Some do it on a dare, some to lose weight, some to beat their workplace rival in friendly competition…

No matter the reason you want to start running, your first few outings can either make you a runner for life, or stop you in your tracks if you go about it the wrong way.

This article will guide you from your very first steps as a runner to your first 10K race, hopefully getting from the couch to the finish line a healthier and happier person!

Be sure to read this article on Beginning Running before undertaking the plan below. It will tell you all you need to know about starting a formal running plan, buying shoes and gear, and how to make the most of your first training weeks.

All running in this plan, with the exception of a few of the below workout descriptions, should be done at a conversational pace (you can chat in short sentences with your training partner).

Be patient in your build-up, respect your body’s need for rest, and your first 10K race will breeze by in a whirlwind of running enjoyment!

Glossary of Terms

  • Walk/Jog – you will be alternating a period time walking with a period of time jogging to build general stamina without overstressing your body
  • Easy Run – just like it sounds: you will be running easily for the duration prescribed, able to converse with your training partner/s
  • Strides – these are short 20-30sec accelerations done in the middle or at the end of some runs to help you improve running form, mechanics, and speed; these are not sprints, but brsik pick-ups from your previous easy pace done with 1-2minutes of recovery jogging between each
  • Short Hill Sprints – these are short, fast sprints done up a rather steep hill at the end of runs for 10-12sec each; while you may think 10-12sec is no time at all, the benefits of these sprints are profound (injury resistance, increase power, build stronger muscles, etc.); recover by walking back down the hill to fully recover your breath after each one
  • Core Work – pick a few abdominal, back, and oblique exercises you know how to do after certain runs (YouTube is a great resource for “core work”!); also, look into a sound flexibility routine to do on a consistent basis to keep you loose and injury-free
  • Rest– total rest from exercise; sleep in, get a massage, and relax
  • Cross Training (XT) – performing 20-40min of XT a few days per week can help you build stamina, burn calories, and increase fitness without the pounding of running; join a Spin class, go for a hike or bike ride, hit the gym for some cardio (biking, elliptical, rowing, etc.), or go for a swim on these days

The Plan

(Click to download the 10k training plan printable calendar)

Week 1
Sun- 10x 1:00 Walking/1:00 Jogging
Mon- XT; Core Work
Tues- Rest
Wed- 12x 1:00 Walking/1:00 Jogging
Thurs- Rest
Fri- XT; Core Work
Sat- 5:00 Walking, 3:00 Jogging, 5:00 Walking, 3:00 Jogging, 5:00 Walking

Week 2
Sun- Rest
Mon- 12x 1:00 Walking/1:00 Jogging
Tues- XT; Core
Wed- 5:00 Walking, 5:00 Jogging, 5:00 Walking, 5:00 Jogging
Thurs- Rest
Fri- XT; Core
Sat- 15 x 1:00 Walking, 1:00 Jogging

Week 3
Sun- XT; Core
Mon- Rest
Tues- 4:00 Walking, 6:00 Jogging, 4:00 Walking, 6:00 Jogging
Wed- XT
Thurs- 15x 1:00 Walking, 1:00 Jogging; Core
Fri- Rest
Sat- 10:00 Walking, 10:00 Jogging, 10:00 Walking,

Week 4
Sun- XT; Core
Mon- Rest
Tues- 4:00 Walking, Easy Running 12:00, 4:00 Walking
Wed- XT; Core
Thurs- 8x 3:00 Jogging, 2:00 Walking
Fri- Rest
Sat- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 15:00, 5:00 Walking

Week 5
Sun- XT; Core
Mon- Rest
Tues- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 18:00, 5:00 Walking
Wed- XT
Thurs- 10x 3:00 Jogging, 2:00 Walking; Core
Fri- Rest
Sat- Walking 5:00, Easy Running 15:00, Walking 5:00

Week 6
Sun- XT; Core
Mon- Rest
Tues- 4:00 Walking, Easy Running 20:00, 4:00 Walking
Wed- XT; Core
Thurs- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 15min, 3x Strides, 5:00 Walking
Fri- Rest
Sat- 12x 3:00 Jogging, 2:00 Walking; Core

Week 7
Sun- Rest
Mon- XT; Core
Tues- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 20min, 5:00 Walking
Wed- XT
Thurs- 12x 3:00 Easy Running, 2:00 Walking; Core
Fri- Rest
Sat- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 25min, 5:00 Walking

Week 8
Sun- XT; Core
Mon- Rest
Tues- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 20min, 2x Short Hill Sprints, 5:00 Walking
Wed- XT; Core
Thurs- 10x 4:00 Jogging, 2:00 Walking (One Hour!!!)
Fri- Rest
Sat- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 30min, 5:00 Walking

Week 9
Sun- Rest
Mon- XT; Core
Tues- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 30min, 5:00 Walking
Wed- Rest
Thurs- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 25min, 4x Strides, 5:00 Walking; Core
Fri- Rest
Sat- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 30min, 5:00 Walking

Week 10
Sun- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 30min, 5:00 Walking: Core
Mon- Rest
Tues- XT; Core
Wed- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 30min, 3x Short Hill Sprints, 5:00 Walking
Thurs- XT; Core
Fri- 10x 4:00 Jogging, 2:00 Walking
Sat- Rest

Week 11
Sun- 5:00 Walking, Easy 40min Running, 5:00 Walking
Mon- Rest
Tues- 5:00 Walking, Easy 30min Running, 5x Strides, 5:00 Walking
Wed- 10x 3:00 Jogging, 1:00 Walking
Thurs-XT; Core
Fri- Rest
Sat- Race Your First 5K!! (or Easy 40min Running)

Week 12
Sun- Rest
Mon- XT; Core
Tues- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 40min, 4x Short Hill Sprints, 5:00 Walking
Wed- Rest
Thurs- 12x 4:00 Jogging, 1:00 Walking
Fri- XT; Core
Sat- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 45min, 5:00 Walking

Week 13
Sun- Rest
Mon- XT; Core
Tues- 5:00 Walking, Easy 50min Running, 5:00 Walking
Wed- XT; Core
Thurs- 5:00 Walking, Easy 40min Running, 6x Strides, 5:00 Walking
Fri- Rest
Sat- 5:00 Walking, Easy 45min Running, 4x Short Hill Sprints, 5:00 Walking

Week 14 (Race Week!!)
Sun- XT; Core
Mon- Rest
Tues- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 40min, 6x Strides, 5:00 Walking
Wed- 5:00 Walking, Easy Running 30min, 5:00 Walking
Thurs- Rest
Fri- Rest
Sat- Your First 10K Race!!

Relax at the Start, Ease into your Rhythm, and Take Walk Breaks if Needed. You’ll Do Great! Good Luck!

Disclaimer: although this training plan has been developed by a professional coach, the advice given on this website does not constitute or replaces medical advice. Please consult with a doctor before starting any exercise or nutrition plan. Run safe!