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Video:10K Training Plan for Beginner Runners

with Jonathon Stewart

Feeling ready to tackle your first 6.2 mile run? Take a look at this simple training plan for beginner runners.See Transcript

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Transcript:10K Training Plan for Beginner Runners

Before you tackle that marathon or half-marathon, the 10K is a good starting point for beginning runners. Traversing 6.2 miles, this competitive run is challenging enough to warrant creating a training plan and serves as a worthwhile and achievable goal.

10K Training Plan for Beginner Runners

Here's what you need to do as a beginner to prepare for the 10K. Set a minimum of eight weeks as your training period, as this provides two months to build stamina and speed, as well as the conditioning your muscles need to go beyond the couple miles you may run now. This plan is built around the assumption that you will run the entire course at varied speeds and cross the finish line smiling.

Ideas for a 10K Training Plan for Beginner Runners

Each Monday of every week is my favorite part. It's a day to rest. Just as much as the running itself, it's important to give your body the time it needs to recover. By week two, you'll really be truly grateful for a case of the Mondays.

Over the course of the eight weeks, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays are your run days. Each week offers variable lengths or times. You'll progress from 1.5 miles on these days during the first week to 2 miles, 2.5 miles, 3 miles, and so on. Week seven will push you up to 5 miles, which is very close to the total mileage for the 10K.

More Ideas for a 10K Training Plan for Beginner Runners

Each running session should be done at a pace that is comfortable for you. Only as you build strength and stamina, should you begin to push yourself to pick up the pace, which generally shouldn't happen until late in your training period, if at all. Finishing this 10k should make you feel great, not exhausted.Wednesdays are all about cross training, which you might also consider as an alternate to running on Sundays. This should consist of thirty to forty minutes of cardiovascular exercise, such as swimming, biking, or using an elliptical trainer. This gives running muscles a break but helps you continue building your stamina.

Alternatively, you can also use Wednesday as a rest day if you feel yourself getting sluggish or your muscles are sore. It's important to not overdo your training. It will not only discourage you, but it also could lead to an injury that takes you out of the race.Friday is also a day of rest. While it may seem like you are doing more resting than training, you're actually allowing your body to conserve energy as well as build stamina. You may notice that you've got more juice for your runs as you go, since your muscles will have had the time to re-coop and grow, providing further assistance during subsequent training cycles.

Throughout the course of your training, it's important to take the time to warm up and cool down. Be sure to also check with your physician before starting this program to ensure it fits your current health condition. Sticking to this plan and getting a good day of rest just before race day will have you raring to take on your first 10K.

I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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