If you have no running experience but are looking to run your very first 10K, then you’re in luck. In today’s post, I’m sharing a few practical guidelines to help you get started on 10K training the easy way, even if you have zero running experience and/or are completely out of shape.
Are you ready? Let’s lace up and dig in.
What’s a 10K
Besides the shorter 5K, the 10K is one of the most popular race events for newbie runners. A 10K is 6.2 miles and can add a new level of challenge and interest to your workout routine. Don’t feel intimidated by the distance. This race event is fantastic for beginners—as long as you follow the right training program and progression.
You Already Have a Base
Before you start the 10K training path, make sure you have been active for a few months, or at the very least can already comfortably walk for 45 to 60 minutes and/or run for a few minutes at a time. If not, then invest a few weeks—even months—into a regular walking routine.
Shoot for three to four 20 to 30-minute walks per week, then build on that until you hit your target time. This should help you build a solid base toward that oh-so attractive finish line.
The Walk/Run Method
As a newcomer to running, kick things off with a run/walk strategy, alternating low intensity running—or jogging—and walking segments. Perform the jogging segment slowly enough at the start of every session so that you're tired but not entirely beat by the end of the workout.
A good first week of training includes 10 to 20 minutes total of running time. Be sure to take enough recovery between each running interval so you don’t do too much too soon.
As your training progresses, you’ll want to build up slowly and gradually to keep the risk of injury or burnout at bay.
As a rule of thumb, plan in recovery days each week and prioritize recovery as much as you prioritize training.
Good recovery activities include:
A good plan not only gives your training structure and direction, but it also makes your training more specific and gives you accountability. This 12-week plan is ideal for the beginner who wants to be 10K race-ready in three months. It includes three short workouts, or run/walks, during the week of about 30 to 40 minutes each. Keep track of your sessions in your calendar and make a note of when your 10K event is taking place.
For your convenience, here's a downloadable PDF with a summary of the plan:
Beginner to 10K - 3 Month Plan
There you have it. This 10K plan may seem a bit steep and challenging, but if you already have the fitness base and are willing to progress at your own pace, you can achieve your goal. It’s just a matter of practice, patience and persistence. The rest is just details, as the saying goes.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
About the author
David Dack is an established fitness blogger and running expert. When he’s not training for his next marathon, he’s doing research and trying to help as many people as possible to share his fitness philosophy. Check his blog Runners Blueprint for more info.