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12 week - BEGINNER 5km RUN PLAN

This plan is 12 weeks long and will prepare you to complete your first 5km Fun Run. It is written using Heart Rate Training Zones. You can use the RPE chart listed, or you will have the opportunity to set Heart Rate Zones after doing testing the first two weeks and using our calculators to construct your zones.

Minimum training requirements suggested for this plan:

It is recommended that you should be able to comfortably walk for a total of 45 minutes prior to commencing this plan. Keep in mind this is a beginners plan that is designed to get you completing your first 5km event

Estimates for this plan:

Weekly total volumes start at: Approximately 30 minutes of running

Weekly total volumes peak at: Approximately 2hrs and 20 minutes of running

A Few Notes about the plan:

  • Run workouts are mostly written in duration. All workouts can be adjusted by simply reducing or increasing the length of the workout. If the starting volume is too high, then start the run program at a reduced volume and slowly increase the volume each week. Increasing by 10% each week is a good rule of thumb to use.
  • Where possible, try and keep your training as scheduled on the plan. If you do need to make adjustments, try and not "stack" your workouts so that you have multiple hard days in a row. The key is allowing your body to recover from the hard sessions by incorporating easier days in-between. Make an effort to have a rest or recovery day one day per week. If you need to take an additional day off each week - skip the workouts listed as recovery.
  • We encourage you to keep a weekly chart of your body weight. If you are interested in working with one of our Registered Dietitians, check out our nutrition services at:
  • Here is a guide to some of the common terminology referred to in the plan. Examples: - RI (Rest Interval) - Amount of Rest between each set, 30" (30 seconds), 2' (2'), ZR-4 (Zone Recovery - 4 - see charts below).

Here is how you read the workout:


25' Aerobic - Z1

4' walk steady pace

1' run for total of 25'

This refers to – total workout 25 minutes – Aerobic Z1 pace (see below for pacing information). The breakdown of the workout is 4 minutes of walking and 1 minute of running – total 25 minutes. In this example you would end up running a total of 5 minutes for the workout.

Good Luck!


Use the following as your RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) Zones:

ZR [RPE 3]: very easy recovery

Z1 [RPE 6]: Aerobic, 60-70% by feel, no labored breathing

Z2 [RPE 7]: Tempo, 70-80% by feel, moderate breathing

Z3 [RPE 8]: Tempo, Sub Threshold, 80-90% by feel, heavy breathing

Z4 [RPE 9/10]: Best Sustainable Effort or All Out Anaerobic Efforts

Run Heart Rate Zone calculators can be found  HERE

Download the weekly plan HERE