There are many Couch to 5k apps on the market, but what if you want to continue your running journey and take on a 10k?
If you’ve recently completed your first 5k, you may be looking for one of the best 5k to 10k running apps to help you run a 10k.
Running a 10k is a goal for many runners who have completed their first 5k. After all, it makes sense to want to continue running and take on the next challenge.
However, there are so many options, 5k to 10k apps and 5k to 10k training plans out there, it can quickly become overwhelming.
If you’ve completed the Couch to 5k training plan, for example, it can be hard though to know what to do after Couch to 5k.
In this guide we’ll explore:
- How long is a 10k?
- How to increase running distance from 5k to 10k
- 5k to 10k training plan
- Why use a 5k to 10k running app?
- 5 of the best 5k to 10k running apps
Let’s get started!
How long is a 10k?
A 10k in miles in 6.2 miles.
A 5k is effectively half the distance at 3.1 miles, so if you’re new to running a 10k, you’ll need to take this into consideration when using a 5k to 10k training plan.
This may sound unachievable to you right now, but with the right mindset and support and guidance from a 5k to 10k running app, you will achieve your goal!
How to increase running distance from 5k to 10k?
When transitioning from running a 5k to 10k, there are a few things that you need to consider in order to make this transition a success.
In summary these are:
- Endurance and stamina
- Mental toughness
Endurance and stamina
With a 10k being double the distance, this means you’ll need to build up your endurance and stamina (e.g. your aerobic fitness) in order to run a 10k.
You will need to run more regularly and progress at regular intervals as part of a well-rounded training plan.
Running workouts like easy runs, long runs and tempo running are essential to build stamina and endurance.
Pacing is essentially the rate at which you run, or put simply, how quick you run a certain distance.
This is important because your pace during a 5k run will not be the same as your pace during a 10k run.
If you’ve already run a 5k and want to determine what your pace should be for a 10k run, then I suggest you use a running pace calculator to work this out.
A pace calculator will help determine your pace based on any two variables – pace, distance or time.
For example, if your 5k race time is 30 minutes, then your 5k pace will be around 9.39 minutes per mile. This means your 10k race pace will be roughly 30 seconds slower, around 10:04 minutes per mile.
Related: How to pace your run
Mental toughness, as well as physical toughness, is key in helping you go the distance.
A 5k is 3.1 miles, whereas a 10k is 6.2 miles. Whilst this may not seem like a big increase on paper, you are doubling the running distance.
Many new runners when transitioning from a 5k to a 10k underestimate this distance increase.
According to research conducted at the University of Wales, mental toughness boils down to confidence, consistency, control, determination and focus.
The key takeaway? As long as you’re consistent during your training and you have the determination to stick with your 5k to 10k training plan, when it comes to race day, it will be that much simpler.
A simple tip is to think of the 10k as two 5k runs sandwiched together – this way it feels that little bit less overwhelming!
Related: 6 mental tips for long runs
5k to 10k training plan
A 10k training plan will be slightly different from a 5k training plan.
Aside from the increased running distance, 10k training plans are normally longer in duration (normally between 6 to 10 weeks) and include activities like speed training and strength training.
A 10k training plan will also include the following runs and workouts:
- 2-4 easy runs
- 1 long run
- 1-2 speed training sessions
- 1 strength training and/or cross training session
The important thing is that you use a training plan to gradually build up to a 10k distance. This means running regularly and progressing at regular intervals.
This way you minimise the risk of overtraining, or training too little which leaves you unprepared for race day.
The key is to find a training plan that is right for you and your fitness goals.
The process of finding a suitable training plan may take some trial and error, but you will get there in the end.
Why use a 5k to 10k running app?
The beauty of a running app is that it offers a ready-made training plan and keeps you accountable for your runs.
The last thing you want is to lose your running mojo and ruin all the progress that you’ve already made.
A 5k to 10k running app is for you if:
- You have recently completed Couch to 5k and you want to continue your running journey.
- You cannot join a running group but want guidance on how to run a 10k.
- You want to train for a 10k and you’re in need of a training plan.
- You’re returning to running following a break or injury and want tailored advice on how to complete a 10k or build up to running a 10k.
- You want to share your runs and run times with other runners on social media and other running platforms like Strava.
Benefits of using a 5k to 10k running app
There are many benefits to using a 5k to 10k running app. These include:
- It offers a ready-made training plan.
- It keeps you accountable for your runs.
- It offers coaching and guidance when running a 5k or 10k.
- It allows you to log your workouts and share your progress with other runners.
- It allows to integrate your running progress with other apps like Apple Health.
- It offers you motivation and support through every run.
The best 5k to 10k running apps
Active.com 5k to 10k app
The 5k to 10k running app from Active.com helps you run a 10k in just nine weeks.
Active.com already has an award winning Couch to 5k app under their belt, and this 5k to 10k app has been designed to help you continue your running experience following the Couch to 5k plan.
The app uses three different interactive coaches to give you the motivation and support in every run, with real-human audio cues to guide you.
You can also track your pace and distance with GPS, as well as listen to your own playlists, log your own workouts and much more.
Fitness22 10k running app
With over 1.2 million users worldwide, the Fitness22 10k running app is probably one of my favourite apps.
Not only does it have a range of features, it has a really simple user interface which makes app navigation really simple.
The app is for beginners and 5k runners alike and allows you to go from zero to 5k in 8 weeks, then 5k to 10k in a further 6 weeks.
Some of its features include: interactive coaches, playlists, communities, achievements and badges, Facebook and Twitter integration and outdoors and treadmill functions.
The app also integrates with other GPS apps like Nike+ and Apple Health for calorie calculation.
10k Trainer by C25K running app
This 10k trainer app from Zen Labs gets you running from Couch to 10k in 14 weeks, so it is great if you want more time to reach your goal.
It’s one of the best 5k to 10k running apps if you’re looking for a plan that is flexible and not too daunting as a beginner runner.
10k trainer gets you running three times each week, which I think is manageable if you have never run a 10k before.
The app allows you to track your runs and it also integrates with the Apple Health app and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Zen Labs have also developed a range of other running apps, including Couch to 5k, half marathon and marathon training programmes.
If you have already used their Couch to 5k app, you can sequence the 10k app so it picks up where you left off, which I think is a pretty cool feature.
MapMyRun running app
The MapMyRun running app from Under Armour is one of my favourite running apps. It was the first app I ever used when I first started running.
MapMyRun offers a 10k training plan that is designed to get you running a 10k in 8 weeks.
The training plan is well-structured and includes everything from mobility and strength training to recovery and endurance.
The training plan is quite intensive, so if you’re running your first 10k having completed the Couch to 5k programme, I’d suggest you get a few 5k runs under your belt before attempting this plan.
Nike Run Club App
The Nike Run Club App is probably one of the most popular running apps in the world.
The app offers an 8-week 10k training plan that is designed to challenge and excite you through a mixture of speed and endurance runs.
As with the MapMyRun app, I would suggest you are comfortable with running a 5k and have at least 4 weeks of training under your belt before completing this plan.
You can also take advantage of the Nike Training Club App where you will find a range of cardio, HIIT and strength workouts at your disposal.