The 10K Race Distance and Training Schedules

runners running a race
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The 10K race distance is a very popular one for local races, fun runs, and charity runs. To understand how far it is, you will need to start thinking in kilometers as well as miles. A 10K run is 10 kilometers long, which is the equivalent of 6.2 miles. It's double the distance of a 5K, which is 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles.

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.

The fastest racers will finish a 10K in 30 to 40 minutes. Most people will feel good about finishing it in 45 minutes to an hour. As a beginner, you should concentrate on training fully for the distance and make it to the finish line with good form. In your future 10K races you can try to beat your personal best for the distance.

Should Beginners Run a 5K or a 10K?

If you've never run a race before, a 5K race is a good introduction to road racing for beginners. 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 Beginner Training Schedules

If you're ready to jump right into the 10K distance, here are some free 10K training beginner programs. 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 one that's best for you based on your current fitness level and 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 race (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/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 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 three 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 Advanced Schedules

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

    • 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.
    • Four-Week Advanced 10K 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 7 miles to start this program.

    Finding a 10K and Racing

    The 10K distance 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. Tips for your first 10K include becoming familiar with things like race bibs, timing chips, water stops, and other logistics. Don't expect to take home first place overall and just use your first race to set a new personal best.

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