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Beginner Runners 10K Training Schedule

Train to Run Your First 10K


Updated May 30, 2014

Two young guys stretching, running and working out together outside in a urban area on a sunny day.
Adam Hester/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The 10K (6.2 miles) distance is very popular with beginner runners, especially those who have done a 5K race, but don't feel they're quite ready to take on the half-marathon.

Below is an eight-week training schedule to help get you to the finish line. It assumes that you can already run at least 2 miles. If you've never run before, follow this step-by-step plan for building a running base. If you're looking for a run/walk program, try this run/walk 10K training schedule. If this schedule seems too easy to you, try the advanced beginner 10K schedule .

If you'd like to receive weekly emails to go along with this 10K training program, you can sign up here: Run Your First 10K E-Course

If you haven't had a recent physical, visit your doctor to get cleared for running. Don't forget to warm up before your runs, and finish your runs with a cool down and then stretching.

Notes about the schedule:

Mondays and Fridays: Mondays and Fridays are rest days. Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don't ignore rest days. Your muscles actually build and repair themselves during your rest days. So if you run every day without taking days off, you won't see much improvement.

Tuesdays and Thursdays: Run at a comfortable, conversational pace for the designated mileage. If you feel good during the last mile, pick up the pace a little so you're running at your anticipated 10K race pace.

Saturdays: This is your long run day. After you warm up, run at a comfortable, conversational pace for the designated mileage.

If you're running outside, and you're not sure how far you run, you can figure out the mileage by using sites such as MapMyRun.com. Or, you can always drive your route in your car and measure the mileage using your car odometer beforehand.

Wednesdays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer) at easy to moderate effort for 30 to 40 minutes. Strength-training is also very beneficial to get stronger and more injury-resistant. If you're feeling very sluggish or sore, take a rest day.

Sundays: This is an active recovery day. Your run should be at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles. Or, you can do a run/walk combination or cross-train.

You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So if you're busy on another day and prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day.

Beginner Runners' 10K Training Schedule

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 1.5 m run CT or Rest 1.5 m run Rest 2 m run 25-30 min EZ run or CT
2 Rest 2 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 2.5 m run 25-30 min EZ run or CT
3 Rest 2.5 mi run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 3.5 m run 30-35 min EZ run or CT
4 Rest 2.5 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 3.5 m run 35 min EZ run or CT
5 Rest 3 m run CT or Rest 2.5 m run Rest 4 m run 35-40 min EZ run or CT
6 Rest 3 m run CT 2.5 m run Rest 4.5 m run 35-40 min EZ run or CT
7 Rest 3.5 m run CT 3 m run Rest 5 m run 40 min EZ run or CT
8 Rest 3 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest Rest 10K Race!

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