Couch to 5K

People who've run 10k races - had you actually run 10k before the day?

I've got 4 weeks before the 10k I've entered.

Due to various issues - illness, holidays etc - I haven't been able to follow a 10k plan. I'm running every other day: a couple of 5k' s and a longer run, which I'm extending timewise each week.

Today was my longer run - I went out for 47 minutes and covered 4.82 miles. However, my overall speed was slower by 30 seconds per mile, compared to last weekend's long the distance I covered in the extra time wasn't proportional. Does this matter?

I'm a bit lost as to how to focus my efforts over the next 3 weeks - should I build up time, or distance? And does it matter if I've never run 10k before the race day?

5 Replies

I am no expert but I would say to continue doing what you're doing building up the longer run. I wouldn't worry so much about running a full 10k before the race as adrenaline will get you over the line but if you can work up to a full hour's running. Don't do a lot of training the week before the race though, just a couple of short runs.


Thanks for your help.

I think I'll do as you suggest and build up my long runs, before tapering the last week. I'm hoping that if I can run 5.5 miles by the day, I'll feel confident to push through the last extra bit.


I agree with fits. It would be good if you could do 10 before the day, if only to satisfy yourself that you can. But if you're already running for 47 mins and 4.8 miles I'm sure you can do it. 10K is 6.2 miles so it's only 1.4 miles further than you're already doing. In fact you've already run 77% of the 10K distance; putting it another way, more than three-quarters of the distance. (I love to play with the numbers!). And adrenaline will carry you through on the day. My own plan for the Great Yorkshire Run (10K), on a Sunday, is to do a fast 5K on the preceding Thursday then nothing at all on the Friday or Saturday so I can come to it fresh on the Sunday. I've found that a 2-day gap before a long run is much better than just a 1-day.


I love your figures too, Old Ned! They are much more positive and encouraging than my basic ones ;-)

A 2 day rest before the race sounds like an excellent idea - not only are my legs tired today but so am I, so an extra day beforehand Would make a big difference.

I have no goals, timewise, for the race - just to get round without stopping to walk would be fantastic. :-)


You'll be fine - I didn't run at all for over 3 months, then started again about 3 weeks before my first 10k and managed to get in 2 parkruns and a 4.5 miler (never run 10k before the lengthy break either) . On the day, I managed the full 10k. I'm not recommending my approach, but it definitely can be done.


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