Learn to run with a 5K training plan

The best way to learn to run is to start by alternating between running and walking, and gradually work up to running continuously.

Learn to run with a 5K training plan

Running is a very good form of exercise for losing weight or improving fitness, but it takes time to learn how to run correctly.

A 5K running plan can help you to achieve this goal in a safe and systematic way.

Before you run

Before you start running, you will need to equip yourself with a well-fitting pair of running shoes that support your arches, as well as comfortable sports clothes that allow you to move freely.

Women may also want to make sure they have a supportive sports bra to prevent soreness in the chest or upper back muscles.

Follow a 5K running plan

The key to learning to run is to start gently and gradually build up endurance.

  • In the first week of the 5K running plan recommended by Canada's Best Health magazine, new runners start by alternatively jogging and walking for 60 seconds and 90 seconds, respectively.
  • In subsequent weeks, you will increase the length of the running intervals and decrease the amount of walking.
  • By the end of the eighth week, it is possible to complete a 5K run in half an hour.

Some people might achieve the target in seven weeks, but it is best that you listen to your body and progress accordingly.

Staying injury free

It's important to stay free of injuries while completing this training program.

  • Always warm up by walking briskly before you start running, and stretch your calf muscles and hamstrings when you have completed your workout.
  • This plan calls for running every other day, so that the muscles have a chance to recover from fatigue. Pushing yourself too hard could lead to an injury and set your training back.
  • Aim to complete three training sessions per week with rest days in between.
  • If you develop an injury, see a doctor and take a break from running to allow the injury to fully heal.

Staying motivated

People can easily learn to run if they stick to a regular training program and push themselves harder each week. Staying motivated is important.

  • Setting a goal, such as running in a 5K race, is one way to keep interest from lagging.
  • Training with a friend can also help to keep your enthusiasm levels high, so that you have the energy you need to complete each run.
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