5K Race Training: Advanced Beginner Schedule

Get Ready for Your 5K Race in 8 Weeks

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You've already run at least one 5K race, or you've been running for a little while and are ready to race a 5K. If the beginner runner 5K schedule doesn't seem like it's challenging enough for you, and the intermediate 5K schedule seems a bit too tough, try this 8-week advanced beginner 5K schedule (see chart below).

Is the Advanced Beginner Schedule for You?

This schedule is geared toward runners who can run 2 miles comfortably and can run 4 to 5 days per week.

5K Advanced Beginner Training Schedule

1Rest1.5 mile runCT1.5 mile run (race pace)Rest2 mile run30 min EZ run or CT
2Rest2 mile runCT1 mile run (race pace)Rest2.5 mile run30 min EZ run or CT
3Rest2 mile runCT1.5 mile run (race pace)Rest2.5 mile run30 min EZ run or CT
4Rest2.5 mile runCT1.5 mile run (race pace)Rest3 mile run35-40 min EZ or CT
5Rest3 mile runCT1.5 mile run (race pace)Rest3.5 mile run35-40 min EZ run or CT
6Rest3.5 mile runCT1.5 mile run (race pace)Rest4 mile run35-40 min EZ run or CT
7Rest3 mile runCT1.5 mile run (race pace)Rest4 mile run40 min EZ run or CT
8Rest3 mile runCT or Rest2 mile runRestRest5K Race!


  • CT = Cross-training activity.
  • EZ = easy, comfortable pace

Notes About the 5K Training Schedule:

Mondays and Fridays: Mondays and Fridays are rest days. Rest is important to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don't skip your rest days.

Rest on your rest days, enjoy easy strolls and light activities.

Tuesdays and Saturdays: After you warm up, run at a comfortable, conversational pace for the designated mileage. You should be able to breathe easily while you're running and not be gasping for air. If your breathing is getting out of control, slow down or take a walk break.

Make sure you cool down and do some basic running stretches after your run.

Wednesdays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer) at easy to moderate effort for 40 to 45 minutes. You can also do some basic strength-training, which can help improve your performance and decrease your injury risk.

Thursdays: These runs should be done at your 5K race pace. If you're not sure what your 5K pace is, run at a speed that you could sustain for 3.1 miles. Make sure you do a warm-up before your run and cool-down after.

Sundays: This is an active recovery day. Your run should be at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles. Or, you can do a run/walk combination or cross-train (CT).

Can I Switch Days?

You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. If you're busy on another day and prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day.

FAQs About Race Training: Get answers to questions that frequently come up when runners are training for 5K races.

Race Day Tips: Get advice on how to feel confident on race day and run your best possible race.

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