Zero to 5K Training Program

By: Krista Joan Szyszkowski

Week 1

Walk 90 seconds, jog or run 60 seconds in intervals, and then recover. Interval training alternates higher intensity with lower intensity exercise and is an efficient way of working out. Repeat intervals until you’ve reached 30 minutes. 3-5 times per week

Week 2

Increase running time to two minutes, decrease walking time to one minute. What you are trying to do is build up your cardio and recover in that one minute of walking time. 3-5 times per week

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Week 3

Run for three minutes, walk for one minute, for 30-33 minutes. As an extra challenge, consider picking up your pace during one of the running intervals. 3-5 times per week

Week 4

Run for four minutes, walk for one minute, for 30-34 minutes. As an extra challenge, pick a route that has hills. All runners should include hill repeats in their schedule as an excellent way to increase strength and endurance while still logging mileage. 3-5 times per week

Week 5

Run for five minutes, walk for one minute. 3-5 times per week

Week 6

Try to bump up the running time to seven minutes, and walk for one minute. 3-5 times per week

Week 7

Up your running to 9 minutes, and walk for one minute. At this stage you should be running for roughly 27 minutes total. 3-5 times per week

Week 8

Run for 10 minutes and walk for one minute. If you are doing this for 30 minutes you are probably running 5 K or very close to it.

To continue increasing your distance, you can keep running 10 and 1’s from this point forward just adding more time to your runs (i.e. an extra 10 min every week) until you get to 60 minutes which will be a 10 K or close to it. As your endurance increases you will find that you will be able to cut the 1 minute walk breaks out of your runs that are under an hour and just have them in your longer runs.

Good Luck! A love for running can be an acquired taste, but once you have it, you won’t ever want to stop! And that is a gift!

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