5K Running Guide for Absolute Beginners

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Are you planning on running a 5K to raise money this spring? Or are you personally challenging yourself to get through a 5K as a celebration of how far you’ve come toward achieving your fitness goals? Regardless of your motivation, the idea of running a 5K can be overwhelming if you’ve never completed one before. The good news is that you CAN run a 5K, and in less time than you might think! This 5K running guide for absolute beginners will help you get across that finish line.


If you want to run a 5K, you might also like Running Tips for Absolute Beginners, 7 Common Running Injuries and How to Avoid Them, and Choose the Perfect Running Shoe.

If you’re a newbie runner, this free running guide is the perfect starting point for you. Over the first few weeks of training, our focus will remain on cardio-walking and muscle building. In fact, you won’t start running until the fourth week. This will give your body a chance to gradually build the strength and endurance you’ll need to run a 5K. Remember, it’s smart to check with your doctor before jumping into a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t worked out in a while.

5K Running Guide for Absolute Beginners

Our full running schedule will work you up as far as a half-marathon, but the first eight weeks are designed to help you reach that 5K goal. You read that correctly. You could be ready in just two months! Read on for our quick and easy guide to the running schedule:

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Cardio Walk (CW)
Walk at a fast pace, with arms at about chest level, swinging them front-to-back as if you were running. This type of walking increases your cardiovascular strength, but it also boosts metabolism for increased fat-burning power. The cardio walking in our free running guide helps you ease up to a 5K.

Cross Training
Improve your running power by training with other types of exercises. For example, cross train by walking briskly, swimming, or bicycling. These workouts build the strength and endurance that will get you ready to run. Check out this Floor Work Flashback.

Mile (M)
On this free beginner running guide, you’ll notice a number followed by an M. This indicates you should cardio walk or run the specified number of miles. At the start of the first week, you’ll cardio walk just 1 mile. Over the remaining weeks, you’ll gradually increase until you’ve worked up to that 3.1 mile/5K goal.

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Strength Training (ST)
Running a 5K requires muscle strength and endurance. This running schedule for absolute beginners builds in strength training time, so that you tone the muscles you’ll need to carry you to the finish line. You might like to try our 4-Minute Kettle Bell Fat Blaster or The Body Weight Workout.

Keep your body fueled properly so that you have the energy to complete that 5K. Check out our 7 Day Clean Eating Menu or 15 Snacks for All-Day Energy.

Now that you know the lingo and have right resources on hand, you’re ready to start training. In just a few months, impress your family and friends with your new achievement!

Download your copy of the 5K Running Guide for Absolute Beginners. It’s FREE!

5K Training Schedule for Absolute Beginners

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Be sure to like our Facebook page and keep us posted on your progress! And follow us on Pinterest to be the first to try out new workouts and view our latest fitness resources.

Once you run your first 5K, let us know how it went! Keep us posted in the comments section.



5 Comments on "5K Running Guide for Absolute Beginners"

  1. ash  November 14, 2015

    Thanks for this, I wont be doing a 5K but am applying to be in the police and this training plan is perfect for that too as it requires strength training. 🙂

    • SkinnyMs  November 14, 2015

      Good for you! Let us know about the training for the academy. Best of luck. 🙂

  2. Michael Brandon  October 24, 2016

    Thanks for great tips, I am so happy to get started. I want to run the whole thing this year.

  3. Ginean  January 6, 2018

    Thanks for guide, i am running my first 5k April 2018.


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