No Matter Your Level, You'll Benefit From a 4-Week 10K Training Plan

Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Runner Schedules

Female runners racing on track (Digital Enhancement)
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If you signed up for a 10K race (6.2. miles) that's about a month away, you still have time to get ready for your race. Below are three training programs for beginner, intermediate, or advanced runners who want to run a 10K in four weeks.

Beginner Overview

All three schedules incorporate the following workouts into the training program.

  • Long runs (LR): You're not training for a long distance event, but long runs will help you develop your stamina, which is important in 10K racing. You should do your long runs at a comfortable, conversational pace. You should be able to breathe easily and talk in complete sentences.
  • Easy runs (ER): These should also be done at a comfortable effort.
  • Rest and cross-training (CT) days: On rest days, you can take the day off or do some easy cross-training (CT), such as biking, swimming, yoga, or another activity you enjoy. Strength-training is extremely beneficial for injury prevention and performance improvement. Incorporate a strengthening workout into your routine two to three times a week.

If you're running outside, you can measure your routes using a site such as MapMyRun or use a running app such as RunKeeper or Strava.

Beginner 10K Training Schedule

Although this schedule is for beginners, don't start it if you've been inactive for at least the past three months. Ideally, to start this training program, you should be active a couple days a week and can run up to 3 miles. If you're not quite up to that, try training up to 1 mile or up to 2 miles in four weeks.

Week 1

  • Day 1: 30 minutes CT or Rest
  • Day 2: 2 miles ER
  • Day 3: 30 minutes CT or Rest
  • Day 4: 2 miles ER
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 3 miles LR
  • Day 7: 2 miles brisk walk or Rest

Week 2

  • Day 1: 30 minutes CT or Rest
  • Day 2: 2.5 miles ER
  • Day 3: 30 minutes CT or Rest
  • Day 4: 2.5 miles ER
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 4 miles LR
  • Day 7: 2 miles brisk walk or Rest

Week 3

  • Day 1: 30 minutes CT or Rest
  • Day 2: 3 miles ER
  • Day 3: 30 minutes CT or Rest
  • Day 4: 3 miles ER
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 5 miles LR
  • Day 7: 2 miles brisk walk or Rest

Week 4

  • Day 1: 3 miles ER
  • Day 2: 30 minutes CT or Rest
  • Day 3: 3 miles ER
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: 2 miles ER
  • Day 6: Rest
  • Day 7: Race day

Intermediate/Advanced Overview

The four-week intermediate and advanced 10K training schedules incorporate some additional runs into the training.

  • Tempo runs (TR): Tempo runs help you develop your anaerobic threshold, which is critical for fast racing. Start your run with ten minutes easy running, then continue with 20 to 25 minutes of running at about ten seconds per mile slower than your 10K race pace, and finish with 10 minutes cooling down. If you're not sure what your 10K race pace is, run at a "comfortably hard" pace that you can maintain for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • 10K interval workouts: Run your intervals workouts at your 10K race pace, with a two-minute easy-paced recovery in between each interval. You should start and finish these workouts with one mile of easy running to warm up and cool down.
  • Hill repeats (HR): For your hill repeats, pick a hill about 200 to 400 meters long that isn't too steep. Try to run up at your 10K race effort. Recover down the hill at an easy pace. Your breathing should not be labored by the time you start your next repeat.

    Intermediate 10K Training Schedule

    This four-week training program is designed for runners who have previous race experience and are looking to improve their 10K time. You should be able to comfortably run up to five miles to start this program.

    Week 1

    • Day 1: 40 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 2: 20 minutes TR + 2 hill repeats
    • Day 3: 30 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 4: 4 minutes at 10K race pace for 3 intervals
    • Day 5: Rest
    • Day 6: 5 miles LR
    • Day 7: 3 miles ER

    Week 2

    • Day 1: 40 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 2: 30 minutes TR + 3 hill repeats
    • Day 3: 25 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 4: 4 minutes at 10K race pace for 3 intervals
    • Day 5: Rest
    • Day 6: 7 miles LR
    • Day 7: 3 miles ER

    Week 3

    • Day 1: 40 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 2: 25 minutes TR + 3 hill repeats
    • Day 3: 30 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 4: 4 minutes at 10K race pace for 3 intervals
    • Day 5: Rest
    • Day 6: 6 miles LR
    • Day 7: 3 miles ER

    Week 4

    • Day 1: 30 minutes CT
    • Day 2: Rest
    • Day 3: 20 minutes TR
    • Day 4: Rest
    • Day 5: 2 to 3 miles ER
    • Day 6: Rest
    • Day 7: 10K Race

    Advanced 10K Training Schedule

    This is a four-week training program designed for runners who have race experience and are looking to improve their 10K time. You should be able to comfortably run up to seven miles to start this program.

    Week 1

    • Day 1: 40 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 2: 25 minutes TR + 2 hill repeats
    • Day 3: 30 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 4: 5 minutes at 10K race for 3 intervals
    • Day 5: Rest
    • Day 6: 7 miles LR
    • Day 7: 4 miles ER

    Week 2

    • Day 1: 40 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 2: 30 minutes TR + 3 hill repeats
    • Day 3: 40 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 4: 5 minutes at 10K race pace for 4 intervals
    • Day 5: Rest
    • Day 6: 8 miles LR
    • Day 7: 4 miles ER

    Week 3

    • Day 1: 40 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 2: 25 minutes TR + 3 hill repeats
    • Day 3: 40 minutes CT or Rest
    • Day 4: 5 minutes at 10K race pace for 3 intervals
    • Day 5: Rest
    • Day 6: 7 miles LR
    • Day 7: 3 miles ER

    Week 4

    • Day 1: 30 minutes CT
    • Day 2: Rest
    • Day 3: 20 minutes TR
    • Day 4: Rest
    • Day 5: 2 to 3 miles ER
    • Day 6: Rest
    • Day 7: 10K Race

    A Word From Verywell

    Although four weeks is plenty of time to get ready for a 10K race, it's important that you don't try to cram for your race and overdo it. Doing too much too soon can lead to common overuse running injuries.

    Pick the 10K training schedule that's right for you based on your current running level and be careful to listen to your body if you notice any pain that lasts longer than a day or two. It's OK to take an extra rest day if you think you need it.