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The Best 10K Training Program

Whether you are a seasoned runner or just running in a competitive race for the first time, 10K training can be rather intimidating. Though you're technically only going to be running just over six miles during a 10K race, there is a lot of planning and 10K training that goes into getting ready for the race. You need to think about how far you have to run, how often you have to run, when and where you should run and, most importantly, when you should not run and give your body a break. If you're looking to do your best during a 10K race, try the best 10K training program out there right now. Simply follow these steps to achieve your 10K race goals:

Designate Your off Days Before You Start Training

Though it seems you should be worrying more about running than resting, the first step of 10K training is designating your off days. You need to stick to these to make sure you don't burn out and overwork your body. For beginners, Monday and Thursday are usually seen as the best options for off days. Of course, once you are more experienced at the 10K, you can see what works for you. But, if you're just running in one for the first time, use these days to give your body a break.

Designate Three Days for Distance

Again, you may find that something else works better for you, but if you're running a 10K for the first time, you should start off running for distance on at least three days per week. A good time to schedule them is for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tuesday and Thursday should start off at low distances. Try a mile and a half for the first week, and then gradually increase that over the course of eight weeks until you're running three to four miles on these days. Saturday should be your longest run of the week. Start by doing two miles during the first week, and slowly increase by a half mile each week until you're up to five miles by week eight.

Incorporate Cross-Training into Your 10K Training

Every Wednesday, try riding a bike for 40 minutes or swimming laps in the pool for the same amount of time. There's a good chance you may be tired after your Tuesday run, so the key is not to push yourself too hard, but to maintain a workout without running. If you need to, use Wednesday to rest.

Make an Active Recovery on Sundays

Save a brisk 25 or 30-minute jog through the park for Sunday. Don't push yourself too hard, but let your body gently glide as you run. Stretch well, too, to help your body heal more quickly.

If you follow this type of training program, you should be ready to compete in a 10K race in about eight weeks. If you find it to be too easy, you can always add additional distance and time onto each exercise. But, don't push yourself too hard. You want to be ready to compete in the 10K once you've completed your 10K training.

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