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Blog Fitness Workouts Cardio Workouts 10K Training Schedules: The Dos And Don’ts Of Getting In Shape For A Marathon

10K Training Schedules: The Dos And Don’ts Of Getting In Shape For A Marathon

10k training schedule

The goal of a 10K race is to run a distance that is approximately 6.2 miles or 10 kilometers. The average time it takes to complete a 10K event ranges from one hour and thirty minutes to two hours. This makes it an ideal distance for those who are not quite yet ready for the marathon but want to push themselves in preparation for one day running 26 miles. In preparation for your first ever 10k race, you need a solid training schedule, which you’ll find in this article. You’ll also find guidelines on how to make 10k training schedules work for you and special considerations for those who want to run their best 10K race, but lack the time needed to make it happen.

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Sample Training Schedule For 10K

A 10K run is one of the most popular road races (6). A standard 10K training routine is six days a week. On each day, you’ll do a different workout consisting of running, cross-training, and recovery. While this is the ideal schedule for beginners who are working hard to get in shape for their first race, it’s not the only way to complete this distance in preparation for your goal 10k event. 

If you’re pressed for time or find that your schedule won’t accommodate doing all six runs per week, consider doing just five workouts per week instead. It’s also possible to shorten some of the rest days if needed to fit it into your schedule without compromising too much on the quality of the runs you have planned. 

Here are the details for your 10k training schedules:

  • Monday and Friday: Rest days.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: Run at a comfortable pace, you should be able to speak and breathe easily. 
  • Wednesdays: Cross-train or walk. 
  • Saturdays: Long runs (1-2hrs) with up to 30 min break in the middle for snacks/bathroom breaks/etc. 
  • Sundays: Active recovery, cross-train, or walk.
10k training schedule 8 weeks
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Sample Workout Schedules For 4 Weeks Before Race Day

If you have 4 weeks to your 10k race, you should plan your schedule so that you have no more than 1 rest day each week. However, this doesn’t mean that you should over-train and risk an injury. It is possible to overtrain and this has negative effects (5). 

Here are some workout examples for 4 weeks before race day:

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: Run at a comfortable pace, you should be able to speak and breathe easily. 
  • Wednesday: Cross-train or walk.
  • Thursday: Long run (1-2hrs) with up to 30 min break in the middle for snacks/bathroom breaks.
  • Friday: Active recovery, cross-training, or walk.
  • Saturday: Long run (1-2hrs) including a few short intervals of running as fast as you can during the run. With up to 30 min break in between sets of these short bursts of fast running. 
  • Sunday: Active recovery, cross-training, or walk.

Read More: Marathon Training Plan: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

Sample Workout Schedules For 8 Weeks Before Race Day

If you have 8 weeks to your 10k race, you should plan your schedule so that you have no more than 2 rest days each week. 

Here are some workout examples for 8 weeks before race day:

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: Run 5 miles.
  • Wednesday: Cross-training on the bike or elliptical.
  • Thursday: Run 6 miles.
  • Friday: Rest day.
  • Saturday: Long run.
  • Sunday: Walk 30 minutes to recover.
training schedule for 10k
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Sample Workout Schedules For 10 Weeks Before Race Day

If you have 10 weeks to your 10k race, you should plan your schedule so that you have no more than 3 rest days each week. Here are some workout examples for 12 weeks before race day:

  • Monday: Rest day.
  • Tuesday: Run 5 miles.
  • Wednesday: Cross-training on the bike or elliptical.
  • Thursday: Run 6 miles.
  • Friday: Rest day.
  • Saturday: Long run (1-2hrs) including a few short intervals of running as fast as you can during the run. With up to 30 min break in between sets of these short bursts of fast running. 
  • Sunday: Rest day.

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See also  Run 5 Miles A Day: Debunking The Myths About Running 5 Miles And Setting The Record Straight!

Training Tips For 10K – The Dos And Don’ts

If you have a 10k race coming up in the next 4 – 12 weeks, you’ll want to start your training as soon as possible. Here are some tips for getting started with your training:

Do: Start Slow And Build Up

If you run too much or too fast in your first month of training, you’ll burn out quickly and risk injuring yourself. Allow your body time to start getting used to running.

Don’t start by running your longest distance on your first day. Begin with a warm-up and some dynamic stretches (3). Then start your run at a comfortable pace. You should be able to hold a conversation and breath without struggling while running at this pace.

10k training schedule
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Do: Reflect On Your Goals 

Why are you training for this 10k race? Are you doing it because your friends or coworkers are? Is there another reason that’s more personal to you? Think about what you hope to achieve with this race and write down your goals. Use these as inspiration throughout your training.

Do: Wear Comfortable Shoes

You don’t need to buy expensive shoes for training, but you do want something that’s designed for running (not walking). Comfortable shoes are essential to prevent injuries when you’re training (7).

Read More: How Often Should I Run? Finding The Right Frequency For Optimal Benefits

Do: Cross Train

Alternate between running and cross-training so that each muscle group is properly built up and conditioned. Building muscles also builds endurance, which will come in handy during the race. Furthermore, cross-training days may give some muscle groups a break, especially those you use for running, allowing you to be reenergized the next day.

10k training schedule beginner
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Do: Fuel Your Runs With Whole Foods And Plenty Of Water

Don’t eat donuts and chips to fuel your runs. If you only fuel your body with processed foods, that’s all you’re going to get out of your body when the running gets tough. 

An ideal diet while training for a 10k includes plenty of produce, whole grains, and lean proteins (4). Drink plenty of water and avoid soda and alcohol (or at least limit them to one drink a week) (8).

Do: Stretch After Your Runs

Post-run stretching is important. Dynamic stretches are great for keeping your muscles limber before you run, but post-run static stretching is important for keeping them loose after you’ve completed your workout for the day (2).

Don’t: Push Yourself Too Hard

Always listen to your body and be mindful of your limits. If you find yourself getting tired or worn out, slow your pace down until you feel refreshed and ready to hit the road again.

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See also  Taking A Week Off From Lifting: How Rest Days Could Help You Maximize Your Gains
10k training schedule
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Do: Take Care Of Your Body

Use the rest days in your schedule wisely by giving yourself enough recovery time between running events each week. Not getting enough rest can lead to injuries that could keep you sidelined for weeks or even months. Studies show that not getting adequate sleep increases the risk of injury (1). 

The Bottom Line

Training for a 10k requires dedication and consistency. But, if you can stick with it, your body is going to be stronger, healthier, leaner — not to mention more prepared for the race. The most important thing to note while training is that building endurance is more important than speed. As they say, slow but steady always wins the race.

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DISCLAIMER:

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. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. How Sleep Affects Athletic Performance (2021, sleepfoundation.org)
  2. How to stretch after a run (2021, nhs.uk)
  3. How To Stretch Before a Run—Properly (2021, yalemedicine.org)
  4. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: nutritional considerations for single-stage ultra-marathon training and racing – Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2019, biomedcentral.com)
  5. Overtraining Syndrome (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  6. Performance Trends In Large 10-Km Road Running Races In The United States (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  7. Running shoes and running injuries: mythbusting and a proposal for two new paradigms: ‘preferred movement path’ and ‘comfort filter’ (2015, bjsm.bmj.com)
  8. Sports and Hydration: What to Drink, How Much, How Often, and More Tips (n.d., webmd.com)
Jeremy Mukhwana

Jeremy is a writer and part-time soccer player who is keen on demystifying the matters of fitness, health, and weight loss. His articles are focused on providing factual information and helping readers enjoy their fitness journeys. He understands that wellness is an often misunderstood yet deeply rewarding avenue of improving one’s life, which is why he is so committed to encouraging people to live their healthiest lives through his work. When he’s not typing away at his keyboard, he’s indulging his passion for soccer. The motto that guides Jeremy through his life is  ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’

I. Grebeniuk

Hey there! I'm a European Champion in synchronized swimming who holds a Bachelor degree in Physical Education. I have experience in working with Olympic level athletes, produced National Champions, State Champions and helped athletes secure their spots on the National teams.
I don't just want to work with professional athletes. I strongly believe that my purpose is to help anybody I work with to achieve their fitness goals and become their best self.

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