If you’re looking to run your first 10K as a complete beginner, then you’re in the right place.

I get it. Training for a 10K when you have zero running experience is easier said than done—but it’s possible as long as you have the right training program.

In today’s post, I’ll share with you a bunch of training guidelines as well as a detailed 13-week training plan to help you from being a complete couch potato to running your first 10K without injury or pain.

Sounds good?

Let’s get started.

What’s The 10K

The 10K, or 6.2 miles, is one of the most popular race distances out there.  The event distance lies in the space between a 5K and the half marathon, and it’s a fantastic challenge that caters to beginner runners and serious athletes alike.

Training for the 6.2 miles requires both a proper amount of speed and endurance. But as a beginner, you shouldn’t worry about speed at all.

How to run 10k

Have A Fitness Base

To follow this plan, you only need to be able to walk for 45 to 60 minutes and run for a few minutes at a time.

If it’s not the case yet, then invest a few weeks—or months—in a walk exercise routine, working it up to being able to walk briskly for at least 90 minutes without panting for air.

As a general rule, walk three to four times per week, slowly and inclemently building up your walks up longer than 60 to 90 minutes each. Once you have a good endurance base, move to the 10K beginner training plan described below.

The Walk Run

When starting, your first few sessions should be a mix of running and walking. Then, as you build your endurance, make it your goal to gradually spend more time running while taking fewer and fewer recovery breaks (just described in the 13-week plan below).

This is what’s known as the walk/run method, and it can help you improve your endurance and training efficiency without rerunning the risk of injury or burnout.

Complete the running intervals slow enough at the onset of every session that you’ll feel tired but not completely worn out at the end. Use common sense and heed your body’s signals.

The Conversational Pace

For beginners, the conversational pace is the way to go. You should be able to hold a conversation throughout your training—if not, you’re pushing the pace too hard and need to slow it down.

Gasping for air every step of the way means you’re doing too much. Slow down and recover. Make it a rule to train with 70 to 80 percent of your maximum capacity.

10k running program

Avoid Overtraining

Aside from not exercising at all, probably the worst thing you can do is overdo it. Push your body too hard, and you’ll be going in the wrong direction.

As a rule, schedule at least two rest days each and focus on recovery practices as much as you focus on training.

Good recovery practices include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Getting a good massage
  • Eating a nutritious and healthy diet
  • Stretching and foam rolling

The 13-Week Plan

This 13-week 10K training schedule is perfect if you’re a beginner with a race scheduled at least three months away. It’s intentionally designed for newbie run/walkers who want to build up to being able to run 6.2 miles without stopping.

The 10K plan includes a mix of running, walking, and resting. Your goal as a beginner is to make it to the finish line, whether in 60 minutes, 90 minutes, or longer if you have to.

Week 1

Session One: Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes.  Repeat 10 times.

Session Two: Run 1 minute. Walk 1 minute.Repeat 10 times.

Session Three: Run 1 minute. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 10 times.

Week 2

Session One: Run 2 minute. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

Session Two: Run 2 minute. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 5 times.

Session Three: Run 2 minute. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 7 times.

Week 3

Session One: Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

Session Two: Run  3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 5 times.

Session Three: Run  4 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

Week 4

Session One: Run 5  minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

Session Two: Run 5 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 4 times.

Session Three: Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Improwe immune system when runningRelated article: Check how to boost your immune system and fitness at the same time.

Week 5

Session One: Run 5 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 4 times.

Session Two: Run 5 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

Session Three: Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 4 times.

Week 6

Session One: Run 8 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Two: Run 8 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Three: Run 8 minutes. Walk 1 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Week 7

Session One: Run 10  minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Two: Run 10  minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Three: Run 10  minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 2 times

Week 8

Session One: Run 10  minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

Session Two: Run 10  minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

Session Three: Run 10  minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

Week 9

Session One: Run 12  minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

Session Two: Run 12  minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

Session Three: Run 15  minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Week 10

Session One: Run 15  minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Two: Run 15  minutes. Walk 1 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Three: Run 20  minutes. Walk 5 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Week 11

Session One: Run 20  minutes. Walk 5 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Two: Run 20  minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Three: Run 30 minutes.

Week 12

Session One: Run 25  minutes. Walk 5 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Session Two: Run 30 minutes. Walk 5 minutes. Run 15 minutes

Session Three: Run 40 minutes

Week 13

Session One: Run 30 minutes. Walk 5 minutes. Repeat 2 times

Session Two: Run 20 minutes. Walk 5 minutes. Repeat 2 times

Session Three: Run 10K.

Conclusion

See. Training for your first 10K isn’t that complicated. It’s just a matter of training smart and having the right plan. The rest is just detail, as the saying goes.

What about you? Do you have any favorite 10K tips? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

David D.

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