For the beginning runner in their first 10k, it can exciting, overwhelming and even a nervous experience. In 10k training for beginners, there are certain training levels to follow to ensure your safety and to prevent injuries. In addition to having fun and preventing injury, you should train slowly and methodically for maximum results.
What Is a 10k?
A 10k run is 6.2 miles. For the new runner, the goal should not be to run 6.2 miles or even 1 mile in the beginning. It is important to acclimate the body slowly to running, giving the joints and muscles time to adjust to the required energy and stamina placed on it. Pacing yourself at the beginning of your 10k training will ensure that you will finish the run without injury and have a pleasant experience.
Establishing a Base
To begin training for a 10k run, establish a foundational base of strength by walking for at least 30 to 45 minutes a day, 4 or 5 days a week. Do this for two to three weeks before you begin running. It will help your body become acclimated to exercising, strengthen joints, muscles and legs and give your heart a good cardio workout base to begin distance running.
After establishing a solid walking base, slowly begin adding increments of light jogging for interval time periods. For instance, while walking for 2 minutes, interject periods of light jogging for 30 to 60 seconds. Do this for the duration of your 30 to 45 minutes a day of walking. Each week, slowly increase the amount of time that you are light jogging and decrease the amount of time that you're walking. This workout will eventually have you walking for 30 seconds and jogging for two minutes. Over a period of one to two weeks, your heart and lung muscles and the leg strength you've gained will move you to the next level.
Time to Increase Your Pace
After light jogging for a few weeks, your body is now ready to increase your pace. Begin jogging for periods of two to five minutes without stopping. You may have to slow down, but the key is to not stop, because you're building endurance. Endurance over speed is critical for beginners, because it helps to establish their physical power base that the body needs to run. If you can maintain a comfortable pace, one where you can breath easily and speak in two to three word increments, you've arrived at the point where you can run about a 1/2 mile without stopping.
After you are able to run five minutes without stopping, slowly increase this by one minute each week on your run days. It becomes easier for you each time, and you'll feel like you can run farther, but don't. It's important to take rest days in between each running session, so as to give the body time to rest and refuel. After about 8 to 12 weeks, a beginning runner will be able to safely and confidently complete their first 10k run and will be looking for the next opportunity!