10K TRAINING PLAN: 
Schedule and motivation

 
 
 

A 10K race is ten kilometers, or 6.2 miles. Some people think of it as the “perfect distance,” because it’s more of a challenge than a 5K but doesn’t require as much training as a half marathon. Whether this is your first race, you’re building up to a longer distance after trying a shorter race, or you’re simply running for the love of the distance, our 12-week 10K training plan will help you reach your goal.

Follow our plan to make it to the finish line, and see our training tips for how to make your race day a success.

 
 
 

10K training schedule: 12 WEEKS

 
 
St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend participant
 

Overview

Our plan has your long run on Saturdays, but you can do your long run any day of the week that works best for you, as long as you're consistent. Long runs build the physical and mental stamina to cover the miles on race day.

Your midweek runs should be done at a pace that feels easy to you (a pace at which you can carry on a conversation). Easy runs burn calories and build mileage but should not put cardio stress on the body.

Rest days means rest. Recovery time is vital to increasing your strength and stamina.

Cross-training can be any low-impact, non-running activity (weight training, swimming, cycling, walking, etc.). If you need an extra rest day, use your cross-training day to recover.

 
 
Week(s) until race Mon.  Tues.  Wed.  Thurs.  Fri.  Sat.  Sun.
12 rest 2 miles
walk 2 miles
cross-training 2 miles 30 min. walk
11 rest 2 walk 2.5 cross-training 3
35 min. walk
10 rest 2 walk 2.5 cross-training 3 35 min. walk
9 rest 2.5
walk 3 cross-training 4 40 min. walk
8 rest 2.5 walk 3 cross-training 4 40 min. walk
7 rest 3 walk 3 cross-training 5 45 min. walk
6 rest 3 walk 3 cross-training 5 45 min. walk
5 rest 3 walk 4 cross-training 6
45 min. walk
4 rest 3 walk 4 cross-training 4 60 min. walk
3 rest 4
walk 5 cross-training 6 60 min. walk
2 rest 4
walk 5 cross-training 5 45 min. walk
1 rest 5 walk 4 rest 6.2 - RACE DAY
rest

Download This Training Plan

 

10K MOTIVATION

 
 

1

 

Respect the distance. Covering 6.2 miles will require a little preparation, so our plan builds up mileage slowly, allowing you time to safely increase your endurance. Cutting your training short and upping your miles too quickly increases your chances of injury, so give yourself time.

 
 

2

 

Know your limits. If you’ve participated in a 5K before, you may expect to finish a 10K at the same pace. While this is certainly a possibility, don’t be too hard on yourself if your pace — whether you’re walking or running — slows down as your mileage goes up. Your body will acclimate to the distance, but it may not happen immediately.

 
 

3

 

Have a strategy. Having a specific race goal in mind can help you plan how to train and how to approach race day. For instance, if you know you want to maintain a certain pace, pay attention to your personal running or walking habits. Do you tend to start off too fast and then fade? Or do you hold back and finish with gas still left in the tank? Observe yourself, and then use that knowledge to your advantage.

 
 

4

 

Treat yourself well. After a good training session, or even before, you may be in the mood to reward yourself. Participating in a race should never be self-inflicted punishment, so occasionally splurging is no problem. But you’ll find that when you’re eating well and sleeping well, your training will benefit, and so will you. Healthy habits build on each other, so remember to take care of yourself by fueling with good food and giving yourself plenty of rest time to recover.

 
 
 
 
St. Jude Thaddaeus campus statue

Register for the St. Jude Memphis 10K, and support St. Jude 

Use your 10K race to benefit children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Your participation can help ensure no family pays for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. 

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