Whether you’re a beginner or “self-confessed running re-starter” like me, this basic, or beginners 10k training plan is simple and effective – with just two runs per week. Means you’ve got plenty of time for… well, life? And to fit in other types of training you love!
*Busy, lazy, procrastinating… in addition to a whole heap of other synonyms to explain / excuse a (my!) lack of commitment to running in days gone by. A couple years back, I decided to take a break from the half marathon distance for a while and focused on running a maximum of 10km.
This was way back in 2016, and my biggest race at the time was the Vitality British 10km in London that summer. I’m pretty sure I’m not the first, the last, or the only person on the planet who is “too busy” to train 5 times a week so I put together a beginners 10km training plan which will get you round the distance on race day at a minimum.
Don’t expect PB’s cos we all know you get out what you put in, but you can expect to enjoy your event…
Autumn Running Kit Picks:
The plan is a really basic one, that hopefully even I can manage to adhere to. It’s so simple, based on just two runs per week; one long run and one interval session. It’s suitable for complete beginners, those coming back to running or those who are used to other activities / sports such as cycling or weight training.
The Long Runs For Your 10km Training
The aim of this run is to get your legs used to the distance. 10km isn’t exactly the longest distance but the plan is tailored to running it, building up gradually over 7 weeks until race day (at the time of writing this post, we have just under 5 weeks remaining)
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One of the most popular posts on the blog in the past couple of years is the 6 Day Race Day Preparation Guide which gives you one simple task to handle each day in the week leading up to your race or event.
Essentially, I wrote it for myself as a way to get organised, ensure I cover all my bases and then have something to refer to each and every time I race which could also be updated with feedback shared with me!
The Interval Sessions For Your 10km Training
Intervals are used to increase anaerobic threshold levels (your ability to run hard without going into an oxygen deficit). These sessions also improve your endurance (the length of time you can hold your pace), and help to build muscle strength.
There are so many variations of intervals you can run but I will mix up my sessions with both long (800m – 1500m) and short (200m – 400m) intervals. Once I get closer to race day, I’ll be doing more long intervals than short. I’ll run these intervals at 10kmph (a 60 minute 10km pace) and faster.
Rest periods will be approx half the distance for a long interval, and the same amount of time for the effort of the short interval.
Since I started my running journey again with couch to 5k, I’ve been using intervals of time. For example, running for 60 seconds, walking for 90 seconds is the first run of the programme.
You can always mix it up with running at race pace with recovery jogging.
Setting Up Intervals on Your Garmin
I’m gonna make a big assumption here, in that like me, you use a Garmin watch to track your runs and more. I have had a Garmin Vivoactive 3 for a couple of years at least now. It was one of the cheaper models but I’m still learning how many fab features it still has.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is still available new or renewed from Amazon or directly from the Garmin store. There is also a newer model, the Garmin Vivoactive 4.
The Garmin Workout feature is something I recently discovered and will be an ace tool for all your interval sessions. You just set your intervals of choice and save the workout. Here’s a more in depth post about the feature from Away With Katie.
To find the Workouts feature, go to your Garmin Connect app. Click the three horizontal lines on the top left. Click the Training section. Click Workouts.
The interval session for week one of this beginners 10k training plan is 3k. So you would in a warm up (for e.g 5 mins walking or 1k easy pace) then break up the 3km into shorter intervals for this early run. So set up an interval for 400m run and 100m rest x6 which will bring you to 3k. Add a cool down – again, 5 mins walking or 1k easy pace would work well.
Your Basic 10km Training Plan:
My Current Running Journey
While studying for my MSc, running had to take a back seat. I made the decision to run a maximum distance of 5km and stuck to that. Now my studies are complete (as of September 2019) I’m keen to make a comeback stating with the 10k distance.
I’m signed up to run the Adidas City Runs Fulham 10k on the 17th November and will be joining the Adidas Womens runs on Saturday mornings starting at the Brick Lane Studio.
They have been following a 10k training plan suitable for all levels, including beginners. At the time of writing this post, they are 4 weeks into training and after missing a couple of weeks due to prior commitments, I’m ready to join back in for week 5.
There are about 6 weeks left in preparation for the Fulham 10k and I plan on being there each weekend (bar the weekend I’m taking part in Red Bull Timelaps).
Realistically though, I will have to implement some of my own beginners 10k training plan featured in this post by including another run each week to get me ready for race day.
I’ll probably be mixing up my interval sessions with mid week rides outdoors or on the turbo trainer in addition to any classes that I can get along to.
Back in the day, I used to frequent classes at Barry’s Bootcamp, 1Rebel, Best’s Bootcamp and FRAME as they all incorporated lots of fast treadmill running and some strength work.
One of the main reasons I’ve ended up only running twice a week was because there are so many other things I wanted to do including Reformer Pilates, road biking, spin classes and HIIT training. There are only seven days in a week sadly, and rest also needs to be scheduled.
What kinda 10km training plan do you usually use?! Ever run just twice a week?!
Curious Journeying says
Ooh, this is a great post. I'm running 5K pretty regularly but want to step it up to 10K so this is very useful :). Best of luck for the British 10K! Nicky
Elle Linton says
Thanks Nicky! Look forward to following your journey to 10km! I'm sure you'll smash out the park if you've been running 5km regularly! 🙂
Ooh, I have a 10k on Sunday! I ran about 3-4 times a week but I can see this plan working. Since I'm on the other side of the world I think I'll have to pass on your race but good luck! It sounds like a fun one!
Elle Linton says
good luck for your race on Sunday! …hahaha! well, if you ever find yourself on this side of the world, look me up 😉