How do you train for a 10k as a beginner or novice? For most people, running is a form of daily exercise that helps them either shed some extra stubborn pounds, maintain their fitness, relieve stress, or a form of self-care that helps them get their mind in order and start the day right. However, for some running is a more serious thing and they have milestones that need to be completed. If you are in the latter group and have never run long distance before, then a 10k training plan beginner schedule is a good place to start. If you are interested in learning how to train for a 10k run, the benefits of participating in one as well as a simple yet effective 10k plan beginner friendly schedule, keep reading to find out more.
How Many Miles Is A 10K?
Also known as a 10k road race, 10k run, 10 km, or simply 10k – it is one of the most popular types of distance races known today. In miles, the 10 k translates to 6.2 miles. In many western countries (America and the UK especially), these 10k races are held within communities either as a part of a charity event or as a way to bring the community together in a fun physical activity.
According to healthline.com, this running distance is perfect for anyone who has done a couple of 5k runs and is looking to push themselves further and is also ideal for advanced runners looking to train for the very popular half marathon or a full marathon.
Things To Do Before Taking Part In A 10k Training Plan Beginner Schedule
While you may be quick to jump straight into a 10k training plan beginner programme, this is not a good idea. Doing this without proper information and preparation might lead to injury or even giving up before you finally achieve your goals. Here are some tips to help you successfully complete your 10k training plan as a novice.
Understand Your Abilities
As previously stated, the 10k race is often used by advanced runners as a workout or to help them train for a half marathon or a marathon. It is also done by intermediate runners who want to upgrade from a 5k run. If you are a complete novice at distance running, then a 6-week 10k training beginner schedule might be too much for you. Instead, pick a longer schedule such as a 10k training plan beginner 12 weeks schedule to help you train at a slower pace – this will help avoid overtraining and injury.
Find A Support System
Running, like working out, is better when done with a partner. It is more fun, exponentially increases your chance of sticking to the training plan, provides you with a constant source of motivation and is a fantastic way to meet new people who share your common interests.
3. Find A Plan That Works For You
Not all plans are made the same. Some plans work best for advanced runners while others are more suitable for beginners. Active.com suggests that beginners work best with 12 to 14 week plans while advanced or intermediate runners would find a 10 to 12 week plan more favourable.
4. Get Comfortable Shoes
Having the right workout accessories can make or break your schedule and thus having the right kind of running shoes could mean the difference between success or a debilitating injury. The best running shoe is one that is both light and breathable, works well with your gait, doesn’t rub your heel at the back and leaves some wiggle room in front of your big toe. Please note that while running shoes are typically more expensive, they are a fantastic investment for anyone looking to run long distance or participate in a 10k.
Read More: 10K Training Schedules: The Dos And Don’ts Of Getting In Shape For A Marathon
Warm Ups and cool downs should always be part and parcel of your running routine. This helps keep your muscles limber and prevents injury.
6. Vary Your Workouts
Many 10k training plan beginner schedules include more than just running to your routine. This is called cross-training and it is any sport or exercise that supplements your main sport. A 2019 review stated that cross-training (5)
- Helps balance your muscles – While running is a full body workout, the muscles that are used are mostly in your lower body. By doing other workouts you are able to target other muscles in your body and strengthen them too
- Continues to improve your cardiovascular fitness
- Reduces your chance of injury – Stronger muscles are less likely to bruise or injure. By strengthening all your muscles – not just those in your legs – will help you stay injury free.
- Helps get rid of boredom – Yes, running is an essential part of a 10k training program, but running every day of the week can get extremely boring. Switching your routine from just running to swimming, cycling, jumping rope, etc., keeps you from getting bored with your 10 week 10k training plan beginner routine.
Try to cross-train at least two to three days a week.
7. Remember To Rest
How Many Miles Is 10000 Meters
In miles, 10,000 meters translates to 6.2 miles.
What And How To Eat While On The 10K Training Plan Beginner Program
While training hard is important, what to consume also determines how well you are able to build your endurance and how quickly you can escalate your training. Here are some top tips on what and how to eat while training for a 10k.
Increase Your Macros
Decreasing your calorie intake during the 10k training plan 8 weeks schedule is the absolute worst idea that you could have – this is not the time to eat less but more. Remember that running burns calories, during and after the workout is complete and you need to replace all the calories lost to ensure that your muscles get stronger, and that you do not pass out in the middle of your run.
Several studies have also shown that running increases appetite too so be sure to listen to and fuel your body appropriately. Remember to only consume nutrient-rich whole foods and not junk food which only offers empty calories (1, 3). Such a diet will not only ensure that your body will have the energy it needs but it also aids in muscle recovery and decreasing inflammation which helps you avoid injury.
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Increase Your Protein Intake
According to Runner’s World and the Cleveland Clinic, protein is one of the most essential nutrients in a runner’s diet – especially if your run will exceed a one hour limit. This macronutrient helps build and repair muscles while while on the 10k training plan beginner program, will be torn and repaired a bunch of time over before you are finally ready for your race.
Please note that a high-protein diet also helps with muscle mass, muscle strength, boosting immunity and can reduce the loss of muscle as you lose weight over time during your program (4). Some great protein sources include tofu, bean and lentils, lean meats, fish and poultry, eggs, milk, nuts and seeds, as well as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
Say YES To Carbs
Low-carb diets certainly have their benefits, especially in relation to weight loss but such diets have no place on a 10k training plan beginner meal plan. Why is this? Well, carbs are basically fuel for your body and especially for your muscles. When you consume carbohydrates, your body breaks them down turning them into glucose which is then absorbed and used to give you energy and fuel you.
During this training program, you should aim to consume carbs especially before your workout as they will be turned to glucose giving you enough energy to power through your run. In terms of macros, The New York Times states that endurance athletes should try to get 60 to 65 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates (2).
The best carbohydrate sources include whole grains, gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa, buckwheat, corn, legumes and lentils, fruits and starchy vegetables.
Make sure to drink water before, during, and after your run.
Read More: Marathon Training Plan: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners
The Best 10K Training Plan Beginner 8 Weeks Program
Here is a simple sample of a 10k training plan beginner schedule. Please note that if this plan is too easy or hard for you, be sure to adjust it to fit your exact needs and endurance levels:
|1||Rest||2 miles||Rest||2 miles||Rest||2 miles||35 min cross|
|2||Rest||2.5 miles||Cross-train||2 miles||Rest||2.5 miles||40 min cross|
|3||Rest||2.5 miles||Rest||2 miles||Rest||3.5 miles||40 min cross|
|4||Rest||3 miles||Cross-train||2 miles||Rest||3.5 miles||50 min cross|
|5||Rest||3 miles||Cross-train||2 miles||Rest||4 miles||50 min cross|
|6||Rest||3.5 miles||Rest||2 miles||Rest||4.5 miles||60 min cross|
|7||Rest||3.5 miles||Cross-train||2 miles||Rest||5 miles||60 min cross|
|8||Rest||3 miles||Cross-train||2 miles||Rest||Rest||Race Day|
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The Bottom Line
If running a challenging 10k is a plan on your bucket list, be sure to use and follow the above tips, tricks and sample schedule to help you get ready for race day. Please be sure to first speak to your doctor before embarking on this training program, especially if you have a chronic ailment or bone issues like arthritis.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Acute and Chronic Effects of Exercise on Appetite, Energy Intake, and Appetite-Related Hormones: The Modulating Effect of Adiposity, Sex, and Habitual Physical Activity (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- How to Feed a Runner (n.d., nytimes.com)
- Influence of Running and Walking on Hormonal Regulators of Appetite in Women (2012, hindawi.com)
- Protein for exercise and recovery (2009, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Training and Competition Readiness in Triathlon (2019, mdpi.com)