Running your first 10k

The 10K (6.2 miles) distance is very popular with beginner runners, especially those who have done a 5K race, but don’t feel they’re quite ready to take on the half-marathon.

Below is an eight-week training schedule to help get you to the finish line. It assumes that you can already run at least 2 miles. If you’ve never run before, follow this step-by-step plan for building a running base. If this schedule seems too easy to you, try the advanced beginner 10K schedule .

If you haven’t had a recent physical, visit your doctor to get cleared for running.

Notes about the schedule:

Mondays and Fridays: Mondays and Fridays are rest days. Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don’t ignore rest days. Your muscles actually build and repair themselves during your rest days. So if you run every day without taking days off, you won’t see much improvement.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays: After you warm up, run at a comfortable pace for the designated mileage. Make sure you cool down and stretch after your run.

If most of your runs are on the road, and you’re not sure how far you run, you can figure out the mileage by using sites such as MapMyRun.com. Or, you can always drive your route in your car and measure the mileage using your car odometer beforehand.

Wednesdays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer) at easy to moderate effort for 30 to 40 minutes. If you’re feeling very sluggish or sore, take a rest day.

Sundays: This is an active recovery day. Your run should be at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles. Or, you can do a run/walk combination.

Note:
You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So if you’re busy on another day and prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it’s fine to swap a rest day for a run day

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Beginner Runners’ 10K Training Schedule

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 1.5 m run CT or Rest 1.5 m run Rest 2 m run 25-30 min EZ
2 Rest 2 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 2.5 m run 25-30 min EZ
3 Rest 2.5 mi run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 3 m run 30-35 min EZ
4 Rest 2.5 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 3.5 m run 35 min EZ
5 Rest 3 m run CT or Rest 2.5 m run Rest 4 m run 35-40 min EZ
6 Rest 3 m run CT 2.5 m run Rest 4.5 m run 35-40 min EZ
7 Rest 3.5 m run CT 3 m run Rest 5 m run 40 min EZ
8 Rest 3 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest Rest 10K Race

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