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Training Plan For Your First 10K

The Best Plan to Train For Your First 10K

If you've mastered the 5K and are ready to up your distance, then it may be time to run a 10K (that's 6.2 miles) — but don't train blindly. Follow this 12-week training plan created by physical therapist and running specialist Julie Ann Dougery of the CPMC Running Clinic. The goals: run a 10-minute-mile race and train injury-free — both worthy goals in our book.

If you can run three to five miles continuously without any pain, then this plan is for you. This program includes both tempo and speed work. But don't be intimidated by these new types of workouts; Julie swears they will "pay off huge come race day."

Key:
2 miles @12:05 = run two miles at a 12:05 minute-per-mile pace.
XT = cross training. Take a Pilates class, Spin, swim, or hike — something besides running.
Rest = take a day off to get your body geared up for the next day!
Tempo run = a short run at a quick pace, only slightly slower than race pace.
Speed work = different types of interval training done at a track. Do note that 400 meters is equivalent to one lap around the track. One mile is equivalent to four laps around the track. Most of the speed work has you jogging between intervals for recovery.

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How to decipher a speed workout:
Speed Work Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 3x800 in 4:40 w/400 jogs; Cool = run four miles total; warm up for one mile, and then do three repetitions of the 800-meter (two times around a standard 400-meter track) in 4 minutes and 40 seconds; between reps, jog for 400 meters (once around the track); after your third rep, cool down by jogging for one mile.

How to decipher a tempo run:
Tempo Run: Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 10:26; Cool = run a total of four miles; warm up for one mile, run two miles at a pace of a 10:26 mile, and then cool down running a mile.

Week/
mileage
Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
ONE /
11-12 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Speed Work
Dist: 1.5 Mi, inc
Warm; 2x400 in 4:40
w/400 jogs; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Long Run
Dist: 6 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
TWO /
16 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Tempo Run
Dist: 4 Mi, inc
Warm; 2 Mi @ 10:26; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Long Run
Dist: 8 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
THREE /
17 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Tempo Run
Dist: 5 Mi, inc
Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:26; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Long Run
Dist: 8 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
FOUR /
13 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 3 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Easy Run
Dist: 3 Mi
@12:05
Easy Run
Dist: 3 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Easy Run
Dist: 4 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
FIVE /
16 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Speed Work
Dist: 4 Mi, inc
Warm; 3x800 in 4:40
w/400 jogs; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Long Run
Dist: 8 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
SIX /
17 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Tempo Run
Dist: 5 Mi, inc
Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:26; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Long Run
Dist: 8 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
SEVEN /
17 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Tempo Run
Dist: 5 Mi, inc
Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:26; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Easy Run
Dist: 8 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
EIGHT /
13 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 3 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Easy Run
Dist: 3 Mi
@12:05
Easy Run
Dist: 3 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Easy Run
Dist: 4 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
NINE /
16 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Speed Work
Dist: 4 Mi, inc
Warm; 3x800 in 4:40
w/400 jogs; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Long Run
Dist: 8 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
TEN /
17 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
XT Tempo Run
Dist: 5 Mi, inc
Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:26; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Long Run
Dist: 8 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
ELEVEN /
17 miles
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Tempo Run
Dist: 5 Mi, inc
Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:26; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT Long Run
Dist: 8 Mi
@12:05
Rest / XT
TWELVE /
15 miles
Rest / XT Easy Run
Dist: 3 Mi
@12:05
Easy Run
Dist: 3 Mi
@12:05
Speed Work
Dist: 3 Mi, inc
Warm; 2x800 in 4:40 w/400 jog Cool
Rest / XT Rest / XT 10K Race Day
10K @10:11
Time 1:03:10

If you don't like running around the track, then use a watch, and time yourself to get a sense of how long it takes you to go around the track once (400 meters, or just under a quarter mile). Then you can use that amount of time to do intervals wherever you normally run. If you do work out on the track, make sure you change directions every other mile to help prevent injury.

Click here for an image-free printable training schedule. Print it out, and tape it to your fridge for extra inspiration. Not ready for a 10K? Give our 5K training plan a whirl.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell
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