10K Training Plan for Beginners

Are you on the hunt for the perfect 10K training plan as a beginner runner?

Great, I have four free training plans below to help you reach your goals!

  • an easy 12 Week Training Plan for the beginner runner
  • an 8 week plan for those who have been running for a bit
  • a more intermediate training plan that includes hill and speed training workouts
  • and a 1 month training plan!


Having a 10K training plan and running the 10K race is a great option for those who are beginner runners.

The distance is challenging enough but short enough to still have an amazing time without all the training that goes into the half or full marathon.


Beginner 10K Training Plans

Easy 12 Week 10K Training Plan for Beginners

This 10K training plan is for those runners who are still quite new at running and want to take their time in training for the 6.2 mile race. The slow pace and slow progression of mileage makes this the best choice for very new runners.

The long run, scheduled for Sundays, is gradually increased by half of a mile each week.

The longest run you will do is 6 miles, 2 weeks before the race. 

You will have 2 rest days each week on Monday and Saturday. 

Your cross training (or XT on the training plan) is scheduled for Wednesday. Here are my list of best cross training activities for runners + guidelines. 

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
1 Rest 1 XT 2 1.5 Rest 2 6.5
2 Rest 1.5 XT 2 1.5 Rest 2.5 7.5
3 Rest 1.5 XT 2.5 1.5 Rest 3 8.5
4 Rest 2 XT 3 2 Rest 3.5 10.5
5 Rest 2 XT 3.5 2 Rest 4 11.5
6 Rest 2 XT 3.5 2 Rest 4.5 12
7 Rest 2 XT 3 2 Rest 5 12
8 Rest 2 XT 4 2 Rest 5 13
9 Rest 3 XT 3.5 2 Rest 5.5 13
10 Rest 2 XT 4 2 Rest 6 14
11 Rest 3 XT 4 3 Rest 4 14
12 Rest 2 XT 3 0-1 Rest 10K 11.2


8 Week Beginner 10K Training Plan

This 10K training plan is for those who are beginner runners as well but who might be already running for awhile or have a good fitness level.

This plan is a little more fast paced with a 0.5 to 1 mile long run build up each week. The longest run here is 5.5-6 miles. 

This training plan also has 2 rest days scheduled on Monday and Saturday. 

Cross Training (XT) is again scheduled for Wednesdays and should be something aerboic in nature or a strength training program that is focused on building endurance.

If you feel like you need another rest day then take it on your cross training day. Rest is extremely important in staying healthy and performing well.  


Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
1 Rest 1 XT 2 1.5 Rest 2 6.5
2 Rest 1.5 XT 2 1.5 Rest 3 8
3 Rest 2 XT 3 1.5 Rest 3.5 10
4 Rest 2 XT 3 2 Rest 4 11
5 Rest 2.5 XT 3 2 Rest 4.5 12
6 Rest 3 XT 3 3 Rest 5 14
7 Rest 3 XT 4 3 Rest 5.5-6 15.5
8 Rest 4 XT 2 0-1 Rest 10K 12.2


Beginner to Intermediate Plans

Who are the following training plans for?

The next 2 training plans are for more beginner to intermediate runners. The 1 month training plan requires less training time or and the 12 Week training involves hill and speed workouts. 

These plans are ideal for a runner who has been running for awhile and perhaps has run a few races. 

Beginners should concentrate on finishing the distance but intermediate runners can start shooting for time goals and training to get faster and this is what our 12 Week 10K plan is designed to do. 


12 Week Intermediate Schedule:

This 12 Week plan is broken down into two main training periods: hill training and speed training. 

The first 5 weeks will be focused on building strength in your legs through hill training

The last 7 weeks are focused on building speed. Information on speed training can be found here. My favorite form of speed training is running intervals but you can decide on the style that you want to do with what you prefer. 

If you ever feel like you are doing too much, hold back. Skip your hill or speed session. When you are feeling tired you don't want to place your body under the stress of these more intense workouts. 


Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 2 3 2 Rest 2 3
2 Rest 2 HT 3 Rest 2 3.5
3 Rest 2 HT 3 Rest 3 4
4 Rest 3 HT 3 Rest 3 4.5
5 Rest 3 HT 4 Rest 3 5
6 Rest 2 ST 4 Rest 3 5.5
7 Rest 3 ST 3 Rest 2 4
8 Rest 3 ST 4 Rest 3 5
9 Rest 3 ST 4 Rest 3 6
10 Rest 3 ST 4 Rest 3 6
11 Rest 3 ST 4 Rest 3 5
12 Rest 3 0 3 0-1 Rest 10K

1 Month to the 10K Finish Line Training Plan!

If you are an intermediate runner looking to run a 10K within the next month, this plan was designed for you. 

Hill and speed training are not incorporated into this plan as one month does not give your body adequate time to adapt and make gains with strength and speed workouts. The training moves fast enough and so the added stress of these workouts can greatly increase your risk of injury. 

Cross Training (XC) is included on Wednesdays. 

The long runs start at 3 miles and progress by 1-1.5 miles each weekend. 

Rest is included twice a week. If you feel like the plan is moving too fast for you and you are increasingly tired, take another rest day on your cross training days. 


Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
1 Rest 3 XT 3 3 Rest 3 12
2 Rest 3 XT 4 3 Rest 4.5 14.5
3 Rest 4 XT 4 3 Rest 5.5 16.5
4 Rest 4 XT 3 0-1 Rest 10K 13.2


Be sure to check out our nutrition tips for 10K runners! 


Let me know if you have any questions and how the race goes!

Happy Training!


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