A 12-Week Blueprint For Running Your First 10K Race (Guest Post)

how to train for a 10K race in 12 weeks

I thought today’s guest post from running expert David Dack over at Runner’s Blueprint sharing a 12-week blueprint for running your first 10K race would be perfect for those looking to start running or participate in their first race! With 2020 nearly upon us, I know – what?! – I want to share posts about how to set (and achieve) personal goals for the new year. I am not big into the whole ‘resolution’ thing – if you want to change, you can do it whenever you like – however, I am big into embracing a growth mindset. I love running. I have been running for over twenty years and wholeheartedly can say it has helped me through many challenging times. So, here’s David!

A 12-Week Blueprint For Running Your First 10K Race

Planning on running your first 10K race but nervous because you have zero practical experience?

No need to worry, my friend!

I know. Training for the 10K when you’re a complete beginner can be tricky. With a little bit of consistency, motivation, and the right guidance, you can make it down the road.

Without further ado, here are the tips you need to get race-ready in less than 12 weeks. You might not cross the finish line first nor be the fastest runner in your age group, but you’ll undoubtedly be able to add a 10K to your running history.

Sounds good?

Let’s get started.

Walk First

Walking is the perfect stepping stone to the running world when you have zero running experience. You’ll improve your endurance and fitness as you gradually push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Start by walking three to four times per week, 20 to 30 minutes at a time, then steadily build your way up to longer and more frequent sessions. Your ultimate goal is to build enough endurance to be able to comfortably brisk walk for an hour or longer.

Once you reach this goal, start the Couch to 10K program.  Otherwise, if you push your body more than it can handle, you’ll be setting yourself up for a huge setback.

12 Week Plan For Running Your First 10K Race

Walk and Run

During your first few weeks on the 10K training plan, your sessions will consist of a combination of jogging and walking, or what’s known as the run/walk strategy.

Over time, you can make the running portions longer while taking fewer and shorter recovery breaks. This should help keep the risk of injury low.

Just make sure you’re doing it right. Complete the jogging intervals slow enough at the onset of every session so that you’ll be tired but not completely drained at the end.

Cross Train or Rest

Feel free to either rest or cross-train on your non-running days.

Recommended cross-training workouts include swimming, strength training, biking, and yoga. These exercises help you increase stamina and endurance without putting excessive pressure on your running muscles and joints.

Also, don’t underestimate the importance of recovery. In general, take one day of complete rest every week. That’s typically a Sunday for most people, but not suit fits all. Do what works best for you.

The Plan

This plan is designed to turn a complete couch potato into being capable of running a 10K run, which is about 50 to 90 minutes of running.

During the upcoming 12 weeks, you’ll slowly increase your running time (distance) from 5 to 10 minutes in the first week to 40 to 50 minutes in the last week.

The plans kick off with short periods of low intensity running in between longer intervals of walking and gets more challenging over the weeks until you can complete the 10K distance without stopping.

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Month One

Week 1

Workout I – Run 1-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat six times.

Workout II– Run 1-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat eight times.

Workout III– Run 1-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat ten times.

Week 2

Workout I– Run 2-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat six times.

Workout II– Run 2-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat eight times.

Workout III– Run 2-min. Walk 1-min. Repeat six times.

Week 3

Workout I– Run 3-min. Walk 3-min. Repeat six times.

Workout II– Run 3-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat six times.

Workout III– Run 3-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat eight times.

Week 4

Workout I– Run 4-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat four times.

Workout II– Run 5-min. Walk 3-min. Repeat four times.

Workout III– Run 5-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat four times.

Month Two

Week 5

Workout I– Run 5-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat five times.

Workout II– Run 5-min. Walk 1-min. Repeat five times.

Workout III– Run 5-min. Walk 1-min. Repeat six times.

Week 6

Workout I– Run 7-min. Walk 3-min. Repeat four times.

Workout II– Run 8-min. Walk 3-min. Repeat three times.

Workout III– Run 7-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat four times.

Week 7

Workout I– Run 8-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat three times.

Workout II– Run 9-min. Walk 3-min. Repeat three times.

Workout III– Run 10-min. Walk 3-min. Repeat three times.

Week 8

Workout I– Run 10-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat three times.

Workout II– Run 12-min. Walk 3-min. Repeat two times.

Workout III– Run 15-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat two times.

Month Three

Week 9

Workout I– Run 15-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat two times.

Workout II– Run 20-min. Walk 3-min. Repeat two times.

Workout III– Run 20-min. Walk 2-min. Repeat two times.

Week 10

Workout I– Run 20-min. Walk 2-min. Run 15-min.

Workout II– Run 25-min. Walk 5-min. Run 20-min.

Workout III– Run 30-min. Walk 5-min. Run 15-min.

Week 11

Workout I– Run 30-min. Walk 5-min. Run 15-min.

Workout II– Run 40-minute.

Workout III– Run 30-min. Walk 5-min. Run 20-min.

Week 12

Workout I– Run 45-min.

Workout II– Run 25-min. Walk 5-min. Repeat two times.

Workout III– Run 10K.

Conclusion

There you have it!  The above plan is exactly what you need to get started on the 10K path. It’s up to you to begin implementing the program. The rest is just details.

About the author:

David Dack is an established fitness blogger and running expert. When he’s not training for his next marathon, he’s doing research and trying to help as many people as possible to share his fitness philosophy. Check his blog Runners Blueprint for more info.

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