The 12 Week 10k Training Plan + Complete Guide

Although most runners set their sights on running a 5k for their first running goal, some runners are drawn by the allure of the doubly-long 10k. For any number of possible reasons, you might choose to train for a 10k with very little running under your belt.

Whether you’re training for your first 10k or your tenth, you need a good training plan, and a novice 10k training plan in 12 weeks should gradually build the aerobic fitness, leg strength, and speed you need to run a 10k over a couple of months.

Although shorter 10k running plans are often feasible for more experienced runners, if you’re looking for a beginners 10k training plan, 12 weeks is a good amount of time to allot to your training.

In this guide, we have created a 12 week 10k training plan for beginners to help you safely train for a 10k in 3 months.

We will discuss: 

  • How Far Is 10k?
  • Can You Train for 10k in 12 Weeks?
  • 12 Week 10k Training Plan for Beginners
  • Tips for Following the 12 Week 10k Training Plan for Beginners

Let’s get started!

People celebrating after completing their 12 week training plan.

How Far Is 10k?

Plenty of runners embarking on a beginners 10k running plan aren’t even sure exactly how long 10k is when they first start thinking about signing up for the race.

The “k” component of the 10k distance stands for the metric distance of a kilometer, so a 10k is 10,000 meters. 

For runners in the United States who are more accustomed to miles, this converts to 6.214 miles

For simplicity, most people shorten the 6.214 miles to 6.2 miles when they discuss 10k, but the distance of any official 10k event will be the full 10 kilometers, or 6.214 miles.

If you were to run 10k on a standard 400m outdoor track, you would need to run about 25 laps.

A person taking a step.

Can You Train for 10k in 12 Weeks?

In most cases, it’s absolutely possible to train for 10k in 3 months as long as you are in good health and have the time and energy to run 3-4 days per week.

Two people power walking.

Tips for Following the 12 Week 10k Training Plan for Beginners

Here are some beginner running tips for training for a 10k in 3 months:

#1: Don’t Worry About Pace

Don’t worry about how fast you are running during your run intervals. Just keep moving and use effort as your guide.

#2: Be Consistent

Set a schedule and try to do your workouts at the same time every day to promote consistency. Will a morning, lunch, or evening run time be best for you?

#3: Get Proper Running Shoes

Make sure you get proper running shoes that fit your feet and provide the support you need based on your running gait.

People lifting kettlebells.

#4: Incorporate Strength Training

Strength training can help prevent injuries, so if you have available time, try to incorporate 2 to 3 total-body strength training workouts per week.

You don’t even need to get to a gym but can do bodyweight workouts from the comfort of your own home.

#5: Expect Hard Days

Not every day will feel great. There will be plenty of days where you feel like you are just slogging along, and it’s a real struggle. 

Stick with it! You’ll also have plenty of days where you feel like you have wings.

If you are looking for some total body strength training workouts to get you started, you can check out our Bodyweight Workout For Runners, and Resistance Band Workout For Runners. For the first workout, you won’t need any equipment at all, and for the second, just some mini and long resistance bands!

Enjoy the journey!

People crossing a finish line.

12 Week 10k Training Plan for Beginners

We have created this novice 12 week 10k training plan for people who are just getting started on their running journey or who are coming back to the sport after some time off.

This 12 week 10k training plan is for beginners so it can be considered a Couch to 10k training plan, in that you don’t have to currently be doing any running to take it on. 

If you do have a little bit of running fitness built up, you can either skip the first couple of weeks of the program or just enjoy the more gradual progression of training for 10k in 12 weeks.

People running on a path.

During this 12 week 10k training plan, you will run 3 days per week, with an option of adding a fourth day halfway through the program.

Note that there are two days per week of cross-training workouts. This can involve any type of low-impact exercise, such as cycling, swimming, rowing, or even walking.

Although these workouts are not mandatory, cross-training is a great way to improve your aerobic fitness and use different muscles while reducing the impact on your bones and joints.

You should do all of the run/walk workouts, however. 

It’s also important to take the rest days.

Especially as your body is first adapting to running, it’s crucial to take days off to allow your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints ample time to repair and recover before getting re-stressed with another run.

Download The Training Plan Here

Enter your email, and I’ll send you this free training plan now, in PDF and Google Sheets formats (completely customizable), in both miles and kilometers.  

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Head over to our 10k training plan database for full access to all plans.

download this free training plan in pdf or google sheet
12 Week 10k Training Plan For Beginners
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Warm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 10 x 30 seconds run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walk; (20 min total)Cross-training: 20 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 10 x 1 minute run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walk; (20 min total)
Cross-training: 20 minutesWarm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 12 x 1 minute run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walk; (24 min total)Rest
Warm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 10 x 90 seconds run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walk; (25 min total)Cross-training: 20-30 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 8 x 2 minute run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walk; (34 min total)
Cross-training: 20 minutesWarm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 10 x 90 seconds run/30 sec walk; Cool down: 5 min walk; (30 min total)Rest
Warm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 8 x 2:30 run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walkCross-training: 30 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 8 x 3 minute run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walk
Cross-training: 20-30 minutesWarm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 6 x 4 minutes/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walkRest
Warm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 5 x 5 minute run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walkCross-training: 35 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 2 x 10 minute run/1 min walk; Cool down: 5 min walk
Cross-training: 30 minutesWarm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: 2 x 10 minute run/30 seconds walk; Cool down: 5 min walkRest
Warm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 2 miles (3k) without stopping; Cool down: 5 min walkCross-training: 40 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 2.5 miles (4k) without stopping
Easy run 15 minutes or cross training 30 minutesWarm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 2.5 miles (4k) without stoppingRest
Warm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 3 miles (5 km)Cross-training: 45 minutesRestWarm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 2 miles (3k), running the first half mile of each mile hard, and running the second half mile of each mile easyEasy run 15 minutes or cross training 30 minutesWarm-up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 3 miles (5 km)Rest
Run 3.5 milesCross-training: 45 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 3 miles with 10 x 1 min hard running interspersed during the workout
Easy run 15 minutes or cross training 30 minutesRun 3.5 milesRest
Run 4 milesCross-training: 50 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 3 miles with 10 x 1 min hard running interspersed during the workout
Easy run 15 minutes or cross training 30 minutesRun 4 milesRest
Run 4.5 milesCross-training: 50 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 4 miles with 6 x 2 min hard running interspersed during the workout
Easy run 20 minutes or cross training 30 minutesRun 4.5 milesRest
Run 5 milesCross-training: 60 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 4 miles with 4 x 3 min hard running interspersed during the workout
Easy run 20 minutes or cross training 30 minutesRun 5 milesRest
Run 6 milesCross-training: 50-60 minutesRestWarm-up:
Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 4 miles with 2 x 5 min hard running interspersed during the workout
Easy run 20 minutes or cross training 30 minutesRun 5.5 milesRest
Run 4 milesCross- training: 40-45 minutesEasy run: 3-4 miles (5-7 km)RestShake out run:
20 minutes and 4 x 75m strides
10k Race!Rest
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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