The Perfect 10K

Runner 10K training

No surprise that the 10K is by far the country’s most popular type of race. To say it’s a versatile distance is an under- statement. Take a cross-section of any 10K field and you’ll find some people tackling it as their first run beyond five miles, others using it just to stretch out their legs in company, and still others making it the focus of their whole season. It’s not just the race that’s versatile either: 10K training fits in with more other running goals than any other distance.

Linked to this page we have schedules, solutions to get the best out of your training, and answers to the questions you ask the most. The variety of schedules we’ve created reflects the many ways in which people approach the race. One thing’s for sure: whether you’re a beginner, a one-off runner taking up a bet, or a seasoned club runner out for a new PB, this is your route to your best-possible – and most enjoyable – result.

Two-Week Schedules

Two weeks put you in a sort of no man’s land – you can’t improve a great deal in such a short time, but you can do some useful sessions to prepare for the race. If you’re a relative newcomer, it should allow you to learn to run with a degree of efficiency and economy. Regular runners can use the fortnight to fine-tune their existing fitness and practice running at 10K pace.

We have two two-week schedules:

Four-Week Schedules

Four weeks is long enough to improve your fitness and put a little edge of speed in your legs. There are three schedule options here: one for runners who can spare three days a week to train; one for five days a week; and one for six or seven days a week. Each option loosely relates to a range of target 10K times, and these are shown at the top of each schedule. The most basic option does assume you’re already running a minimum of three times and 16-20 miles a week, so if you’ve never run before but you’re committed to running a 10K in four weeks’ time you’d be best to simply focus on building up the length of your runs rather than following the more speed-orientated structure of these schedules.

We have three four-week schedules:

Eight-Week Schedules

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.

We have three eight-week schedules:

Problem – Solution

10K is one of the most accessible race distances to train for, but it can still leave you scratching your head. Click on a problem to find the solution:


10K Q+As