Body & Fitness

How to run 10ks in six weeks

Keen to start running, but not sure where to start? Here's a six-week training plan to get you going.
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Whether you’ve only just started running, you’re not sure you can give up your favourite gym workouts, or you feel like it’s time you stepped up to a more ambitious programme, we have a six-week training plan to get you going.

No matter what your level of fitness or your preferred approach to 10k training, there are some general guidelines that can help everyone have their best race.

Here’s how to get off on the right foot.

Start training today

It’s good to take a steady and sensible approach to training, but don’t let that turn into procrastination and put off training. If you really want to complete 10k in the next six weeks or more, then start with a gentle jog today! That will give you a steer on how fit you are at the moment and which training plans you should use.

Sort out your kit early

Make sure you have the right shoes and sports bra before you start training – you can sort out the rest of the outfit later (that’s the fun bit!). To buy your first pair of running shoes, visit a specialist shop to have your running style analysed and your shoes fitted properly. Don’t assume you know your bra size, either – again, the best thing to do is visit a shop and get measured up. If you’re running your 10k for charity and wearing a branded t-shirt or vest, make sure you give it a try out before race day so you can check for any chafing points!

Mix up your training

Running 10k is perfectly achievable, but don’t underestimate the distance – it can take a toll on your body. By varying your training you’ll not only keep boredom at bay but you’ll also help to stave off injuries. Our training plans include optional strength training and stretching, while our gym addict’s plan has the option to include a few classes or low-impact gym sessions. All of these will build fitness without stressing your body too much.

Set your pace

Learn how to pace your kilometres so you have a good idea of what you can expect on race day. This applies whether you’re planning to finish in 45 minutes or an hour and a half.

Buddy up if you can

Running with someone else can help keep you motivated – just make sure you choose the right person. Find a friend who can keep a similar timetable to you and who is reliable – and make sure it’s someone who won’t let you off the hook easily if you lose your mojo!

Be consistent

It’s better to train three times a week, every week, than to train for six days in one week and then not at all the next. So if you’re following one of our plans, feel free to swap the days around but don’t be tempted to ‘make up’ missed sessions – if you find you just can’t fit it in at the moment, aim for a later race so you can train properly and enjoy it.

Take rest seriously

Even experienced athletes need the odd day off. When you are resting, your body is rebuilding and repairing muscles, making them stronger – it’s this reaction to training that ultimately gets you ready to race. So don’t be tempted to squeeze in extra training on your designated rest days. You might also find you need to factor in things like busy work weeks or heavy loads of housework – these can be as exhausting as a hard run! Take extra rest every now and then if you need to.

Watch what you eat

Let’s be clear, you’re doing this for fun, so you don’t want to suddenly start living on grilled chicken and salad for every meal. But wiping out some of the junk from your diet will give you more energy to train and could even help you shed a couple of kilos before your race (if you want to), which in turn will make it easier to run.

Have fun!

You need to take your running seriously to finish a 10k… but not that seriously! Don’t forget this is supposed to be a fun event. If you find yourself stressing out about it, plan to take friends and family along on the day to take your mind off the pressure, and chat to your fellow runners as you go round the course. We promise they’ll be friendly!

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