How long did you take between having reached 5K and reaching 10K?

Hi everyone. I hope no one minds me asking this, feel free not to answer, I just thought it might be helpful for the community and its members, those still trying to reach 10K and those starting out, if those who have reached 10K could say how long it took them between 5K and 10K in weeks/months/years - and perhaps whether you were training hard for it at the time or just kind of got there as a gradual progression, or dogged by injury.

Myself, I am nowhere near yet. I graduated from C25K last August and I am still milling around the 5K mark but I would really like to aim to do a 10K race this summer. Just interested to hear your times between.

Hope you are all enjoying your Saturdays!

50 Replies

  • Bless you, I think you can do that.  I graduated around 35 weeks ago, tried a 10k programme and quickly failed 😣 As my legs could not do tempo runs or walk breaks!  Went back to doing 3 X 30 mins.  Then a week later, felt good one day so ran on to 5k.  I then started doing 3 X 5k for several weeks, still felt like a huge challenge.  On a particularly good day, I kept going to 5.5k and psychologically, I now knew I could do a bit more.  Fell into a pattern then - 2 X 5k and a "long" run - did a 6, then a 7, followed by an 8, then did a 10!  I always do 10 once a week now (event in June) and have even done a 15!

    Trick is, on a good day, do a bit further, I run in grass to go easy on my legs.  I only run at a comfortable speed as I only want to focus on building distance.

  • Thanks Joolie! So roughly how long was it would you say between graduations 35 weeks ago and running that 10K for the first time?

  • Maybe around 25 weeks I guess, slow but sure!!

  • I think we must have graduated around the same time, maybe give or take a month - I do remember your username from when I was doing the programme (and since of course!). So considering I'm still essentially at 5K - nothing slow about that as far as I am concerned Joolie :) Well done X

  • I still think 5k is a very decent distance, I struggled las t time I did one on Friday, felt like death LOL

  • I know the feeling! I do kid myself that it's my 'standard distance' now - easy to say that to yourself when not actually running...!! In truth it's always really hard for me too.

  • I am interested in this post because I graduated a couple of weeks ago and was wondering the same thing. Not that I am in any rush!! It took me just over 3months to get to 5k so I reckon I need 6months to reach 10 - well, something to aim for anyway.

  • Hi skyhigh, firstly well done on graduating! I think you are really sensible to be giving yourself that amount of time, what I've learnt since graduation is mainly that pains and niggles can start cropping up, especially if you push too far too soon over and above 5K, and certainly in my case this has knocked my confidence a bit as I didn't really have any issues doing C25K, only shortly after. Much more focus needed on muscle strength than before I think. Let's hope we both get there :) And congratulations again :D

  • Thank you and best of luck with your running.....avoiding injury and enjoyment are important. 

  • Have just had a scout and this forum, good to see you here!

  • It was about six months for me.  I ran 5ks after graduation and then just slowly built up adding a little extra distance to one run per week.  I've had to build back up to 10k a few times (including now), my preference is to take things very slowly to avoid injury from too much too soon.

  • Thanks for responding! I definitely want to err on the side of caution so I am sure I will be taking that advice :) Perhaps I should be aiming for autumn and not summer!

  • Just see how you do and make sure to add easy weeks/runs/rest days when you feel you need them.  Summer certainly isn't unrealistic at all.

  • Oh, interesting question! I had to check back on my Runkeeper but I graduated at the beginning of October and then spent October and November consolidating and running 5ks. In December I started increasing one run a week and I hit the magic 10k on 10th January. I think for me it was important to consolidate 5k first and let my body get used to that. When I started to increase, the progression actually went really well. Once I hit 8k, next long run was 10k. Then  I found I had to play around a bit with the long run, not always doing 10k, while I got used to that and now it feels more comfortable and I run 10k or there abouts each week. Hope this helps. You could definately be ready for that 10k in the summer if you start increasing one of those runs now. Good luck!🙂

  • Thanks, Sandra. I'm just not sure if I am physically 'strong enough' to handle the increase yet. I'm still having issues with soreness after runs; haven't kept the frequency up so I think that while I can technically still run 5K, my body isn't as used to running as it was at graduation, and even then I was never 'strong'. But I know it's all about consolidation and building up gradually. Just interested to hear some real sort of timescales :) Thanks for sharing.

  • It took me nearly a year ! Slow but steady....

  • Hi henpen, thanks for the response :) Slow and steady indeed is the way to go. If I can make it in a year I'll be chuffed. Congrats on the achievement!

  • I think it was about 8-9 months for me.  I had trouble getting my fuel right as it took me 1:30 mins to do 10km so I had to make sure I was hydrated and fuelled.  As I have got used to the distance it all became easier to fuel.  Take it all at your own pace.  Like the c25k admit if you need to repeat runs until you feel comfortable with them.  I had trouble going from 7-8 km but I got there in the end.  Happy running.  

  • Thank you RFC! :)

  • I took about 4 months from graduating. I spent a bit of time consolidating my running at 5k then slowly added a bit of distance to one run each week until I suddenly found myself at 10k. I haven't run any further than 10k yet. 

    I wasn't doing it for any other reason than being a bit competitive so I'm not sure exactly when I started adding a bit on each time. 

    I'm sure you'll achieve your goal no problem.

  • Thanks Noaky! I guess I've been consolidating 5K for a while now and your plan from there is definitely what I plan to do, just upping one run a week slowly!

  • I graduated in September and I did my first 10k over the Easter weekend. I wasn't really training for it though it just sort of crept up on me! About two months or so ago I upped my distance to 6k, then to 7, and then just sorted of kept going! I think it's different for everyone though.

  • Thanks Laura. Congratulations on reaching 10K recently :) And you're right, I'm sure everyone is different - as all the responses here seem to prove!

  • I graduated March 2014 and entered a 10k for that October, only did my 1st one a couple of weeks before the event so around 7 months. Think I just built up gradually  a little bit extra every week or so!will have to check on strava.  Good luck with your training😊😆

  • Thanks aliboo! :)

  • It took me just over 12 months , mainly due to injury and being out for about 4-5 month's 

    Finally did my 1st this year , didn't follow a plan nor had any timescale, gradually increased by approx 10% each time , I run that distance on my longer run each week for either 2 or 3 weeks before having a recovery,cut back week of less and shorter runs before increasing again and so on .

    There are many plans out there if you prefer to follow a set plan and a timescale but if not the general rule is to increase by approx 10% of your weekly mikeage/km's on a longer run :) 

  • Hi Rob, your posts about getting to 10K have stuck with me a lot as I've read them and I definitely plan to follow your lead and up by 10% or 0.5km each week. Hope I can achieve my goal, like you have done now! Thanks for your input :)

  • Thanks sarah469 😊 you will achieve your goal I am sure, half the battle is the mental side , kick those gremlins in to touch you will be just fine 

  • In January 2015 I fractured my left ankle and tore ligaments. As I couldn't run I engaged a personal trainer at the gym and have been meeting him twice a week since. We have worked on strength and my legs are certainly a lot stronger now! I started running again, slowly, 6 months later with considerable pain still but persevered and on the 20th March ran my first 10k in 64 mins . Very pleased with that!  I should add that I'm over 65!

    I would say to slowly increase the distance. Do a couple of 7k in the week and if you feel good at the weekend try a bit more! Good luck!

  • Wow! You are amazing - an inspiration! 

  • What an accomplishment! Well done Lynette. Are you still experiencing pain? I hope not for your sake. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • I would suggest that its harder to get from 0k to 5k than it is to get from 5k to 10k. When we start out we know very little about running and our bodies are not accustomed to running. Those weeks and months getting our bodies and minds into a new habit pay dividends when we want to got further. We also learn in that time about kits, shoes, pace, running form which goes long way when we start to add more distance.  

    Of course.. no one should add too much distance too soon!! 

  • Hi Andy! I would agree with you that it is certainly not such a mental jump! Not so sure about the physical aspect yet - for me personally anyway - but I don't have much experience yet :) Thanks for your response.

  • 4 months ☺

  • Thanks misswobble! :)

  • I graduated on the 12th February this year and ran my first 10K on 5th of April! Before running 10K the most I'd run was a 6.5K but I just decided I'd give it a go and try for 10K with my mum. I just slowed down and felt like I could keep going- it was a mental thing as my breathing was fine, just a bit of tired legs towards the end. I ran 10.2K in 1 hour and 5 mins then on Friday I ran 10.6K in the same time!

  • Gosh - that's quick - were you an Olympian in another life perhaps?! Thanks for sharing your response :)

  • Hi Sarah, good to see you back!

    I graduated just before you, last July, and have been mainly keeping at 5km, but for this year am looking at getting to 10km. Recently been getting to near 7km, and going out with the local running club has spurred me on a bit, although find it tough at times with hills, and dehydration's played a part, so need more water intake through the day..

    I'm going to look into doing the 5k+programme, and maybe that would be good for you to start with and mix it in with some days of adding 10% a week on your 5k run, then build it gradually..

    Good luck! keep us posted with your effort's😊

  • Hi Dave! Thanks for the welcome back :) I've not really been gone - just slightly inactive on the forum and the running over the last few weeks due to a chesty cough. But yes, fully back now and so glad the sunshine is out! Nice to hear from you.

    I got to 6K fine just before I got ill, and I had run 6.5K once 5 months ago - but apart from that I've been all about the 5K. Excited to go a bit further now. I'm confident I can get to 7K but 8,9,10 is a bit of an unknown. Sure I can do it eventually though, no matter how long it takes and as long as I look after myself! Interesting to hear everyone's stories.

    Thanks for your response! And I will do :) I've been using the C25K+ podcasts for a long time, but I don't actually go further than 5km with any of them at present. Plan is to increase one run by 0.5km per week.

  • it's much easier to do 5k->10k than 0-5k. You should be comfortable doing 5k*3 every week before you move on. I did a few runs at 6k and then on holiday i went to 8k then 10k. Its as much a mental thing as a physical one. The thing to do is find a nice easy pace that you are comfortable with. You'll know when it happens - the "feel like i can run forever" moment.

  • Ooh I have glimpsed that feeling a few times - it is rather a wonderful one!

  • Thank you Sarah for bringing this up. I need a bit of motivation and all those answers are Helpful to me. 

  • Glad to hear it has helped :)

  • I haven't got there and am not sure whether I will or not.  I started C25K in January 2015 at 58 having never been a runner.  Although I didn't have trouble running for 30 minutes at the end of C25K, it took me several weeks to build up from running 3.5K or so (which is what I could then achieve in 30 minutes) to being able to run 5K at all.  After completing my first continuous 5K in about May last year, I had a mental block for a long time about doing it without one or two short walking breaks.  It took me until October of last year to be able to consistently do parkrun without 1 or 2 short walking breaks.  So my focus over the last year has been really on consolidating that 5k and improving my pace over it.  I do sometimes run 6 or 7K, and have once done 8K, but I do it for stamina to help with keeping a good pace on the 5Ks.  

  • Hi Coddfish, thanks for sharing! I am not sure doing longer than 5K will suit me either, especially physically, so thank you for sharing another point of view. It's certainly not compulsory to increase to 10K of course. My main aim is not to be running 10K regularly but to run it occasionally at races and to use the training to improve my form and my 5K time. When I finished C25K I was doing about 4K in 30minutes, if I'm honest I thought it would take me a month or so to work up to run 5K in 30min - how wrong I was! I still haven't got there and realise now it may still be a long while until I can.

  • It was a week, though not by intent, and I was probably very lucky, and I wouldn't advocate anybody to try it.  As it happens, I didn't suffer any ill-effects from it.

    On the weekend, a week after my W9 runs, I'd looked into a 10k training programme (myAsics, I think) and it called for an easy 8k.  At the time, the furthest I'd run was a little over 5k, and I was dubious about whether it was in my reach.  I set off to find a slow, comfortable pace that I thought I could maintain, and seemed to find it.  After 5k I felt good, and I was beginning to feel more confident about the 8k.  As I approached 8k, I still felt fine, and I decided to just keep on until I needed to stop.  At 10k, I thought I'd better stop.

    Repeated it the following weekend, and ran my first 10k race about 6 weeks later!

  • Wow!

  • Graduated C25K March 18th this year, did 5K runs 3 times a week until yesterday (19th April) when I did my first 10K so that's 4 and a half weeks.

  • At the end of the C25K programme I was actually covering 6km in the 30 mins anyway so I just added 1km per week and did 10k 4 weeks later.  I made it more difficult for myself by trying to maintain the same 5 mins per km pace as I extended the runs. A number of people on here said I was mad but it worked for me...

  • about 11 months. First 5k last August. First 10 k yesterday! Did have two longish periods on injury couch during that time.

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