Free 10K Run Training Plans & Tips

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How To Train For A 10K Run

The best way to train for a 10km run is by building up your training gradually over a period of weeks and months. The number one mistake people make is to launch into their training too quickly – running too far, too fast, or too regularly. This leads to sore legs, a gradual loss of motivation and a high risk of injury. A good way to avoid this is by following an expertly designed training plan. People who use training plans have been shown to be twice as likely to succeed in reaching their goals.

Table of Contents (click to scroll to each section)

Running Tips

Start by aiming to run two or three times per week, for 15 minutes per session. Most of your runs should be done at an easy chatting pace, to reduce the risk of injury. To achieve this low intensity, you may need to include some walking sections in your runs – there’s nothing wrong with that. Over time you can gradually reduce the duration of your walking sections, as you get fitter.

If you’re at the point where you can comfortably run 15 minutes without walking, you can then aim to increase the duration of your workouts by no more than 10% per week. Build up your training gradually until you’re able to run 30 minutes comfortably. Now you can start to vary your training more.

At this point, you can build your training around two or three key runs each week. The first key session is an endurance run, where you eventually build up to 1 hour of low intensity running. The other key run is a speed session, with a warm up, a warm down and some hard efforts sandwiched in between (like 5 x 3 minutes hard with 90-second recoveries). Any other runs could just be steady 30 to 40-minute jogs. For more experienced runners, you should include a third key weekly workout, of a tempo session. For example run 3 x 8 minutes at your 1-hour race pace, with 60-second recoveries (plus, warm up and warm down).

If possible, do some running on soft surfaces like grass or trails, to lessen the impact on your body. Training on undulating terrain is good too, because it spreads the load to a broader range of muscle fibers, compared to running just on flat ground. In our beginner, intermediate and advanced 10km training plans we make every fourth week an “active recovery week” where the training is half as much as normal. This gives your body a chance to catch up with itself and reduces your chances of getting injured.

Strength Training Tips

There are usually two 40-minute strength and conditioning sessions each week. These workouts can help improve your strength and flexibility, leading to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries. We suggest you only do strength work in addition to at least three runs per week, rather than instead of them.

Using A 10K Run Training Plan

Our training plans are for athletes who don’t feel the need for a personal coach, but who still want the structure and planning of an expertly-written training program. Research has shown that you are twice as likely to reach your goals if you train with a structured plan. For a beginner who has some recent background in fitness or sport, we suggest you give yourself at least 8-12 weeks to get fit and ready for a 10K race. The sooner you start, the more time you have to build up your fitness gradually. Fitness adaptations take weeks and months to occur, rather than days.

Do your best to follow the workouts below, ideally in their given order. To help you train at the right levels, we use five training zones, based on feel or heart rate. If you use heart rate, you can use our simple heart rate training zone calculator. Note: our premium plans include fitness tests for smarter, personalised training zones on every workout.

  • Zone 1 – Feels like “Easy/Recovery” – Heart rate 68-73% of max.
  • Zone 2 – Feels like “Steady/Endurance” – Heart rate 73-80% of max.
  • Zone 3 – Feels like “Mod. Hard/Tempo” – Heart rate 80-87% of max.
  • Zone 4 – Feels like “Hard/Threshold” – Heart rate 87-93% of max.
  • Zone 5 – Feels like “V. Hard/VO2 Max” – Heart rate 93-100% of max.

We abbreviate your zones to keep things easy to read:

  • Z1 to Z5 – Your training zone.
Download All Our FREE PRINTABLE 10K Run Plans Here!

*Plus, you’ll also receive free regular training tips from head coach Phil Mosley! Unsubscribe at any time.

12-Week Beginner 10K Run Plan

This training plan is suitable for Beginner or time-limited runners, aiming for their first 10K race. With just 12 weeks to go until event-day, this plan assumes you are currently able to run/jog for up to 20 mins. The plan builds up to race day and helps improve your fitness and confidence. A good way to avoid injury and stay motivated is by following an expertly designed training plan. People who follow a training plan have been shown to be twice as likely to succeed in reaching their goal.

Average weekly training hours are 2:23 with the biggest week at 3:08 hours. This includes three to four runs and a 45-minute strength and conditioning session. There is usually one workout per day, with two or three days off each week. Every fourth week is an active recovery week, with less training, to help your body recover and adapt.

Week 1 - Base Phase (2 hrs 05 mins)

Monday: Tempo Run – Hard/Threshold (20 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins in Z2-3.
  • Main Set:
    • 5 mins in low Z4.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Tuesday: Recovery Day

  • Allows for recovery whilst promoting adaptation to previous training stresses. Helps you get faster and keep injuries at bay.

Wednesday: Strength – Adaptation Phase (45 mins)

Thursday: Speed Endurance – V. Hard/VO2 Max (20 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 8 mins in Z2-3.
  • Main Set:
    • 4 x (1 min in low Z5 + 1 min in Z1).
  • Warm Down:
    • 4 mins in Z2.

Friday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (20 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (20 mins)

  • Easy or steady run all in low to mid Z2. You should be able to chat at this effort. This is your long run and will gradually increase in duration. If you need to include some walking sections in these runs, in order to keep your heart rate down, that’s fine.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Tempo Run – Hard/Threshold (23 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 8 mins in Z2 to Z3.
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (4 mins in low Z4 + 60 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Wednesday: Strength – Adaptation Phase (45 mins)

Thursday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (20 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Friday: Speed Endurance – V. Hard/VO2 Max (23 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 8 mins in Z2 to Z3.
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (2 mins in low Z5 + 2 mins in Z1 + 60 secs in low Z5 + 1 min in Z1).
  • Warm Down:
    • 3 mins in Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (23 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Tempo Run – Hard/Threshold (24 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 9 mins in upper Z3 to low Z4.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Wednesday: Strength – Endurance Phase (45 mins)

Thursday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (20 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Friday: Speed Endurance – V. Hard/VO2 Max (25 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 8 mins in Z2 to Z3.
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (4 mins in low Z5 + 2 min recoveries in Z1).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (26 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Tempo Run – Hard/Threshold (18 mins)

  • Warm Up
    • 8 mins in Z2 to Z3.
  • Main Set:
    • 5 mins in upper Z3 to low Z4.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Wednesday: Strength – Endurance Phase (45 mins)

Thursday: Recovery Day

  • All in low to mid Z2

Friday: Speed Endurance – V. Hard/VO2 Max (22 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in Z2.
    • 3 x (30 secs accelerating from Z2 to Z4 + 30 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (2 mins in Z5 + 60 secs in Z1).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (26 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Progression Run – Mod. Hard/Tempo (26 mins)

  • Main Set:
    • 3 mins in low Z2,
    • 3 mins in mid Z2,
    • 3 mins in upper Z2,
    • 3 mins in low Z3,
    • 5 mins in mid Z3,
    • 3 mins in upper Z3,
    • 3 mins in low Z4,
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in low Z2.

Wednesday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (25 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Thursday: Strength – Endurance Phase (45 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Friday: Strength Endurance – V. Hard/VO2 Max (28 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in Z2.
    • 3 x (30 secs accelerating from Z2 to Z4 + 30 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Main Set:
    • 5 x (1 min in low Z5 up a hill (gradient 3-6%) + 2 min recoveries in Z1-Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (29 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Progression Run – Mod. Hard/Tempo (27 mins)

  • Main Set:
    • 5 mins in low Z2,
    • 3 mins in mid Z2,
    • 3 mins in upper Z2,
    • 5 mins in low Z3,
    • 3 mins in mid Z3,
    • 5 mins in upper Z3,
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in low Z2.

Wednesday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (30 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Thursday: Strength – Endurance Phase (45 mins)

Friday: Speed Endurance – V. Hard/VO2 Max (31 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in Z2.
    • 3 x (30 secs accelerating from Z2 to Z4 + 30 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Main Set:
    • 6 x (1 min in low Z5 up a hill (gradient 3-6%) + 2 min recoveries in Z1-Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (33 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

 

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Progression Run – Mod. Hard/Tempo (29 mins)

  • Main Set:
    • 3 mins in low Z2,
    • 5 mins in mid Z2,
    • 4 mins in upper Z2,
    • 5 mins in low Z3,
    • 4 mins in mid Z3,
    • 5 mins in upper Z3,
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in low Z2.

Wednesday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (30 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Thursday: Strength – Endurance Phase (45 mins)

Friday: Speed Endurance – V. Hard/VO2 Max (31 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in Z2.
    • 3 x (30 secs accelerating from Z2 to Z4 + 30 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Main Set:
    • 6 x (1 min in low Z5 up a hill (gradient 3-6%) + 2 min recoveries in Z1-Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (37 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Tempo Run – Hard/Threshold (25 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 10 mins in low Z4.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Wednesday: Strength – Endurance Phase (45 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Thursday: Recovery Day

Friday: Speed Run – V. Hard/VO2 Max (22 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in Z2.
    • 3 x (30 secs accelerating from Z2 to Z4 + 30 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (2 mins in Z5 + 60 secs in Z1).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (20 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (30 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Wednesday: Aerobic Endurance/Strength – Steady/ Endurance (35 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2. Ideally on a hilly route.

Thursday: Strength – Strength Phase (45 mins)

Friday: Speed Run – V. Hard/VO2 Max (32 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 8 mins in Z2.
    • 4 x (30 secs accelerating from Z2 to Z5 + 30 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Main Set:
    • 5 x (60 secs in upper Z5 + 2 min recoveries in Z1).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in low Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (41 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (30 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Wednesday: Aerobic Endurance/Strength – Steady/ Endurance (35 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2. Ideally on a hilly route.

Thursday: Strength – Strength Phase (45 mins)

Friday: Speed Run – V. Hard/VO2 Max (33 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 7 mins in Z2.
    • 4 x (30 secs accelerating from Z2 to Z5 + 30 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Main Set:
    • 4 x (75 secs in upper Z5 + 3 min recoveries in Z1 to Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in low Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (45 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

Tuesday: Aerobic Endurance (optional) – Steady/ Endurance (25 mins)

  • All in low to mid-Z2

Wednesday: Aerobic Endurance/Strength – Steady/ Endurance (25 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2. Ideally on a hilly route.

Thursday: Strength – Strength Phase (45 mins)

Friday: Speed Run – V. Hard/VO2 Max (35 mins 30 secs)

  • Warm Up:
    • 8 mins in Z2.
    • 4 x (30 secs accelerating from Z2 to Z5 + 30 sec recoveries in Z1).
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (90 secs in upper Z5 + 3 min recoveries in Z1 to Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 10 mins in low Z2.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Aerobic Endurance – Steady/Endurance (40 mins)

  • Easy or steady run/jog all in low to mid Z2.

Monday: Recovery Day

  • This week you will maintain your fitness and eliminate any traces of fatigue. It’s a good time to double-check your race day logistics and strategies. If your race is on Saturday, move your Friday run to Thursday and take Friday as a rest day.

Tuesday: Taper Week Run – Steady/ Endurance (20 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2

Wednesday: Taper Week Run – Hard/Threshold (20 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (45 secs in low Z4 + 75 secs in Z2).
  • Warm Down.
    • 6 mins in Z2.

Thursday: Recovery Day

Friday: Taper Week Run – Steady/ Endurance (20 mins)

  • All in low to mid Z2. If your race is on Saturday, move today’s run to Thursday and take today as a rest day.

Saturday: Recovery Day

Sunday: Race Day

Download All Our FREE PRINTABLE 10K Run Plans Here!

*Plus, you’ll also receive free regular training tips from head coach Phil Mosley! Unsubscribe at any time.

12-Week Intermediate 10K Run Plan

This short training plan is suitable for Intermediate runners, who want to maximize potential at 10K. With just 12 weeks to go until event-day, this plan assumes you are currently able to run/jog for up to 35 mins. You will build up to race day and improve your fitness and confidence. A good way to avoid injury and stay motivated is by following an expertly designed training plan. People who follow a training plan have been shown to be twice as likely to succeed in reaching their goal.

Average weekly training hours are 3:32 with the biggest week at 4:20 hours. This includes four to five runs and a 45-minute strength and conditioning session. There is usually one workout per day and one or two days off each week. Every fourth week is an active recovery week, with less training, to help your body recover and adapt.

12-Week Advanced 10K Run Plan

This short training plan is suitable for Advanced amateur runners, aiming to achieve peak fitness for 10K. With just 12 weeks to go until event-day, this plan assumes you are currently able to run for up to 60 mins. You will build up to race day and improve your fitness and confidence. A good way to avoid injury and stay motivated is by following an expertly designed training plan. People who follow a training plan have been shown to be twice as likely to succeed in reaching their goal.

Average weekly training hours are 5:09 with the biggest week at 6:19 hours. This includes five to six runs and a 45-minute strength and conditioning session. There is usually one 1 workout per day and one day off each week. Every fourth week is an active recovery week, with less training, to help your body recover and adapt.

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About Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)
About Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)

Phil is a recognised expert with over 20 years of experience, having featured on many endurance sports publications (below). He founded MyProCoach in 2010 to to offer the world’s most comprehensive range of online training plans, all designed to help you enjoy the same success that my athletes and I have, while still making sure you have quality time for your family, friends and career (read 190+ detailed reviews here).

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