How to improve your 10K - training program included

Updated: Mar 12


Running milestones are relatively straightforward and look something like this:

  • Mile

  • 5K

  • 10K

  • Half-marathon

  • Marathon

Obviously, those distance are not the only distances or milestones a person may have, but each is common to the broader running community. This applies in personal goals but also in competitive settings. The mile and 5K might are milestones the new runner eagerly awaits, but the 10K and beyond may seem intimidating. A 10K is far from the longest run personally or competitively, but it is the first run that tests a persons mental and physical endurance. It is the first “long run” that most people will complete. While it may seem like just the next step in training, moving from a mile to 5K is easier than moving from a 5K to 10K. The reason for this is the overall time under stress, but also the new training demands. For example, an average healthy person should be able to walk/jog/run a mile with no training and most will be able to walk/jog/run a 5K, though completion time may take a while. The 10K will prove daunting for most untrained person and even for many persons trained for the mile and 5K. As far as training for a 10K goes, the volume increases greatly, and the physical demand as well as time constraints can prove difficult. This becomes more of an issue for someone without a good plan, as he or she is likely to use time ineffiently, possibly push too hard, and due to these factors, risk schedule complications and injury. A good plan can help prevent this. That is what we offer below. As you work through this program, keep the following notes in mind:

  • During the warm-up, aim for a minimum of one mile distance at easy-moderate effort.

  • For each sprint, go "as fast as possible for the day," meaning base the speed on how you feel. That said, good form should be maintained, even if this calls for utilizing lower speeds.

  • For interval training and mile runs, pay close attention to the recommend rate of perceived exertion (easy, moderate, hard). Hard will be near max effort. Moderate would allow you to have a light conversation. Easy would allow you to have an ongoing conversation.

  • During interval training, aim for a minimum of one mile distance.

  • During the cool down, aim for a minimum of half-mile distance.

  • At the end of any week, you should have a bare minimum of 19 miles completed

Week 1 - Day 1 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Hard 3.1 mile run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 1 - Day 2 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Run 800 meters, rest as needed, complete twice 1-mile moderate difficulty run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 1 - Day 3 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 2-mile easy run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 1 - Day 4 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 5-mile easy run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 2 - Day 1 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 4-6 easy run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 2 - Day 2 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Run 800 meters, rest as needed, complete twice 2 mile moderate difficulty run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 2 - Day 3 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 3-mile easy run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 2 – Day 4 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 4-mile moderate difficulty run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 3 - Day 1 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Run a moderate to hard 6.2 miles Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 3 - Day 2 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Run 800 meters, rest as needed, complete twice 3-mile moderate difficulty run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 3 – Day 3 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 4-mile easy run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 3 - Day 4 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 3-mile easy run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 4 - Day 1 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Run a hard 3.1 miles Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 4 - Day 2 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Run 800 meters, rest as needed, complete three times 1-mile moderate difficulty run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 4 - Day 3 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 1-mile moderate difficulty run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 4 - Day 4 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 6-mile easy run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 5 - Day 1 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Run a moderate to hard 3.1 miles Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 5 - Day 2 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Run 800 meters, rest as needed, complete twice 2-mile moderate difficulty run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 5 - Day 3 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 1-mile max-effort run Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 5 - Day 4 Free run - complete run of your choice Week 6 - Day 1 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific Max effort 3.1-mile run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 6 - Day 2 Warmup - 20-30 minutes - Mobility and running specific 800 (complete two times) 800 meters Does not apply Run 800 meters, rest as needed, repeat 3-mile moderate difficulty run Interval Training – 10 minutes - Walk one minute, jog or run one minute Cool Down - 5-15 minutes - Walk or light jog plus stretch Week 6 - Day 3 Free run - complete run of your choice Week 6 - Day 4 Free run - complete run of your choice




Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA. 

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