Take on the 10-Weeks To 10K challenge with Jo Pavey

Five-time Olympian Jo Pavey urges beginner runners to take on the 10 Weeks To 10K challenge this March.

Take on the 10-Weeks To 10K challenge with Jo Pavey

A 10-week training plan aimed specifically at total beginners and those returning to the sport, the challenge is designed to help new runners work their way towards the Vitality London 10,000 on Monday 29 May.

'The 10 Weeks To 10K plan is fantastic and if anyone is looking for help and inspiration to get running, or if they have run before but not for a long time, this is perfect for them,' says mum-of-two Pavey. 'And it has a really special goal at the end of it, the Vitality London 10000, which is an amazing event.' 

Walk run your way to success

The 10-week challenge includes no more than three runs a week and starts with a mixture of walking and running before gradually introducing more running to the schedule. Those signing up will develop an understanding of different running speeds and find their stamina increases as the weeks progress.

'10K is a really exciting and manageable distance for new runners and this training plan is the perfect guide,' says Pavey who is running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon in a bid to qualify for the World Athletics Championships in London this summer.

'The plan doesn’t say that you need to go out running every day. It starts off with getting you to run for a bit and then to walk for a bit before progressing up to running only. It’s all about easing people into running.'

Run past London’s iconic landmarks

'The Vitality London 10,000 is such a fantastic race and it is something that will motivate everyone on the 10 Weeks To 10K plan,' adds Pavey. 'It gives you a chance to run around closed-off London roads, past some of London’s most famous landmarks and the atmosphere really is fantastic. Plus, there will be lot of other runners working towards the same goal so I’m sure there will be a special camaraderie.

'Running your first 10K can also often be the catalyst for people to carry on running and even start running further. Who knows it could end up with some of the 10 Weeks to 10K runners taking on the London Marathon in the future.'

Jo Pavey's top 10K tips

Pavey, who won the event herself in 2015, has three top tips for those people signing up for the Vitality 10,000:

  • Pace yourself. This applies to both training and during the race itself. You don’t need to do too much too soon. This plan is all about easing people into running and it’s important not to overdo it and you should run at a pace that is comfortable for you.
  • Make your training flexible. If you are not feeling right on one of the days scheduled for a run, don’t do it and switch the days around on the training plan. Try fitting your training in with your other responsibilities. I often take my children out running with me on bikes and in the buggy, for example.
  • Enjoy it! Relish the challenge and all the brilliant things that come with running. You will start to feel better about yourself, it builds your self-esteem and I’ve always found running helps you give the right mindset to tackle other challenges that life brings.

To be part of the 10 weeks to 10K training plan, sign up to the Vitality London 10,000 and follow the training plan starting on Monday 29 May.

The Vitality London 10,000 starts on The Mall and finishes in front of Buckingham Palace, taking in the Admiralty Arch, Nelson’s Column, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Bank of England, the Old Bailey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey along the way.

Check out these 7 simple steps for your first 10k, or if you're ready to step up a gear, here's how to run your perfect 10k.

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