10km Training Programs

There are two programs outlined below, one for people who can run 5km at the moment and would like to get to 10km for race day, and the other for runners who can run 10km but would like to improve on their last 10km time.

Program 1:

If the furthest distance you have run to date is 5km, you need to start increasing your distances slowly. The best way to do this is by half a km or one km on just one of your runs per week until you get to the magic 10km mark.

Make sure your long runs are of a slow and steady paced. Go out slowly and then, if you are feeling good on the way back, lift a little and come back faster. If you go out too fast you can be assured you won’t feel so good on the way back.

If you would like to try putting some pace or speed into your running, do it on your shorter runs. The main objective of your long run is to make it all the way without walking. And follow the beginner’s rule for walking: if you need to walk that is OK, but make sure you only walk for a minute and then run again.

Aim to run 3 or 4 times per week. Have a day off between each run day.

On the days you don’t run, do some cross training; it’s a good alternative to running and keeps your fitness levels up and also uses other muscle groups. Great options are things like swimming, cycling, walking and yoga.

Week 1: Long Run 6km + 2 X 5km

Week 2: Long Run 6.5km + 2 X 5km

Week 3: Long Run 7.0km + 2 X 5km

Week 4: Long Run 7.5km + 2 X 5km

Week 5: Long Run 8.0km + 1 X 6km + 1 X 5km

Week 6: Long Run 8.5km + 1 X 7km + 1 X 5km

Week 7: Long Run 9km + 1 X 7km + 1 X 6km

Week 8: Long Run 9.5km + 1 X 7km +1 X 5km

Week 9: Long Run 8km + 2 X 5km

Week 10: Long Run 10km + 1 X 7km + 1 X 5km

Week 11: Long Run 8km + 1 X 7km + 1 X 6km

Week 12: 2 X 5km + Race Day 10km


Program 2:
This is for the runners who are comfortable with running 10km but would like to improve their speed.

This program is based around one long run of easy pace. This is the pace you are most comfortable at. You should be sweating and feel exertion, but still be able to hold a conversation, and not have to stop or walk at all. You should be running your 10km in a negative split.

There are three running sessions listed each week, however, you can add in another run, just  make it less than 10km at an easy pace. If you start to get tired, sore or injured, drop back to three running sessions a week. Try to have a day off between each run day for recovery.

This program is based on the premise what you have run a 10km race before, so you have a race time and PB time. Make sure this time has been achieved within the last year, and not a run you did 20 years ago! Use your last 10km time whenever 10km race time is mentioned. And use the pace you need to achieve to get your PB in your upcoming race when race pace is mentioned.

There are distances in this program that are more than 10km. To run a good 10km you need to reach 12km in training. This will give you an edge on the 10km. If you can run 12km, you will have more confidence going into a 10km race.

For speed work, it‘s best to have three quality running sessions a week rather than lots of kilometres. There are several speed training sessions outlined in Running Tips; use them when speed session is mentioned in this program.

Week 1:

  • 11km at an easy pace
  • 1 x 6km Tempo Half Kms
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 2:

  • 12km easy pace
  • 1 x 5km, half your last 10km race time and take off two minutes, aim to beat this time; eg. you ran your last 10km race in 60 minutes, aim to run this 5km run in under 28 minutes
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 3:

  • 10km at last 10km race time speed
  • 7km hilly, beach or off road run, at normal pace
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 4:

  • 12km easy pace
  • 10km, out at easy pace, come back as fast as you can run (big negative split)
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 5:

  • 11km easy pace
  • 8km long intervals run
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 6:

  • 10 km aim for one minute faster than last 10km race time
  • 8km on a hilly course, off road or cross country
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 7:
3 X 10km runs:

  • Run 1 at normal pace;
  • Run 2 at 2 minutes faster than run 1;
  • Run 3 faster than 2 (even if it’s only 1 second faster!),

Week 8:

  • 11km easy pace
  • 5km as fast as you can run it in!
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 9:

  • 12km easy pace
  • 10km race pace, aiming to beat or match your last 10km race PB
    (This is your training run for your PB – don’t worry if you don’t get it, it’s just a test run to see how your pace is going. You will still do it on race day!)
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 10:

  • 10km Half Kms Tempo run (see Chapter 5)
  • 7km off road or hilly run
  • Plus one speed session of 5km

Week 11:

  • 1 X 5km as fast as you can, then divide time by 5 and multiply by 6
    (eg. 5km in 25mins divided by 5 = 5mins, then X 6 = 30mins)
  • 1 X 6km; try to run this in the figure you calculated above,
    (example: 6km in 29mins divided by 5 = 5mins X 6 = 30mins)
    divide your 6km time by 6 and multiply it by 7
  • 1 X 7km; try to run this in the figure you calculated from your 6km time

Want to take a few seconds off run times? ...try a Big Finish.

Week 12:

  • 8 km easy pace
  • 1 X 5km at race pace training
  • Race Day-10km with a PB!



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