5K To 10K Training Plan: Complete Guide For A Successful Journey

Congratulations on deciding to take on a 10K!

If you’ve just completed your Couch to 5K program, crossed the finish line of your first race, or have run many 5K races and mastered the distance, we have everything you need to know to take the leap and train for a 10K.

In our training guide, we will help you determine whether or not you are ready to train for a 10K, expert running coach tips for how to train successfully, and our very own 5K to 10K training plan to get started right away and get you to race day.

A silhouette of a person running and the number 10k.

How Do I Know I’m Ready To Jump To A 10k?

For new runners, taking the next step to train for a 10K is a big one.

To make the move safely, beginners should be able to jog the entire 5K distance from beginning to end, feeling comfortable and without taking any walk breaks.

If you cannot complete 5K comfortably, I suggest dominating that distance first to begin the 5K to 10K training schedule.

How Many Weeks To Train From 5K To 10K?

Four weeks.

In the case of our training plan, we just focus on volume to get you up to the 10K distance gradually.

What Should My Weekly Mileage Be When Training For A 10K?

Since this is your first 10K the weekly mileage will be lower than if you were consistently training for 10K races.

Our beginner plan mileage ranges from 17-25 kilometers per week.

5K to 10K Training Plan

Let’s take a look at what this 5K to 10K training plan entails:

Training Time

For this 5K to 10K training plan, you must set aside four days a week for running, one day a week for cross-training, two rest days, and ideally, two strength training sessions.

I know this sounds like you need nine days in a week to complete everything, but don’t fret! We’ll work in those strength training sessions on your running days, so you will have two full days off to rest and recuperate.

Running Days

This 5K to 10K training plan is organized so you will run four days per week:

  • Three training runs during the week
  • One long run on the weekend

All of these runs should be done at an easy pace. Remember, we are just focusing on finishing the 10K happy and healthy, not trying to get a podium finish, so your training will reflect the same idea. 

So, as long as you can talk while running, you are in the correct easy, conversational pace effort zone. If you feel your breathing and/or heart rate rise and begin to get out of control, slow your pace. 

You will have one long run per week, sandwiched by two rest days. This is so you can get to your long run well-rested and have enough time to recover afterward.

Now that you can already run 5K straight no problem, your first long run will push you to 6K, then gradually increase by 1K per week.

A close-up of the handlebars of a stationary bike.


Our 5K to 10K training plan includes one day of crosstraining. Crosstraining switches up the type of exercise you’re doing and takes the impact off your body for one session to help avoid overuse injuries.

Different types of low-impact cardio that would be a great addition to your 5K to 10K training plan on crosstraining days include:

  • Swimming
  • Elliptical 
  • Rowing 
  • Cycling 
  • Sparc 
  • Ski Erg

With these alternative cardio sessions, you are still working your cardiovascular system and improving your endurance, but without the impact and strain that running puts on your joints and muscles. 

Now that you know what your training plan will entail, here are some tips to make the experience more successful and enjoyable.

Runners crossing the finish line at a race.

Top Tips For Going From 5K To 10K Successfully

#1: Choose A Goal Race

One of the first things you should do when taking this big step is to choose a goal 10K race! 

This will not only motivate you, but it will make you genuinely commit to the process and training.

Find a race in your area or one in a place you’ve always wanted to visit (an extra bonus for sure) and sign up! Once you receive that confirmation email, it’s on!

Several websites have up-to-date lists of races to make it easy to choose a convenient one.

Search these sites depending on where you live or where you want to go. For races in the States, check out Running in the USA, and if you are looking for trail races, look at Ultra Sign Up.

When choosing your first 10K, look for relatively flat terrain or one similar to the one you train in. That also goes for the weather and altitude.

You want your race conditions to be as comfortable for you as possible, so you only need to focus on running and not any other additional obstacles.

A group of people running on a fall day, training with a 5k to 10k training plan.

#2: Build Your Volume Gradually

It’s important to build your running volume gradually when attempting any new distance, whether for beginners or experienced runners. This will help avoid burnout and overuse injuries from over doing it.

Most often, training plans will not increase running volume by more than 10% per week.

It does get exciting to see improvement, and it goes without saying that your motivation will be sky high, but try to hold back and follow the plan as is to ensure you get to the finish line.

#3: Strength Train

As a certified running coach I strongly believe strength training is crucial to being a strong runner.

The longer distances you are training for, the stronger and more resilient you need to be. Building up your muscles will help protect your joints, keep you strong and reduce your risk of injury. 

Working your entire body with running-specific functional training is imperative to a long and successful running career. The following are types of exercises that should be part of your strength training program: 

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Glute bridges
  • Calf raises 
  • Deadlifts 
  • Planks
  • Push-Ups
  • Rows or pull-ups 
  • Supermans 
A close-up of a runner's legs.

Two 30-minute strength training sessions per week are an excellent addition to your running. 

To respect your rest days, you can perform these sessions in the afternoons or evenings of two of your running days. Just be sure there are at least four hours between sessions to let your body recuperate after each run.

I suggest adding these sessions on Wednesdays and Friday afternoons with this training plan. That way, you have Thursday crosstraining and Saturday rest day following two tougher training days with these double sessions. 

#4: Respect Your Rest Days

Even though we may be very motivated and excited to reach our goal, more is not always better. Rest days must be respected, so you can give your body the necessary time to recuperate, recharge, and prepare for the next training session. 

As you can see in the training plan, there are rest days on either end of the long run. These days ensure that you run your long runs at your very best energy level and can adequately recover afterward.

Two people looking at each other after a run, smiling.

#5: Don’t Worry About Pace

When training for any distance for the first time, it’s important not to worry about how fast you are running but that you are running. If you can’t help but look at the pace, change your watch face to time or distance only so you can’t even see how fast you are going. 

Your 10K race pace will likely be slower than the 5K pace you are used to running because it is double the distance. So, don’t worry if your longer runs are slower than you are used to.

The goal for this first 10K is to cross the finish line happy and healthy, not fast. Save that as a goal for next time! Once you have your first 10K finish time, you can work on a new PR with a set goal pace.

#6: Warm Up and Cool Down

One of our most important training tips is to warm up before training sessions and cool down afterward.

Warm up with walking or a slow jog and some dynamic stretches, and take a few minutes to cool down with some walking and static stretches.

Warming up becomes even more important as speedwork is incorporated into training such as sprints, tempo runs, and intervals, but it’s a good habit to develop for all run training.

#7: Be Consistent

Even advanced runners miss a training session here and there, whether you come down with a cold, have an emergency meeting at work, or just need a day off. 

However, it is important to get in as many of your 5K to 10K training plan sessions as possible to feel confident that you can reach your goal of running 10K without stopping. 

If you encounter obstacles during training, it’s better to push your 10K goal back a week or two to complete the training plan. There’s nothing worse than showing up for a race unprepared. That will only discourage you, and that’s the last thing we want. 

Are you ready to take on this incredible challenge of a 5K to 10K training plan and run your very first 10K? Let us help you! 

Here’s the training plan to get started today:

How Can I Improve My 5K And 10K Time?

If you are looking to hit a PR and would like to work on speed, check out our training plan database to find the right training plan for you.

Photo of author
Katelyn is an experienced ultra-marathoner and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the trails. In the running community, she is known for her ear-to-ear smile, even under the toughest racing conditions. She is a UESCA-certified running coach and loves sharing her knowledge and experience to help people reach their goals and become the best runners they can be. Her biggest passion is to motivate others to hit the trails or road alongside her, have a blast, and run for fun!

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