From 5k to 10k

I ran my first 5k race last year,one of the thousands inspired by Race for Life, and got bitten by the running bug. This year I set myself the goal of running my first 10k. But. While all the training plans I've seen for 5k are lovely, easy to understand, practically colour-coded run/walk schedules, the 10k ones just look scary and full of complicated words like "speedwork" and "400m x3" !!!

Without a car or a handy primary school to nick a metre stick from, I don't know how far that is, or what an "easy run" might be, and I only have the one race to know what my "5k pace" might be. Isn't there an easier way of training for a 10k, by simply building on the 30 minutes' running 4 times a week I do now for example? Tell me there is!

Thanks, friends.



  • Joy
    If you do 30 minutes 4 times a week i expect youd get round a 10 k anyway

    Good starting point

    Try extending one of the runs, say by 5 mins per week, till you are up to an hour

    try one run as a speed session. you can do this by timeie, run flat out for 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes, and repeat x6
    Then do your other runs as normal

    my best 10k time is 63 mins, and ive done a marathon

    i think the speed work is probebly important, i avoid it!
  • Joy

    You have posted exactly what i wanted to know too!!
    Will watch and wait for replies

    Live each day as if it was your last  give it all you have to reap the rewards.
  • I feel invisible today
  • Aw you're not! I can see you, you're a lovely yellow colour :o)
  • I am sorry plodding Hippo please except my sincere sorry:-)
    Have noted your advice and will take it on board.


    Live each day as if it was your last  give it all you have to reap the rewards.
  • I dont know owt
    im a cruddy runner
    and Im low
    ignore me
  • Hippo

    Cheer up bet you are a great runner better than me .I have not done a marathon or any race yet.Perhaps a glass of wine or piece of choccie would help!! unless watching weight like me:-(
    Live each day as if it was your last  give it all you have to reap the rewards.
  • Dear Hippo and Poppy,

    Thanks so much for your responses!

    I posted and then went out, but have just returned and couldn't resist going online to see if I had any responses. Hippo, thank you so much for your message, and I'm sorry it looked like your very welcome response had gone ignored. Not at all! I just posted and then buggered off for the evening, a bit downhearted about my own running and not really expecting any answers to my plea. Kind of thinking . . . maybe it's a stupid question and all the REAL runners will snort and think, oh, bloody work it out for yourself. But also not caring what others would think because - hey - we do it!!!! We run, and whatever level we're at, we're bloody brilliant for doing it at all!!!

    I forget sometimes, when I'm reading RW, that two years ago I would have been so incredibly proud and, frankly, aghast to know that I could regularly run for 3 miles and enjoy it!!! Yet now, often I just think, oh it's only 5k for goodness sake - the bottom of the pile in the World of Running. We forget sometimes, just how impressive our achievements've run a marathon, for god's sake!!! Whether it was years ago, or you could've done it quicker, or you did it this year and smashed your PB - you have done it and that makes you incapable of being considered a cruddy runner!!!

    Your comments were really useful, and I'm going to try your suggestions out - much less scary!! So - thanks, and I hope your low mood passes quickly.

    Poopy - it was such a relief to see your message too! I thought about posting it for a while, but worried that it was a daft question. Still, I thought, I bet someone else is wondering. And there you were!

    So - any more advice for us, anyone?!?!


  • Hi Joy

    The advice you got from hippo is sound and the way to go.

    The only thing I have to add is on the distances mentioned in the 10K schedules and I am no expert.

    I have been running for 9 months now and always by time (which is up to 2 hours now) but never had any idea how far I was running. I don't have a car and mostly I do laps of a local park.

    What I did was buy a cheap speedometer (€21) for my bike which also measures trip distance and cycled a lap of the local park (1.3 miles). Speedo can also measure in Km. So if you have access to a bike maybe this would ne a way of measuring 400m.

    Then time your self over this distance and see how long it take you at your normal pace. Then for your speed work simply run 1 400m a little faster (after a warm up of course) then run 400m slower than your normal pace to recover and do this three times. When you are comfortable try to increase the speed slightly or add another 400m fast/slow section.

    As for easy runs these are usually used for recovery runs and should be at a pace which is slightly slower than you normally run. You should be able to hold a conversation comfortably or sing a song while running at this pace.

    You already seem to have quite a good base to work from but when adding speed work don't go too crazy. EASY does it. Just run your fast 400s a couple of seconds faster than normal to begin with to avoid injury.

    Also I would think that 1 lap of a football pitch in a local park would be around 300m at least. The 400m is not cast in stone, it's only a guide to get you running at a slightly faster pace over a set distance. You can start with 100s, 200s etc, what ever feels comfortable for you.

    As you improve you will be able to increase the distance that you run fast over and/or decrease the amount of recovery between fast sections. Have fun experimenting and good luck with you 10K goal.

  • Ian DoddsIan Dodds ✭✭✭
    I can assure you all that you can cheerfully ignore all the scary, complicated training schedules and still improve your running greatly.

    I've been running for years now and have never followed a formal training plan because I feel that running is basically a simple pleasure. One of its great benefits to me is the freedom you have just to indulge yourself, and to escape from outside constraints. For me, having a formal training schedule would make running feel far too organised - like the rest of my life.

    The simple way to get faster is to run faster. It doesn't matter if you don't know the exact distance to the metre, but pick a training course of about 5 miles that you enjoy, and time yourself, then record the time in a training diary. Next time on the same course, try to speed up half a mile from the end. Next time speed up a bit sooner, and so on, and just watch your times come down in the diary.

    After a few weeks, try a slightly longer course of about 6 miles and do the same thing. This way you build up both speed and stamina.

    One other thing to mention - running improvement isn't linear, so you might go for a few runs and not seem to get any faster, but then suddenly you'll jump to a much faster level without realising it. A strange phenomenon, but you'll certainly experience it - I think it's just your body taking time to adjust to a new level.

    Good luck with your 10k.
  • There is an inbetween as well. I looked at the training schedule to get an idea of the variety of runs, and then fit them in when and how it suits me. I like the variety it gives, like go out for a short easy run some day, go for a longer run another day and gradually increase the speed during the run, or do a series of shorter faster runs another day.
    But I feel free to do something completely different, because of the weather or my legs or whatever reason. Maybe I just want to run a long slow run to look at the seals :)
  • Hiya -
    Just posted these on another link but what the hell...
    Hal Higdon 5k
    Race For Life 5k
    Hal Higdon 10k
  • LestradeLestrade ✭✭✭
  • I did the big whammy first the FLM and now I am filtering down 2 a 10k run on 18th May actually more worried about this than marathon as still very new to running and crap at speed work, think we is all in the same baot!
  • Hi ran my first 5k run last year for race for life and did it in 21 minutes. I loved it and am now really keen to do more.

    My next step is to train for my first 10k run any tips on training and race advice?

    All help would be appreciated.

  • Hello, I am a relative beginner and have recently started running again, wanting to acheive a 10 km race and perhaps a half marathon. I have been running 5 x 3miles a week for the last 3 weeks and have now upped this to 5 x 5miles for the last week, intending to carry this on for another few weeks before increasing the distance again. Is there a better / more efficient way to go about my training?

    many thanks
  • It's very encouraging to hear that you don't necessarily have to follow the training plans. I too find them rather too organised/confusing for my liking!
  • What a great subject.. and one I wondered about myself recently!

    I'm now running 5k's as my 'long run' but trying to add one short faster run during teh week.

    All great comments above, but I love Plodding hippo's and Ian Dodds' thank you! Will take these on board, and scrap my printed schedule.. that I haven't gotten up the courage to start yet!

    It takes me just under an hour to do 5k, so although I can do it, i'm slow... so speed would be something I'd love to look at for my forthcoming 5k on the 15th May and beyond.. maybe to a 10k in October, or next year - fitness depending!

    Thanks again! And good luck everyone. :D
  • Hi Purple! And everyone else! I've just been looking at the schedules as well, and want a simple one, so thanks everyone who's helped on here, it haas clarified things immensely! Am now off to devise my own based on this advice!!

    Ta muchly!
  • AT LAST!!!!!!!!
    I thought I was a thicko, I just don't get all that mumbo jumbo in the training plans. But now I don't have to worry. I currently run 5k but need to up this so all the above advice is so greatly apreciated.
    Thanks to all just goes to show that we should never be afraid to ask a question, however silly it seems:o)
  • Really good advice from everyone! Just what I've been looking for and have only been able to find those scary looking schedules saying 'cross training' and 'strength' training.

    I did my first 5k this month in 29 mins and am aiming to do my first 10k in an hour. Any suggestions as to how I can build up stamina and speed in the same training session? Or should these two aspects be dealt with in different sessions?

  • Thanks to everyone on this forum - it's brilliant to find in 2006 that someone in 2003 asked the question that you needed an answer too & even better that there a lots of cool suggestion in response to that question.

    I'm doing my first 6 mile run in Oct (started running 6 mths ago) and I've found the 10k plans to confusing. So, I'm glad to know that there are other ways.

    Thanks to all that posted here for helping make me feel 100% better about my training :D
  • I am training for a 10k at the moment (just started running in May- ran a 5k Race for Life in July) and have found the Bupa training plans really easy and motivating. No scary jargon involved - just plain running for a set time or distance. It seems to progress really well, and we have moved up our distances and sped up our times with no problem. They also have really encouraging words to help keep motivated.

    You can download them here...
  • Thanks for that Claire. I've had a look and your right, they are very simple. Will give them a go this week. Cheers :)
  • hi all im new to runners world forum,,

    i have been training since march an am now upto 6k with some hills in the course,, i think once i get to my 3rd hill thats when it really burns and feels like ive switched from burning one type of fat to another  it feel excellent when u get inot the zone an feel i could go on forever,,

    i am hoping im doing it right going from 5k to 10k but would like some tips,, i think it took me 40 mins to do 6k so maybe i need to run a bit faster ,,, also any tips on breathing techniques for when going up hills cos they are a killer on chest..  does it matter that u only breath through your mouth an not your nose ie oxygen etc.....

    would be good to get in touch with some of you to share ideas and acheivments ...



  • Hi Donna,

    There's a couple of us on a thread entitled 'how to improve' who are approaching our first 10K - why don't you pop onto there and we can train together!

    Black And Tabby

Sign In or Register to comment.