Livestrong.com says a 5K race, a 3.1-mile run, is an ideal distance for beginners. You need only seven weeks to prepare for a 5K race even if you're a novice runner and starting is as easy as walking. Expert coaches say a combination of walking and running can get you ready for a 5K, or 3.1 mile race, in less than two months.
Here are some of their tips.
1. Set aside three or four days to run or walk per week. Focus on conditioning, letting your body adjust and interval training where you gradually increase the time you run and decrease your walking. During your first two weeks of training, MayoClinic.com recommends alternating between running for 15 seconds and walking for 45 seconds, aiming for 30-minute workouts twice a week and another 3- to 3.5-mile run on your long run day.
2. Increase your running intervals and keep long runs to three or four miles for the first few weeks. Then increase long runs to 4.5 miles in weeks 6 and 7.
3. Staying injury free. You need one or two rest days to give your running muscles a break. On non-running or rest days, walk or choose another exercise option you enjoy. Bicycling, swimming, weight training and yoga, for example, make good cross-training choices. Check with your doctor before starting a running program if you have a history of heart or orthopedic problems.