7 simple steps to your first 10K

Thinking of signing up to your first 10K race? Our 7 tips from expert run coach Nick Anderson will get you up to speed.

7 simple steps to your first 10K

A 10K race is the perfect distance to test yourself without pushing the limits of endurance, but it’s also worth committing to a training plan to ensure you make it across the finish line feeling strong.

10K is a distance that needs to be respected. However, it's also very achievable for most runners to train well while still balancing a busy home and work life. It might feel like a big step up if you are new to running, but with a careful build up and some structure you can get it right.

Plan to succeed

Not sure where to start? Training becomes a great deal easier once you've booked in your race and made a commitment. Allowing 12-16 weeks to train is ideal, so a pick a 10K at a time of year when you know you can commit to 3-4 runs a week without impacting on your work and family life.

Make time

We have a range of great training plans to guide you through your race; check out our training plan section and set aside the required training hours each week in your diary. Plan to run some of your miles in the morning to get you off to a good start. 

Mix it up

While getting out the door and aiming to run further at a slow or steady pace is an important aspect of your training, adding faster running as interval sessions into your training regime will give your fitness a quick boost. If your normal run represents a 6-7/10 effort, aim to include some running at 8/10 in blocks of up to 10 minutes, and some 9/10 efforts in blocks of 1-3 minutes, using fast walking as recovery.

Be patient

Don’t expect to nail the full 10K distance immediately. Starting with a run/walk strategy can be a highly effective way to ensure you build up sustainably. For example, run for 5 minutes, walk for 2-3 minutes, progressing to run for 10 minutes and walk for 2-3 minutes. This way your running fitness will progress quickly, enabling you to running much longer sustained blocks. Log your runs in bugmiles to help track your progress, and you will also receive loads of supportive comments and feedback from other runners just like you!

Break it down

12 weeks may seem like a long way off, but race day will come around quickly. In the meantime, set yourself an intermediate goal of completing a 5K time trial or try parkrun one Saturday morning 6-7 weeks into your plan to keep you focused.

Find the perfect 10K to suit you in The Running Bug 10K Events Hub

Go off-road

Your body loves routine and will plateau easily. Change up your usual running routes, get off road and include some hills to challenge yourself. Shake things up to keep your muscles guessing and your brain on its toes.

Keep it social

Ask your family, friends and work colleagues to sign up to the race and train with you! The group motivation will push you to succeed. If you can’t persuade your family to run, find runners in your area right here on The Running Bug!

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