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10K Training Guides for the Gym

The gym is the perfect place to train for a race, whether you're training for a 3K, 5K, 8K or 10K run, especially during rainy and cold months. Following a training program and sticking to it will boost your performance during race day. If you've never raced before, start with a 3K or 5K training program. Always get the okay from your doctor before you begin training.
20run.jpg3K Training Guide

Completing a 3K race means you'll be running or walking 1.86 miles. Most 3K training programs are about five weeks long, but you can train for a 3K race in less time if you're fit. Based on information provided by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), begin by walking or running on a treadmill about 15 minutes, four times weekly. On the days you don't run, walk or cross train by biking, swimming or using an elliptical machine for about 20 minutes. Gradually increase the duration of your runs each week. Make sure to take a day off from working out at least one day weekly. A sample workout looks like this:

  • Monday: run 15 minutes
  • Tuesday: run 20 minutes
  • Wednesday: walk or cross train
  • Thursday: run 20 minutes
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: run 25 minutes
  • Sunday: walk, cross train or rest

5K Training Guide

A 5K race is 3.1 miles. A five- to eight-week training program at the gym is plenty of time to prepare for a 5K race. ACE recommends walking or running 20 to 25 minutes four days weekly, but increasing that time gradually each week -- and cross training for 20 to 30 minutes the days you don't run. A sample 5K-training workout looks like this:

  • Monday: run 20 minutes
  • Tuesday: run 20 to 25 minutes
  • Wednesday: walk or cross train 20 to 30 minutes
  • Thursday: run 25 minutes
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: run 30 to 35 minutes
  • Sunday: walk, cross train or rest

8K Training Guide


Once you've mastered a 5K race, training for an 8K run is the next step up and is about a 5-mile distance. An 8K training regimen should take you about eight weeks to train for. Each week, slightly increase the distance during runs. A sample 8K training plan is:

  • Monday: run 2 to 3 miles
  • Tuesday: run 2.5 to 3.5 miles
  • Wednesday: Walk or cross train 25 to 40 minutes
  • Thursday: run 2.5 to 3.5 miles
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: run 4 to 5.5 miles
  • Sunday: walk, cross train or rest

10K Training Guide

Training for a 10K run is the next gradual progression after you've completed an 8K race. A 10K distance is 6.2 miles. Training for a 10K run is similar to training for an 8K race. Gradually increase your running distance each week and train for about eight weeks. Longer runs should be slow and steady. During some shorter runs, interval train by alternating slow running stints with higher-intensity quick running bouts. A sample 10K training plan looks like:

  • Monday: run 2 to 4 miles
  • Tuesday: run 3 to 4.5 miles
  • Wednesday: walk or cross train 30 to 45 minutes
  • Thursday: run 3 to 4.5 miles
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: run 5 .5 to 6.5 miles
  • Sunday: walk, cross train or rest

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An experienced health, nutrition and fitness writer, Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian and holds a dietetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has worked as a clinical dietitian and health educator in outpatient settings. Erin's work is published on popular health websites, such as TheNest.com and JillianMichaels.com.

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