The 8-Week Beginner Running Plan

The 8-Week Beginner Running Plan
Ron Sombilon

Are you looking for a simple beginner running plan to help you get started with running?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s the truth.

Regardless of your current fitness level, you should be able to go from being a complete couch potato to being to able to run for a half an hour, without much huffing and puffing, in less than 8 weeks.

The key is to start right, go slow and keep adjusting your training approach accordingly.

There are no secrets.

No shortcuts.

And definitely no silver bullets.

And to make this happen, you also need consistency.

You’d need to commit to run at least three times per week, and follow the beginner run-walk program that I’m going to share with you today.

That’s why today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite beginner running programs, an 8-week beginner running plan that’s gonna help you build enough cardio base to run for a half an hour with ease…

So are you excited? Then here we go…

But before we go into that, let me share with you the secret to getting fit without getting hurt…

Note – Looking for the best Beginner’s Guide To Running?
Then Check my Runners Blueprint System Here.

Enter The Run/Walk Method

I have written extensively about the method in many of my posts.

Therefore, there is no need to keep repeating stuff, sounding like a broken record in the process.

Basically, the run-walk method is a combination of a set period of running, followed by a set period of walking for recovery.

The brainchild of Jeff Galloway, a legendary running guru, this method can help you build enough cardiovascular power to run straight for 30 minutes without risking injury and/or overtraining.

The walk/run is also ideal for gym rats who are fit and have exercised before (e.g. weight lifting, martial arts, swimming, etc.) but are newcomers to the sport of running.

And the other thing you need you to know before you head out the door is…

Gradual progress is the Name of the Game…

The main goal of this program is to make small, consistent steps, not giant leaps.

Running is convenient and requires no technical instruction, but that does not mean that it’s easy.

Your body has to adapt to the high-impact nature of running before you can up the ante.

And this does not happen overnight.

If you ignore this, then you are on your own.

I don’t want you to get hurt.

So please whatever you do, keep these two pain-free running golden nuggets on your mind the entire time.

Note – Looking for the best Beginner’s Guide To Running?
Then Check my Runners Blueprint System Here.

The 8-Week Beginner Running Plan

This eight-week program is designed to take you from a complete beginner to being able to run a 5K distance comfortably.

Note: if you can already run for more than a half an hour with ease, then skip this.

It’s not for you.

Experienced runners should up the ante by doing other forms of running, such as sprints, hill reps, or working on increasing mileage for the long run.

Beginner Running Plan – Week 1:

Warm up by walking for 5 minutes at a brisk pace.

Then alternate running for one minute at an easy pace followed by three minutes of brisk walking.

Example: Run 1-minute, walk 3-minute.

Repeat the cycle 5 to 7 times.

Finish off the sessions with a 5-minute easy walk.

Do three sessions per week.

Beginner Running Plan – Week 2:

Run 2-minute, walk 2-minute. Repeat six times.

Do three workouts.

Beginner Running Plan – Week 3:

Run 3-minute, walk 1-minute. Repeat five times.

Do three workouts.

Beginner Running Plan – Week 4:

Run 5-minute, walk 90-second. Repeat four times.

Do three workouts.

Beginner Running Plan  – Week 5:

Run 8-minute, walk 1-minute. Repeat three times. Do three workouts.

Beginner Running Plan  – Week 6:

Run 12-minute, walk 1-minute. Repeat three times. Do three workouts.

Beginner Running Plan  – Week 7:

Run 15-minute, walk 1-minute, run another 15-minute. Do three workouts.

Beginner Running Plan  – Week 8:

Run 30-minute at an easy and controlled pace. Do TWO workouts.

This is a basic beginner plan, so feel free to adjust this program to meet your own needs and fitness level.

Beginners Running tips

The ideal beginner program consists of 3 workouts a week.

Just don’t do too much too soon.

You don’t have to run on specific days; however, you shouldn’t be running two days in a row.

Either take a complete rest day or opt for cross-training on recovery days.

Cross-training can be cycling, yoga, swimming, or any other exercises other than running that you enjoy.

If this beginner program is too much for you, then slow it down and repeat the workouts before cranking up the intensity.

The Conversational Running Pace

To stay on the safe side, make sure to start off all of your run-walk sessions with a proper warm-up, and finish it off with a decent cool-down.

Run at an easy pace during the running intervals—that’s the equivalent of 60 to 70 percent of your heart rate.

During the running intervals, you should be able to pass the “talk test”.

Also known as “conversation pace,” this pace means that you are able to speak with your buddy while running without much trouble.

If you can’t  say a word without grunting, then you are doing too much.

Celebrate Your Successes

Last but not least, remember to celebrate. Having fun is key to this whole thing. People who complete the 8-Week Beginner Running Plan deserve memorable rewards medals! Designing a custom medal for yourself or your run partners is a great enjoyment be gotten from sports.
GS-JJ can make any theme custom medals without process limitations at a low price.

More Resources

For more beginner running advice, check some of my posts here:

17 Obstacles To Running

The 4 Keys To Breathing

The Beginners Runner Guide

Learn here which running app would be the best to track your training progress.

That’s it for today.

Please make sure to take action and remember to always stay within your fitness level.

Thank you for reading this short post.


Bonus Tip: How Do I Become a Better Runner?

The answer to that question lies within my Runners Blueprint System.


My system was specially designed for beginners who either want to start running or take their training to the next level, but have little clue on how to do it.

And don’t worry, my ebook is written in a conversational, jargon-free, style. All you need to do is download it, follow the simple instructions, then start seeing results ASAP.

Here’s what it includes :

  • How to quickly and easily get started running (it’s indeed is easier than you’d think!)
  • How fast (or slow) should you go on your first sessions
  • The exact 13 questions you need to answer before you a buy a running shoe
  • The seven most common running injuries…. how to deal with them before they progress into major ones!
  • The quick standing stretching routine that keeps you flexible even if you’re busy as hell
  • The 10-minute warm-up you must do before any session to get the most of your training
  • And much, much more.

Click HERE to get started with The Runners Blueprint System today!

Photo Credit Ron Sombilon Via Flickr


  1. Hi, just read your 8 week beginner program found it on Pinterest. Any advice for someone starting out that is obese, I am talking 70-100 lbs over weight. I was thinking that maybe don’t be so concerned with the 8 week duration don’t think of it in a time sense, think of it more as progress. I was also thinking instead of trying to run for the first week how about walking really brisk instead, where you really get your heart rate up that minute doesn’t sound very long but if you are out of shape and overweight maybe just taking baby steps would be better. Any thought on this would be appreciated. Cheers Lisa

  2. This is a fantastic training program! I’m not a big fan of running, but this really help me getting into running at easy pace… Thank you!!

  3. haha thats so funny we had to do that to in under 8 minutes :/ so i did this and i really liked it. i would run to seaside and back , and i liked it so much i did crosscountry!

  4. Any breathing tips as this seems to always be my problem even though I only have seasonal asthma and use an inhaler before a workout. I know listening to music would help but I’m deaf with a cochlear implant and its hard having 2 diff. Devices on me in order to use an iPod or MP3 player. I live in Phoenix AZ. Are you aware if there are any training places for beginners?
    Thank you!

  5. Okay then.

    Warm up by walking for 10 mintues then alternate between 5 to 10 seconds slow jogs and one to two minutes walking intervals. That should do the trick for now

  6. Hi Cheryl, I also have allergy problem. I used sinus rinse and take Clarin( I do take Triease essential oil,work really good) I have Cochlear implant too. You should have a mic to hook up to your ipod or cell phone. I used them both when I running and workout. Good luck!!

  7. Hey, i’m willing to do this beginner running program, i just have a question. If I do this on a Treadmill, when you say “run” you mean like 6/7 km/h?

  8. Run or jog at a pace that feels most comfortable to you. I think 6 km/h is a good starting point but it’s really up to you. Please keep me in the loop with your progress Oriana

    Happy Running!


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