Run Your First (or Fastest!) 10K
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Fitness

Run Your First (or Fastest!) 10K

Whether you're aiming for your first or fastest 10K, this all-levels guide will help you ace your race. Try these simple 10k training plans designed exclusively for FITNESS by coach Greg McMillan, owner of McMillan Running Company in Flagstaff, Arizona, plus tips and drills that will keep you on the right track.
Beginner 10K Training Plan

Conquering six-miles-plus is a challenge, but this easy-to-follow eight-week plan will give you the confidence and strength to cross the finish line.

 
Intermediate to Advanced 10K Training Plan

You've done the distance; now it's time to beat the clock. Go from huffing and puffing to hauling butt with this speed-building plan.

 
Training Plan Key

Walk/Run: Alternate between walking and running for number of minutes specified in parentheses; continue for time listed.

Cross-Train: Do 20 to 30 minutes of no- or low-impact cardio: elliptical trainer, swimming, or cycling or Spinning at an easy-to-moderate effort.

Long Run: Beginners, alternate between walking and running for number of minutes specified in parentheses; continue for time listed. Intermediate/advanced runners, go slightly slower than goal race pace for time listed.

Easy Run: Maintain a steady, moderate pace for time listed.

Surges: Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes and then do number of surges listed, running at a quick pace for time specified, and a 2-minute recovery jog after each. Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes.

Fast Finish (FF): Go at a steady, moderate pace for most of your run, then pick up speed at the end to a moderately fast pace for time listed in parentheses.

Time Trial: Run slightly faster than goal race pace for distance listed to build speed and stamina at the same time.

Race Tip: Rev your stride rate. "Aim for 80 to 90 strikes for each foot per minute," McMillan says. That's about three footfalls a second.

 

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2010.

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