The 5 to 10K training plan will get you ready for the double-digit distance.
When you are confident to run a 5K and are willing to improve your distance, then the 5K to 10K training plan is the best place to look.
From 5 to 10K
This training plan builds further on the Couch to 5K plan and is perfect for beginners who want to double their running distance. Just like the C25K-program, the 5 to 10K training plan also takes 9 weeks to complete with 3 workout days per week.
In the plan that is linked at the bottom of this page, you run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. With rest days on the other days. You are free to shift these days around. If you want to run Sundays, you can. You want to have your rest days on the weekend? You can do that as well! As long as you keep at least one rest day in between two running days, you are free to do whatever you want.
Recovery and rest days
When you’re getting the hang of it, you might be tempted to skip a rest day or only rest one day instead of the two that were planned. I would advise to not skip on those resting days as this might increase the risk of injury. Those resting days are in there to give your legs the time they need to recover and become stronger.
Also try not to skip any of the runs itself. You are free to shift some days around but if you skip running days, you might find it hard to keep up with the plan. If you have to shift or skip too many days around your schedule, you might need to go back a week or two. Just continue from there and you will be back on track in no time.
If you find an exercise too difficult to complete, you can also go back a week or two and start over from there. Remember that this is a training and not a race. After each run you should feel accomplished, not exhausted.
Types of runs
Each run will start with a 5 minute warm up. The goal of a warm up is to, well… warm up your muscles. If you just start running for an hour after sitting behind your desk all day, you might increase the risk of injury. That’s why it’s advised to do a quick warm-up before you start your workout. A warm-up can consist of some dynamic stretches and/or a fast paced walk. Just try to get your muscles moving as much as possible..
After the warm up you can start the actual run. There are 2 types of runs in the 5k to 10k training plan: slow runs and interval runs.
- Slow runs: These runs are planned on day 1 and 6. Slow runs make you used to the longer distance. Try to actually run slow during these runs. You should always be able to have a conversation without feeling out of breath. If you have a heart rate monitor, try to keep your heart rate in zone 2 and 3. If you don’t know what that means, you can read more about heart rate zones here [link to heart rate zone page].
- Interval runs: The interval runs are planned on the third day of the week. Here, you will switch between your slow running pace and a speedy run. Try to actually run slow during the slow parts. Use the same technique as you do during the other slow runs in the plan.
During the fast periods, it’s more important to raise your heart rate than to actually go very fast. Try to maintain the same speed during the faster parts. So, try not to exhaust yourself as some of those fast periods take 10 minutes. Having a conversation should be more difficult, but even here you should never feel like you’re unable to talk to someone. If you have a heart rate monitor, try to keep your heart rate in zone 3 or 4.
After each run, there is a 5 minute cool down period. Just like with the warm up at the start of the workout, the cool down period is here to help your muscles transition from the hard work they had to perform back to your daily routine. I mostly use the cooldown period to walk back home and do some light stretches when I arrive.
Underneath you can find a PDF for you to download and print out. Put it up somewhere and cross out every exercise you completed successfully. This will help with motivation as you will be able to see your progress. At the end of the plan you will be able to run quite a distance.