Running a 10KM doesn’t take long and doesn’t require much preparation. It is possible to prepare for a 10k run within two weeks. There is a difference between finishing a 10KM run and racing a 10KM run. Finishing a 10k run may be a huge achievement for some runners while more advanced runners might be looking to set a new personal best (PR). Both goals require different preparation strategies.

No matter if it’s your first or 100th 10k run, read on to learn how to prepare!

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A 10K RUN (Beginner Level)

A 10KM run is popular because it’s a manageable distance for most people. The following tips can help you prepare for your first 10k run:

1) Consistency Is Key

Start preparing for a 10KM run for at least 8 weeks. You’ll have plenty of time to train your body (especially your legs) to tolerate running for a long time in this time frame. 


Beginner runners may be running (and walking) for over an hour. The speed and duration of the runs are less important than just getting out and running or walking a few times a week. Most importantly, do not add more than 15% more total distance per week.

2) Build Up Long Run Distance

At least once a week, go for a long run. It is usually recommended to add 500 m – 750 m to the longest run you do. It may not seem like much, but it will add up! The long runs will build muscular endurance that will allow you to run 10k. In addition, they will help build confidence that you can complete the distance.

3) Don’t Worry About Speed

If the goal is just to finish the first 10k run, don’t worry about doing hard runs. One does not burn considerably more calories by running faster. Instead, just make sure to consistently train and avoid injury.

4) Take Recovery Seriously To Avoid Injury

For their first 10KM, beginners may feel tempted to push through soreness and pain. It takes athletic experience to know when to ignore the pain and push through – beginner runners do not have this luxury. 

Novice runners are at a higher risk for injury than others. Here are some indicators that one should stop or drastically reduce training:

  • Sharp pains that come on suddenly. Stop running immediately or risk getting injured. 
  • Prolonged soreness and swelling are likely from an overuse injury. Get in some RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to reduce swelling and speed up recovery. Don’t keep running on the injury, or it could get much worse.
  • Sickness symptoms below the neck are not worth continuing to train.
  • Consult a medical professional when in doubt.

5) Follow A 10KM Training Plan

Training plans are designed for maximum results and built to adapt to your experience level and needs.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A 10K RUN (Intermediate-Advanced)

Runners who are intermediate or advanced are looking to improve their 10KM personal best. They may also use 10KM runs to build speed for a longer event like a half marathon or marathon. The 10KM distance is a great distance to build speed and endurance without adding a lot of fatigue. It requires good endurance, high threshold, and even some sprints at the end. In other words, it’s a great distance to develop into a well-rounded runner.

1) Master Pace Changes

Prior to the race, perform HIIT sessions and other interval workouts. Long runs with several kilometers run at or slightly above race pace are key workouts for race-specific intensity. Tempo and threshold workouts should be a staple in a quality, intermediate to advanced running plan. 

2) Strength Training

Strength training is an essential supplement to a runner’s roadwork because it strengthens muscles and joints, which can improve race times and decrease injury risk. To perform at your full potential, a comprehensive approach to running is needed.

3) Recover Hard To Train Harder

Intermediate runners may be tempted to skip recovery in order to fit in another hard training session. This is what separates intermediate runners from advanced runners. When it’s time to relax, elite runners know to do so.

4) Get A Good Training Plan

For intermediate to experienced runners, it’s crucial to stick to a training schedule designed for their particular objectives and skill levels.


This guide will prepare someone with at least some running experience for finishing a 10k. Walking breaks may be needed during the run depending on personal fitness level and running experience.

1) Run Several Workouts At Race Pace

It is impossible to significantly alter your body’s physiological adaptations in just two weeks. However, it is still advisable to run a number of challenging sessions at the targeted race pace to get a feel for running quickly.

2) Get In One Last Hard Workout

Perform one final, intense training four or five days prior to the marathon. This is typically one of the most crucial workouts before a race. It primes the body for the approaching rigors of racing by providing muscles with one last training stimulus.

3) Don’t Overtrain

Twelve weeks of training cannot be condensed into two. There should be some high-intensity training, but there should also be enough time for sufficient recovery. Standing at the starting line with sore, worn-out muscles is the last thing anyone wants to do. That is the surest way to ensure a bad time.

4) A 10K race’s final week of preparation should resemble the following:

  1. Six or seven days before the race: Long slow run – 30-45 minutes
  2. Four or five days before the race: Intervals: 10-minute warm-up / 4 x 5 minutes at 10K race pace with 3 minutes of jogging in between intervals / 10-minute cool-down
  3. One or two days before the race: Long continuous run followed by accelerations – 10-15 minutes / 3-5 accelerations


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