“New Year, New Me” is a slogan people tend to embrace when they resolve to do something about their fitness in the coming year. One of the most common goals people set themselves is the “10km run” challenge, where they resolve to run a 10km event and complete it without killing themselves.

We totally hear you: For beginners, 10km looks like a daunting task. However, we’re here to help you achieve this feat! All you need is a little discipline, eight weeks, and a good pair of running shoes.

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The Shoes maketh the Runner

If clothes truly make the (wo)man, then shoes truly decide where and how far you can run. A great pair of shoes that provide good support is key to your 10km journey.

There are a few specific things you need to look out for: pronation, cushioning, and shoe weight. Every one runs differently, so you should find out how you run before embarking on long distances. More importantly, figuring out how your foot lands on the ground when you run determines the type of shoes you will wear. Major stores that sell running shoes will have a treadmill for you to figure that out, and their sales consultants will be able to pick out the right type of shoe for you.

Consistency over Quantity

When it comes to preparing for long distances, you don’t necessarily need to run long distances. When you start out, it is bite-sized runs that will make all the difference. If you’re wondering why, it’s because beginners lack the strength, VOCapacity (maximum volume of oxygen your body can utilise) and core stability to efficiently carry their bodies over long distances. So, beginners need to start with distances that are manageable for them.

When I trained for my first 10km-run, I put in two rest days a week, but you can remove rest days according to how you feel. Remember to listen to your body, and take breaks whenever you need to so that you don’t end up with an injury that will hold you back from achieving this fitness goal.

The training plan

Some important things to note about this schedule:

  • CT stands for Cross Training: This is meant to help you switch things up, so you can do any one of these suggested activities, as long as it helps to keep your heart rate up.
  • Rest Days are not fixed: Any day marked “Rest” can be shifted forward or back, depending on how you feel. You can remove one rest day after you cross Week 6, should you choose to push yourself a little bit more. You cannot add any more rest days.
  • HIIT Routines: HIIT routines are meant to increase strength and give you a solid cardio hit at the same time. Doing HIIT routines also break up your week and give you variety. You can combine all the workouts here for a nice HIIT routine. If you are looking for even more HIIT workouts, check this out.
  • Finish Every Run: It doesn’t matter if you need to slow down, and it surely doesn’t matter if you walk. The most important thing you need to do is finish it.
Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Week 1  2KM CT
(Swim, Bike or Stairs)
Rest  3KM Gym (Core Strength Training)  Rest 30 minute Endurance Run
Week 2 CT
(Swim, Bike or Stairs)
3KM Rest Gym (Legs Strength Training) 3KM Rest 30 Minute HIIT Routine
Week 3  4KM CT
(Swim, Bike or Stairs)
Rest 5KM Gym (Core Strength Training)  Rest 35 Minute Endurance Run
Week 4   CT
(Swim, Bike or Stairs)
 6KM Rest Gym (Leg Strength Training)  6KM Rest 40 Minute HIIT Routine
Week 5  6KM CT
(Swim, Bike or Stairs)
Rest 6KM Gym (Core Strength Training)  Rest  45 Minute Endurance Run
Week 6 CT (Swim, Bike or Stairs  7KM Rest Gym (Leg Strength Training) 8KM Rest Race Condition Run:
10KM
Week 7  40 Minute HIIT Routine  8KM Rest 50 Minute Endurance Run Gym (Core Strength Training) Rest Race Condition Run:
10KM
Week 8  CT (Swim, Bike or Stairs  9KM Rest 10KM Rest Rest Race Day

You’re all set!

This eight-week training plan is meant to take you from not being able to run at all, to completing a 10km mass running event. That said, you’ll need to be consistent in keeping up with this schedule. You also need to be consistent in your daily habits. For example, hydrating your body, eating well, and making sure you get enough sleep.

This schedule, together with some effort and willpower, will enable you to comfortably complete a 10km. Come on now, it’s time to get going!

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