Beginner Training Program to Run Two Miles

A Simple Run/Walk Schedule Over Four Weeks

Female runner running down urban street.
Betsie Van Der Meer/Taxi/Getty Images

This four-week training program is designed for beginner run/walkers who want to build up to running a full two miles. The training schedule combines intervals of running and walking at a relaxed pace to help you meet that goal.

Progressive Training

While you will walk more at first, each week you will make a slight increase in your running distance and a decrease in your walking distance.

After four weeks, you'll be able to run two miles without walking breaks.

To start this training program, you should have either completed the 4 Weeks to 1 Mile program or be able to comfortably run a 1/2 mile.

This training program is not designed for someone who is totally new to running. If you have not run before, your better option is to start with the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Running. This will teach you the basics of running and help increase your fitness level so you can safely take on a one-mile or two-mile training program.

Before you begin any program, one of the best things that you can do is get the right type of running shoes for your foot type and running gait. Visit your local running specialty store to get recommendations for the best shoes for you.

Training Schedule Success

Starting a running program is a great way to stay in shape and meet your ultimate fitness goals. No matter which level you're at, a few things can help you find success.

Keep in mind that you will have good days and bad days, but persistence will get you through all of them.

Some of the basic steps you can take help with motivation. For instance, runners often find it best to schedule their workouts so a busy schedule doesn't get in the way of training. Part of that is determining the best time of day that works for you.

It's also important to listen to your body and take things at your own pace. Some people require more rest between runs than others, so take the time if you need it. If you find that this program is progressing too quickly for you, repeat a week of workouts before moving on to the next.

For measuring purposes, try to do these workouts on a track. Typically, one lap is 400 meters or about 1/4 of a mile. Each workout will have the track equivalent, so you know how far you should be running and walking. You could also do the workouts on a road, recreational path, or on a treadmill. For these, use a running app such as RunKeeper to measure your distances.

You should start each run with a five- to 10-minute warm-up walk or do a few warm-up exercises. Finish up with a five- to 10-minute cool down walk. During your walk intervals, make sure you're walking briskly and continue to use good running form.

You don't have to do your runs on specific days. However, you should try to avoid running two days in a row. Either take a complete rest day or do cross-training on the days in between runs. Cross-training can be biking, yoga, strength training, swimming, or any other activity that you enjoy.

Week 1

For the first week, you will be running and walking at 1/2-mile intervals.

It's a good time to find your motivation, get into the rhythm of the training schedule, and prepare yourself for the longer runs ahead. If you need to, take a second week to do this schedule before moving on to the next.

 ActivityTrack Equivalent
Day 1Run 1/2 mile, walk 1/2 mile; repeat 2 timesRun 2 laps, walk 2 laps; repeat 2 times
Day 2Rest or cross-train 
Day 3Run 1/2 mile, walk 1/2 mile; repeat 2 timesRun 2 laps, walk 2 laps; repeat 2 times
Day 4Rest 
Day 5Run 1/2 mile, walk 1/2 mile; repeat 2 timesRun 2 laps, walk 2 laps; repeat 2 times
Day 6Rest or cross-train 
Day 7Rest 

Week 2

During the second week of the program, you will be running 3/4 mile and walking just 1/4 mile.

Remember to enjoy your rest days or do your favorite cross-training activity. This will help significantly as you head toward your two-mile goal.

 ActivityTrack Equivalent
Day 1Run 3/4 mile, walk 1/4 mile; repeat 2 timesRun 3 laps, walk 1 lap; repeat 2 times
Day 2Rest or cross-train 
Day 3Run 3/4 mile, walk 1/4 mile; repeat 2 timesRun 3 laps, walk 1 lap; repeat 2 times
Day 4Rest 
Day 5Run 3/4 mile, walk 1/4 mile; repeat 2 timesRun 3 laps, walk 1 lap; repeat 2 times
Day 6Rest or cross-train 
Day 7Rest 

Week 3

While the previous weeks kept the same schedule on all three running days, the fifth day of week three adds an extra 1/4-mile to the first run of the sequence. This is building you up for week four and the full two-mile run.

 ActivityTrack Equivalent
Day 1Run 1 mile, walk 1/4 mile, run 3/4 mileRun 4 laps, walk 1 lap, run 3 laps
Day 2Rest or cross-train 
Day 3Run 1 mile, walk 1/4 mile, run 3/4 mileRun 4 laps, walk 1 lap, run 3 laps
Day 4Rest 
Day 5Run 1 1/4 mile, walk 1/4 mile, run 1/2 mileRun 5 laps, walk 1 lap, run 2 laps
Day 6Rest or cross-train 
Day 7Rest 

Week 4

This is it! You have just one week left of this program. The end is in sight and by day five, you'll be ready to tackle your first two miles.

 ActivityTrack Equivalent
Day 1Run 1 1/2 miles, walk 1/2 mileRun 6 laps, walk 2 laps
Day 2Rest or cross-train 
Day 3Run 1 3/4 miles, walk 1/4 mileRun 7 laps, walk 1 lap
Day 4Rest 
Day 5Run 2 milesRun 8 laps
Day 6Rest or cross-train 
Day 7Rest 

Your Next Step

Running is a progressive exercise and once you hit the two-mile mark, you're set to tackle your next challenge. There are a few ways you can go, but a good route it to try the beginner 5K training schedule.

A Word From Verywell

At the end of this program, you should be proud of your accomplishment. It's a big step in any runner's training. Many people even enjoy remaining at this level, so don't feel pressure to run longer distances. The important thing is that you feel good about the amount of exercise you're getting. Regular exercise of any distance will help maintain your health and fitness.

Was this page helpful?