8-week 10km training plan

The 10km distance is a challenging and rewarding distance that tests new and experienced runners alike. Whether you’ve just completed a 5km and are looking for a new challenge, or you’re eyeing up a new PB, our plan can help.

Who is our 10k training plan for?

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: Eight weeks 
  • Goal distance: 10km

This training plan is for beginner runners looking to run 10km without stopping.

If you’ve recently completed a 5k, congratulations! Setting a fresh goal and following our plan is a great way to make sure your hard work doesn’t stop there.

We understand that doubling the distance from 5k to 10k can look daunting. To help you safely and effectively bridge this gap, your 10km plan will gradually increase the duration and distance of your runs to make sure you avoid becoming fatigued during training.

Before you get started…

Before you start, it’s important to assess your fitness. This includes:

  • Make sure you are fit enough to run. You can do this by visiting a GP for a check-up
  • Know your limits. You may need to consider any underlying conditions that might limit your cardiovascular health.

What does our plan cover?

Our 10km plan includes a progressive running schedule which includes different types of runs, a gym-based strength and mobility programme, and all the information you need to safely cover the 10k distance.

Your weekly schedule includes:

  • 3 to 4 training runs per week
  • 1 gym-based resistance workout per week
  • 2 full rest days
  • The option of 1 recovery day (a recovery run, light cycling, swimming, or a yoga session)

The running plan

8 Week 10KM Training Plan
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 15:00 minute easy run Strength and mobility training Rest 10 x 30 second intervals / 1:00 minute rest 15:00 minute recovery run, swim, cycle, Yoga or rest Rest 5K run
Week 2 20:00 minute easy run Strength and mobility training Rest 10 x 30 second hill sprints / 1:00 minute rest 20:00 minute recovery run Rest 6K run
Week 3 25:00 minute easy run Strength and mobility training Rest 10 x 60 second intervals / 90 seconds rest 25:00 minute recovery run, swim, cycle, Yoga or rest Rest 7K run
Week 4 30:00 minute easy run Strength and mobility training Rest 10 x 30 second hill sprints / 1:00 minute rest 30:00 minute recovery run, swim, cycle, Yoga or rest Rest 8K run
Week 5 35:00 minute easy run Strength and mobility training Rest Rest 35:00 minute recovery run, swim, cycle, Yoga or rest Rest 9K run
Week 6 20:00 minute easy run Strength and mobility training Rest 10 x 30 second hill sprints / 1:00 minute rest 20:00 minute recovery run, swim, cycle, Yoga or rest Rest 6K run
Week 7 25:00 minute easy run Strength and mobility training Rest 10 x 60 second intervals / 90 seconds rest 25:00 minute recovery run, swim, cycle, Yoga or rest Rest 7K run
Week 8 20:00 minute easy run Strength and mobility training Rest Rest 20:00 minute recovery run, swim, cycle, Yoga or rest Rest 10K run

Why eight weeks?

Eight weeks is enough time to build up to running a 10k if you’re fresh off of completing a 5k or find this distance comfortably at the moment.

If you aren’t comfortable running 5km, we recommend you start training for a 5k race using our plan first. Once you can comfortably run 5km, you can move up to 10km.

Why follow a plan?

The main advantage of following a training plan is that your distance and intensity gradually increase over time. With scheduled rest days and a running regimen designed by an expert, our 10km plan will make sure you feel prepared, rested, and ready come race day.

If you’re still relatively new to running, following a plan also helps your body and your muscles adjust to a new workload. This means you’re less likely to pick up niggling injuries during training.

What types of run are included?

Easy runs

Your easy runs should be run at a comfortable pace. These sessions are all about completing the distance, not speeding up to cover ground quickly. If you find yourself running too quickly, slow down and stick to a pace that’s going to feel comfortable over 10km.

Easy runs are a great way to recover from the more intense running or strength training sessions in your plan whilst still ensuring you are increasing your weekly mileage.

You can also mimic this pace if you choose to do a recovery run during one of your cross-training sessions.


As you progress in distance, interval training becomes more and more valuable. It is an essential part of your 10k plan and is great for beginners and advanced runners alike. Interval training involves alternating short periods of high-intensity running with jogging, walking or stationary rest.

Focus on developing a robust cardiovascular foundation with intervals. Unlike your weekly long run which covers a considerable distance at a relaxed pace, the interval sessions in your schedule demand a short but intense effort.

Positioned strategically after a rest block, our plan ensures you can exert maximum effort without worrying about fatigued legs hindering your performance.


Running up a hill is a great way to build up your cardiovascular base ahead of your race. The added difficulty of running uphill means you’ll be better prepared for any incline adjustments your race day route might include.

These runs can be performed outside or on a treadmill. They are designed to improve fitness and build lower body speed and endurance.

Hill sprints are to be run at a medium intensity as they are very fatiguing. If you’re apprehensive about hills, remind yourself how rewarding these intense sessions are in terms of stamina and staying power over 10km.

The long run

Longer runs that aim to increase your ability to cover the allotted distance are arguably the most important runs in your training programme.

Designed to condition your muscles for longer distances, these runs are where you build the stamina and endurance you need to get over the finish line on race day.

In our program, the extended run gradually increases until you reach the maximum training distance before beginning to taper. The tapering phase is dedicated to easing off on training, providing your body the essential time to assimilate and respond to the rigorous efforts invested throughout the training period.

The strength training plan

Beginners 10K Strength Training Programme
Beginners 10K Strength Training Programme
Warm up Sets Reps Rest Load
Cv pulse raiser 1 120 seconds - -
Bodyweight squat 1 15-20 - -
Bodyweight reverse lunge 1 15-20 - -
Glute bridge 1 15-20 - -
Inchworm with press up 1 15-20 - -
Exercises Sets Reps Rest Load
Goblet squat 3-4 8-12 60 seconds 60-80% 1RM
Deadlift / hamstring curl 3-4 8-12 60 seconds 60-80% 1RM
Split squat 3-4 8-12 60 seconds 60-80% 1RM
Leg Press 3-4 8-12 60 seconds 60-80% 1RM
Calf raise 3-4 8-12 60 seconds 60-80% 1RM
Assisted Pull Up 3-4 8-12 60 seconds BW + assistance
Machine Chest Press 3-4 8-12 60 seconds 60-80% 1RM
Plank 3-4 8-12 60 seconds Bodyweight
Cool down Sets Reps Rest Load
Hip flexor stretch 1 Hold for 30 seconds - Bodyweight
Pidgeon / figure of 4 stretch 1 Hold for 30 seconds - Bodyweight
Hamstring stretch 1 Hold for 30 seconds - Bodyweight
Cobra spinal flexion > extension 1 Hold for 30 seconds - Bodyweight
Calf Stretch 1 Hold for 30 seconds - Bodyweight

Why training zones matter

Not all runs require the same level of intensity. Usually, the longer the distance, the lower the intensity. Training zones are a great way to regulate the amount of effort required for each run type.

Each zone is a bracket with heartbeats per minute determining its level. These zones are numbered 1 to 5. Start by sprinting until you record your maximum heartrate using a smartwatch or a heart rate monitor.

Once you have your maximum heart rate, use the bracketed zones below to determine what percentage of this number you need to put into each run type.

  • Zone 1: 55-65% HR (warmups and light jogging)
  • Zone 2: 65-75% HR (comfortable/conversational pace for aerobic training and recovery runs)
  • Zone 3: 80-85% HR (moderate intensity for aerobic capacity and tempo runs)
  • Zone 4: 85-88% HR (medium to high intensity for intervals and hill sessions)
  • Zone 5: 90% + HR max (full effort for anaerobic fitness, endurance, and power sessions)

Moving up from 5k to 10k

For most new runners, it’s natural to move up from 5k to 10k when you’re ready.

If you’re comfortable running a 5k and enjoy the distance, moving up to 10k is an attainable and challenging step. Weekly running and gym sessions in preparation for a 10k race won’t take over your life, however it’s important to acknowledge the difference in training volume that accompanies this new challenge.

If you’re apprehensive, remember that you couldn’t run a 5k immediately either. Like anything, running takes patience and practice. If you stick to your training and follow the guidance in our plan, you’ll gradually build up your endurance and ability over time.

What’s different about the 10km?

Jumping up from 5k to 10k is a considerable leap. Double the distance means you’ll have to adjust your pacing and game plan come race day.

Your training volume will also change, as working towards a 10k and completing the distance isn’t just double the work or distance. There are other considerations for the 10k which you’ll need to consider.

These include:

  • Increased training volume and frequency (different types of runs & longer runs)
  • The introduction of cross training

It’s important to allocate enough time to appropriately prepare for the 10k distance. This training plan is 8 weeks in length, so select a race that is at least 8 weeks in the future. Put all your efforts into your running, gym and cross training sessions and you will reap the rewards on race day.

Why pacing is so important

Pacing is critical for a 10k race to avoid burnout. If you go out too fast, you risk fatiguing early and burning out. If you go too slow, you might find you finish the race feeling like you could have given more.

Aim to maintain a consistent pace throughout the race to make sure you’re efficiently using your energy. Finding a pace that works for you to stick to for the entire 10km will mean you eliminate the risk of early exhaustion and have enough energy for a strong finish.

Effective pacing also helps with mental focus. Speeding up and slowing down all the time can tire us mentally as well as physically. You’ll find that when you’re running at a pace that works for you, you’re more comfortable with how the race is going.

What time should I aim for?

A realistic aim for a novice runner completing their first 10k all depends on personal fitness and how closely you’ve stuck to your plan during training.

This plan is not designed to complete the distance in a specific time, however you can use the speed you’re comfortable with during training to work out a rough comfortable finish time for you.

It’s okay to disregard finishing times whenever you’re running a distance for the first time. Your primary goal should always be getting across the finish line.

The value of rest and recovery

Rest and recovery are just as important as the work you put in on the road. When your body is resting, it’s building and repairing the muscle fibres you damage during training. If you overwork your body, you compromise the effectiveness of this process and risk burning out.

Remember to cool down and stretch before and after every session. This helps get your body ready to perform at its best during your next session.

Some great ways to keep your muscles feeling fresh include:

  • Using a foam roller on your IT band/quad/hips/calves
  • Completing band-assisted hamstring stretch/couch stretch
  • Using a massage gun to relieve tension in your muscles.

Looking for more information on rest and recovery? Click here to view our in-depth guide

Our top training tips

  • Stretch before and after every workout. If you don’t, you run the risk of picking up an injury and ruling yourself out come race day
  • Slow your long run right down. Maintaining a pace you know you can manage throughout a long run is the best way to avoid burnout
  • Getting enough good quality rest is just as important as hitting your mileage goals. Never underestimate the value of sleep, as this is when the body builds muscle and repairs itself
  • If in doubt, stick to your plan. It is designed to get you across the finish line if you stick to it.

I’ve picked up an injury…

Injuries are an inevitable and unavoidable part of the sport. Amateur and experienced runners alike will get injured from time to time.

Although sustaining an injury may seem like a setback, prioritising the necessary time for your body to recover and strengthen should be your number one concern when your training is momentarily disrupted.

If you have concerns about injuries or are looking for guidance on effectively managing your rehabilitation, you’ll find helpful tips and tricks below:

More expert training plans

Looking for a new challenge after completing your 10k? Look no further.

We’ve got plenty of running plans to keep you busy. Click any of the plans below to bring that PB down or set a new distance-focused challenge:

Last updated Wednesday 17 January 2024

First published on Friday 12 January 2024