Step up to 10k: Since I graduated in November, I... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Step up to 10k


Since I graduated in November, I've done 7 Parkruns and kept up a two or three run per week discipline.

In a moment of blasé optimism, I have signed up to a Jane Tomlinson 10k run in June. I'm fairly confident as I ran a 4.5 mile route without problem during the Christmas break.

However, 10k is (obviously) twice what I previously trained for.

So my question is, should I be OK commencing my training with a couple of straight 10k's steadily building up pace, or should I attempt to devise a 'Laura styled' build up to the distance?

I feel OK but I don't want to get too sure of myself and end up failing. Also I'm no expert and worry if I may be doing myself harm rather than good.

Would appreciate your suggestions and kind advice.

10 Replies

I'd personally build up slowly. Last thing you want is an overuse injury. You might be fine jumping right into 10s but it's probably not worth getting benched. It takes no time at all to get to 10k by adding 0.5 -1 km a week to your long run, keeping the other runs at 5k or less. Your joints will thank you.

I would definitely not start with a couple of 10ks - that's what you are aiming to finish with not start with. What would be the possble benefit?

as rwd says, the classic 3 x 5k a week witha gradually increasing longer run at weekends is always the best option. If you are already confidnt doing 4.5 miles (and mixing your units of measurements) then you could start with 7k as your long run distance. Then switch one of your midweek 5ks to doing hill repeats or intervals (in alternate weeks) and one to being a tempo run. To avoid injury don't incorporate all these changes at once - give it 3 weeks between each additional element to let your body get used the increase in load. You have plenty of time until your race so use it wisely - by March you would be would be doing a 10k, a hill/interval and a tempo run plus a recovery run every week and would have eased into it nicely, and still have 12 weeks to build speed.

AncientMumGraduate in reply to Rignold

Hey Rig, good to see you back and dispensing impeccable advice. How's your foot doing these days?

Rignold in reply to AncientMum

Hi AM, I am well thank you. And you? Happy New Year.

Foot is pretty much better. I rested it well. Am running again, but not very long distances atm - 2-5k most days as am in middle of intense kettlebell programme and Crossfitting 3 times a week, and have legs get very tired from all that. Will be building up again in February though.


RWD and Rignold have said it all. Build up slowly and sensibly and you should avoid injury. There's no rush, you have nearly 6 months to train for your race :)


Everything's been said. Take your time and build up slowly - I did it that way, albeit in very haphazard fashion. My first 10 k is on Sunday. Gulp.

JoolieB1Graduate in reply to mfamilias

Me too, I tried a 10k plan but then just made it up as I went along, I felt I needed to see how I got on with 5ks and add a little if I felt strong enough, allowing it to creep upwards depending on how my legs felt on a run and what my recovery was like

MonnersGraduate in reply to mfamilias

Good luck. Tell us how you get on.


I tried a programme but as I had just graduated from C25K, it was too much too soon for me. So I settled into a 3 X 30 min run routine, stepped that up to 3 X 5k each week. On a good run, I kept running to 5.5 k and that built my confidence I could do more so tried a 6, then a 7k on good days. I found a good level track around a lake and when I got to 7, kept plodding round and reached 10k which was a surprise to me. I have since run 10k X 3 times.

The important thing is to avoid injury and maybe be prepared to run a bit slower to get further. As long as my legs are ok on the run and recover well afterwards, just build in a small increase on a good day.

I graduated 14 weeks ago now and think doing 1 X 10k a week is possible for me so by June with slow build up you should do it. Julie


I really appreciate your comments and advice folks. Thank you all very much. I am guilty as Rignold says, of mixing my measurements. We've trained for a target in kilometres, and my new target is also in kilometres. But I can't help pondering over my distances in miles!

I've been running a 3.5 mile route quite regularly since graduating. Thats over 5.5k. And my 4.5 mile run is 7.25k - a good chunk of the ultimate target!

I will work out a programme incorporating a gradual increase in distance alongside a 5k run that's a bit more hilly.

My local Parkrun is a bit hilly so I'll push a bit harder on Saturday mornings. And whilst on the subject I think Parkrun is fantastic. What a wonderful and friendly welcome from the other runners and the organisers. Love it!!

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