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If you’re one of those people who can’t run a single mile without huffing and puffing, you’re not alone.

Even the strongest runners had to start somewhere! Sure, some people are just born with natural athleticism, but most have to build up their endurance from the ground up. Good news for you: we teamed up with an expert to create the perfect beginner treadmill plan that will help you work up to a 5K (or just over three miles) in eight weeks. Totally doable!

Beginner Treadmill Plan: Here’s How to Build Up to a 5K in 8 Weeks

Ahead is a full breakdown by Michael Olzinski, MSc, Equinox run coach and Lululemon run coach, that includes three training sessions per week.

Week 1

Workout #1: Progressive Aerobic Run

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 4-minute run.
  • 1-minute power walk.
  • Complete four sets (total of 20 minutes).

Workout #2: Hill Interval Workout

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • Start on 2 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run with 60-second walk in between.
  • Increase to 3.5 percent incline.
  • 8 x 1-minute strong run with 60-second walk in between.
  • Decrease to 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute easy run.

Workout #3: Strength and Run Combo

Warmup:

  • Do a full-body strength-training workout to activate the hips and body.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute jog.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • 5-minute walk to recover.

Week 2

Workout #1: Progressive Aerobic Run

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute run.
  • 1-minute power walk.
  • Complete four sets (total of 24 minutes).

Workout #2: Hill Interval Workout

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).
  • Start at 2 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run with 60-second walk in between.

Workout:

  • Start at 3.5 percent incline.
  • 6 x 2-minute strong run with 70-second walk in between.
  • Decrease to 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute easy run.

Workout #3: Strength and Run Combo

Warmup:

  • Do a full-body strength-training workout to activate the hips and body.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute jog.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • 5-minute walk to recover.

Week 3

Workout #1: Easy Endurance Run

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 20- to 25-minute light run.
  • Increase to 3.5 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run.

Workout #2: Speed Interval Workout

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).
  • 2 x 2-minute smooth run with 60-second walk in between.
  • Add 0.2mph to your speed every 30 seconds.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 8 x 90-second strong run with 70-second walk in between. (This should be 0.5 to 1.5mph faster than your interval speed on the hills.)
  • Add 0.2mph to your speed every 2 reps.
  • 5-minute easy run.

Workout #3: Strength and Run Combo

Warmup:

  • Do a full-body strength-training workout to activate the hips and body.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 7-minute jog.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 6-minute run.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 6-minute run.
  • 5-minute walk to recover.

Week 4

Workout #1: Progressive Aerobic Run

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute run.
  • 1-minute power walk.
  • Complete five sets (total of 30 minutes).

Workout #2: Hill Interval Workout

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).
  • Start on 2 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run with 60-second walk in between.

Workout:

  • Start on 3.5 percent incline.
  • 4 x 3-minute strong run with 90-second walk in between.
  • Decrease to 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute easy run.

Workout #3: Strength and Run Combo

Warmup:

  • Do a full-body strength-training workout to activate the hips and body.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute jog.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • 5-minute easy walk to recover.

Week 5

Workout #1: Progressive Aerobic Run

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute run.
  • 1-minute power walk.
  • Complete six sets (total of 30 minutes).

Workout #2: Tough Hill Interval Workout

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).
  • Start at 2 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run with 60-second walk in between.

Workout:

  • Start at 3.5 percent incline.
  • 4 x 4-minute strong run with 90-second walk in between.
  • Decrease to 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute easy run.

Workout #3: Strength and Run Combo

Warmup:

  • Do a full-body strength-training workout to activate the hips and body.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 7-minute jog.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 6-minute run.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 6-minute run.
  • 5-minute easy walk to recover.

Week 6

Workout #1: Easy Endurance Run

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 40- to 45-minute light run.
  • Increase to 3.5 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run.

Workout #2: Speed Interval Workout

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).
  • Start at 2 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 3 x 5-minute strong run with 2-minute walk in between. (This should be 0.5-1.5mph faster than your interval speed on the hills.)
  • Add 0.2mph to your speed each rep.
  • 5-minute easy run.

Workout #3: Strength and Run Combo

Warmup:

  • Do a full-body strength-training workout to activate the hips and body.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute jog.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • 5-minute easy walk.

Week 7

Workout #1: Lighter Endurance Run

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • 20- to 25-minute light run.
  • Start at 3.5 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run.

Workout #2: Light Farlek Workout

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).
  • Start at 2 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run.

Workout:

  • Start at 1.5 percent incline.
  • 2 x 9-minute run (3 minutes of easy effort, 3 minutes of race effort, 3 minutes of above-race effort) with 2 minutes of rest in between.

Workout #3: Strength and Run Combo

Warmup:

  • Do a full-body strength-training workout to activate the hips and body.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 5-minute jog.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • Add 0.5mph to your speed.
  • 5-minute run.
  • 5-minute easy walk.

Week 8

Workout #1: Lighter Endurance Run

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 20- to 25-minute light run.
  • Increase to 3.5 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run.

Workout #2: Easy Interval Workout

Warmup:

  • 6 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills (high knees, butt kicks, skips, lateral shuffles).
  • Start on 2 percent incline.
  • 4 x 30-second strong run with 60-second walk in between.

Workout:

  • Start at 1 percent incline.
  • 8 x 1-minute run with 60-second walk in between.
  • 5-minute easy run.

Workout #3: 5K!

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