Want to run a 5K? Try this training guide!

Set your sights on a new fitness feat and prepare for race day with this beginner's plan.

Running 3.1 miles may seem daunting if you’re a rookie, but it doesn’t need to be. This beginner's training guide for a 5K takes you step-by-step to help build mileage and endurance the smart way. Follow this schedule and be ready for race day in just two months.

How to use the 5K training schedule

This 5K training schedule, created by Olympian Jeff Galloway, incorporates a mix of running, walking and resting. The combination helps reduce the risk of injury, stress and fatigue, while boosting your enjoyment of physical activity. Remember, you can walk or run slowly to help your body adjust to this training plan.

Under this schedule, even runners spend a portion of their training walking. For instance, during week 1 on run/walk days, a runner runs for 15 seconds and then walks for 45 seconds, repeating that cycle for 30 minutes. As the weeks progress, runners gradually increase the amount of time running and reduce the amount of time walking. If you're strictly a walker, you always walk. On walk days, both runners and walkers walk. One day a week — Friday on this 5K schedule — is a day of rest from exercise, giving your muscles time to recover. On Sunday, you can either take a second day of rest or you can enjoy a walk at your choice of distance. On this 5K- run training schedule, race day falls on Saturday of your seventh week.

Week 1 On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 15 seconds/walk for 45 seconds.
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Rest Run/walk 3 miles (4.8 km) Rest or walk
Week 2 On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 15 seconds/walk for 45 seconds.
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Rest Run/walk 3.5 miles (5.6 km) Rest or walk
Week 3 On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 20 seconds/walk for 40 seconds.
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Rest Run/walk 2 miles (3.2 km) Rest or walk
Week 4 On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 20 seconds/walk for 40 seconds.
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Rest Run/walk 4 miles (6.4 km) Rest or walk
Week 5 On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 25 seconds/walk for 35 seconds.
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Rest Run/walk 2 miles (3.2 km) Rest or walk
Week 6 On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 25 seconds/walk for 35 seconds.
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Rest Run/walk 4.5 miles (7.2 km) Rest or walk
Week 7 On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 30 seconds/walk for 30 seconds.
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Run/walk 30 minutes Walk 30 minutes Rest 5K race day Rest or walk

Source: Galloway, J. Galloway’s 5K/10K Running. 2nd. ed. Aachen, Germany: Meyer & Meyer Sport; 2008:38. Used with permission.