Run A 10k in Ten Weeks

10k Training Plan for the Moderately Fit

With the London Marathon fresh in the memory and summer fast approaching, many people begin to start thinking about entering some kind of race as a way of getting fit and/or raising some money for charity.  I have spoken to a number of people over the past few weeks who have signed up to all kinds of races, ranging from 3km fun runs to epic marathons, but the 10km race seems to be by far the popular favourite.

The 10k is a great distance as it serves a range of purposes and attracts a wide variety of different entrants all looking to run a 10k for different reasons. In the bigger events there is always a large number of novice runners who make the 10k the target of a season’s training, as well as a large number of more experienced runners who use the races as either a spring board to a longer distance or have unfinished business when it comes to previous years race times and personal bests.

More experienced runners usually have the benefit of a wide variety of training material, and usually have access to a running club coach or some more experienced runners, who can steer them in the right direction when it comes to structuring their 10k training schedule. Novice runners however may have limited access to such knowledge and as such may make mistakes that are easy to avoid in the early stages of their training. I am always shocked at the amount of people who start their training program by either running every day of the week or running in poor quality footwear. Both are prime examples of how not to run a 10k or start 10k training and are also great ways of picking up a show stopping injury.

The following 10k training schedule is suitable for anyone looking to run a 10k and who has an intermediate fitness level. If you play sport a few times a week or spend a lot of time in the gym the this program should be more then achievable and should act as a good starting point until you begin to get a feel for your own strengths and weaknesses.

The Program includes some key elements that are outlined below:

Main Run:

This run will eventually end up being your focused 10km run where you practice running either at, or just below your target race pace over 10km. This session will start off at 3km and will build up to 10km in 10 weeks.

Long Run:

A run that should end up being 30 seconds a mile slower and slightly longer than your main run. This type of run teaches your body how to deal with lactic acid and also builds stamina.

Interval Session:

400m repetitions at about 80% maximum effort. This type of run builds power and endurance, as well as improving your overall aerobic capacity and ability to run at speed.

Hill Sessions:

Repetitions of 1minute sprints up a steepish hill, followed by a job recovery back to the bottom of the hill. This type of run makes you focus on technique, as well as building some serious leg power and endurance. These are tough sessions but nothing improves your 10km speed quicker.

Gym Sessions:

If you are looking to have a long and healthy running career then resistance weights sessions are a must. Forget the chest, shoulders and arms exercises, and instead concentrate on working the legs and core with the following exercises: Squats, One Leg Squats, Lunges, Step Ups, Situps, Leg Raises, Back Extensions and Plank’s. If you aren’t familiar with these exercises then ask a personal trainer as doing them wrong is worse than not doing them at all! Incorporating resistance weights exercises into your weekly routine is essential if your ultimate aim is to continue on to run longer distances, as they counteract the attrition that running places on your muscles and tendons.

10k Training Schedule:

Week 1 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session 5 x 1 min Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 3km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 4km
Week 2 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session 5 x 400m Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 3.5km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 5km
Week 3 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session 7 x 1 min Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 4km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 6km
Week 4 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session 6 x 400m Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 4.5km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 7km
Week 5 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session 8 x 1 min Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 5km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 8km
Week 6 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session 7 x 400m Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 6km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 9km
Week 7 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session 9 x 1 min Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 7km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 10km
Week 8 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session 8 x 400m Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 8km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 11km
Week 9 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session 10 x 1 min Cross Training or Gym
Interval Session Cross Training or Gym
Main Run 9km Cross Training or Gym
Long Run Cross Training or Gym 12km
Week 10 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hill Session Race Day
Interval Session 8 x 400m Race Day
Main Run 10km Race Day
Long Run Race Day