Train for a 5K in One Month

Beginner Training Program to Run 3.1 Miles

Florida, USA
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Did you sign up for a 5K race and forget to train? If you suddenly realized that your 5K is about a month away, then this 5K training schedule is for you. It's a four-week training program designed for beginner run/walkers who want to build up to continuously running a 5K (3.1 miles) in a month. (If you're a more experienced runner who wants to run a 5K that's four weeks away, check out this 4-Week Intermediate 5K schedule or this 4-Week Advanced 5K schedule.)

This training schedule (see below) is a run/walk to a continuous running program.

Each week, you'll make slight increases in your running distance while making small decreases in your walking distances. After four weeks, you'll be able to run the 5K distance without walking break. Of course, if you want to take a walking break during your 5K, that's OK, too!

Although this 5K schedule is for beginners, I wouldn't advise using it if you haven't been active in the past month. Ideally, to start this training program, you should have either completed the 4 Weeks to 1 Mile program, you're active a couple of days a week, or you can already run a 1/2 mile comfortably.

If you have more time to train, here are three other beginner 5K training schedules:
6-Week 5K Run/Walk Training Schedule
8-Week 5K Run/Walk Training Schedule
8-Week Beginner Runner 5K Training Schedule

Notes about the training schedules:

You don't have to do your runs on specific days; however, you should try not to run two days in a row.

Either take a complete rest day or do cross-training on the days in between runs. Cross-training can be cycling, yoga, swimming, or any other activity (other than running) that you enjoy. Strength training two to three times a week is also very beneficial for runners.

If you find that this training program is progressing too quickly for you, you can stay on a week and repeat the workouts before moving on to the next week.

Week 1:

Day 1: Run 10 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 2 times
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 12 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 2 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 13 minutes, walk 1 min – repeat 2 times
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest
 

Week 2:

Day 1: Run 15 minutes, walk 1 min - repeat 2 times
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 17 minutes, walk 1 min, run 7 min
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 19 minutes, walk 1 min, run 7 min
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest


Week 3:

Day 1: Run 20 minutes, walk 1 min, run 6 min
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 24 minutes
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 26 minutes
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest


Week 4:

Day 1: Run 28 minutes
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 30 minutes
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 20 minutes
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Race! Run 3.1 miles
 

Racing Tips for Your 5K

As you prepare for your 5K, here are some tips to make sure you're race-ready.

Don't stuff yourself. You don't have to carbo-load for a 5K race. Overeating may lead to gastrointestinal distress or other issues. Just eat normal-size portions of a regular, healthy dinner. Try to stick to foods that you've eaten the night before a run. Now's not the time to experiment with new foods or cuisines.

Get more tips on what to do in the days before your 5K.

Don't try anything new! The golden rule of racing is: Nothing new on race day. Make sure that you're wearing clothes and gear that you've already tested during training runs. You don't want to be surprised by uncomfortable clothes or painful chafing issues on race day. If you've never raced before, get tips on how to put your race bib on.

Do a little warm-up before the race. In a shorter race like a 5K, it's a good idea to do a warm-up, so you slowly raise your heart rate and get your muscles warmed up. About 15 minutes before the race start, do a slow jog for about 5 minutes or do some warm-up exercises, then walk briskly to the starting line.

Ready your next challenge? Try this a beginner 10K or beginner half marathon training program.

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