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5 WEEKS to 5km

Charlotte Lok, Bsc (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition

Are you ready to get running but don’t know how to get started? Use these running tips and training
guide to train yourself towards your first 5km run today.

Signing up for a race is a great way to get a jump start on a new fitness routine. Having a purpose
and a deadline is ideal to keep yourself accountable, motivated and dedicated to your overall health
and fitness goals. If you don’t have an idea how to get your body ready for that first 5km race, here’s
a simple 5-week plan to help you achieve your first 5km run.

*Before embarking on any physical activity or program, please consult your physician.

Be Prepared

Before you start your training, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. This way, the only thing you have to think about each day is your running routine. Being prepared in advance will help you stay on track, even when you have a busy schedule.

  • Flex your think muscle – The first step is not a running step, it’s a mental one. Make a mental commitment to get started.

  • Find a training buddy – It’s much easier to complete a training program when you have a partner who has the same goals with you. Recruit an eager friend or family member to start the program together.

  • Find a race and join it – having a time-specific goal is incredibly helpful. It’ll keep you on track with your fitness goals, and you’ll know exactly how much time you have left to get there.

  • Get fitting shoes – running in poorly fitting shoes will interfere with your progress and your success, not to mention running with sore feet and blisters can really set you back. Get a lightweight shoe that provides comfort and support.

  • Clothes matter too – Invest in a few tops with quick-drying material, and make sure you have a visor or hat if you are running during the day.

  • Go with a full tank – It is important to have easy access to fuel and hydration, especially if you run for more than an hour. A sleek water bottle or a running belt that holds your bottle will help.

  • Be flexible and focused – You need to find time to train, but don’t be too strict with your training and stress yourself out. Instead, try your best to stick with your plan and be flexible to suit your training into your daily life. Finally, listen to your body. Tuning in to how your body feels, and adjusting your training accordingly is an important part of the training process.


Your 5-Week Training Plan

Run on 3 days of the week – all steady pace runs.

Cross-train (X) on 2 days of the week. Options can include riding a bike, swimming, pilates, yoga, boxing, dancing or any activity you enjoy.

Rest on 2 days of the week. It doesn’t mean sitting on a couch all day! You can enjoy being generally active, but be sure that you rest from running to allow your body time to regenerate and recover.

If you are new to being active, you can simple start by doing the 3 running/walking days and slowly add in cross-training when you feel ready. 

After Week 5 of this program, running a 5k race should be an achievable goal. If you want to run a 10k race, continue working with this chart to increase your running distance each week by a kilometre. This progression is nice and slow, which will give you time to adjust and get used to running longer distances.

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