How to prepare for a 10k run

How to prepare for a 10k run - main image

Getting ready for race day with 10K running tips, making use of strength training, cross training, and other training plan aspects

In life, we think about stages. Not the Am-Dram stages of our younger years (or painful primary school plays we parents are forced to watch) but goals, increments, and levels. This is a great way to think; we’d hardly be at ease having never run before and then being tasked with a half marathon, or worse, an ultra-marathon.

Because we usually progress with split goals, we heighten our chances of succeeding with each one. So if you’ve run that 5k in optimum time and you’re looking for your next goal, why not make it a 10k?

10k training is just like other cardio training. Of course, we need to up our game in terms of volume and frequency, but the approach is still largely similar. With aspects like interval training, cross-training days, training runs and more, we have plenty of options when it comes to tailoring our schedules, and plenty of ways to overcome our next game-changing goal.

Let’s discover more.

How long will it take?

Of course, this varies – your personal trainer may say 3 weeks, but your online blog coach (hm-hmm) may say 6 weeks. It completely depends on your own level. Beginner runners will need a little bit more time to get pacing and endurance levels down, so make sure to utilise strength training and cross training, as well as tempo running, to help with a comfortable pace.

Forget about pace

It’s not about great pace, not just yet, anyway. It’s good to have a goal race pace, but for now, you just want to finish that 10k training plan and cross the finish line. If you want to train for a 10k, you should be thinking more about anaerobic and aerobic properties. Namely, aerobic capacity determines how much oxygen you can intake at once, this is great for supplying your muscles with enough oxygenated blood to keep them strong. Breathing exercises like belly breathing will help increase this but generally speaking, a focus on strength and endurance will help too.

Rest days

It’s not all about hill sprints for strength, tempo running for endurance or long running until it feels normal – rest days are essential too. Injury can be a game-changer and a goal stopper so take the signs seriously.

Runtastic notes that you should consider the following –

  • ”Sharp pains that come on suddenly mean stop running immediately or risk getting injured. 
  • Prolonged soreness and swelling are likely from an overuse injury. Get in some RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to reduce swelling and speed up recovery. Don’t keep running on the injury, or it could get much worse.
  • Sickness symptoms below the neck are not worth continuing to train.
  • Consult a medical professional when in doubt.”


A few simple tips, but be sure to research further. If you want a fully-fledged training plan, for example, then take a look at this. Other than that, use classic methods like tempo runs, weekly milage overload, intense workouts, goal pace setting, and all the other approaches that can be used for training for a 10k.

So get that plan sorted asap and those running shoes on…it’ll be the best decision you ever make.


Why do certain sources say I need at least eight weeks for this?

They may be correct, it depends on where you’re at fitness level-wise.

A good training program or training schedule will highlight time scales and how achievable they are. Even experienced runners or established distance runners should take the time to plan. Everyone is different, so work out what works best for you.

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.