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The ultimate beginner 10k training plan: Week by week plan + printable

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Many runners go on to run a 10k having completed a 5k – it’s the natural next milestone on their running journey.

The beginner 10k training plan in this guide is aimed at new runners looking to increase their mileage.

It’s also great for more advanced runners looking for a gentle schedule.

So if you’re looking to train for your next 10k, this training plan has got you covered!

In this guide we’ll explore:

  • Who should complete this beginner 10k training plan?
  • What’s included in the plan?
  • 6 tips on running a 10k
  • Beginner 10k training plan: Week by week plan
  • Beginner 10k training plan PDF

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

beginner 10k training plan

Who should complete this beginner 10k training plan?

This plan can be used to prepare you for your next 10k race. The plan is 10 weeks long so if your race is less than or more than 10 weeks away, you can adjust it accordingly. 

This beginner 10k training plan is for you if:

  • You have a good level of fitness and you can comfortably run for 30 minutes without stopping.
  • You have completed 5k runs numerous times or have run longer distances. 

The shortest run in this plan is 2.5 miles – if that feels like too much for you at the moment, this plan is not for you. Try my beginner 5k training plan or my intermediate 5k training plan instead. 

If you find the plan is too easy for you, then try out my intermediate 10k training plan which will get you running a 10k in 8 weeks.

What’s included in the plan? 

This beginner 10k training plan includes the following runs and workouts:

  • 2 easy runs
  • 1 long run
  • 2 cross training sessions
  • 2 optional strength training sessions
  • 2 rest days

You’ll notice in the plan that there are activities other than running.

This is because with any good, well-rounded beginner 10k training plan, you need to be doing ancillary activities and exercises that complement your running.

These take the form of resting, walking, cross training and strength training, in addition to your easy and long runs. 

Here is a breakdown of what these activities are and how they are used in the plan:

Easy runs

Easy runs are designed to be just that – ‘easy’.

Don’t worry about speed or pace during these runs, as long as you cover the required distance and run at a gentle pace.

You should be able to comfortably hold a conversation when you run. In this plan you will have three easy runs per week. 

Long runs

In this plan you will have one long run per week on a Sunday. This is so you can plan it into your weekend, as it’s normally easier to do longer runs at the weekend.

If Sunday isn’t convenient for you, feel free to do them on a Saturday and swap it with your cross training.

Long runs should be run at a slow pace – and don’t be afraid to take walking breaks. Your goal is to cover the distance. 

Cross training (CT)

Cross training is basically any activity other than running that is classified as aerobic training.

Walking, brisk walking, hiking, cycling and swimming are all good forms of cross training that are aerobic in nature (i.e. exercise of low to high intensity).

If you ever feel tired or need a break during a run, don’t be afraid to walk. It’s better to stop running and walk instead of pushing on and risking injury. 

Cross training in this plan should be easy. Don’t train too vigorously.

beginner 10k training plan

Strength training

Strength training, also known as resistance training, benefits your running form and economy (2016 study) and has been shown to reduce the risk of injury.

Whilst strength training sessions are not included in this plan (they are optional), they can be completed after your easy runs.

Check out my strength training guide for runners for more information on including strength training in your training routine.

Rest days

Rest and recovery is integral to any training plan and is a crucial part of a good injury prevention strategy.

Many runners think rest days are bad, when in fact you can’t train efficiently without proper rest so take them seriously.

Your two main rest days in my plan are before and after the long run on a Friday and Monday.

Stretching and foam rolling

Stretching is crucial in the recovery process and helps to reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility.

Make sure you find time to stretch and foam roll, particularly after long runs. 

Related: Intermediate 10k training plan: Run a 10k in 8 weeks

beginner 10k training plan

6 tips for running a 10k

Now you know what’s included in a beginner 10k training plan, here are 6 tips for running a 10k:

#1 Remember to warm up

lt’s important to do a warm up before each run and cool down after each run.

Whilst the warm up is designed to get your heart rate up before your run and loosen your muscles, the cool down will return your body to its pre-exercise state.

Aim to include a light jog and some dynamic stretches in your warm up.

#2 Wear the right running shoes

Finding the right pair of running shoes can be daunting, but they will go a long way to help you improve your running performance and help prevent injuries.

A good pair of running shoes will provide comfort and stability on your runs.

Check out my running shoes guide for more information on finding the right pair of running shoes.

#3 Eat the right foods

Food and nutrition are just as important as running when it comes to training for a 10k.

Aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your two main fuel sources should be carbohydrates and protein.

Check out my guide on what to eat before a run for more information and tips.

#4 Listen to your body

Training for a 10k can be quite gruelling, especially if it’s your first 10k race having completed 5k runs.

Listen to your body and if at any point you need to take a walking break during the plan, then don’t be afraid to.

Rest days are also scheduled in the plan for a reason – so don’t be tempted to skip them.

#5 Pace yourself

You may already have a goal race time in mind. Whatever this is, make sure it is realistic according to your running experience and fitness levels.

If you’re a beginner runner, you can expect to run a 10k in between 60 and 70 minutes.

The average 10k time is 49:43 across all ages and genders, so if you finish your 10k at around 50 minutes, this is a huge achievement!

You can use a running pace calculator to work out what your pace should be during your training and on race day.

#6 Be consistent

A successful training plan comes down to consistency.

In order to achieve your goal race time, you will need to put in the miles each week and maintain momentum throughout the 10 week plan.

It may feel daunting at first, but with the right mindset and motivation, you will get there!

beginner 10k training plan

Beginner 10k training plan: Week by week plan

Week 1:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 2.5 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 30 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 40 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 3 mile long run

Week 2:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 2.5 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 30 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 40 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 3.5 mile long run

Week 3:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 2.5 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 35 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 50 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 4 mile long run

Week 4:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 35 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 50 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 4 mile long run

Week 5:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 35 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 50 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 4 mile long run

Week 6:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 40 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 60 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 4.5 mile long run

Week 7:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 40 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 60 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 5 mile long run

Week 8:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 40 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 60 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 5 mile long run

Week 9:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 45 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 60 minute cross training
  • Sunday – 5.5 mile long run

Week 10:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – 3 mile easy run 
  • Wednesday – 30 minute cross training
  • Thursday – 2 mile easy run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – Rest day
  • Sunday – 10k run

Beginner 10k training plan PDF

beginner 10k training plan

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