12 Weeks Running Training for Beginners

Updated October 30, 2021
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12 Weeks Running Training for Beginners essay

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Hello and welcome to Kirsten’s 5K Training for Beginners! Over the next 12 weeks I will be walking you through a training plan to get ready for your upcoming 5K. This guide is perfect for beginning runners, intermediate runners who needs some extra guidance, or runners who have been out of the game for a while. As with any training program, please consult your doctor prior to starting the program. Good luck and have fun!

Some quick safety tips before starting:

  • Don’t over exert yourself. If you feel that the training is too hard or it’s causing you pain more than soreness, try spacing the program out longer, run fewer days a week, or take some time off training to fully recover before beginning again.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing to ensure cars can see you out on the road.
  • Run with a friend if you are fairly new to running in case of a medical emergency.
  • Make sure you eat a full and healthy diet to maintain your health and give you optimum fuel for your runs.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Make sure to have fun!!!

Weeks 1/2- The Hard Part: The First Half-Mile

Welcome to weeks 1 and 2! During the next couple weeks, you will be starting out slow and easing into running. Don’t try to skip this portion of the training, because overdoing running can cause injury to your knees, legs, or ankles, so be sure to allow your body to adjust into the pace and the distance. During this first half-mile, you should be focusing on working on your pace and breathing pattern. You should be running at a pace that you can still hold a conversation, but cannot sing a song. Focus on your stride, allowing your feet to land about mid-sole and follow through to your toes.

You may sip on water as needed, but you shouldn’t be trying to chug the water down. If you find yourself too dehydrated to be running, stop the run and ensure you are fully hydrated next time. A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in oz. every day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., you will strive to drink 75 oz. of water a day. Try to do the half-mile run about 3 days a week depending on how you are feeling the day after the run. Adjust the amount of days per week as needed, but do not move onto the next portion until you are feeling ready. Let’s go chase the dream!

Weeks 3/4- Let’s Pusher Further: Mile One

Congratulations on moving onto the next portion of training! These couple weeks we are going to take your training a bit further to one mile. Your body may have some of a shock when you first try to push past the first half-mile it was used to stopping at before, but push through that urge to stop and continue on towards your goal. Has running become boring to you? Many runners find that listening to music or audio books helps them to stay distracted and motivated to run. There are plenty of playlists out there specific for running that give you a good beat and uplifting motivation.

Weeks 5/6- Running Half-Way: A Mile and a Half

You’re really moving right along! Here we are at weeks 5 and 6. In this portion of the training you will be pushing to run a mile and a half, or about half the distance of our final goal. You may have gotten comfortable with running the mile by now, so you may need a bit more motivation to get past that point to reach another half-mile. Hopefully you have found the perfect balance between run days and rest for your body by now. During this portion of the training, focus again on your breathing patterns and your stride. Continue to have good form to reduce the risk of injury. Keep pushing!

Weeks 7/8- You’re Getting Good: Mile Two

You have made it over the hump! Great job on making it more than half-way. These two weeks we will be pushing it out to two miles. For some of you, this might be more than you’ve ever ran continuously, so it may certainly come as a challenge. Remember why you started this training and what finishing a 5K means to you. At this point you have come too far to give up. Push yourself on and keep your eye on the finish line!

Weeks 9/10- Almost There: Two and a Half Miles

You’re so close you can taste victory at this point! Welcome to weeks 9 and 10. You’re now pushing it out to two and a half miles. You’re doing so great! Keep focusing on breathing and your stride. Check your form while you’re running. Are you tensed up? That uses energy you need for running. Relax your shoulders and unclench your jaw. Let your arms move naturally without keeping them tensed up. Enjoy the run. You got this!

Weeks 11/12- The Finish Line: Your 5K Run

Yes!!! You’ve made it! You’re now running at your 5K mark! This is what you’ve been training for and you’ve come so far! You should look back and be proud at everything you’ve accomplished. Keep your race light and fun. Find some friends to join you on race day, and who knows, maybe you’ll really show them up!

Are you ready for your next challenge? Check out the link below to find other races near you. Thank you for joining me during this training. Good luck out there!

Find Your Next Running Challenge!

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