10K Races and Training Plans

runners running a race
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A 10K, in miles, is approximately 6.2 miles. The 10-kilometer distance is a very popular one for races, fun runs, and charity events. It's double the distance of a 5K, which is 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles.

10K in Miles and Time

A kilometer is 0.62 miles, and a mile is 1.61 kilometers. You may have to do some mental math when you see the distance markers during a 10K race.

On average, a 10K takes about an hour to complete (although the world record is just over 26 minutes). As a beginner, concentrate on training for the distance and making it to the finish line with good form. In future 10K races, you can try to beat your personal best for the distance.

Should Beginners Run a 5K or 10K?

If you've never run a race before, a 5K race is a good introduction to road racing. If you think you're not quite ready for a 10K and you're interested in running or run/walking a 5K, use a free 5K training program to prepare.​

10K Training Plans

If you're ready to tackle the 10K distance for the first time, use a 10K training program for beginners. Keep in mind that new runners usually need at least eight weeks to build up to the 10K distance and should be willing to run at least three times a week. 

Pick the training schedule that's best for you based on your current fitness level and the amount of time you have to train.

  • 10K Run/Walk Training Schedule: This 10-week 10K training program is designed for beginner run/walkers who want to run/walk a 10K (6.2 miles). Even if you're not training for a 10K, this program will help you build up to run/walking for more than 60 minutes. The program assumes that you can already run/walk (at 1-minute run/walk intervals) for 20 minutes.
  • 10K Training Schedule for Beginners: This eight-week training schedule is designed for beginner runners who want to run to the finish line of a 10K race. It assumes that you can already run at least 2 miles.
  • Four-Week Beginner 10K Training Schedule: This four-week training schedule is for beginner runners who have a month to get ready for their 10K race. You should already be able to run up to 3 miles to start this schedule.
  • 10K Training Schedule for Advanced Beginners: This eight-week schedule is geared toward runners who can run 3 miles and can run four to five days per week. This schedule is for those who may have never run a 10K before but are looking for a schedule that's a little more challenging.

10K Training Plans for Advanced Runners

If you're a more experienced runner and looking for a more challenging training program, try one of these.

  • Four-Week Intermediate 10K Schedule: This four-week training program is designed for runners who have previous race experience. You should be able to comfortably run up to 5 miles to start this program.
  • Eight-Week Advanced 10K Schedule: This is a 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 7 miles to start this program.

Finding and Finishing a 10K Race

The 10K is a popular road race distance, so you should be able to find local 10Ks to run. You will also find the 10K distance offered in conjunction with marathons and half-marathons. Registering for a 10K can familiarize you with the traditions and excitement of these races and help you overcome common fears about running races.

Race day will be different from your usual running workouts. Be sure to study all of the race instructions provided by the organizer. Read tips for your first 10K to read about becoming familiar with things like race bibs, timing chips, water stops, and other logistics. Don't expect to take home first place; use your first race to set a new personal best.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many miles is a 10K race? 

A 10K race is 6.2 miles.

How fit should you be to run 10K?

Most beginner training plans for a 10K race follow an eight-week schedule with three runs per week. Many of these plans note that you should be able to run for at least 2 or 3 miles before beginning the 10K training plan.

Is it healthy to run 10K every day? 

Depending on your level of training and endurance, running a daily 10K could be a good and healthy cardio workout. While the 6.2-mile distance would stay consistent every day, try breaking up the type of run you do and alternate among easy runs, interval runs, fartleks, and recovery runs. Try different speeds and improve your running speed and endurance over time.

A Word From Verywell

If you are looking to run a 10K, it's important to choose a training plan that aligns with your fitness level and running expertise. This way, you can decrease the risk of injury while enjoying the process. If you are a beginner runner, it is easier and safer to begin your racing journey with a 5K and then transition to the 10K distance once you feel comfortable.

By Christine Luff, ACE-CPT
Christine Many Luff is a personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, and Road Runners Club of America Certified Coach.