If there is more than one way up the mountain, there is definitely more than one way to begin a running program. I am a fan of the Couch to 5k plan that Cool Running created that prepares you for a 5k in eight weeks, but what if you want a plan that gets you to the 5k mark a few weeks earlier? Runner's World has a plan that will get you up and running a 5k in as many weeks. The Beginner 5k Plan is a little more flexible and a little less structured. You start with 20 minutes of walking or cross training, so if you want to add a little running your first day out it is up to you to motivate yourself to pick up your pace. The plan does have you moving in some way, shape, or form six days a week and this consistency will definitely keep you on track.