10 Week 5k Training Plan + Complete Training Guide

Although most couch to 5K training plans require a 12-week buildup to the 5k distance, it is also possible to train for a 5k using a 10 week 5k training plan. 

Although the progression will be slightly faster, even beginners who have no experience running and haven’t been working out consistently should be able to keep up with a 10 week 5k training plan for novice runners and build the cardiovascular endurance and leg strength to run 5k in ten weeks.

A 10 week 5k training plan for beginners will gradually help you progress your fitness and become accustomed to the cardiovascular and muscular demands of running. 

You will work on improving your physical and mental stamina and build a consistent habit of training several times per week as you embark on your journey to becoming a runner.

In this article, we will provide a 10 week 5k training plan and complete guide for beginners and help you get to the starting line and finish line of your very first 5k race. 

We will cover: 

  • How Far Is 5k?
  • Can You Train for 5k in 10 Weeks?
  • 10 Week 5k Training Plan for Beginners

This is exciting! Let’s get going!

People running a 5k.

How Far Is 5k?

Of course, before you start training for your first 5k, it’s important to know exactly what you’re signing up for.

The “k” component of the 5k distance stands for the metric distance of a kilometer, so a 5k is 5,000 meters. Because there are about 1,609 meters per mile, a 5k race converts to slightly longer than 3.1 miles. 

Can You Train for a 5k In 10 Weeks? 

Even if you haven’t been doing any physical activity, it can be possible to run a 5k without stopping using a 10 week 5k training plan for beginners as long as you stay consistent with your workouts and run at a slow enough pace.

With that said, there’s absolutely no shame in walking some or all of your 5k race. Whether you take planned walking breaks or end up needing to stop and walk one or more times during the race, that is absolutely fine.

A person swimming laps.

Although plenty of beginners assume that the only necessary element in a 5k training plan is getting out to run, there are several important components of any successful 5k training plan for beginners, including cross-training workouts and rest days.

Both of these are just as important as the runs themselves.

Cross-training refers to any type of exercise other than running. 

Running is a high-impact activity, and novice runners are at an increased risk of injuries, so doing low-impact exercise, such as cycling, swimming, or the elliptical trainer, helps improve aerobic endurance without putting as much stress on bones, tendons, joints, and muscles.

The scheduled rest days are crucial. This is where your body actually recovers and makes the reparative adaptations necessary to help you become a stronger runner. 

Even if you feel like you could run or you really want to run, it’s very important to take the rest days. Your body needs to recover.

A person resting, lying in a field of grass.

10 Week 5k Training Plan for Beginners

The 10-week 5k training plan for beginners we have created involves running three days a week, cross-training for two days, and taking two rest days.

You are welcome to do your runs outdoors on the roads, trails, track, or grass or indoors on a treadmill.

Some beginners prefer to run on the treadmill because it is convenient and private. If you have limited time to train in your schedule or can only run in the early morning or evening, running on the treadmill can be safer by sparing you from needing to run in the dark.

Additionally, running on the treadmill can protect you from the elements if you are training for a race in the hot summer or freezing winter.

However, running outdoors is usually more enjoyable for most runners. The changing scenery can provide mental stimulation to help the run fly by, making the workout less challenging and more engaging.

People running a 5k.

Ready? Let’s get to that 10 week 5k training plan!

Download The Training Plan Here

Enter your email, and I’ll send you this free training plan now, in PDF and Google Sheets formats (completely customizable), in both miles and kilometers.  

Previous visitor or not seeing where to sign up?

Head over to our 5k training plan database for full access to all plans.

download this free training plan in pdf or google sheet
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Warm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 10 x 30 seconds run/1 min walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 20 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout: 10 x 1 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down: 5 min walk
Cross-training: 20 minutesWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 12 x 1 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down: 5 min walk
Rest
Warm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 10 x 90 seconds run/1 min walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 20-30 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout:
8 x 2 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down: 5 min walk
Cross-training: 20 minutesWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 10 x 90 seconds run/30 sec walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Rest
Warm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
8 x 2 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 20-30 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout:
8 x 3 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 20 minutesWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
6 x 4 minutes run/1 min walk; Cool down:
5 min walk
Rest
Warm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
5 x 5 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 30 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout: 3 x 8 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down: 5 min walk
Cross-training: 20-30 minutesWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 10-minute jog without stopping
Rest
Warm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 15 minutes without stopping, walk for 5 minutes
Cross-training: 30 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout: 2 x 10 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down: 5 min walk
Cross-training: 30 minutesWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 18 minutes without stopping, walking 5 minutesRest
Warm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 20 minutes without stopping, walk for 5 minutes
Cross-training: 35 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout: Run 20 minutes without stopping running 10 x 30 seconds hard, 1 minute easy during the run, walk for 5 minutes
Cross-training: 30 minutesWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 2 x 15-minute run/30 seconds walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Rest
Warm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 2 miles (3k) without stopping; Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 40 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout:
Run 22 minutes without stopping with 10 x 30 seconds hard, 1 minute easy during the run
Easy run 15 minutes or cross training 30 minutesWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 2.5 miles (4k) without stopping
Rest
Warm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 2.5 miles (4 km)
Cross-training: 45 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout: Run 25 minutes, running 5 minutes easy and then 10 x 1 minute hard with 1 minute easy in between during the run
Easy run 15 minutes or cross training 30 minutesWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 3 miles (5 km)
Rest
Run 3 miles without stopping Cross-training: 45 minutesRestWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
Run 25 minutes with 10 x 1 min hard running interspersed during the workout
Easy run 15 minutes or cross training 30 minutesRun 3.5 miles (5.5 km) without stoppingRest
Warm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 3 miles (5 km)
Cross- training: 35-40 minutesWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout: Run 2 miles (3k), running the first half mile of each mile hard and running the second half mile of each mile easy
RestEasy run 15 minutes 5k Race!Rest
People running a 5k.

A 10 week 5k training plan is a big undertaking for beginners, but absolutely a doable approach to work up to a 3.1-mile distance.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how fast (or slow!) you run or if you need to take one, ten, or too many walking breaks to count.

What matters is that you’re out there, trying your best, committing to yourself and your health, and embarking on your journey as a runner.

That’s right: you are now a runner! Welcome to the best club in the world. We are so happy to have you!

For more of our 5k training resources, check out our 5k training database!

A person running through a finish line.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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