5k Training Plans for Beginners

5k Training Plans for Beginners

5k is the first competitive race distance that most runners will compete. 

Ideal for new runners to test themselves in a competitive environment, good for intermediate runners to improve stamina & technique and advanced runners to work on shaving minutes off your PB.

There are hundreds of 5K’s across Britain each month, you can find your nearest here.

We have a wide range of training plans and tips and they're all free to download & use.


8 week Beginner couch 2 5K training plan

8 week Intermediate 5K training plan

8 week Advanced 5K training plan

Important things to remember

There's more to running a 5k than completing a training plan. You'll need to prepare your body for the challenge, so make sure you check out these guides too.

Running & Stretching

4 essential stretches for runners

5 stretches that'll make your next run easier

Running technique

6 ways to improve your running technique

What your running style says about you

Build Up

Performance boosting foods to eat before you run

The best kit to run in

How to smash your 5k PB

There are many techniques you can use to improve your time and reach a PB, check out these tips below to help you up your 5k game.

A guide to fartlek/interval training

How to improve stamina

Threshold training techniques

Best of 5k from The Running Bug Forums

Have a 5K question you need answering: why not ask 220,000 experts for their opinion? We have loads of super helpful members of the community who would love to help you out. 

What is your 5k PB?

5K what now?

Couch 25k; how are you getting on?

More from The Running Bug


I ran my first 5k last week in 35minutes I am 42, beginner .

Advice from regular runners would be appreciated , I use Garmin and set it for run 10minutes, then a  30sec break. Is this any good?


  • maireadmccormick
    • maireadmccormick
    • I ran my first 5k last week too in 38 minutes. I am a beginner aged 57. Going to try keep it up. Advice appreciated

    • 1 month ago
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did 5K in 29mins 20 secs at the weekend. Took 9 mins of my personal best. I think this was because I was in a out door race and not treadmill.it felt so good. 10K under the hour is my next challenge.half marathon in October.



I'm running 5k in about 30 mins and it's really taking everything I've got! I would love to get back to my previous time of 25 mins, or better but struggling to increase pace over distance. I've tried fartlek and also doing a bit of weights/resistance training to increase muscle. Any suggestions gratefully received as I have entered 2 races over next 2 weekends. :-/



Hi well firstly well done your doing really well. Have you tried to start off a bit slower? Or when you get to your wall instead of walking so to a really slow slow jog then once recovered pick up your speed? Im only at the 3min stage! Still finding it hard but just will not give in! Find running no a tredmill easier to out doors but then cant race on a tredmill ha ha ha.

Let me know how it goes and what you did to over come this might get a few tips myself



Hi , I've hit a bit of a wall. Been running a few weeks now . Am at the running for 6 minutes / walking for 1 1/2 minutes stage . Can do that for 3 miles (5k) .  Have got untill 13th may to run the whole 5k without stopping . How do I break the walking out??? I still feel I need it . I can run 2 miles non stop. Any advice would be appreciated


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