Get Active: Run a 5k

The first rule of running: get a training plan in place


Explain it to me: Running a 5k is the first big target for any new runner. In eight weeks you can go from walker to runner if you follow a sensible plan and listen to your body. A first 5k normally takes about 30-40 minutes for most new runners to complete .

Where do I start: Before you start running, get a training plan in place. There are lots of training plans and apps to download online, or you can use our Irish Times Get Running plan. Most beginner plans will involve three runs/walks per week. Whatever plan you choose, build up your running minutes gradually over the weeks.

Costs: In theory, running is a free sport, but it does pay off to invest in a decent running shoes that suit your feet/body. For female runners, a good supportive sports bra is a good idea. There are plenty of gadgets, gear and accessories you can invest in over time as little rewards for your achievements, but none are essential for the new runner. You can always time your running minutes with the timer on your phone.

Top tips: The quickest way to turn yourself off running is to start too fast. Resist the temptation to speed and run at a comfortable conversational pace in these early days. Give your body time to adapt. Focus on good posture and run lightly over the ground to reduce the risk of injury on your body. Try running on different surfaces and locations. The variety will keep you distracted and the minutes will disappear quicker. The best tip of all is to get a running buddy. Find someone else who is also keen to start and keep each other accountable and motivated all the way to 5km.

Sign up for one of The Irish Times' Get Running programmes (it is free!).

First, pick the programme that suits you.
- Beginner Course: This programme is an eight-week course that will take you from inactivity to being able to run 30 minutes non-stop.
- Stay On Track: The second programme is an eight-week course for those of you who can squeeze in a 30- to 40-minute run three times a week.
- 10km Course: This is an eight-week course designed for those who can comfortably run for 30 minutes and want to move up to the 10km mark.
Best of luck!