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How to Run a 10K (Yes, You Really Can Do It!)

Not sure how to run a 10K? It’s totally doable with a little training! Credit: Local Hikes

So you ran your first 5K, and now you’re ready for another challenge? Well, then, I see your 5K, and I double it.

If you’ve already run a 5K race but don’t feel quite ready to tackle a half marathon, the 10K is the obvious choice. The good news is the 6.2 miles will be easier to train for than your original 5K because your baseline of fitness has already been established. You have already laid your foundation. Now you just need to increase your distance by increasing your endurance. However, in order to double your last race distance, you are still going to need to put in some serious training hours.

For your 10K training plan, you are going to follow the same schedule as the 5K: You will work out five days a week and rest for two. In addition to your three training runs, you will have one day of cross-training (biking, swimming, strength training) at an moderate intensity for 30 to 40 minutes, and one active recovery day, where you will run at an easy, comfortable pace.

The days you decide to schedule these workouts is up to you. Be wise when choosing your rest days—make it a strategic decision ahead of time based on which days you are most likely to be consistent, not on the mornings you “just don’t feel like it.” Pick a schedule and stick to it.

The training runs will begin at 1.5 miles and move up by half-mile increments over the course of eight weeks. Stick to these intervals even if you feel you can do more. It is important not to up your mileage too quickly or you can develop injuries. And injuries suck.

How to Run a 10K

Week 1:  1.5-mile run, cross-training, 1.5-mile run, rest, 2-mile run, rest, 25-30 min active recovery

Week 2:  2-mile run, cross-training, 2-mile run, rest,  2.5-mile run, rest, 25-30 min active recovery

Week 3:  2.5-mile run, cross-training, 2-mile run, rest,  3.5-mile, run, rest, 30-35 min active recovery

Week 4:  2.5-mile run, cross-training, 2-mile run, rest, 3.5-mile run, rest, 35 min active recovery

Week 5: 3-mile run, cross-training, 2.5-mile run, rest, 4-mile run, rest, 35-40 min active recovery

Week 6: 3-mile run, cross-training, 2.5-mile run, rest, 4.5-mile run, rest, 35-40 min active recovery

Week 7: 3.5-mile run, cross-training, 3-mile run, rest, 5-mile run, rest, 40 min active recovery

Week 8: 3-mile run, cross-training, 2-mile run, rest, rest…10K Race Day!

Always be sure to warm up for five to 10 minutes before your run and cool down and stretch afterward, paying special attention to the glutes, quads, hamstrings and IT band (a foam roller rocks for this!). The longer your runs, the tougher they are on the body, so invest in some properly fitted running shoes so your joints can go the distance.

Are you going to push yourself and try the 10K? Ready to become a runner? Did you seasoned runners use this type of training to run your first 10K? —Kelly

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  1. Francine says:

    I think it is fantastic that you all are encouraging people to set goals for themselves and accomplish a 10K! I am starting to train for my first half marathon. Yikes! Wish me luck!

  2. Carrie says:

    Thank you so much for this!! I’m planning on running my first 10K in November and was trying to find a training plan I liked and was easy to read!!

  3. Thanks for the tips. I love to run it really keep me in shape and energizes me.

  4. I just discovered your site thanks to a tweet from Prevention Magazine and I LOVE IT! This article was extremely helpful as I am a vetren 5k runner, and was thinking of running a 10k in November. Thanks so much!

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