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This plan will take you from beginner to 5K in just six weeks

New to running and want to build up to 5K? Follow our beginner's schedule

beginner 5k training plan
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Want to run your first 5K? You've come to the right place. Follow this beginner's 5K training plan to help prepare yourself for your first race.

Training towards a 5k is a great goal for beginner runners. Now that parkrun – the free weekly 5k – is available in parks across the country, it's never been easier to test yourself over the distance in a welcoming, inclusive environment. This schedule has been designed to get you round your first 5k. It will take six weeks, starting with short run/walks. If you find this too easy, or are already used to running for up to 30 minutes a few times a week, take a look at our intermediate 5K training plan.

Is it normal to feel pain during running?

Some discomfort is normal when you start training, but real pain isn’t normal. If something feels so bad that you have to run with a limp or otherwise alter your stride, you’re probably injured. Stop running immediately, and take a few days off. If you’re not sure, try walking for a minute or two to see if the discomfort disappears. If it doesn’t disappear, consult your GP. Contrary to what some people suggest, you cannot "run off" an injury.

What running shoes are best for beginners?

If you're new to running, the chances are you'll be looking to invest in a pair of running shoes that will get you moving (no, those old Converse won't do). The key thing consideration here is comfort; save the carbon-fibre shoes for when you're further along your running journey. We've rounded up the best running shoes for men and women here, but here's our award winners:

Our beginner 5K training plan:

5k beginners run walk plan

On race day: You will probably find that you can run at least 20 minutes before you need a break, but whatever your plan, start slowly and don't wait until you are exhausted before taking some one-minute walk breaks.

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