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Take the first step: Finding the right training plan

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Do you want to run your first 5k but find yourself confused about how to train? Do you want to take the next step and run a 10k? Start here with a few helpful and popular training programs.

Cool Running plans:

The Cool Running website offers a variety of training programs for beginners, along with community forums where runners swap stories and trade tips for successful training.

Couch-to-5k: One of the most popular training programs, Couch-to-5k is perfect for the would-be runner with little or no experience; the first 14 training sessions feature a mix of jogging and walking, allowing runners to build up strength and stamina along the way. The nine-week program consists of three workouts per week, with about 30 minutes dedicated to each session.

As an added bonus, download the Couch-to-5k mobile app for the iPhone or Android phone ($1.99, but other developers offer Couch-to-5k free apps). The app tells when to warm up, cool down, jog or walk, depending on the workout. Users can share workouts, listen to music through the app, and track distance/pace, as well.

Active.com – the maker of the popular Couch-to-5k app – also offers an app to help runners transition from a 5k to a 10k. Learn more about Active.com’s 5k-to-10k training program and mobile app. ($.99)

Beginniner 10k training program: Cool Running also offers a beginners’ 10k training program for novices with an eye on their first 10k. The 12-week program introduces speed workouts and offers a calendar to help guide training efforts.

Hal Higdon plans:

Ask a marathoner or half-marathon finisher about their training regimen, and odds are good that they’ll name-drop one of Hal Higdon’s training guides. But the Runner’s World contributor and long-time runner offers training schedules for 5k and 10k runners, as well.

Each plan starts with an overview of the strategy; offers paths tailored to novice runners, regular runners, and walkers alike; and includes schedules to help measure progress.

Read more about Hal Higdon’s 5k training programs and 10k training programs.

Do you have a favorite training program? Do you have experiences with these plans? Let’s hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments!

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