6 Week 10k Training Plan + Complete Training Guide

Most runners train for a 5k as their first foray into the competitive running scene. 

The 5k distance, more commonly thought of as 3.1 miles in the United States, is an approachable and very achievable running goal for beginners, yet the distance also has plenty of allure for more advanced runners who are looking to test their speed and set a PR.

For this reason, the 5k is the most popular race distance in the United States and the comfort zone for many runners of all levels.

However, not every new runner wants to start with the 5k. Jumping right to the 10k is possible, though ambitious, especially if you are trying to run your first 10k in just six weeks.

In this article, we have created a 6 week 10k training plan and guide for beginners with the goal of helping you finish your first 10k in just six weeks.

We will cover: 

  • How Far Is 10k?
  • Can You Train for 10k in 6 Weeks?
  • 6 Week 10k Training Plan for Beginners
  • Tips for Training for a 10k in 6 Weeks for Beginners

Ready to get training? Let’s get running!

People running in a 10k race.

How Far Is 10k?

Hopefully, if you’re planning to run a 10k, you have an idea of what’s in store, but just in case you’re unfamiliar with the distance, the “k” component of the 10k distance stands for the metric distance of a kilometer, so a 10k is 10,000 meters. 

Because there are about 1,609 meters per mile, a 10k race converts to 6.214 miles, or what most runners consider 6.2 miles.

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

Can You Train for 10k in 6 Weeks?

Typically, beginners want to allot several months to train for their first 10k. A 6 week 10k training plan is an extremely aggressive increase in training volume for new runners. This may potentially increase the risk of injuries.

A group of people running a 10k race.

Additionally, because of the rapid progression, it’s normal—and expected—to feel quite sore and achy after your workouts.

However, if the soreness is snowballing between workouts, such that it does not abate somewhat after cross-training and rest days, you should take an extra rest day or do a low-impact cross-training workout.

Most importantly, if achiness or pain is concentrated on certain tissues (such as a  single joint, muscle, tendon, or area of bone—particularly if the pain is one-sided—it should be treated as an injury, and you either need to take a rest day or swap your run for a low-impact cross-training workout, as long as it does not elicit pain. 

Additionally, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are a man over the age of 40 or a woman over the age of 50, you should get medical clearance from your doctor before you start this 6 week 10k training plan because it is quite intense.

People running in a 10k race.

6 Week 10k Training Plan for Beginners

During this 6 week 10k training plan, you will run 3 days per week, with an option of adding a fourth running day halfway through the program or keeping it as a cross-training workout.

For the cross-training workouts, choose any type of low-impact exercise, such as cycling, swimming, rowing, or even walking.

The cross-training workouts are an important part of this 6 week 10k training plan for beginners because they help build your aerobic endurance while minimizing the stress on the body. 

Because running is such a high-impact activity, it is quite stressful on your body’s bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissues, which is why the risk of injury for new runners is quite high, particularly if you do too much too soon. 

The rest days are also a vital part of your training. 

A person stretching their quad.

Although there’s a tendency to get excited about your new venture as a runner and want to run or work out as much as possible, your body needs the prescribed rest days to recover.

When following this beginner’s 10k training schedule, listening to your body is most important.

Of course, in a perfect world, you’ll be able to follow every workout exactly as written, and you’ll feel good and make healthy progress.

However, even elite runners have to take certain workouts super easy, swap a run for a cross-training workout, or take unplanned rest days.

Listening to your body is always more important than trying to follow this 6 week 10k training plan to a T.

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
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Warm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
8 x 2 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 20-30 minutesRestWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
8 x 3 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 20 minutesWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
6 x 4 minute run/1 min walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Rest
Warm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
2 x 10 minute run/30 seconds walk;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 35 minutesRestWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
Run 16 minutes without stopping;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Cross-training: 30 minutesWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
Run 2 miles (3k) without stopping;
Cool down:
5 min walk
Rest
Warm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout: Run 2.5 miles (4 km) at an easy pace, trying not to stopCross-training: 45 minutesRestWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
Run 3 miles (5 km) at an easy pace
Easy run 15 minutes or cross training 30 minutesRun 3.5 miles (5.5 km) at an easy paceRest
Run 4 miles (6.5 km) at an easy paceCross-training: 45 minutesRestWarm up: Brisk walk for 5 min; Workout:
Run 3 miles (5 km) with 10 x 1 min hard running interspersed during the workout
Easy run 20 minutes or cross training 30 minutesRun 4.5 miles (7km) at an easy paceRest
Run 5 miles (8 km) at an easy paceCross-training: 50 minutesRestRun 5.5-6 miles (9-10 km) at an easy paceEasy run 20 minutes or cross training 30 minutesWarm up:
Brisk walk for 5 min;
Workout:
Run 5 miles (8km) with 10 x 60 sec hard running interspersed during the workout
Rest
Run 4 miles (6.5 km)Cross- training: 40-45 minutesEasy run: 3-4 miles (5-7 km)RestEasy jog: 15-20 minutes and 4 x 75m strides10k Race!Rest
A person foam rolling.

Tips for Following a 6 Week 10k Training Plan

It’s exciting to start a new fitness routine

Sure, the first couple of weeks are hard because you’re sore in places you’ve never been sore before, and becoming consistent and building an exercise habit takes drive and discipline, but the changes you start to feel in your body and the confidence that starts to grow, makes it all worth it.

Focusing on recovery modalities is also critical to keeping your body healthy while tackling such an aggressive beginner’s 6 week 10k training plan.

This involves things like stretching and foam rolling after your workouts to work on your tissue mobility, range of motion, and flexibility. 

Getting enough sleep and dialing in your nutrition to support your workouts are also critical parts of training for your first 10k.

Aim for a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and make sure you’re eating enough calories for your body size and activity level and getting a well-balanced diet with complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

A person sitting on the ground with a protein shake next to them.

Fueling before your workouts involves ensuring you’re eating complex carbohydrates to provide your muscles with the glycogen they need during high-intensity exercise.

After your workouts, make sure you are refueling with a mix of carbohydrates and protein, ideally in a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1. This balance will help start replenishing your muscle glycogen stores and will help provide your muscles with the amino acids necessary to repair and rebuild damaged muscle fibers.

Strive to get 20-25 grams of protein in your post-workout snack or meal. This post-run snack should be consumed as soon as possible after you finish running, ideally within the first 30 minutes.

Many new runners struggle to eat right after running. You might be overly hot and nauseous, making it hard to cultivate any appetite. 

However, refueling is really important, so if you can’t stomach eating real food, smoothies and protein shakes work well for post-run snacks. 

It is often more palatable to drink your nutrition; plus, these liquid-based foods will help you rehydrate as well. 

Welcome to the sport! You’re going to love being a runner!

For a guide to post-run stretching and mobility, check out the following guides:

Post-Run Stretches For Runners

Mobility For Runners

A runner stretching after their run.
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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