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10K Training Plans for Non-Runners

A 10k training plan is essential for those who want to try one of these long-distance events. The 10k or ten kilometer race is one of the bigger challenges for someone just starting out as a runner. The shorter 5k is about 3 miles, so the 10k is just over 6 miles. The difference is enough to strain the bones and muscles of someone who isn't used to running.

In order to help beginning runners train for a 10k, a trainer may provide an overall 10k training plan. This plan or schedule will show beginners what to do in order to progressively train up to their desired levels for running a 10k. You can post a 10k training plan in a prominent place in your home and refer to it for ongoing running and cardio training.

Though every 10k training plan is different, there are some common elements that many of them incorporate to give beginners the edge they need to stay in the race on the day of the 10k.

Warm-ups

Many of 10k training plans include both warm-ups (short stretching or aerobic sessions before a run) and cool-downs (similar sessions after a run). These help support the muscles and bones when they are being challenged by longer and longer running periods. Some experts say a cool-down can be just as important, if not more, than a warm-up. Warm up activities, however, are popular with those who feel that they prepare the body physically, as well as helping with mental preparation. Warm-ups and cool-downs may include targeted stretching, yoga, pilates or many other types of activities.

Jogging/Walking Ratios

Other 10k plans increase the beginner's capacity through sessions that include a mix of times jogging and walking. Minute by minute plans help ensure a gradual build to a running "plateau," where the beginner is able to sustain their run for a longer period of time.

Distance Increments

Another big element in a 10k training plan is the strategy for helping to build the capacity for the "long haul," through increasing distances responsibly. When a person is training from the beginning, there are issues of lung and cardio capacity to consider, and there are some hidden dangers in upping a routine too quickly. These are mainly related to the joints and bones. Even if you feel fine while running long distances (not winded or cramped), you can still suffer a knee, hip or ankle injury suddenly, due to over-training. In order to prevent this, many 10k training plans include specific distance increases each week, to make sure that an enthusiastic runner doesn't try to go from 0 to 60 overnight and up the chances of a joint injury or other related condition.

Other Low-Impact Training

A 10k training plan may include supplementary activities or sessions on elliptical machines. These machines are built for lower impact during cardio. For some beginners, an elliptical plan to complement weekly running gives weaker areas of the body a chance to catch up. Ask your trainer about the use of ellipticals to help ramp up for running.

Those who are interested in their own 10k training plan can get detailed, personal schedules from experts and groups that advise new recruits on how to best prepare for a 10k event.

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