Getting to 10km without a programme

Hi Everyone.

I completed the C25K programme three weeks ago and since then I've been running 5.Xkm three times per week.

Today I decided to try to run a little bit longer, just for fun and to see how it felt, and I did my first over 6km (6.48km) run. When I stopped I was still feeling strong; I could have carried on for at least another kilometre but I wanted to avoid doing too much too soon.

Now I am thinking to insert a longer run into my weekly programme and gradually build-up to 10km. Anyway I'd prefer to avoid using one of the many "bridge to 10k" walk/run programme and I was thinking to simply increase my long run distance by 0.5km per week; does it sound sensible to you or you would strongly recommend to follow a "proper" programme?



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40 Replies

  • This is exactly how I bridged to 10k and quite a few others on here too. I think the rule is not to increase by more than 10% a week to avoid doing too much too soon - always listen to your body and don't up the distance until you feel ready. Sounds like it's going well. Good luck😀

  • I always listen to my body, although its conversation skills are pretty limited: I've never heard anything else but "puff-puff" and "stomp-stomp" from it.

    Well, to be fair sometimes there is also an occasional "growl" from the stomach.


  • Think mine speaks the same language!

  • I'm with you Secan. I always end up rebelling at prescribed programmes. You know your own body best. A little intelligence goes a long way!

  • I got to 10k over the Easter weekend and I haven't used a plan. It just sort of crept up on me! I did 6k one week... Then I managed 7 a couple of weeks later... And so on! Just don't overdo it too quickly. I'm happy I went at my own pace.

  • Yep, you should be spot on with that. If your feeling it on a run, like today, add a few extra k on n just reduce or tone down your other runs to stay within the 10% rule.  Enjoy :)

  • I did the same thing, graduated around 35 weeks ago but I did 5k X 3 for quite a while before doing a 5.5k just to see if I could.  I follow a 2 X 5k and a long run and gradually increased to 6, 7, 8, then did a 10!  Keep an eye on how ur legs cope on the run and how they recover too.  I have had one week off due to a niggly knee but I did 10k again on Minday and it is getting easier all the time and my legs are strong.  I tried a 10k plan but didn't want to walk, just want to run and I hate tempo runs, so just doing my own thing.  Same principle,Es as c25k, easy pace, small increases

  • I'll be interested to see how you get on Saverio, I'm actually not wanting to graduate next week because I like the structure of being told how much to increase each run by (I'm not such a rebel as you!).

    Please can you put together your own programme (with music) and post it?!

  • Oh crap, I've accidentally joined a new community by replying! I'm not readyyyyyyyyyy Health Unlocked!!!

  • Well, there is no harm in peeking into your future... ;)

  • The future's bright, the future's orange!  Or in my case black with fluorescent green laces :) 

  • "My programme", but it would be better to call it a draft plan, is actually very simple:

    - Tuesday: long run (starting from 6km and increasing by 0.5km every week)

    - Thursday: 5km

    - Saturday: 5km / park run

    For what concerns the playlist, I run without music... although this may change in the future, if the long runs become too "boring".

  • I was about to post a question about structured programmes, so thank you Secan! I spent quite a bit of last week looking at Myasics and reading various posts - getting more confused! I like the simplicity of your plan - and no percentages!! 

  • I'm glad I could help. ;)

  • This sounds the perfect plan - I did something similar. You could occasionally swap one of the 5ks for hills or 30-20-10  intervals, as you fancy, and as you get close to 10k in your long run, perhaps increase one of the other runs to 6k.

  • Sounds like a good plan - I know a few others on here did that to increase distance.

  • I did the same kind of thing.  I added an extra km to my run each month.  I'm still doing that in fact. My Sunday run is now 18km. I still run 35 minutes on tuesday and thursday :)

  • Yup.  That's how I did it.  Couldn't stand Sami Murphy's fake music or being told I had to run 3 x 10 mins after I'd got used to doing my own thing for a few months.  I just did 3 runs per week, one getting just a little bit longer.

  • No problem at all doing your own thing, Severio, that's how I got to 10k just by adding a bit every long run.  I was up to about 7.5k and then it was my 3 year runniversary, it was a gorgeous day, I took the bus to 10k out on a trail that was all downhill to my doorstep, with a set of loos halfway :D and I just thought that I'd do a km of running, a bit of walking, a km of running and see how it went.  As it turned out, I ran the first 5k, stopped for a loo break and then thought that this was my standard 5k run home, so just ran home - 10k done!

    As you've possibly noticed, I'm trying the Asics plan this time, mostly because I've spent about 6 months on the IC and have entered a very hilly 10k event.  It's mostly to build my confidence which I'm not sure I would have done on my own.

    The only thing I would say about your running plan is make sure you include a few intervals to mix it up a bit.  Oh, and hills.  I hate them but they are ever such a good thing.

  • I agree about the intervals. There's Laura's Speed. They do support the longer runs.

    (I am hoping I'm listening to my own words here because I want to build up to doing longer runs more often again)

  • You will do it :)

  • Totally agree about hills. Learn to love them - they are your training partner, not your enemy!☺

  • Well... I love *looking* at them; it is a start. XD

  • I didn't even do it in that organised a fashion. I've set a date by which I want to achieve the goal which means I need to be doing a few longer runs to work up to it and I've thought more in terms of routes which make 'human' sense rather than mathematical ie to that bridge. I have a feeling I went from 8k to 10k, but there were quite a lot of runs around the 7-8 mark.

    Come the day when my deadline is bearing down fast, I tend to pick a linear route and run out until Runkeeper woman tells me I've done half my distance and then, well, I've got to get back so I may as well run.

  • Yes, the 0.5km is just an indication of the weekly increase; while running I too use visual references... although after 36 runs on the same route I can evaluate the distance pretty well so I won't be far from the mathematical goal (likely within a +/- 10-metre difference).

  • I never know whether to envy or pity people who use pretty much the same route. It's great to see how places change through the seasons... even within a week... but I rarely run in the same place twice in a row, let alone the same route in the same place and I am also consulting maps to think up new adventures.

  • I know without any doubt: I envy people who have many different suitable routes. :)

  • I also did the same...I have never followed a programme for anything but did everything from learning from others or reading. I didnt follow a plan for my first marathon either!!

  • Well done on the new distance milestone! My plan was to do the same as you - increase little by little. I gave in to the temptation and did a 10 k out of the blue once, and I'm not very organised so it wasn't as structured as I'd planned, but I got to 10k without using a 5-10k training plan as I didn't like the look of any of the ones I found. Just take it easy and if you struggle with a distance, don't move on until you feel ready! 

  • Hi Secan! I'm doing it a bit like you. If Laura were doing a 10k plan I might follow it, but I don't like American voices (and anyway Laura's music was also pretty crap). Because my routes tend to be circular I've ended up with some weird lengths, depending on how long my added extra loop was! But I try to do one longer run a week and have done 5.7, 6.7 and last week managed 8 km. It was hard and slow. I ran with a heart rate monitor to ensure I didn't overdo it and I noticed no ill effects whatsoever afterwards - not the slightest stiffness, which I must admit really surprised me. 

    So 10k on your own is definitely doable - and probably not that difficult. 

    Have fun!

  • Thanks! :)

    "Have fun" is the only real and binding rule I apply to my running.

  • The increase of 0.5 was in my plan too but I miserably failed. There are days where I can run up to 9 (once) 8 (once), then there are days where I just can't even do 5K.  I was full of good intentions though. You look young so I am sure you will not have any problems. I think 0.5 is a great plan and yes I think you are on the right track. 

  • Well that is a programme isn't it.  Your programme ☺  Sounds perfectly do-able to me and you should get to 10k without over reaching and hurting yourself.  Getting to 10k is not a race so you can go steady getting there and enjoy it.  

    7k next up then? 

  • I don't follow a set plan or program, I increase my long by approx 10% each time, but I run it for 2 or 3 weeks then have a slower shorter week before increasing again . My other 2 runs a week are 1 x 5k and 1 shorter run .

    Currently I don't do any speed intervals or hill work as I am concentrating on distance .. and I dont have timescale to work to as such.. 

    It is really Up to you which way to go, try different things and see what works for you , as everyone says build up gradually don't be afraid to have extra rest days or run shorter distances 

    Have fun getting there whatever you do :D

  • Missed this post...sorry :( I was on IC for a week and then away in then tin tent, without the net... Since graduating I have tried to build up distance, and took the great advice on this forum. But marred by spells on the IC, things have not gone as expected.

    My runs have no system at all ! Quite disorganised really, which is unusual for me. Like you, I do three runs a week, and they average at 5K.. but there are some shorter and some longer. I experiment with the couch to 5K+ podcasts and build them into runs.( I still need the reassurance of Laura sometimes). Sometimes I run 'naked' just running for the joy of it. 

    Yesterday, for example I decided to run until I felt like turning back, and I ran and covered my biggest distance so far, which was 6.72 K. I still felt I could have continued, but did not want to push it too far, (only my third run since the crocked knee IC spell).

    I think my distance will increase, more by luck than judgement, and it may take a while, but it works for me.

    This is probably, absolutely no help at all, and there are folks on here with much better advice; I think all I am saying is, do it your way, and as ever enjoy the journey :)x

  • You okay Secan...missing your posts:)

  • More than ok; I am enjoying one week back in Italy with my family, spending all days walking the dogs in the countryside and on the beaches of south Italy... couldn't ask for more. :D

    I'll be "absent" for a few more days but I'll "see" you all again next Monday. ;)

    Have great runs!

  • Wow.. sorry to bother you... wish I was there! :)

  • You didn't bother me at all.

    I'm looking forward to reading your "chronicles from the tin tent" when I'm back and with a better connection. ;)

  • sounds like a good plan to me, just add the extra as you feel fit and have an easier day if you are not so strong, which by the way is exactly what I am doing to get to 10k myself. ran my first 8k today with a time of 51 minutes so pleased with that, just need to wait an see how Fridays run feels  !

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