Free 10k Training Plans for Beginners and Intermediate Runners

The 10k race distance is an excellent way to challenge yourself because it helps you build both endurance and speed. By training for the 10k, you will be running more, which will make you fitter and stronger. My 10k plans will build your confidence to get you race-ready and become a stronger runner.

To help you will your 10k goal, enjoy free access to my 8-week 10k training plans below, including my Beginner 10k training plan (AKA ‘couch to 10k) and Intermediate 10k training plan. (I recommend my run coaching for more advanced 10k training).

So, let’s get started!

  • The free 10k training plans, including a sample 10k training plan week
  • How long is a 10k
  • How long does it take to train for a 10k 
  • How long does it take to run a 10k 
  • How much do you need a week to run to run a 10k 
  • Should you run a 10k before your 10k race
  • How can I run a faster 10k time?
  • How does training for a 10k make me a better runner?
  • 10k training tips

Related: A New Approach to Goal-Setting

I know what it’s like to balance motherhood, running, & LIFE. That’s why I work closely with my athletes (knowing about all the things going on in their worlds!) so that we can work together towards their goals in a way that’s flexible, sustainable, & energizing. I meet you where you’re at & have running enhance your current life stage. Coaching is a true joy for me & I feel beyond grateful to call so many of my athletes friends.

Download My Free 8-week 10k Training Plans

Here you will download an 8-week 10k training plan for beginners (Couch to 10k) and intermediate runners. While the training period is the same, the intensity and volume for the intermediate runners is higher.

The biggest difference between the two plans is that the intermediate 10k plan assumes you have been doing some running. It has more mileage and incorporates speed work to accomplish a faster 10k time.

Beginner 10k Training Plan: the Couch to 10k Plan

This 10k training schedule for beginners prepares you to run a 10k in just 8 weeks! This plan builds in strength training and cross-training days to prevent injuries and make you stronger. It’s also flexible to fit your crazy mother runner schedule and comes with my personal support and training tips.

This Couch to 10k plan serves as a wonderful starting point for future running goals and success.

 

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Intermediate 10k Training Plan

Are you ready to take your running to the next level? Then this Intermediate 10k training plan is for you! With a focus on increasing endurance power, in 8 weeks you will lace up a fitter, faster runner.

 

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If you’re looking for a customized or advanced 10k training program, I highly recommend getting a running coach. A running coach can tailor a plan to your background, needs, goals, and lifestyle.

Check out my coaching services to help you reach your goals!

Sample 10k Training Schedule

Here is week 5 of my 8-week 10k training plan for intermediate runners.

The biggest differences for my beginner training plans and intermediate training plans is the absence of speedwork, and lower mileage.

Beginner 10k Training Plan Week 5

  • Monday: Run 3 miles easy
  • Tuesday: 20 minute strength training session
  • Wednesday: Run 3 miles easy,
  • Thursday: 20 minute strength training session
  • Friday: Cross-train or walk for 45 minutes
  • Saturday: Run 6 miles easy
  • Sunday: TOTAL REST

Intermediate 10k Training Plan Week 5

  • Monday: Run 3 miles easy, 4 strides (which are accelerations over the course of about 100 meters)
  • Tuesday: 25-minute tempo run with warm-up and cool-down
  • Wednesday: Run 5 miles easy, 4 strides
  • Thursday: 1-2 mile warm-up, 9 by 400 meters at comfortably hard pace (RPE 8), 1-2 mile cool-down
  • Friday: Cross-train or walk for 1 hour
  • Saturday: Run 7 miles easy
  • Sunday: TOTAL REST

Related: How Many Miles Should You Run in a Day?

How Long is a 10k?

A 10k is 6.2 miles and is twice as long as 5k which is 3.1 miles. A 10k is 25 laps around a track.

How Long Does it Take to Run a 10k (and Train For One)?

free 10k training plans for beginners and intermediate runners
Ready to master a 10k run? Grab my free 10k training schedule for beginner and intermediate runners. Get expert running tips, motivation, and a step-by-step guide to help you build endurance and speed. Perfect for those ready to up their running game. #trainingplan #10krunning

The average time to run a 10k is 49:43, according to Running Level which calculates race finish times by age and ability.

If you’re a beginner running, it may take you up to 90 minutes to complete a 10k. If you’re a more experienced runner, it will likely take you under an hour.

So, how long does it take to train for a 10k? It typically takes 8 weeks to train for a 10k, assuming you have been running for at least a month.

Should I Run a 10k Before My 10k Race?

You don’t have to run a 10k before your 10k race, but doing so can help you build confidence and rid race jitters. This is why I include races (or time trials if you cannot find a race) in my training plans.

The more you can race in any training, the better you will be prepared for race day: You will learn how much time you personally need before you get to the start line, how many bathroom breaks you need, what you like to wear, what you need to eat, etc.

Related: Your Strength Training for Runners Guide

How Can I Run a Faster 10k Time?

There are four key ways to run a faster 10k time:

  • Studies show adding strength training including plyometrics can make you run faster by improving power and turnover
  • Running strides also makes you run faster by improving the communication between your brain and muscles.
  • Running more mileage will spur physiological adaptations such as more mitochondria and capillary density; a stronger cardiovascular system; and stronger muscles, bones, and tendons, to help you run faster.
  • Finally, varying your runs to include difference paces, such as my intermediate 10k plan does, will improve running economy, making you run faster.

Related: The 8 Best Plyometrics Exercises for Runners

How Does Training for a 10k Make Me a Better Runner?

Training for a 10k makes you a better runner by improving both your speed and endurance. For those who specialize in shorter distances, a 10k can push your lactate threshold, allowing you to run faster for longer.

Related: How to Do a Threshold Run

For those who specialize in longer distances such as the half marathon and marathon, training for a 10k can improve your running efficiency with improved form and muscle fiber activation, making you faster.

Related: 9 Running Hacks that Will Make You Run Faster

How Should I Run a 10k Race?

If you want to run a faster 10k race, aim for running negative splits which means you get progressively faster over the course of the race (unless the course is very hilly).

To do this: Run the first 2 miles 5-10 seconds slower than your goal pace. Then speed up to your goal pace for the middle 2 miles. The fifth mile, increase to 5-10 seconds faster than goal pace. Give it all you got in the last mile! You should always finish a race FAST.

10k Training Tips

Here are 10k training tips to help you nail your next race.

1. Find the right training plan

Make sure my plan meets you where you are at with your current mileage.

2. Pick the right race

Pick a race that fits with my training schedule timeline.

3. Honor the warm-up or cool-down

Do dynamic stretching, drills, and easy running to start. Foam roll, static stretch, and do easy running to end your runs

4. Recover hard

That said, prioritize recovery. Be sure to eat well and sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a night!

5. Run on the road

Unless you’re racing the 10k on a track, run as much as possible on the road to get a feel for what the distance is like on varying and undelaying terrain

6. Run mostly easy

Most of your runs should be at a conversational pace in which you feel like you can keep going when the run is over. That is where you really trigger physiological adaptations to build endurance, speed, and prevent injuries.

7. Practice makes perfect

Find a 10k race (or even a 5k depending on your training schedule) to get comfortable with all the race day logistics and feels.

8. Run difference paces

The more advanced you get in your training, the more variable your workouts will get to build your speed and endurance.

9. Make run friends

Training with others makes it fun! It helps the miles fly by, keeps you accountable, and may even prompt you to make friends for life!

10. Give it all you got!

Never finish a race with anything left in the tank. Sprint through the finish and make yourself proud!

Related: The Benefits of an Easy Running Pace

WANT TO BE A BETTER RUNNER?

Download my FREE FULL MONTH of strength workouts for runners!

Looking for a free running plan? Email me at [email protected].

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