If you’ve ever considered signing up for a 10K race, but the thought of vigorous training turned you off, we have the perfect solution. Our 10-week beginner-friendly training plan makes conquering 6.2 miles super approachable. And that holds true for anyone. Whether you’re lacing up your sneakers after a long hiatus or vying for your very first finisher medal, you can crush this program.
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How to Make It to the Finish
The secret to designing a plan that newbie runners will enjoy: run-walk workouts. Alternating running and walking will help you build a solid fitness foundation. You’ll perform the cardio interval sessions three times a week, starting with a nine-minute walk followed by a one-minute run. Then you’ll repeat the combo for 40 total minutes. Sounds doable, right?
Focusing on 10-minute intervals allows you to get into a cardio groove without having to constantly switch back and forth between running and walking, says Denise Sauriol, owner and founder of Run for Change in Chicago who created the plan. Plus, it’ll help you get to that finish line feeling strong and sans injury. Better yet, because the workouts aren’t too intense, you just might pick up running as a lifestyle rather than a one-and-done goal, Sauriol says.
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To ensure you’re working at an effective effort throughout the plan, you’ll want to walk with a purpose. That means hustling like you’re heading to a Lululemon sale, but not quite as fast as you’d book it trying to catch a train. During your run intervals, jog at a conversational pace rather than a full-on sprint. And don’t forget to sprinkle in those cross training days. A HIIT, yoga or Pilates class or doing a runner’s strength training workout will help you gain the strength needed to go faster and longer.
If you’re slightly more experienced or find the 60-second run interval too easy, Sauriol suggests starting out with seven minutes of walking and three minutes of running. Or try five and five. When you get excited about running more, that’s when you know it’s time to tackle some extra speedy minutes.
Ready to rack up that step count? Sign up for your 10K (check out this list of awesome races), then jump right into the training plan below.
Your Beginner-Friendly 10K Training Plan