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Get race-ready in six weeks: Week 1

woman stretching legs to prepare for walk or run
Want to join a race, but feel out of shape? This program will help you ease into preparing for a 5k.

Are you thinking about joining a 5k race? It's a great way to make yourself stick with an exercise regimen and reap the health benefits of running and walking

This program, courtesy of Sherri McMillan, MSc, a PeaceHealth race partner, will help you prepare to cross the finish line - comfortably and safely. 

5k training program for beginners - week one

If you aren't actively running or feel a bit out of shape, the plan below can help you ease into a more active lifestyle. You might be surprised how much better you'll feel after training even a few days. 

week #1 exercise regiment to train for a 5k

Days one, three and six

  • Warm up for five to 10 minutes with walking and stretching
  • Walk for 45 seconds, then run for 15 seconds
  • Continue the 45-second walk/15-second run intervals for 30 minutes
  • Cool down for five to 10 minutes by stretching your calves, front and back thigh muscles, hips and rear

Days two and four

  • Strength training, including your core (stomach and back)

Days five and seven

  • Active rest

Important note:  Listen to your body. Until you've gotten used to the new activity, you might need to walk more and run less or just vary the speed of your pace. Do the best you can and what your body is comfortable with until you feel stronger and ready to handle more.

Bonus tip:  Avoid some common mistakes. Watch this short video on running missteps.

Download the entire six-week training program for beginners.

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