5k Training Plan for Beginners + Tips for New Runners

I’m excited to talk about my 5k running plan (for beginners because I’m not a runner) in this sponsored post with Tasc Performance. Use code: experiencebamboo for 20% off your order. 

Let’s talk about fitness for a quick second, okay?

Motherhood has totally changed exercise for me. In part, because I’ve learned how crucial it is to the way I feel, not just how I look. I know I need the endorphins and boost I get from regular exercise and I can definitely tell when I haven’t been to the gym because I struggle to be as kind, patient, and upbeat.

With two babies, I have gained and lost 100 pounds in the last three years (fifty pounds up and down two different times).

I am really good at going to the gym. I am not so good at pushing myself when I’m exercising alone.

Our local gym has free daycare for up to two hours while you exercise. I started taking advantage of this occasionally when Lincoln was four or five months (about the time I quit pumping and started to feel like a real human again). I’d drop in maybe once a week or so for half an hour and I’d stop by the window to check in on my baby every six or seven minutes :P. By the time he was 9 months old and I was pregnant with Adelaide, both of us were more comfortable with the staff at the gym and I was too sick to play with him at home in the mornings. I’d drag us both out of the house each day, drop him off, and spend the next hour and a half eating breakfast in the locker room, taking a long shower, and stretching on the yoga mats.

I tell you that just to illustrate how I can be really good at going to the gym and not so great at exercising alone.

The most progress I’ve made physically over the last couple of years have been when training with a friend OR taking a class. Don’t you find yourself more motivated to exercise when you’re doing it with someone else?

I also did really well back in January when I set clear goals that I had to meet each week.

For me, it was 5 miles a week, run in 1 mile increments.

But, like with a lot of New Year Resolutions, I fell off the bandwagon in February and haven’t run almost at all (despite being at the gym 4-5 times a week) in the last few months.

And so here’s my commitment to running a 5k by the end of the summer. I’ve included a training plan below if you want to join me (please!) along with a few things I’m doing to help me stick to my plan:

Get a training partner

Ben s a much better runner than I am (one time he wanted to prove that running a marathon wouldn’t be hard so, without training, he went outside and ran 26 miles straight), but I know I need some outward accountability on this one. Even if he doesn’t actually go on the same runs as me, getting him to go running at the same time I do will be great for actually getting me out the door in the morning.

We’re also lucky to be with family for most of the summer so we can both head out on a run at the same time if the kids are sleeping because someone else is home.

Pick a good soundtrack

I have almost entirely replaced songs with podcasts while exercising for the last year and I love it! It isn’t quite as motivating through the hard parts of a run, but it is much better at getting me to start. Music, however good, is not going to motivate me to lace up my shoes and get out the door, but I’m always excited to listen to another episode of some of my favorite podcasts.

P.S.  If you’re looking for podcasts I shared my favorite creative entrepreneur podcasts here and for non-business options I’ve been loving Happier by Gretchen Rubin, The Marie Forleo Podcast (kind of business related but mostly life related), The Mom Hour, and God Centered Mom Podcast.

Schedule the workouts

Right now I have my exercise hour built into our daily schedule, part of our routine. It makes getting to it easy and automatic.

Next week when we move out of Ohio and back to the East Coast (full announcement here), I won’t have the luxury of the routine we’ve built over the last two years so I’m committing to schedule in time for exercise into my week.

Invest in good gear

Now, the necessary gear is a great pair of running shoes but I’m also amazed at the power of new workout clothes to get me out the door.

Lately I’ve been living in a few items I picked up from Tasc Performance, an innovative activewear company. All their fabric is made from sustainable, chemical-free blends derived from the highest quality natural sources like bamboo, merino wool, and organic cotton. The fabric has natural moisture-wicking but the biggest thing I’ve noticed is HOW SOFT it is. It’s just as perfect for all your outdoor summer adventures as it is for all your indoor lounging.

I’m wearing a sports bra, workout top, and zip-up from Tasc in these pictures and, if we’re being transparent, I haven’t taken off this light jacket since it arrived a few days ago. It’s an investment piece I’ll be using and wearing for a long time.

Need new active wear? Use code: experiencebamboo for 20% off your order.

Track Your Progress

There’s a Peter Drucker quote that says, “What gets measured gets improved” and it’s been shown that the simple act of recording our efforts makes us more likely to continue and progress in a certain behavior.

My plan is just to print off my training plan and cross it off each day but if you aren’t training for a 5k, simply writing in what you’ll do for your exercise when you schedule it each week and then checking it off when you’re done would work well too.

Are you a runner? Do you have any other tips?

Not a runner? Want to train with me this summer? Download the

Here’s my training plan, with rest days every Sunday. On cross training days I’ll either do weights in the gym or a circuit of squats, pushups, and light weights at home. On Saturday it’s quite possible my exercise will just be walking around Boston on a family adventure with the kids.

If you’d like the PDF version of the schedule, click here. this 5k training plan for beginners is perfect for people just starting to run, whether you're training for a race or just looking to make running a habit

Also, just to make sure you don’t think I take myself too seriously, here’s this:

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One Comment

  1. It is definitely hard to fit workouts in when you’re a busy mom (working OR SAHM). On the weekends, we usually hike our local trail. Now that I’ve started Weight Watchers, I wanted to step it up because I haven’t been able to get to the gym. Now I do the 3+ mile trail with my 45lb 6-year old riding piggyback. I still have to take a few breaks along the way… but I do most of it with him. He gets excited that he doesn’t have to walk… and I get a WAY more intensive workout. Win-win!