run at 3-4 effort with short brisk walk breaks if needed

Week Six

MondayRest
Tuesday30-40 min easy run at 2-3 effort
WednesdayRest
ThursdayWarm up: 10 min easy run at 2-3 effort

Main Session: 5 mins, 4 mins, 3 mins, 2 mins, 1 min with 120 secs recovery. Work between 6 & 8-9 effort. Aim to get faster as you go through

Cool down: 5-10 min easy run at 2-3 effort
FridayRest
SaturdayRest or 30-40 min easy run or XT at 2-3 effort
Sunday50-60 min easy run at 3-4 effort with short brisk walk breaks if needed

Week Seven

MondayRest
Tuesday30 min run broken up as:
10 mins easy at 2-3,
10 mins steady at 4-5,
10 mins at controlled discomfort of 6-7 effort
WednesdayRest
ThursdayWarm up: 10 min easy run at 2-3 effort

Main Session: 5 sets of 3 minutes at 8-9 effort with 120s rest or jog recovery

Cool down: 5-10 min easy run at 2-3 effort
FridayRest
SaturdayRest or 30 min easy run or XT at 2-3 effort
Sunday40-50 min easy run at 3-4 effort with short brisk walk breaks if needed

Week Eight

MondayRest
TuesdayWarm up: 10 min easy run at 2-3 effort

Main Session: 6 x 40s fast at 9 effort with 60-70s jog recovery

Cool down: 5-10 min easy run at 2-3 effort
WednesdayRest
Thursday30-40 min easy run at 2-3 effort
FridayRest
Saturday5k Race!!
Good Luck!
SundayRest
If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis...