fbpx ;

How to Run a 5K

For those just starting out, a 5K is the perfect distance for first-time racers. At 3.1 miles long, a 5K race is usually an amateur runner’s first attempt at getting into the racing game. You can easily train for 5K, even if you’ve never run around the block, and be ready for race day in just a couple of months.

How to Run a 5K: Phase One

If you want to know how to run a 5K, first you have to determine your starting point. Everybody’s ability is different, which is pretty awesome if you ask me, so test yourself by trying a mile. Can you run it without stopping? Some people will be able to, even if they haven’t run in years, and some people who work out consistently may find they need to stop and walk. Nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just a jumping off point.

If you cannot run a mile, this is your first goal. Start out with 30-minute walk/jog intervals. Wear a watch or use your cell phone to set intervals. (Some heart rate monitors have this function, too.) Alternate running for one minute with walking for 30 seconds, and slowly increase the run intervals and shorten the walk intervals until you can run a full 30 minutes. This is a big accomplishment in and of itself, so take a minute to pat yourself on the back and buy yourself a pair of new running shoes before moving on to the next phase.

If you can already run a mile, good for you! You are light years beyond most, so take a minute to be proud of how impressive your body is. Then proceed to Phase Two.

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. MzHartz says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Couch to 5k: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml That’s what I used to get up to running a 5k, and it seemed pretty easy.

  2. Noel says:

    I began running by signing up for a 5K program at a running store. I not only had great coaches, but I met an amazing group of women. I also got a top notch training program and lots of tips regarding shoes, clothing, etc. It was worth every penny.

  3. This post is great because what I am doing now is not working 😉

  4. Jenni says:

    I used the Couch to 5K as well and it worked great – could barely handle a minute when I got started and a couple months later I was running the full three miles! It’s still a huge challenge though 🙂

Comments are closed.