4 Week 10k Training Plan

This 4 week 10k training plan is great for anyone who is already active, and wants to run a good 10k!

If you already have some running experience and are looking for a challenge, this is a great training plan.

Over the 4 weeks you’ll gradually build up your miles.

Note: this plan assumes you are continuously running each training run, although if you wish to run/walk then that is perfectly acceptable too!

Who is it for?:

Active people who are looking to run a great 10k!

How Long?:

4 Weeks.

The 4 week 10k training plan doesn’t have a speed or pace focus at all – the objective is to get the required mileage in.

Not convinced this is the plan for you?

Check out our other 10k training plans!

How Many Days Per Week?:

The training plan features 5 days of training per week; 4 days of running and 1 day of cross training.

People with some existing running experience, or are active in other sports.

Struggling to continuously run the distances in the plan?

No problem!

Adopt a structured run/walk approach, and you’ll be fine.

Try this; run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute. Repeat.

If this is too much, increase the ratio so you’re walking more frequently.

As you body adjusts, you should find it easier to run more often than walk!

Each week includes a cross training day; although these aren’t mandatory, I highly recommend them.

Why?

Cross training is meant to work on your cardiovascular health and strength some of the muscles weakened through running.

Recommended cross-training exercises include body weight exercises, light gym work, swimming, yoga, pilates, and cycling!

4 Weeks to a Faster 10K

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Aiming for a new personal record on your next 10K? This comprehensive four-week program can get you there. Training at high and specific intensities guarantees to increase your running strength, power, and speed. Before getting started, you will need a heart rate monitor to ensure that you are training at appropriate intensities. Your heart rate training zones are percentages of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. A heart rate monitor will calculate your zones automatically.

Heart Rate Zones

Zone 1: Easy, aerobic, 60 to 70% max heart rate, recovery

Zone 2: Moderate, aerobic, 70 to 80% max heart rate

Zone 3: Moderately hard, lactate threshold, 80 to 85% max heart rate

Zone 4: Hard, anaerobic threshold, 85 to 90% max heart rate

RELATED: The Ultimate Strength Workout for Runners

The Workouts

Tempo: Increases lactate threshold, or the intensity at which one can run before lactic acid builds up in the muscles to the point it causes fatigue and slows down performance. Zone 3

Interval: Increases anaerobic threshold, or the intensity at which your body goes from aerobic (oxygen used to produce energy) to anaerobic (oxygen not used to produce energy). Training at this intensity increases running speed and helps the body tolerate lactic acid. Zone 3 to 4

Easy Run: Increases aerobic capacity or the ability to run longer distances. Zone 1 to 2

Flexibility: Stretch quads, hamstrings, hips, and calves after each run.

Cross Train: 30 to 60 minutes of any other type of cardio exercise other than running, such as swimming, cycling, elliptical, stair climbing, rock-wall climbing, or fast walking, that you are used to doing. Yoga is also acceptable if you have already been taking yoga for at least one month prior.

Since this program is only four weeks long, don’t start any new activities other than fast running during this time to avoid risk of injury from overtraining.

(If you’re printing the plan, be sure to use landscape layout for best resolution.)

You’re an established runner. You know the drill – you have to get out there to get better so you’ve got to grips with the lace up or lose out (on the PB) element of the runners life.

Get rid of any fear in your mind about this distance and just do it

The next 4 weeks you have the challenge of pushing yourself that extra mile in every sense to achieve the 10 km time you crave.

Week 1: Realisation and Trials

Get out and run 10k or as close as you can without blowing. Get rid of any fear in your mind about this distance and just do it. Plod along, chat all the way with someone, sing at the top of your voice, plan the route before you go so you end up somewhere fun, make it an enjoyable yet measurable run. Use a tracking device or app because you’re going to need to know your total time for your first quantifiable number to work from – just make sure you’ve switched auto pause on then your time will be true to running.

A few days later…

This time is going to be your base for the next four weeks. It’s what you’ll work some speed training from too when referring to your 10k pace, half it and thats your base 5k pace. When 10k race pace is mentioned this is the speed calculated by the time you want to achieve in your race.

Get out and run 1 mile (that’s 1.6 km). This will then be your mile time for basing your faster speed intervals times from. Write all these times down and keep them with you on training days.

These can be completed on two different days as two sessions-add on a strength training session to the mile day to ensure you are covering all bases on training like an athlete. You body needs to be able to handle the load and impact of running, imagine 76 times your body weight going through your knee with every stride – the only way to get those tendons really strong is to get in the weight room and lift, lift, lift.

Week 2: Progressive Tempo Run and Speed

To hit a faster PB, you are going to have to understand speed training and work at it well. Whether you do this on a treadmill or outside – you have to plan the session and know the numbers before you start to make is efficient and effective.

Your Tempo Pace is another speed you will get to know, and it is crucial as it is controlled. When you run at this pace, you are teaching your body to the comfortable becoming uncomfortable by maintaining a pace between your 10k fast and easy pace. Here, you will use your 10k and 5k paces as the best guidelines.

Session 1: 4 km faster run

Start 500m warm into your stride, hit a pace 2/3 seconds faster than your 10k pace, or your 5k pace, until 3.5 km then take your foot off the gas for final 500m. You want to hit your desired race pace in those middle kilometres using the start and end as extended warm up and cool down.

Session 2: Speed Session

– 2x 400m at mile pace

– 2 minutes recovery between each interval (slow jog or fast walk)

– 800m at 10k pace

– 1 minute recovery

– 8x 200m at mile pace

– 90 seconds recovery between every interval

– 800m at 10k pace

– 1 minute recovery

– 2x 400m at mile pace

– 2 minutes recovery between each interval

Session 3: 6-8km depending on fitness levels

Starting at a recovery run pace – so a nice easy leg tick over speed, working down to your 5k pace over the course of the run – so you finish nice and fast. The quicker that progression happens from recovery to 5k pace the harder the tempo run will be as you will be running longer at that faster speed.

Week 3: Ramp it up

Session 1: 8 km Tempo Run

For the first 1km, warm into your stride and then hit 10k pace. For kilometres 1-7 hit your 5k pace then take your foot off the gas for 1 km. You want to hit faster than your desired race pace in those middle kilometres using the start and end as extended warm up and cool down. This will be a great way of getting your body and mind ready for longer distance over a faster speed, uninterrupted.

Session 2: Speed Session

– 1000m @10k pace

– 1 minute recovery

– 4x 400m @ 5k pace

– 90 seconds recovery between each interval

– 800m @ 5k pace

– 90 seconds recovery

– 3x 300m @ mile pace

– 2 minutes recovery between each interval

– 600m @ mile pace

– 2 minutes recovery

– 2x 200m @ Best Pace

– 2.5 minutes recovery between each interval

Session 3: Long Run 9 km

You are going to aim to hit your race pace for the vast majority of this distance. You want to know how you feel, right? Set yourself a minimum of 7km of the total distance running at your 10k race pace. Again, the sooner you start taking the speed up the chances are the longer you will run at your pace for. Anywhere between 7 and 8 km of the total run at the race pace is the goal, using the start and end as recovery speed.

Week 4: Reel it in

This week you are going to step back slightly and let your body absorb and process all the work you have been doing recently. The race will be soon, so fit your two sessions in earlier in the week – for example, get them both done before Thursday if your race is on Sunday. Between your last session and hitting the start line, rest and fuel well.

Session 1: Speed Session

– 4x 400m @ 5k pace

– 2 minutes recovery between each

– 4x 200m @ mile pace

– 1 minute recovery between each interval

Session 2: Tempo Run 5 km

First 1 km warm into your stride, and then hit 10k pace. For kilometres 1-4 hit your 10k race pace then take your foot off the gas for final 1 km.

Day before: ShakeOut Run 3 km

Go for a very gentle short run. Your aim is to get the legs ticking over, you stay warm by wearing layers if the weather is cold and you don’t push yourself in anyway.

After this run, stretch and then rest well.

By Rebecca Gentry, Nike Run Club coach and Equinox trainer

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I am so excited to be teaming up with the Lexus LaceUp Running Series! You can save 15% on any Lexus LaceUp race with the code debbieruns15 (excluding the marathon relay and any kids’ race).

Of course, that means I’ll be running a 10k in about four weeks. If you’ve followed me at all lately, you know it’s been a little hot here in the desert (as I know it’s been just about everywhere this summer). So the running has been short, on trails, and definitely NOT fast. That is why I’m sharing my Four Week Faster 10k Training plan and inviting you to join me.

About the Lexus LaceUp Race Series

The Lexus LaceUp Running Series presented by Saucony presents a half marathon, 10k and 5k in four locations in Southern California. Each location provides a scenic course, chip timing, FREE race photos, high-quality finisher medals, and tech race shirts, plus a post-race food truck brunch and Sierra Nevada beer toast in a lively music-filled event hub.

Irvine on Saturday, September 3 (I’ll be there!): This is the only race of the Lexus LaceUp series that does not have a half marathon. Instead, it has a marathon relay, where teams of two to five runners complete a full 26.2 distance race. There is also a 1K kids race.

Ventura on Saturday, October 22: Ventura is a destination that is perfect for a run-cation. There not many things that are more inspiring than running along the California coast at sunrise. There is also a kid’s 1k which includes a t-shirt and finisher’s medal for $15.

Palos Verdes on Saturday, November 19: Do you love hills? (Or love to hate hills?) Then Palos Verdes is the race for you. It has a history too. Originally the Palos Verdes Marathon back in the 1960s, it had a reputation as one of the country’s most challenging races. It has evolved into the LaceUp series Half Marathon, but it will still challenge you! The runners are limited to 1,000, and it generally sells out early, so don’t waste time before signing up!

Riverside on December 4: The final race of the Lexus LaceUp series, it is a festive time in Riverside and you’ll probably see more than a few runners in their holiday running best.

Your 4 Week Faster 10k Training Plan

So here it is, the middle of a long hot summer and I you have not been doing much training. Suddenly you have an opportunity to run a 10k in just a month! It sounds like fun, but you’d like to have at least a little training under your belt. Maybe even run a little faster!

Yes. You. Can!

If we start today (or tomorrow, that’s okay), not only can we finish 6.2 miles strong, we can even improve our speed! This four-week plan will get you to the finish line looking good and feeling strong! Oh, and it can help your 5k time too!

How can I get faster in 4 weeks?

Simply put, with proper training, including recovery, your body can take somewhere between 10 to 20 days to make adaptations due to the stimulus provided by your training. While an expedited program is not ideal, you can run faster in four weeks by following this program.

This program assumes that you are currently running up to four or five miles at a time and at least 10 miles a week. If you are a complete beginner, check out my 12 week 5k Training Program, which will take you from the beginning all the way to your first 5k.

You will be running five days a week. If that does not work for you, substitute one of the easy run days with cross training or rest. And always remember that while I am a coach, I am not your coach and I don’t know your specific needs and issues. Make sure you’re in good physical shape before starting the program.

Training Plan Description

VO2max Intervals: These are faster periods of running followed by a recovery period of about the same time. They improve the rate at which you use oxygen. They are done at a pace slightly faster than your 5k race pace. This also equals about 95-100% of your effort. They can be done on a track or you can measure out .25 or .5 miles distances on a safe road. Warm up for about 8-10 minutes and spend an equal amount of time running easy at the end of your workout.

Tempo Runs: These are done at your lactate threshold pace, which is the point at which your body accumulates more lactic acid than it can process and has to slow down. Basically, they teach your body to run faster for a longer period of time. After a warm-up of about 8-10 minutes, run at a pace that feels comfortably hard, approximately 85-90% of your effort level. Spend another 8-10 minutes running easy at the end of your workout.

Dynamic Warmup: After your running warm up for the above two workouts, spend about 5 minutes with a dynamic warm up by doing some drills. These can be high knees, butt kicks, cariocas, or other type of dynamic stretching that will prepare your body for the work ahead. Here is a detailed post (and videos) about running drills from 2:37 marathoner Tina Muir.

Long Run: Long runs should be run at an easy pace, especially for our purposes during this 4 week faster 10k training program.

Easy Runs: Easy runs are designed to help you recover, so it is important to run them at an easy pace. Don’t think that you can get faster quicker by “cheating” and adding an extra hard workout. The science of adaptation requires hard work followed by recovery. So easy means easy!

If you have any questions about any of the workouts, please ask in the comments.

Since the training plan starts on Monday, feel free to start right away with a short easy run on Thursday or Friday, and a four or five mile long run on Saturday.

What’s your favorite race distance?

Remember, I’ll be doing this training right along with you, so we’ll have a quick catch up every Wednesday. I’ll report on my progress and you can comment to report on yours. Have fun!

Now It’s Time for the Running Coaches’ Corner!

My weekly linkups! Please stop by and check out all of the great recipes, workouts, and information that all these awesome bloggers share every week!

Sunday Blog Hop with Jenn
Meatless Monday with Sarah and Deborah
Meatless Monday with Annmarie
Inspire Me Monday with Janice
Weekend Snapshots with Erin
Anything Goes with Marilyn
Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie, Michelle, Sarah, and Angelena Marie
The Plant Based Potluck Party with Deborah
The Running Coaches’ Corner with Rachel, Suz, Lora Marie, and Me!
Giveaway Roundup and Try Out Thursdays with Smitha
The Blogger’s Pit Stop with Kathleen
Friday Fitness with Jill

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Four weeks is long enough to improve your fitness and put a little edge of speed in your legs. If you’re committed to running a 10K in four weeks’ time, this training plan looks at running three times a week, or around 16-20 miles. If you’re a complete beginner, that mileage might sound a little daunting, but simply focus on building up the length of your runs, rather than following the more speed-orientated structure of these schedules.

For more experienced runners, by following this training plan you should be able to achieve a 45-60 minute 10K.

Two key things to remember when following this training plan:

1. The sessions in the training plan aren’t set in stone. Be flexible with speeds and distances where you need to, especially if you start to feel tired all the time.

2. Feel free to change the order of the sessions to fit in with your daily schedule. Just be sure to follow the basic principle of not scheduling hard sessions back-to-back.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 Rest 2M easy, then 8 x 400m or 80 secs fast, with 400m or 2-3 min jog recoveries, then 2M easy Rest Rest Rest 5-7M easy, inc 10 x 100m strides 5M easy
Week 2 Rest 2M warm-up, then 6 x 600m or 2-mins, with 400m or 3-min jog recoveries, then 2M cool-down Rest Rest Rest 5-7M steady, inc hills 6M easy
Week 3 Rest 2M warm-up, then 5 x 800m or 3-mins, with 400m or 3-4 min jog recoveries, then 2M cool-down Rest Rest Rest 15 mins easy, 20 mins fartlek, 15 mins easy 7M easy
Week 4 Rest 2M warm-up, then 6 x 400m or 80 secs, with 400m or 2-3 min jog recoveries, then 2M cool-down Rest 4-5M easy Rest Rest RACE

If you’re looking for training plans of the same length, but want to up the number of times you run each week, take a look at the two below:

Train for a 10K in 4 weeks, running 5 times a week – Approximately a 40-50 minute 10K

Train for a 10K in 4 weeks, running 6-7 times a week – Approximately a 35-40 minute 10K

If you’ve decided to work toward crushing a 6.2 mile race, having an easy 10K training plan and expert-approved tips makes it that much easier to cross the finish line. That is, when they’re combined with a commitment to put in the road work and prepare the best you can, of course. If you’re looking for the right tools to keep you on track, you’re covered with this training schedule and advice. All you need to do is lace up, psych up, and get ready to run.

Before we get to your day-by-day plan, here are five tips for preparing for your 10K ahead of time, whether it’s your first one or your last (half marathon, here you come).

Tip #1: Preparing to run a race is not all about running.

In the training plan below you’ll notice that we’ve allotted three days a week to running, three days a week to different types of workouts, and one day for active recovery. Cross-training with other types of cardio, strength, and flexibility workouts (like yoga and Pilates) is a key part of this plan. Not only does incorporating workout variety help you establish a well-rounded fitness routine, but having strength and flexibility can help you prevent injury and run more efficiently (having a strong core is especially important).

You’ll want to alternate between running days and other workout days, Kristy Campbell, founder of Run The Long Road Coaching, tells SELF. “This frequency allows your runs to be spaced out nicely throughout the week (without too much time off in between runs) and maximizes recovery.”

Tip #2: On run days, keep some variety, and don’t overdo it.

The runs in this plan range in length, distance, and speed for a reason. “ workouts build speed, prepare your legs for faster running on race day, and are great confidence boosters,” says Campbell. Longer endurance runs help you build up your mileage (slowly!) as you go. “A gradual build-up allows your body to adapt and get stronger to the stress of running longer distances.” Running is a high-impact workout, so you may experience issues like shin splints and knee pain if you crank up your mileage too quickly. (Shortening your stride can also be a useful form correction if you continue to deal with these nagging pains–here’s how.)

Tip #3: Invest in a good pair of running shoes—but don’t wait until the end of your training to break them in.

Uncomfortable shoes are a surefire way to kill your running vibe, so find a pair that fits your foot correctly to avoid pain and long-term injury from having improper support, running expert and manager of the specialty running store Brooklyn Running Co. Kate Reese told SELF in her five guidelines for choosing the perfect pair.

However, you definitely shouldn’t wait until race day to break ’em in, so make sure you have time to get comfortable in them while you’re still training, Gary Berard, an NYC-based running coach and the founder of GB Running, told SELF in these tips for running your first 5K.

Tip #4: Scope out the race course ahead of time so you can train for the run you’ll actually be doing.

“To minimize surprises on race day, do some research on your 10K course,” says Campbell. “Is it hilly? Add some hills into your long run that will mimic the hills on the race course. Running a trail 10K? Add some trail running in each week. The more prepared you are, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle the course come race day.”

Tip #5: If it’s your first 10K, focus on finishing, not on time.

“The first time you race any distance—from a 5K to a marathon–your primary goal should be to finish strong and enjoy yourself,” says Campbell. Have fun, push yourself, and be proud of the work you’ve put in up to that point.

Speaking of, now it’s time for the actual work. Here’s an easy 10K training plan created by running coach Katie Bottini to follow for the eight weeks leading up to your race. The workouts themselves are no walk in the park, but this schedule is doable, efficient, and easy to follow along with. Save the pin here for easy reference, then head on over here for detailed day-by-day instructions.

Your 8-Week 10K Training Plan Jocelyn Runice

You may also like:The 5-Move Before-Breakfast Workout You Can Do At Home

4 Keys to Making the 5K to 10K Transition

There’s a reason why 5Ks are the race of choice for beginning runners. The distance is (relatively) easy to train for and runners with little or no running experience can often get into race shape in approximately 6 to 8 weeks.

But many 5K runners who make the jump to a 10K event, or even longer race, often assume their 5K training will carry them over to the new distance. But this can lead to disappointing and disastrous results on race day.

We recently sat down with RRCA and USATF-certified running coach and exercise physiologist Sean Coster to get his thoughts on making the jump in distance from 5K to 10K, and what he believes are the four keys to an effective and safe transition to the longer distance.

More: 10 Tips for Your First 10K

Key No. 1: It’s All About the Oxygen

Distance running is an aerobic exercise that requires the body to use oxygen to create energy. The farther the distance, the more energy required.

According to Coster, runners of both 5K and 10K races are, “challenged to push the body to reach its highest work rate while still being aerobic.”

The key lies in adjusting the amount of oxygen consumed, or vo2 max, to correspond to the distance of the race. For example, an elite runner might run a 5K at 97 to 98 percent of his VO2 max whereas he or she may only reach 92 to 94 percent of his or her VO2 max in a 10K.

By lowering his or her rate in the longer distance race, a runner is able to ensure that they can maintain their performance over an extended period of time.

“Managing VO2 max is vital to a consistent and successful run,” Coster says.

More: 3 Workouts to Increase VO2 Max

Key No. 2: Train for Endurance, Not Speed

When the body performs any type of anaerobic exercise, such as running for speed, it relies on temporary energy sources within the muscles, and not oxygen, to meet its needs.

Intramuscular cellular reactions provide temporary bursts of energy but will allow lactic acid to build up in the muscle, leading to burning and fatigue.

While 5K races are short enough to permit a greater ratio of aerobic to anaerobic function, 10K races will require primarily aerobic function.

“In the 10K race, endurance is king,” Coster says. “Find your lactate threshold, or the maximum speed you can run for 45 to 60 minutes without a build-up of lactic acid.”

According to Coster, to delay the onset of a runner’s lactate threshold, at least one long tempo run should be incorporated into the training program each week.

More: Tempo Workouts to Tune Up Your Training

5-week Training Plan for Runher 10K

Starting Out

Get out of your comfort zone and start exercising! Give yourself positive reinforcement, such as allow yourself a treat on each day you exercise or use your imagination to reward yourself with your ideal image of the benefits you will achieve through exercise.

Find what practice works best for you, whether it’s running alone or with a team. Check out the local ‘Up & Runners’ website (www.upandrunners.com) for information about local club runs and how to get started.

Always remember to warm up and cool down- Warming up will prepare you physically for your run and reduce the risk of injury. A good warm up should last between 5 and 10 minutes and should raise your heart rate to get the blood pumping to your muscles. At the end of your run, it is advised to do a cool down. By walking briskly for 3 or 4 minutes while reducing your speed will gradually return your heart rate to resting level to prevent injury. A good stretch after your run will reduce muscle tightness and prevent soreness the following day.

Diet

With our new connection with ‘Unislim’, have a look at their nutritional guide as to how to make small but significant changes to your diet, to get the most benefit out of your exercise (www.unislim.com). Make sure you are eating and drinking enough to keep your energy and hydration levels high enough to support your training and ensure you are getting enough sleep to promote healthy body function.

‘Up & Running’ 5-week training program

Follow our 5-week training program to assist you in achieving your 10K target.

WEEK 1

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 30 mins jog

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: 25 mins run

Friday: REST

Saturday: 10mins fast, 4mins walk. X2

Sunday: 40 mins jog

WEEK 2

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 30 mins run

Wednesday: 5mins run, 3mins jog. X3

Thursday REST

Friday: 35 mins run

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 50 mins jog

WEEK 3

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 35 mins run

Wednesday: 5mins run, mins jog. X3

Thursday: REST

Friday: 35 mins run

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 55 mins jog

WEEK 4

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 30 mins run

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: 40 mins run

Friday: REST

Saturday: 5mins run, 3mins jog. X4

Sunday: 55 mins run

WEEK 5

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 33 mins run

Wednesday: 8mins run, 2mins jog

Thursday: REST

Friday: 20 mins run

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 10K RACE!

GOOD LUCK!!!!

Please Note:

If you feel particularly tired take an extra rest day- don’t feel that you need to stick rigidly to the program, it is a base from which to work from.

If you feel one week is too difficult, repeat the previous week.

If you feel particular soreness in any area it may be sensible/ necessary

to stop/rest for a few days and if the problem persists, please consult a doctor or physio

If you have a good fitness base to begin you can pick up the training plan with 3 or 4 weeks to go

Key:

WALK: good strong walking pace, can talk easily

JOG: starting to get out of breath

RUN: can talk in short bursts

FAST: high intensity, can barely speak

Belfast Telegraph

4 weeks to 10k

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