10K Training Plan

Have you recently signed up for a 10K event? Maybe you’re running to raise money for a good cause, or perhaps you’re just looking for a new fitness challenge. Whatever the reason, after the initial buzz and excitement of signing up it’s perfectly normal to feel panic setting in about how you are going to train for your upcoming race!

Runner training for a 10k run

Training before you head out and take on that 6.2 mile run is really important, not only to help you improve your 10K time and fitness levels but also to avoid injuries on race day.

How long does it take to train for a 10K?

The answer to this question will depend on a few things, such as your current fitness level, your goals (are you aiming for a new personal best time, or just hoping to cross the finish line?) and of course, how much time you actually have before race day to train.

There are a range of training schedules, that can guide runners of all levels, to take you from easy runs to higher intensity workouts as you build up to your race. The number of weeks covered in a training plan will usually dictate how much you can expect your fitness and performance to improve before you run a 10K. For example, if you only have two weeks to train you are much less likely to see a marked improvement in your race time than if you had been training for eight weeks.  

Following a training plan can help to give your training more structure and keep things fun. Below, we explain some of the different 10K training programme lengths and what you can expect to achieve by following one.

Training for a 10K in 4 weeks

4 weeks probably won’t be enough time to make any dramatic improvements to your running time, but you can improve your fitness in preparation for your race. As 4 weeks is a fairly short amount of time, a training schedule designed to take you up to 10K distance in this brief period will assume you’re already running around three times per week. Although it’s not generally recommended for beginners to follow a 4 week plan, if you are running out of time before your race you should focus on building up the length of your runs rather than any speed goals set out in a programme, and aim to train at least 3 times per week, whether running, walking or doing a combination of both.

Training for a 10K in 6 weeks

If you have 6 weeks to go before your 10K, you have a reasonably comfortable amount of time to train up and start to see a difference in your strength, stamina and average run times. As with most training programmes, a 6 week programme will start out with easier runs, with intervals of running and walking, and build the length of running time and distance over the 6 week course. 

If you are a beginner, or perhaps already have a 5K run under your belt, a 6 week programme will help you to gain confidence in running longer distances. Once you have crossed the finish line of your first 10K you may then want to up the tempo and work on your average time. If you are an intermediate or more experienced runner, already running several times a week, following a 6 week plan should help you to focus your training and see improvement in the areas you are hoping to work on. That could include increasing the amount of longer runs you complete or improving your average speed.

Training for a 10K in 8 weeks

If you have 8 weeks to spare before you lace up your running shoes on race day, you could really see a difference in your fitness by following an 8 week training schedule! For less experienced runners, the initial build up weeks in an a week programme will get you comfortable with running longer distances, starting out with shorter run walk distances then gradually increasing the ratio of running as well as the total miles you will cover each week.

If you are a more experienced runner, you might be worried that an 8 week plan could get boring. Make the build up weeks more interesting by varying your pace or adding in intervals where you run at a fast sprint for a few minutes at a time. Doing hill sprints will also have the effect of strength training and make for a more challenging workout.

Training for a 10K in 10 weeks

10 weeks is ample time to get yourself up to speed with running a 10K, especially if you are new to the distance or new to running in general. Even beginners starting from zero hours of running each week can hope to build up their strength and endurance through the training programme and comfortably complete the 6.2 mile run by race day. 

The initial weeks will focus on building up your running distance with shorter, easier runs with periods of walking, and then build up the amount of miles you cover each week. Towards the end of the 10 week programme you will have built up your strength to complete steady runs of longer distances. You may also be looking at increasing your speed and challenging yourself to lower your average running time by the end of the programme.

Round up

Generally, the more time you have to train for an event, the better – especially if this is your first 10K race. That being said, runners of all abilities should make sure they consult a trained medical professional before undergoing any new training programme, and make sure you take adequate rest days to avoid injury.

Once you’re training is complete (well done!) and race day is here, make sure to pace yourself throughout the course of the race (don’t use all your energy blasting out the first few miles) and drink plenty of water.


If you are looking for your next 10k run, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - 10k run Listings

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Why run a 10K?

If you’ve already completed a 5K run, training for and completing a 10K race is the next natural progression in your running journey. That being said, even If you’ve never run competitively before, a 10K run is still totally achievable for a beginner as long as you put in the necessary training time. You’re sure to feel a great sense of achievement after running your first 10K race, and you might just catch the running bug at the same time! 

Aside from being a great form of aerobic exercise, there are plenty of other great benefits to running a 10K too. Firstly, if you’re thinking of taking up running as a way to lose some weight, running a 10K is a great way to get your heart rate up and stay in that calorie burning zone. Another reason to sign up for a 10K race is that it’s a great way to raise money for charity, in fact, 10K races are amongst the most popular events for charity races and there are hundreds happening across the UK every year. Finally, running your first 10K is a great way to progress into longer distance running. Once you’ve finished a 10K you’ll be looking for your next challenge in the form of a half marathon and eventually even a marathon!

10K Runs Near Me

You’ll probably be aware of some of the bigger and more publicised running events that take place in the major cities across the UK, but did you know there are also plenty of opportunities to join a 10K near where you love too? There are loads of 10K events springing up across the UK all the time, meaning that there is bound to be one that is easy and convenient for you to get to. 
If you’re looking for ways to get more active with your family, a 10K is a challenging but achievable distance for a wide age range and even if they don’t run alongside you it’s easy to get them to come along and cheer you on at a local race. We list lots of 10K running events that take place all over the UK, so be sure to take a look for 10K runs near you using the search bar on the left. You can then find races based on location and other options using the filters to find the perfect event for you. 

Charity 10K runs near me and fundraising 

So, you’re looking for a way to raise money for a great cause? As we’ve mentioned, taking part in a 10K race is a great way to raise some money for a good cause, and the race is a great length for people of all ages to get involved in. As well as the better-known events, such as the Great Run series, there are plenty of smaller local events you can sign up to as well. In fact, many charities organise their own races throughout the year with the sole intention of raising money to help people. 
Setting up funding for a 10K race is straightforward too. Most charities will provide you with a sponsorship pack to get started once you sign up for a race, and you can also fundraise online and share your goals with your friends on social media. Running in a local 10K race is also an ideal way to raise money for charities that are based in your local community.
10K Charity races are some of the most popular events out there, so if you want to get into running then these are a great place to start!

How can I find charity 10K races near me?

If you’ve decided to run a 10K race to raise money for a charity, you may be wondering ‘How do I find a 10K near me?’. The answer is right here! On our events page you’ll find pages of fitness events that are taking place all across the UK. By using the search bar on the left you can narrow down these events to find one that’s perfect for you. Once you’ve filtered down the type of race you’re looking to take part in, in this case a 10K, you can then further refine the results by selecting your location and then choosing from a range of charities that you are interested in supporting.
If you’d like to support a charity that isn’t listed, you’re welcome to do that too! Be sure to check the website of your chosen charity to find out more about getting started with fundraising.

Most popular 10K races in the UK

As we’ve mentioned, as well as smaller, local 10K events, we also list some of the best known and loved event series on our site too. Our most popular searches include:

10K runs in London

As well as the obvious London event (the London Marathon), there are plenty of other races to take part in too! If you fancy taking on the challenge of a 10K in the capital we’ve got plenty listed on our events page so be sure to check it out!

10K runs in the North West

Are you looking for races in the North West? Whether it’s a 10K in Manchester, Cheshire or Preston, we’ve got some great 10K events listed that are easy for you to get to wherever you are based in the North West.

Related Posts

Are you looking for some more information or advice about running a 10K? We’ve got a great library of informative articles in our blog that will tell you everything you need to know to get started. We’ve also got tips for training, burning calories through running and improving your race time. Get started with some of the articles below:

10k Running Tips

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