8-Week Beginner 10K Training Schedule

8-Week Beginner 10K Training Schedule

A 10K race is a great way to bridge the gap between a 5K and a half marathon – it’s just that little bit more challenging but not so long that it feels impossible. Use this training schedule to take you from a 5K to being able to smash out a 10K.

Using This Schedule

By following this schedule, you will be gradually increasing your fitness by running increasingly long distances until you reach just over 80% of a 10K race – around 5 miles in Week 7 – before tapering back down to easier runs for an active recovery prior to your race.

This pattern of schedule allows your muscles time to rest and recover in the week leading to your race, meaning that you will be fresh and ready to go without losing your fitness.

Pacing

Everyone will have a different pace for each run, generally taking more time to run a kilometer for longer races. Your 5K pace, for example, will be quicker than your 10K or half marathon pace as the speed is not sustainable for that length of time without some serious training.

An easy run is a run that is low effort. You need to find a running speed that isn’t so quick that you can’t hold a conversation. If you find this pace too easy, feel free to speed up a little but slow back down if your breathing becomes too labored or you can’t speak clearly.

Easy runs are important for improving your anaerobic capacity so be sure to take them seriously. Improving your anaerobic capacity will eventually mean you run quicker and longer, the things that every runner strives towards!

Do remember that you always have the option of slowing down your easy run pace, or even walking, if you are having trouble catching your breath. Slowing down will make you more likely to continue your running journey as each run will seem infinitely more manageable.

Conquering a week on a training schedule is always fantastic motivation – even if you did have to walk for a minute. Long runs give you the chance to increase your endurance when running, meaning you can run greater distances.

A long run should be done at an easy pace – however quick that is for you – so be sure to experiment to find your ideal speed.

Cross-Training And Rest Days

Cross-training is loved by many runners as it is a fantastic way to prevent injury. Cross-training is simply engaging in an exercise other than running, preferably something more gentle like yoga or cycling.

These other exercises prevent injury from muscle overuse but will also correct any muscle imbalances that have developed as a result of running and give your muscles time to fully recover between runs. In essence, cross-training gives your muscles a break without any downtime.

This will help improve your endurance and fitness levels. It is important to remember that cross-training will not necessarily get you through a 10K training schedule any faster but you are less likely to be injured and you will probably feel better at the end of training.

Recovery days allow for the option of cross-training if you feel fit enough but you must not engage in any exercise on a rest day. Some new runners are surprised about how important rest days are as it seems counterintuitive – why am I taking days off in a week when I want to get to 10K?

It is actually during rest days that your body becomes stronger and develops so it can cope with the new fitness demands you are putting on yourself.

Making sure you allow plenty of proper rest in a training schedule means that you are far less likely to injure yourself through muscle overuse – any time needed to rehabilitate post-injury is less time you have to master the 10K race.

Week 1

Day 1: Rest day
Day 2: 1.5 mile run – easy pace
Day 3: cross-training OR recovery day
Day 4: 1.5 mile run – easy pace
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 2 mile run – long run
Day 7: 25 to 30 minute run – easy pace OR cross-training

Week 2

Day 1: Rest day
Day 2: 2 mile run – easy pace
Day 3: cross-training OR recovery day
Day 4: 2 mile run – easy pace
Day 5: Rest day
Day 6: 2.5 mile run – long run
Day 7: 25 to 30 minute run – easy pace OR cross-training

Week 3

Day 1: Rest day
Day 2: 2.5 mile run – easy pace
Day 3: cross-training OR recovery day
Day 4: 2 mile run – easy pace
Day 5: Rest day
Day 6: 3.5 mile run – long run
Day 7: 30 to 35 minute run – easy pace OR cross-training

Week 4

Day 1: Rest day
Day 2: 2.5 mile run – easy pace
Day 3: cross-training OR recovery day
Day 4: 2 mile run – easy pace
Day 5: Rest day
Day 6: 3.5 mile run – long run
Day 7: 35 minute run – easy pace OR cross-training

Week 5

Day 1: Rest day
Day 2: 3 mile run – easy pace
Day 3: cross-training OR recovery day
Day 4: 2.5 mile run – easy pace
Day 5: Rest day
Day 6: 4 mile run – long run
Day 7: 35 to 40 minute run – easy pace OR cross-training

Week 6

Day 1: Rest day
Day 2: 3 mile run – easy pace
Day 3: cross-training
Day 4: 2.5 mile run – easy pace
Day 5: Rest day
Day 6: 4.5 mile run – long run
Day 7: 35 to 40 minute run – easy pace OR cross-training

Week 7

Day 1: Rest day
Day 2: 3.5 mile run – easy pace
Day 3: cross-training
Day 4: 3 mile run – easy pace
Day 5: Rest day
Day 6: 5 mile run – long run
Day 7: 40 minute run – easy pace OR cross-training

Week 8

Day 1: Rest day
Day 2: 3 mile run – easy pace
Day 3: cross-training OR recovery day
Day 4: 2 mile run – easy pace
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Race day!

Matt Williams