Ok, so you’ve got the running bug. Or at least you’ve fitted running regularly into your life and your don’t hate it. The next natural progression for a lot of people is to step up and give themselves a new challenge, a new target. If you’re reasonably fit, this new challenge could well be training for a 10k.
What makes the 10k (6.2 miles) such a great distance is that it really improves you as a runner. It has the aspects of its smaller cousin, the 5k, but includes elements of its big brothers, the half and full marathon.
There are a lot of coaching programs and advice telling us how to train for a 10k, let’s look at the best.
First things first….
Where can I find a 10k race near me?
There a ton of search tools online. Active.com have a pretty cool international search browser on their site.
If you’re in the US, the BolderBoulder in Colorado is one of the must-do 10kers as you get cheered over the finishing line by 50,000 fans!!!
For your first 10k, then a flatter course might be advisable. Of course, the more scenic or interesting the better. One of my first 10kers was in an industrial town here in Japan which didn’t really add to the experience.
How long do I need to Train for a 10k?
This is the burning question. 10k running for beginners usually means you need about 6 weeks. To give yourself breathing space, best give yourself 2 months leading up to the race.
The training should slowly get tougher as you progress.
How much do I need to train per week?
Most good training programs suggest having two rest days (actually they demand two rest days, more on this in a bit).
The other day in the week should be devoted to some kind of cross training- gym work, cycling, swimming are all good options.
How far do I need to run per week?
The optimum is about 20k a week.
During the week, start at easy 0-6k runs, three times a week. On the weekend, start at 6-7 k on Saturday.
These distances should then be slowly increased. Of course, if you find it tough going, don’t increase the distances. It’s fine to keep at that beginner level for a couple of weeks if you’re really struggling.
What is a good time for completing a 10k race?
Haha! Elite athletes will complete the 6.2 miles in under 30 minutes. Us mere mortals will expect to complete it in somewhere between 45-75 minutes.
To give you a better idea, to complete the 10k in about an hour you need to hit 10 minutes to the mile.
When you’re training, grab yourself a running app on your phone. After a couple of weeks training you can gauge a reachable target to aim for in terms of finishing time.
What are important points to remember for training for a 10k?
Here at lifeisnotsprint we believe in keeping things simple. Let’s keep this list of important things to remember down to a few items.
First, be consistent. As USA’s 10K Trail Champion David Roche says: it’s better to start of with a constant 10-15 minutes a day. Running a full ten kilometres but then not running for 5-6 days is not the way to do it. Get your body used to running by doing it regularly.
Second, Mr. Roche also says that the dreaded hill work is important if you want to improve your speed.
Lastly, your rest days are really important. Different programs recommend different patterns but Friday and Monday are a good combination.
What’s the best training program for 10k training?
We already mentioned the myriad of running training programs. To be honest, any of the big running magazines have you covered when you are training for a 10k.
However, jumping fully on the keep-it-simple wagon you can’t go wrong with Hal Higdon’s course (the link is at the end of this article).
Too many 10k running programs have you hopping around and following complex instructions. Mr. Higdon’s course doesn’t do this as it gives you a very simple and regular schedule to follow.
So what’s stopping you!?! Use what we’ve given you here and get training for a 10k!
These articles were used in the research of this piece: