Well, truth is, you can. The human body has an incredible capacity to adapt and with enough determination you could run a 10k without preparation. However, doing this will most likely (and I speak from experience) result in injury and slow down your progress. Running is a high-impact sport and can tax your body if you don’t gradually build up your strength and resistance.
In conclusion, if you want to build up a strong foundation for a long and successful running career you’ll need to build up your strength and endurance the right way. Do not rush - be patient.
Tip: This is a beginner program. A beginner should be able to complete a 40 minute walk. If you have trouble walking for that long consider starting a shorter distance program first. Consult your doctor before starting any fitness regime.
I have designed the plan in a way that you will be running three times a week - the first two weeks are a mixture of running and walking. You’ll then increase your running time until you can run the entire session without walking. I have written out the plan below and I have also included some tips. If you want to download the plan template you can find the download link at the bottom of this post. Enough talking! Let’s start, shall we?
Hurray, Monday = REST! Tuesday session is the first session where you’ll be running for the entire time. Head out for a 20min easy and slow run - we’ll start building from here. Rest on Wednesday. On Thursday you’ve got another 20min easy run, you’ll then rest on Friday and hit the road on Saturday for a 25 minute run. It’s perfectly OK to walk if you need to but try your best to walk fast enough to keep your heart rate slightly increased.
As always, Monday is rest day but be ready because on Tuesday you’ll have a 20min slow running session. Rest on Wednesday (this will change soon). On Thursday we’re going to increase your distance but in order to do that safely you will start taking walk breaks again... Run for 10min and walk for 3min - repeat 4x. Rest well on Friday and on Saturday run a slow and steady uninterrupted (if you can) 5k. Rest on Sunday.
Rest on Monday. On Tuesday your workout is to run for 20 straight minutes, slowly. Remember, this plan will help you run 10k - not to break it’s record for fastest time! Rest on Wednesday. On Thursday, run for 20 minutes, walk for 5 minutes and then finish the session off with a 10 minute run. Rest well on Friday because your workout on Saturday is a 35 minute run! I hope it went well for you. Rest on Sunday.
After resting on Monday you will complete a 35 minute continuous run on Tuesday. You should be feeling pretty confident in yourself by now. Strength session on Wednesday. Again, you may want to use YouTube for guidance. On Thursday your session includes a 40 minute run, 5 minute walk and 10 minute run. Rest on Friday because we’re finishing the week off with a 50 minute continuous run. Push yourself, you shouldn’t need walk breaks by now. If you feel like you need to stop for a walk then you might be going too fast, consider slowing down a little while running. Rest on Sunday.
As usual, rest on Monday. You might want to try foam rolling or using ice baths to recover from hard runs. On Tuesday you have a 40 minute run on the menu. Come Wednesday, complete a strength session - total time is not important right now, just complete a session. On Thursday your workout is a 35 minute run. After resting on Friday, you will run for 50 minutes on Saturday. Rest on Sunday… you’re almost finished! Stay strong!
Caution: Ideally, you would continue training and repeating the last 4 weeks of this program to maintain your fitness level. If you feel like 10k is too much for you, you might want to train for the 5k event. If you’re still hungry after the 10k then completing a half-marathon may satiate you! If you’re not sure what to do next, your safest bet is to keep repeating the last 4 weeks of this program until you have a clear goal of what to achieve next.
Do you have any questions? Are you going to attempt the plan? Post your progress in our Running and Race Training Facebook group and let other members and runners motivate and inspire you - join our runners community!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C210K PLAN
(Don’t know how to use our training plan template? Check out our post on how to ‘Build Your Own Training Plan’)
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