10k Training Plan for Beginners

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Chances are that if you’re looking to train for a 10k, you’ve already competed in a shorter race. If this is the case for you, then you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with how a race training plan works. This 10k training plan for beginners will properly prepare your body for a longer race, even if it’s your very first one!

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It’s important to understand that it takes time to build endurance. If you’re a running newbie, you’re not going to be able to run a 10k overnight. This 10k training plan for beginners will help you build endurance over a 12-week period. A slow progression is the safest, and most effective way, to train your body to run long distances.

Using proper running form will help you conserve energy, increase your speed and distance, and avoid injury. You should always warm-up before and cool-down after your workouts, whether you’re walking, running, cross training, or strength training. It’s also important to point out that you must properly fuel your body before a workout, feed your muscles after the workout, and drink lots of water throughout the day.

The Structure

Sunday & Tuesday

These two days will be your cross-training (CT) and strength-training days. Cross-training refers to performing different exercises. It’s up to you to decide what you do, but you can choose from walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, skating, etc. Typically, weight lifting is included in cross-training, but we have designated a specific workout for you to complete on each of these days.

You can choose one of the cardio exercises to perform along with your strength-training. The duration of your cross-training exercise is also up to you, but it is recommended that you don’t exceed 30 minutes. For instance, perform the Runner’s Strength-Training Workout and then swim laps for 20 minutes. The strength-training portion will condition your muscles to make you a better runner, while the cross-training exercises will continue to improve stamina and endurance.

Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday

These 3 days are the bread and butter of this training plan. You will notice that as each week goes by, you will walk a little less and run a little more. Every few weeks, the duration of your workouts will also increase. This will slowly (and safely) train your body to run faster and more often.

Friday

Fridays are your rest day. Rest day is just as important as your training days; you must not skip it. Rest is essential to muscle repair and recovery. Skipping rest days will lead to injury and exhaustion. We’ve designated Friday as your rest day as it is the day before your distance run, however, if you need to swap your rest day for another you may do so.

Saturday

Saturday is your distance run. While all of the weekday workouts are time-based, this workout is mileage-based. You will see a designated distance for each Saturday. You will begin at 1 mile and end at 7 miles (during peak weak). While you may be driven to complete this as fast as possible, it’s crucial that you pace yourself. Practice your intervals, find your pace.

Peak Week (Week 10)

Week 10 is peak weak. This is where you’re training is at its most challenging. You will notice that your running time is much longer than your walking time and the distances are farther. After week 10, you’ll back it down slightly until race day.

You can do this! Let’s get started!

12-Week 10K Training Plan for Beginners

Week 1

Sunday: CT & Runner’s Strength Training Workout

Monday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 9 Minutes / Run 1 Minute (Repeat 4 times)

Tuesday: CT & The Essential Workout for Runners

Wednesday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 9 Minutes / Run 1 Minute (Repeat 4 times)

Thursday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 9 Minutes / Run 1 Minute (Repeat 4 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 1 Mile

Week 2

Sunday: CT & Leaner Legs Workout

Monday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 8 Minutes / Run 2 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Tuesday: CT & Lower Body Kettlebell Workout

Wednesday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 8 Minutes / Run 2 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Thursday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 8 Minutes / Run 2 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 2 Miles

Week 3

Sunday: CT & Runner’s Strength Training Workout

Monday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 8 Minutes / Run 2 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Tuesday: CT & The Essential Workout for Runners

Wednesday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 8 Minutes / Run 2 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Thursday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 8 Minutes / Run 2 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 3 Miles

Week 4

Sunday: CT & Leaner Legs Workout

Monday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 7 Minutes / Run 3 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Tuesday: CT & Lower Body Kettlebell Workout

Wednesday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 7 Minutes / Run 3 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Thursday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 7 Minutes / Run 3 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 3 Miles

Week 5

10-Minute Kettlebell Arm Workout - A quick and effective arm workout

Sunday: CT & Runner’s Strength Training Workout

Monday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 7 Minutes / Run 3 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Tuesday: CT & The Essential Workout for Runners

Wednesday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 7 Minutes / Run 3 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Thursday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 7 Minutes / Run 3 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 4 Miles

Week 6

Sunday: CT & Leaner Legs Workout

Monday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 6 Minutes / Run 4 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Tuesday: CT & Lower Body Kettlebell Workout

Wednesday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 6 Minutes / Run 4 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Thursday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 6 Minutes / Run 4 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 4 Miles

Week 7

Sunday: CT & Runner’s Strength Training Workout

Monday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 6 Minutes / Run 4 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Tuesday: CT & The Essential Workout for Runners

Wednesday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 6 Minutes / Run 4 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Thursday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 6 Minutes / Run 4 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 5 Miles

Week 8

Sunday: CT & Leaner Legs Workout

Monday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Tuesday: CT & Lower Body Kettlebell Workout

Wednesday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Thursday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 5 Miles

Week 9

Sunday: CT & Runner’s Strength Training Workout

Monday: 60 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 6 times)

Tuesday: CT & The Essential Workout for Runners

Wednesday: 60 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 6 times)

Thursday: 60 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 6 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 6 Miles

Week 10

Sunday: CT & Leaner Legs Workout

Monday: 60 Minute Workout – Walk 4 Minutes / Run 6 Minute (Repeat 6 times)

Tuesday: CT & Lower Body Kettlebell Workout

Wednesday: 60 Minute Workout – Walk 4 Minutes / Run 6 Minutes (Repeat 6 times)

Thursday: 60 Minute Workout – Walk 4 Minutes / Run 6 Minutes (Repeat 6 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 7 Miles (longest distance)

Week 11

Sunday: CT & Runner’s Strength Training Workout

Monday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Tuesday: CT & The Essential Workout for Runners

Wednesday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minute (Repeat 5 times)

Thursday: 50 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 5 times)

Friday: REST

Saturday: 4 Miles

Week 12

Sunday: CT & Leaner Legs Workout

Monday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Tuesday: CT & Lower Body Kettlebell Workout

Wednesday: 40 Minute Workout – Walk 5 Minutes / Run 5 Minutes (Repeat 4 times)

Thursday: REST (extra rest day)

Friday: REST

Saturday:  10k (6.2 Miles) Race Day!


Becoming a runner can seem impossible, but by following this 10k training plan for beginners, you’ll realize that you’re capable of completing anything you set your mind to. This program may test and challenge you, but if you can stick with it and stay consistent, you’ll successfully complete your first 10k!

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