8-WEEK PROGRAM FOR BEGINNING RUNNERS

 

*Note: If you are unable to complete a full session of MAP (Mostly Aerobic Pace) or MEP (Most Efficient Pace) on a particular day, you have reached your body’s threshold and should go back a step. This should not be construed as a failure, but as an achievement: you are training at exactly the right level to make gains!

Week 1

Day Notes Level Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Monday Rest. You will have two rest days per week. If you feel you need more rest days, take them. In these early stages you do not want to do more than your body is ready for.
Tuesday Walk for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace. Since this is your first workout, take it nice and easy. Walk at a pace that gets your heart rate up and makes you breath heavier than normal, but you should no be out of breath 1 30 mins
Wednesday Walk/jog for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace 2 15 mins 1 min 14 mins
Thursday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. Run at a pace that is fairly comfortable. 3 14 mins 2 min 14 mins
Friday Rest. Let your body recover from running.  
Saturday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. Keep your pace comfortable. 4 14 mins 3 min 13 mins
Sunday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 5 13 mins 4 mins 13 mins

Week 2

Day Notes Level Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Monday Rest. Every Monday is a rest day in this program
Tuesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. Keep the pace fairly comfortable. 6 13 mins 5 mins 12 mins
Wednesday  Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 7 12 mins 6 mins 12 mins
Thursday  Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 8 12 mins 7 mins 11 mins
Friday Rest or cross train. Either totally rest or engage in another activity such as biking or swimming.
Saturday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 9 11 mins 8 mins 11 mins
Sunday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 10 11 mins 9 mins 10 mins

Week 3

Day Notes Level Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Monday Rest
Tuesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. Keep the pace nice and easy. 11 10 mins 10 mins 10 mins
Wednesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 12 10 mins 11 mins 9 mins
Thursday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 13 9 mins 12 mins 9 mins
Friday Rest. If you feel like cross training, go ahead. If you do cross train, keep the intensity level very easy. You want to let your body recover on these rest days.
Saturday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 14 9 mins 13 mins 8 mins
Sunday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 15 8 mins 14 mins 8 mins

Week 4

Day Notes Level Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Monday Rest
Tuesday Walk/jog for 30 minutes. You are now jogging as much as you are walking. Remember to keep the pace fairly comfortable. 16 8 mins 15 mins 7 mins
Wednesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 17 7 mins 16 mins 7 mins
Thursday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 18 7 mins 17 mins 6 mins
Friday Rest or cross train.
Saturday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 19 6 mins 18 mins 6 mins
Sunday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 20 6 mins 19 mins 5 mins

 

Week 5

 Day Notes Level Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Monday Rest
Tuesday Walk/jog for 30 minutes. 21 5 mins 20 mins 5 mins
Wednesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 22 5 mins 19 mins 1 min 5 mins
Thursday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 23 5 mins 18 mins 2 mins 5 mins
Friday Rest or cross train.
Saturday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 24 5 mins 17 mins 3 mins 5 mins
Sunday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 25 5 mins 16 mins 4 mins 5 mins

Week 6

  Day Notes Level Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Monday Rest
Tuesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. If at any time you feel you are struggling, back off to the prior level or to a point at which you feel more comfortable. Remember, however, that you must push yourself a bit to make improvements. 26 5 mins 15 mins 5 mins 5 mins
Wednesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 27 5 mins 14 mins 6 mins 5 mins
Thursday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 28 5 mins 13 mins 7 mins 5 mins
Friday Rest or cross train.
Saturday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 29 5 mins 12 mins 8 mins 5 mins
Sunday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 30 5 mins 11 mins 9 mins 5 mins

 

Week 7

  Day Notes Level Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Monday Rest
Tuesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 31 5 mins 10 mins 10 mins 5 mins
Wednesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 32 5 mins 9 mins 11 mins 5 mins
Thursday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 33 5 mins 8 mins 12 mins 5 mins
Friday Rest or cross train.
Saturday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 34 5 mins 7 mins 13 mins 5 mins
Sunday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 35 5 mins 6 mins 14 mins 5 mins

Week 8

   Day Notes Level Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Monday Rest
Tuesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 36 5 mins 5 mins 15 mins 5 mins
Wednesday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 37 5 mins 4 mins 16 mins 5 mins
Thursday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 38 5 mins 3 mins 17 mins 5 mins
Friday Rest or cross train.
Saturday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 39 5 mins 2 mins 18 mins 5 mins
Sunday Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 40 5 mins 1 mins 19 mins 5 mins

From now on:

  Warmup (111-120) MAP (121-130) MEP (131-140) Cooldown (111-120)
Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. 5 mins 0 mins 20 mins 5 mins

You have done it! You should now be able to jog comfortably for 20 mins at your Most Efficient Pace (MEP). What you do now is up to you. You can just maintain your new level of fitness by continuing your daily workouts or you can move up to the next level and train to complete a 5K race.

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