Best Running Tips :: 10k Running Program for Beginners - A 12 Week Training Program for Your First 10k

10k running program
On this page I am providing you with a 12-week 10k running program for beginners.

It is the perfect 12-week 10 k training program for you if:

  • You currently are able to run for about 30 minutes

  • You wish to enter your first 10K race.


  • Can't do 30 minutes of solid running yet?

    Not to worry, take a look at the Beginner Running Programs on this site.

    There are various options available, the third program helps you get to 30 minutes of running in 12 weeks.

    And don't forget, if you can already do a bit of running, you don't have to start these programs from the start. Dip in somewhere in the middle and start building from there!

    Check these beginner running programs out, they are pretty good if I say so myself... :)

    They have had thousands of users and I have yet to receive my first complaint.... :)



    running quote



    This 10K running program uses heart rate monitor training zones. Don't worry if you don't have a heart rate monitor. You can easily use it without a heart rate monitor as well.

    Every heart rate monitor training zone corresponds to a level of intensity you bring to your running. And I explain them all below.

    The zones used are:


    Zone 1
    Slow Run
    Zone 2
    Easy Run
    Zone 2 1/2
    Steady State Run
    Zone 3
    Tempo Run


    10k running program
    This running program helps you prepare for your first 10k race in only twelve weeks. You will be doing three running workouts per week.

    Before we get into the program itself, let me just address some FAQs.

    Why does this program only contain 3 runs per week?
    I believe a consistent running program of three runs is enough to finish a 10k. Which is a great achievement! However, when you are more ambitious and have a certain time goal, then ideally you'd be doing more than three runs per week. You'd be adding 1 or 2 runs to your schedule, you'd be running longer long runs etc.

    Why does this 10k running program not contain interval workouts?
    The 10k is a long way to go for a beginning runner. It will likely take you more than 45 minutes to finish your 10k run. For that type of run you need endurance, first and foremost. Therefore I have consciously chosen to not put interval workouts or goal pace workouts in this program. The focus is on building up your endurance, for which easy runs and tempo runs are key ingredients.

    I want to do more than just three runs per week. What do I do to modify your program?
    There are multiple ways you can add additional exercise to this 10k running program. You could be adding one or more easy runs to your schedule, if you so desire. Also, feel free to complement your running with cross-training like cycling, rowing, etc. It all helps build endurance, which is vital for the 10k.

    Should I be doing strength training to complement this running program?
    I am a big fan of strength training for runners. Especially when you are a masters runner (over 40 years old), you are injury-prone or you want to really increase your mileage and performance, strength training is pretty much non-negiotable. In any given year, about 80% of runners get injured. Much of it is avoidable through strength training. Strength training makes your body so much more resilient and stronger. Highly recommended. Check out the link I provided before to my strength training page which provides thoughts on frequency, types of exercises to do, etc.

    10k running program
    For more thoughts on warming up, cooling down et cetera please, read the heart rate monitor running programs page .

    IMPORTANT:
    I have designed this 10K running program with the aim of safely guiding you towards your first 10K race. But you are responsible for your own body.

    It's your responsibility to take care of yourself. Listen to your body. Whenever you feel an injury coming up, take a rest rather than push through. When you are in pain, don't just continue running.


    race conversion calculator
    OK, now on to the program. I hope it works out well for you. I quite often receive e-mails from people saying they have finished their first 10k with help from this program, so I am hoping it will also help you get there!

    12 Week 10k Running Program for Beginners



    WK 1 Zone 2
    20 min
    Zone 2
    25 min
    Zone 1
    30 min
    WK 2 Zone 2
    25 min
    Zone 2
    25 min
    Zone 1
    35 min
    WK 3 Zone 2
    30 min
    Zone 2
    30 min
    Zone 1
    40 min
    WK 4 Zone 2
    25 min
    Zone 2 1/2
    20 min
    Zone 1
    30 min
    WK 5 Zone 2
    35 min
    Zone 2 1/2
    25 min
    Zone 1
    45 min
    WK 6 Zone 2
    35 min
    Zone 3
    4 x 5 min
    2 min jog
    in between
    Zone 1
    50 min
    WK 7 Zone 2 1/2
    30 min
    Zone 3
    5 x 5 min
    2 min jog
    in between
    Zone 1
    55 min
    WK 8 Zone 2
    25 min
    Zone 3
    5 x 6 min
    3 min jog
    in between
    Zone 1
    40min
    WK 9 Zone 2
    40 min
    Zone 3
    4 x 8 min
    3 min jog
    in between
    Zone 1
    60 min
    WK 10 Zone 2
    45 min
    Zone 3
    3 x 10 min
    4 min jog
    in between
    Zone 1
    60 min
    WK 11 Zone 2
    40 min
    Zone 3
    2 x 15 min
    5 min jog
    in between
    Zone 1
    50 min
    WK 12 Zone 2
    30 min
    Zone 2
    30 min
    Race
    Your First
    10K !


    Hope you like this 10k running program. It's a surefire way to get to running your first 10k!
    10k running tips



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