RW's 8-Week 10K Schedule, 5 Days Per Week

It does what it says in the title...

Posted: 6 May 2000
by Sean Fishpool and Bud Baldaro

You can really see your 10K fitness rocket over a preparation period of eight weeks. As with the four-week schedules, it’s important that you’re flexible in your approach. If the 10K is your single focus for the season and you’re willing to do everything you can for a best-possible time, you can add a two- to four-month build-up period to the schedules, in which you focus on establishing a steady, solid mileage background. Three-times-a-week runners should build up to a regular 20-25 weekly miles; five-times-a-week runners to 35-40 miles; and those training 6-7 times a week to 45-50 miles. You can vary your pace slightly to maintain interest during these build-up weeks, but save the real speedwork for the final eight-week focus.

(Approx 40- to 50-minute 10K)
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 Rest 2M warm-up, then 8 x 400m or 75 secs, with 400m or 2-3 min recoveries, then 2M cool-down 4-7M slow 30-35 mins light fartlek Rest 2M easy, then 3 x 1M or 6 mins at 80-85%, with 800m or 3-4 min recoveries, then 2M easy 5M easy
Week 2 Rest 2M warm-up, then 6 x 600m or 2mins, with 400m or 2-min recoveries, then 2M cool-down 4-7M slow 30-40 mins steady, inc hills Rest 2M easy, then 3 x 2000m or 7-8 mins at 80-85%, with 1000m or 4-min recoveries, then 2M easy 6M easy
Week 3 Rest 2M warm-up, then 5 x 800m or 3 mins, with 1000m or 5-min recoveries, then 2M cool-down 4-8M slow 30-40 mins fartlek Rest Warm up, then 15-20 mins at 70%, then 15-20 mins at 85%-90%, then cool down 7M easy
Week 4 Rest 2M easy, then 3 sets of 3 x 500m or 90-100 secs, with 300m or 2-min recoveries and 800m or 6 mins between sets, then 2M cool-down 4-7M slow 20 mins tempo run Rest Warm up, then 4 x 1M or 6-8 mins, with 1200m or 4-min recoveries, then cool down 8M easy
Week 5 Rest 2-2.5M warm-up, then 10-12 x 400m or 80-90 secs, with 400m or 2-3 min recoveries, then 2.5M cool-down Rest OR slow run 40-45 mins, inc hills Rest Pyramid session: 1K, 2K, 3K at slower than 10K pace, with half-length recoveries. Feel in control of the session and use good terrain 9M easy
Week 6 Rest 2-3M warm-up, then 3 sets of 3 x 600m or 3 mins, with 400m or 2-3 min recoveries and 1000m or 7 mins between sets, then 2-3M cool-down 5-8M slow 40-45 mins light fartlek Rest Warm up, then 5 x 1M or 6-8 mins, with 1000m or 4-min recoveries, then long, slow cool-down 9-10M easy
Week 7 Rest 2-3M warm-up, then 12-15 x 400m or 80 secs, with 400m or 2-3 min jog recoveries, then 2-3M cool-down 4-5M slow OR rest 20 mins tempo run Rest 6-9M gradual acceleration, with last 2-3M at 10K pace 10+M easy
Week 8 Rest 2M warm-up, then 3 x 1200m or 4 mins, with 400m or 2-3 min recoveries, then 2M cool-down 4-7M slow 30-40 mins easy Rest 3-5M easy, inc a few strides RACE

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10K schedule

Discuss this article

First race in 8 weeks (10k). I usually weight train twice a week, can/should I fit this into the 10k training schedule and if so, which would be the best one to choose?
Posted: 10/11/2003 at 12:33

Check out the schedules on this site. I weight train (followed by a swim) twice a week (Mon & Fri with a couple of classes on Wed) and do my running on Tues, Thurs & Sun......

Just tweak things about until you find a routine that works for you.
Posted: 10/11/2003 at 14:54

Thanks, that is sort of what I had in mind, but when you're starting off it helps to hear someone else say it! I've read lots on here about the benefits of weight training for running so I'll see how it goes. Do you think it's okay to substitute a rest day with some weights? Does it just mean rest from running?
Posted: 10/11/2003 at 15:07

Personally, I like to have one day per week when I don't "do" anything! Also, and again this is what works for me, my weight training is upper body only, I find if I do me legs, they're to knackered to run! And one of the classes I do is a stability class (y'know on those big balls) and that has a little leg work but is sooooo good for the ol' core stability.
Posted: 10/11/2003 at 15:21

Thanks for your help Shambler. It's been really good to be able to talk to other people about how to train without feeling stupid! I'm going to do my first ever session of speed training tomorrow (at least I think that's what it's called - where you do 400m stints with recoveries) do you - or anyone else - have any handy hints , or do I just grit my teeth and go for it?
Posted: 10/11/2003 at 15:43

Grit your teeth and go for it - that's what I do! Same with hills, too!!

Posted: 10/11/2003 at 15:46

Hi there. I run weekly but I never followed a training program before. I am trying to do the 8 week program for 10K and I have problems understanding the instructions (Sorry). For example, I not sure what of what this means:
"2M warm-up, then 8 x 400m or 75 secs, with 400m or 2-3 min recoveries, then 2M cool-down" and "2M easy, then 3 x 2000m or 7-8 mins at 80-85%, with 1000m or 4-min recoveries, then 2M easy"
Many thanks and excuse my ignorance

Posted: 04/03/2004 at 12:13


1. 2 mile warm up followed by running 400 meters (if on a track 1 lap) or 75 seconds 8 times with a 400 meter jog or 2-3 minute jog between each fast 400 meters, finishing with a 2 mile jog to cool down.

2. 2 mile easy jog (to warm up) followed by 2000 meters (if on a track 5 laps) or 7-8 minutes at 80-85% maximum heart rate 3 times with a 1000 meter (if on a track 2.5 laps) or 4 minutes of slow jogging to recover between each fast 2000 meters finishing again with 2 miles of easy joging to cool down.

I would also add that you might want to try some light stretching before your speed sessions. I would do 1 mile easy jogging, then some light stretches followed by another 1 mile easy jog and then do the faster intervals.

After the session is finished I would do a lenghtier and more thorough stretching routine as soon as possible after the 2 mile cool down jog.

Hope this helps,


Posted: 05/03/2004 at 12:02

Thanks Michael, this is really helpful:)

Posted: 08/03/2004 at 17:26


If you have never followed a training schedule before do not start with the intensity described in this schedule.
8 X 400 or 3 X 2000 is far too intense.

This sort of schedule for a new runner is complete rubbish. The times are plain stupid. It can be misunderstood as 8 x 400 in 75 secs. Anyone that can achieve this is capable of a sub 5 min mile !

- Make sure you have a decent aerobic background first. With plenty of steady state running.
- Try and run 3-5 times per week.
- Do a long run of 60-75 mins once per week.
>> Run your first 10K off this background.

Once you start track training join a club. As Mike says you need a decent warmup. You also need advice on distance, reps & pace. When I coach people on the track I split the group into at least 2 sections to let the newer slower people do shorter distances more slowly.

Sorry if this sounds a bit cautious, but some of the high intensity schedules bandied around in RW these days leave a lot to be desired.

Posted: 08/03/2004 at 21:23

Thanks a lot for your helpful advice. I am going to take it easy for a couple of months and will run 3-5 times a week with a long run as you advised. At the moment I can run 10k in approximately 1:05. I just thought that a training schedule helps you to be more disciplined but I do agree that this one is very intense.
Posted: 09/03/2004 at 09:59


Glad to be of help. Go ahead and set yourself a schedule, make it one that fits your lifestyle and level.

A schedule is only a list of runs that you plan and progress along. Running 4 days a week for 30 - 50 mins at a time plus one longer run is as much a schdule for you as running twice a day 6 days per week is a programme for Paula Radcliffe.

Start at the lower end of these durations (say 30 mins) and push up the duration by a few mins each week. Once you can approach a `daily` run of 50 mins and a long run of 75 mins with confidence you should be progressing well.

After a while you will find yourself getting quicker. The runs will feel easier, you will go quicker for the same effort, your resting heart rate may well drop. Then the schedule can start to include some faster work.

When you start interval training I suggest you use the time allocated not the distance. eg run hard for 8 mins, don`t try and run 2000m in 8 mins.
To put this in context, 2000m reps in 8 mins represents someone able to run 10k in around 40 mins, which is a bit quicker than your 65 mins.
Posted: 09/03/2004 at 22:26

Sorry - also a beginner to these schedules - what's meant by "fartlek" and "tempo".

Separately, although I've run a 41 min 10K, I'm coming back from an achilles tendon injury, want to get back to 10Ks, but am concerned by the mileage set out in the 8-week 10K schedule - seems a lot. I Don't want to injure myself again (aiming for first marathon next year).
Posted: 11/08/2005 at 12:11

Another question: is it OK to do the speedwork (e.g. the 8x400m etc.) on a treadmill rather than on a track? What are the pros and cons? I had heard something about the treadmill not exercising some particular muscles - but even if this is the case, I'm assuming that if all other runs are outside then that's fine ......

Posted: 11/08/2005 at 12:16


I've only ever followed one strict training schedule, and that was the 12wk 1/2M one on this site. I found that i did my speedwork better on the treadmill, simply because I had no choice but to keep to the desired speed! And I think it may be slightly easier on the legs than roads!

I did most of my long and steady runs outside, and found this combination allowed me to get through the schedule with very little complaint from my legs (even though the amount of training was higher than i'm used to!), and I got below my target time.

I definitely advocate the use of a treadmill, personally!
Posted: 04/11/2005 at 14:47

I agree. My tready has a digital display representing a 400m track, makes monitoring the laps very easy.

Once you've warmed up just punch in your desired speed and watch the lap indicator whir round. Because you have to physically force yourself to change the speed it makes it easier to hold on to the end of the lap.
Posted: 05/11/2005 at 08:52

I am running my first 10k in 4 weeks. I have a very strong aerobic background. However, I am clueless in training. I keep reading about "tapering off" before the race. What does this mean? Thanks
Posted: 26/04/2006 at 19:32

Thanks for the helpful advice everyone. I'm a beginner also, looking at schedules to increase my speed (65 min 10K) and got very confused over the interval training, and scared by the intensity of it. This clears things up a lot.

One quesion. I'm running 3-4 times a week with one long run a week. What's a good balance of the other runs to bring my 10K pace up over the next few weeks? Regular 4 mile runs? Do some shorter faster ones? Interval session on the treadmill? etc etc. Seems to be so many ways to go I don't know what would be best.

Thanks again,

Posted: 29/04/2006 at 10:43

LeShell Smith: tapering off essentially means giving your body a chance to recover from training and be fresh for your race. After you do an intense training session your body is actually in a worse condition than before - you break down muscle fibre - in the recovery process the body rebuilds itself to a stronger point - if you don't give yourself sufficient recovery time then you can actually deteriorate over time and be a worse athlete than when you started. My trainer once told me: anybody can train hard - its those that recover well that will excel. So recovery during training is essential. Tapering is an extension of that - just means you need to reduce the volume (i.e. time on your feet) of running in the immediate lead up to a race. Depending on length of race that usually means 3 to 7 days of reduced workload. Some people stop completely for 48 hours pre-race. I tend to favour some very light and easy running in the lead up. Maybe incorporating 5 or 10 minutes of faster paced stuff to make sure your fast twich muscle fibres are awake!!.

New Runner 63: from where you are today I think you will make significant progress on your speed by incorporating one speed session a week. You can do this on a track or treadmill. Treadmill has the benefit of you being able to carefully monitor what you do and keeps you going till the end. On a track you may be tempted to slow down more easily. You can get an idea of typical sessions on any of the runners world 10K schedules. Essentially you run a certain amount of intervals e.g. 5 times 400m, with a minute or so of gentle jog in between to recover. Set yourself different distances each week to keep it interesting (e.g. 200m, 400m, 800m). In your session record the time of each interval - I try to do the last couple a little faster than the first few - to make it really challenging. Your speed should be as fast as you can do - but taking into account that you need to be able to do all of the intervals - no point doing 3 out of a planned 5. Over time you'll see your speed increase. What you're trying to do fundamentally is increase your "foot turnover" i.e. the number of paces you take over a given time period. Try light fast short steps. May seem awkward but will help your body adapt over time. Hope that helps.

Posted: 29/04/2006 at 11:12

By the way, just to emphasise, for your speed sessions, ignore the times for each interval given in other schedules - just set your own goal based on whatever you feel is achievable - push yourself, grit your teeth and go as fast as you can - but don't be put off by trying to do a time that doesn't fit your own capabilities at any point in time. I guarantee that if you incorporate speed sessions into your schedule - and do them well - your times will gradually start to improve.

I've just come off a 5 month training schedule to run my first London marathon. Started off aiming for 3.30. Did plenty of speed sessions towards the end and got that down to a sub 3 marathon.
Posted: 29/04/2006 at 11:21

Thanks Bryan, that is really helpful. I was kind of thinking that a speed session seemed the right way to go, but being new to this didn't want to do the wrong thing.

Would you add the speed session to 4 runs a week I do now, or replace one run with it i.e. 3 runs plus the speed session? I want to beat 60 mins for the Manchester 10K at the end of May, so want to train hard, but not injure myself in the process.

Congrats on the marathon time, that brilliant. I've only been running since Jan, but really like it and would like to make a marathon my long term goal.

Cheers, Mark
Posted: 29/04/2006 at 11:39

I would probably veer towards keeping it at 4 runs a week for now (i.e. 3 runs + speed session) - anything more might be a little tough on your body. But see how you're doing - and if you're still feeling fresh then maybe slot another easy run in on one of the days. The one caveat is to make sure that after any particularly intense session you make sure that you give your body time to recover - so maximum 30 minutes easy run next day (if you're training by heart rate then easy is usually between 120 and 140 beats per minute - aiming for 130).

Re your Manchester goal, you don't have a huge amount of prep time - but go for it and see what happens.

Definitely try and do a marathon at some point - as an event there's nothing like it. Absolutely amazing experience.

Posted: 29/04/2006 at 11:53

Lots of really useful information on this post. Just to add a slightly different take on training schedules - I do quite a lot of other sports, so try to pick out the key sessions from a training plan and do them, and cross train instead of some of the other sessions (e.g. climbing, spinning class/cycling).

So I'd aim to do 2-3 hard sessions a week (long run, speed work, hills), trying to get best results for lowest milage!

It's probably not for everyone, but I find I run better when I do a range of activities, rather than just trying to do more and more miles. That's when I get injured. My fastest races(48.5 min 10K/1:50 1/2 marathon) came when I was doing lots and lots of cross training and I never got injured. Last year I mostly only ran, had lots of niggles and was averaging 2 hours for a 1/2 marathon. Go figure!
Posted: 29/04/2006 at 12:11

OOps sorry I should have added to the previous - I had a good base of running and general fitness before I started my approach of only doing fewer, hard sessions. I don't think it would be a good idea for anyone who hasn't done quite a bit of running already.

BUt I think the principle of doing lots of cross training is an interesting one (as long as it's hard work!)
Posted: 29/04/2006 at 12:16

Thanks everyone, especially Bryan, this has given me some really useful info, and made things a lot clearer in my mind.

I'm definitely going to put in a speed session per week, and see how we go. I know I'm a bit short of time for the Manchester, but would really love to beat the hour, particularly as I've been promised more sponsor money if I do. Don't know if I can do it, but I'm going to try, without injuring myself though.

Thanks again, Mark
Posted: 29/04/2006 at 21:17

Hi there,

I've been running now for around 3 months and thought I'd enter a race to give me some fresh motivation to keep training. I was planning on entering the 10k Mizuno Trafford run in Manchester (purely because it's local and 8 weeks away) and was curious if this training program would be suitable for someone like myself?

I usually manage 4 runs a week at around 10 minute miles - 3 of my runs are 30 minutes with one being 50 minutes.

Any suggestions as to what kind of time I should be expecting or aiming for?

Posted: 13/07/2006 at 10:52

Hi there,

I've been running now for around 3 months and thought I'd enter a race to give me some fresh motivation to keep training. I was planning on entering the 10k Mizuno Trafford run in Manchester (purely because it's local and 8 weeks away) and was curious if this training program would be suitable for someone like myself?

I usually manage 4 runs a week at around 10 minute miles - 3 of my runs are 30 minutes with one being 50 minutes.

Any suggestions as to what kind of time I should be expecting or aiming for?


Posted: 13/07/2006 at 10:53

Hi Thomas,

Sounds like your at the same stage as I was before my fist 10K in May. You have a similar training schedule to myself and similar times. I did Great Manchester Run in 58:30. I had been getting about 64 mins in training the month before but pushed myself with speed sessions and got comfortably under my 1 hour target. However the cool rain helped a lot! I'm actually thinking of entering the Trafford myself. Supposed to be a nice flat course.
Posted: 17/07/2006 at 21:00

Thanks for the reply - I'll be very happy with sub-60 mins. First day of my schedule tomorrow, so all being well I'll be there in Trafford!
Posted: 17/07/2006 at 22:19

Good luck. Between now and the race I'd recommend doing the full 10K in training, or even a bit further. It gave me great confidence knowing that I could actually do the distance before I entered the race.

Cheers, Mark
Posted: 18/07/2006 at 23:44

Hi there,

Am looking to use this schedule to boost my 10k times - at present can do a 10k in 55 mins.

Have got a couple of questions...and wondered if someone can answer them for me please....

1, I am quite busy with my job and sometimes cannot train say on a Thursday if my schedule tells me too...Does it matter if I say do my training on a Mon, Tues, Wed, Sat and Sun instead of a Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat and Sun as in the schedule? Providing I do same number of sessions a week, does it matter what days of the week I train on?

2, In some sessions, it says there is a say 2 mile warmdown. What is the benefit of this? Is it solely to try and prevent injury or stiffness in muscles or is it also to help build up my weekly mileage?

Many thanks to whoever can help me with these questions.

Kind Regards,

Posted: 16/10/2006 at 14:08


I've just ran my first 10k and was quite happy with my 67 minute time.

I run 4 times a week 2 long and 2 short runs all have hills (no choice where i'm based). Any tips on the down hill parts as I always end up with hip pain?



Posted: 09/10/2007 at 15:17


my friend i run with had the same problem, i think it was because she tended to freewheel a bit making her relax her form, and go to fast, try to keep running which feels like you r holding back a tad but it stops you over exstending,

Posted: 31/12/2007 at 10:48

Thanks Mark

I gave it a try last night and it helped. Was doing the same as your friend.

Posted: 03/01/2008 at 16:19


I'm running my first 10k in early July and am planning on following this 8 week schedule.  I'm a bit confused about where you need to be at the start of the schedule.  It says you should build up to 20 - 25 miles per week, but is this at the start or the end of the schedule?

I currently run about 12 - 15 miles per week and would need to start the schedule in early May.


Posted: 21/04/2008 at 10:59

Nick you can run the schedule on any days you like, the days given are an example

Warm/cool downs are used to remove lacate build up preventing sore muscles and as you said also helps to stretch muscle and prevent injury

Posted: 23/04/2008 at 13:37

Beanie, you like i had to,  should build up to 20-25 miles a week then start the 8 week schedule. I think they are based on someone who already has a base milage behind them.


this is a very good 10k training plan as long as you sub the Thursday run with a speed session. I have been following it and am blasting along.   

Posted: 23/04/2008 at 13:44

bit confused... training for a 10k run, are you really meant to be runnning that many miles during the training weeks, or is it a miss print on the training table, meant to read km?
Posted: 11/05/2008 at 11:49

I've been following this schedule, concentrating on the speed sessions for which I use the local track.  I'm now in week 7 and my aim is to run a PB 10k this Summer.  I find the sessions very tough but it really has helped as last Sunday at Evesham I managed to knock 21 seconds off my then PB.  I've got 4 target races and still have 2 to go.  Thing is, what next?
Posted: 15/07/2009 at 14:24

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