5k Builder




This 5k Builder plan is designed for someone essentially starting from scratch or a low fitness level, looking to get into consistent running with the initial goal of running a 5k.

The plan is 12-weeks long and it is anticipated that at the end of it you would complete a 5k, perhaps a ParkRun, but that 5k be about completion rather than racing. If you are looking for a 5k race preparation plan, please see our 5k Preparation Plan in the RIAK shop.


Unfortunately, we see a number of ‘couch to 5k’ plans out there that ramp far too quickly. If you are new to running or are keen to get into it but have little experience, it is really important you see it as a long-term project and avoid ramping your training beyond that set in this plan.

Ramp your training too quickly or add in intensity too quickly, and there will be a big risk that you’ll pick up an injury or at the very least, lose motivation because your training isn’t sustainable.

Our 5k Builder plan is designed for those with little running fitness and seeks to develop them at a rate that allows their body to adapt properly to the training stimulus. Your aerobic fitness might improve quicker than the plan ramps up, but your soft tissue (ligaments, tendons) and bone density is unlikely to. Take it from the experts, give your body time to adapt!

However, the goal of this plan is that by the end, if you have followed it consistently and respected the recovery protocols, you will be able to run 5k comfortably. From there, you might want to consider our 5k Race Preparation plan if your goal is to then get faster.

Alongside a conservative run volume ramp, it is also important that you do everything you can to mitigate the risk of injury because first getting back into training is when you are at your highest risk of injury. Below are links to stretch routine videos you can use:

Dynamic Stretch Routine – this is to be used once you get to Week 3 of the plan after the run warm-up: DYNAMIC STRETCH ROUTINE

Static Stretch Routine – this is to be used after EVERY run session: STATIC STRETCH ROUTINE

In addition to regular stretching, it is important you also follow an appropriate strength training routine to help mitigate the injury risk. We have included two opportunities.

1) You can join our FREE Tuesday evening S&C Workshop, which is designed specifically for endurance athletes and will help you build strength, muscular balance and mobility in all the right areas. Have a look at the RIAK ONLINE page for more info about these sessions and to book on.

2) We have included a basic and largely bodyweight strength plan focusing on hip stability you can use on a weekly basis. We recommend performing strength training 2-3 times a week around your run training.



In order to follow this plan, you will need at least a free Training Peaks account.

To perform the strength plan, you will need a couple of pieces of kit:
– a resistance band;
– a miniband or simply tie the resistance band round your legs; and
– a single light dumbbell or similarly weighted object from around the house (1-3kg is probably enough).

If you don’t have any of the above, there are things around the house that might make suitable alternatives, as our KNOW HOW video demonstrates.

We would recommend purchasing a Training Peaks premium subscription for the duration of this plan to enable you to move your sessions around to suit (within the recommendations above) and so that you can more easily interpret and collate your data in-line with the instructions in this plan.

Otherwise, best of luck with the plan and please ensure you look after yourself and don’t take any unnecessary risks with your safety, health or mental well-being.


  • Firstly, set yourself up with a free Training Peaks account if you don’t already have one – Training Peaks
  • Pick the plan you would like to do from the dropdown above
  • Once you have ordered the plan, you will receive a confirmation email, which will contain a link asking you to add us as your coach on Training Peaks
  • Click the link and add us as a coach and we’ll import the plan into your Training Peaks account
  • Then off you go!