Running Training Plans

Free running training plans for beginners and intermediate. Start to run, 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon distances.

Our in-house running coach Peyton (NAIA All-American) has developed complete running training plans exclusively for our readers.

There is a plan for every distance from the 5K to the Marathon and each one has both a beginner and an intermediate version. For people who never run before, there’s a special “Start to Run” plan.

Here they are, together with some advice and notes. Don’t forget to check our selection of the best running shoes while you’re here!

Start to Run

Beginner Runner Training Plan

Beginner Running Training Plan – Download here

This is our plan for the absolute beginner. (You should also check out our “Start to Run” article for more information on getting started).

This eight-week plan will involve four days of physical activity a week, and will culminate in a (facultative) 5K race at the end of the program. You have complete control over this plan in regard to what days best ft your schedule, but it is recommended that you space your running sessions out by 48hrs most of the time to allow for recovery and adaptation.

The plan alternates running and walking within the same workout to help you build up your fitness slowly and includes basic exercises and technical drills to make sure you stay healthy and start running with the correct form.

5K Running Training Plan

5k Training Plan

5K Running Training Plan – Download here

Beginning runners starting this plan will need to have some basic fitness training under their belts, but not to any intimidating degree. Perhaps you routinely visit the gym, participate in an exercise class, or have completed a Couch-to-5K plan in the past.

It is recommended that beginning runners be able to run easily for 10min (or roughly one mile) at the start of this plan, and have some general familiarity with various core strengthening exercises (even if it is from high school gym class). Much of the beginner program will include some walking interspersed with running on a daily basis. Don’t skimp on this, as it is an important part of your program! Walking at a brisk pace will keep the heart rate elevated, burn calories, and strengthen the muscles used in running to a benefcial extent.

Beginners will be looking for a 5K time goal between 26-34min, in a very general sense and depending on individual circumstances.

Intermediate runners will have some background in formal running, and have likely completed a 5K-10K race before. Even more advanced runners returning from an extended break will benefit from following this program, as it introduces some often overlooked elements such as drills, strength training, and fartlek surges that many runners have never done before.
It is recommended that intermediate runners be able to run easily for 20-30min (2-4mls) without stopping prior to embarking on this plan.

Intermediate runners should shoot for a 5K goal time of 18-26min, provided there are no extraneous circumstances leading into race day. Individual results will depend on average daily running pace, overall ftness level, and prior racing history overthe 5K distance.

10K Running Training Plan

10k Training Plan

10K Running Training Plan – Download here

Beginning runners starting this plan will need to have a good base of general running under their belt, but you do not have to be a running rock star.

It is recommended that beginning runners be able to run easily for at least 30min at the start of this plan, and have some general familiarity with various core strengthening exercises (even if it is from high school gym class). Beginners will be looking for a 10K time goal between 50-70min in a very general sense and depending on individual circumstances.

Intermediate runners will have a solid background in formal running, and have likely completed a 5K and 10k race in the recent past.

It is recommended that intermediate runners starting this plan have a good base of general running for at least 3-4 weeks prior to beginning this plan, and some background in faster speed sessions. Even more advanced runners returning from a break will beneft from following this program, as it introduces some often overlooked elements such as drills, strength training, hill work, and interval training that many runners have never done before.

Intermediate runners should be able to run easily for 60min without stopping prior to embarking on this plan. Intermediate runners should shoot for a 10K goal time of 35-50min, provided there are no extraneous circumstances leading into race day. Individual results will depend on average daily running pace, overall ftness level, and prior racing history over the 10K distance.

Half Marathon Training Plan

Hald Marathon Training Plan

Half Marathon Training Plan – Download here

Beginning runners starting this plan will need to have a good base of general running under their belt, but we will help you continue building the necessary stamina to fnish your half-marathon in good form. It is not recommended to go from the “couch to the half-marathon” so to speak, so take your time in building-up to the half-marathon (HM) distance so you can enjoy the process even more.

It is recommended that beginning runners be able to run easily for at least 30-45min at the start of this plan, and have some general familiarity with various core strengthening exercises (even if it is from high school gym class).

Beginners will be looking for a HM time goal of over 2hrs in a very general sense and depending on individual circumstances.

Intermediate runners will have a solid background in formal running, and have likely completed a HM race in the recent past. It is recommended that intermediate runners starting this program have a good base of general running for at least 3-4 weeks prior to beginning this plan, and some background in faster speed sessions.

It is recommended that intermediate runners be able to run easily for 60-75min without stopping prior to embarking on this plan.

Intermediate runners should shoot for a HM goal time between 80min and 2hrs, provided there are no extraneous circumstances leading into race day. Individual results will depend on average daily running pace, overall ftness level, and prior racing history over the HM distance.

Marathon Training Plan

Marathon Training Plan

Marathon Training Plan – Download here

This ebook will outline two plans, all geared towards first time marathoners, but each one will include elements most appropriate for either beginning runners or intermediate runners individually.

Use the beginner plan if you began running only in the last year, currently run less than 25mls per week, and have not completed a race distance over 10K. If you are very new to running, please complete the plan for your first 10K before hopping into marathon training.

With this plan, runners of varying ability could successfully complete the marathon distance between 3.5-5hrs, but most importantly it will prepare you to fnish the race as healthy as you started!

Choose the intermediate plan if you have been running from 1-3 years, currently run 30-40mls per week, have some history of organized speed training, and have completed races from 10K to Half Marathon in the past.

This plan will include some runs at set paces and distances, but many will still be based off of time and effort. Runners following this plan can expect to run between 3-4hrs for their goal marathon based on ability level.


We put a lot of time and effort in developing these plans, and we hope you’ll use them successfully to achieve your running goals.

If you are looking for a new pair of shoes, don’t forget to check our always up to date selection of the best running shoes, all purchased with our own money and thoroughly tested by our team!




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