Aiming for 10k?: My 2013 goal is to run 10k I'm... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Aiming for 10k?


My 2013 goal is to run 10k I'm entered into a local run in June. I can (comfortably ish) run 5k in 30mins but I have no idea how to step this up to double the distance.

I've heard of the nhs bridge program but all I can seem to find are the 3 stamina/speed/stepping stones podcasts.

I'm sure many of you have been in a similar situation how did you progress and what worked for you?

22 Replies

The stamina/speed/stepping stones podcasts will help you to build up your speed and endurance after graduation. They are interval training sessions and fairly intense so you won't want to do them for every run - maybe follow one of the podcasts once a week, with an easy run once a week and a longer run at the weekend (or when most convenient). Increase the length of your long run gradually in order to build up to the 10k. The usual guideline is to increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week, so you have plenty of time to reach your 10k target in June. Every four weeks, have an easier week where you don't try to increase your mileage but give your body a bit of a break so it has time to recover. Have an easier week leading up to your race so that you are rested for the "Big Event".

If you do an internet search for 10k training plan you'll probably get lots of alternatives. There's certainly a plan on the Runners World website. If you want an App to help you, there are various free or very inexpensive alternatives (99p!). RunDouble is one example but there are several others as well.

For me, once I'd graduated, I plucked up my courage to join a running club for some additional motivation and support and that has been really helpful in getting me out of the door when I'm feeling a bit idle, as well as for making new friends and learning what to expect from a race.

Good luck with it and enjoy it :-)


I've increased my distance to 10 K since graduating in October by pretty much doing what's suggested above. I've been using the NHS stamina and speed podcasts once a week and then one longer run, increasing the total weekly distance by no more than 10% each week. I've entered the british 10k in July so now want to consolidate what I've been doing, get quicker and stay fit.


I'm really interested in this - just graduated and wondering about a 10k early summer. This all reads like good advice - one 5k+ podcast, a longer weekend run - but then is there one other 30 mins run ? Some people seem to use a couple of the pod says a week?


There's a set of podcasts by Samantha Murphy that take you through the six week "Bridge to 10K" plan. You can find them on Dropbox via this link:

The style is very similar to the NHS Couch to 5K, but these are clearly an amateur project; the production quality is nothing like the professional & polished work produced by the NHS. That said, they are still really good to have, and I would recommend them. I just started the Bridge-to-10K programme today, myself, and it seems a lot of us grads are getting into it for the new year. So come on in -- the more the merrier! :-D


Here is the B210K plan I used. The intervals are all one minute of walking, but I extended a few of them to 90 secs or even 2 minutes depending on how I was doing.

week 1

4x10 minutes 3 runs

week 2

3x15 3 runs

week 3

3x17 3 runs

week 4

3x18 3 runs

week 5

2x22 1 run

2x25 1 run

2x30 1 run

week 6

3x60 3 runs (no walking breaks)

Good luck with your plan!

IronMattGraduate in reply to genevan

Yes, that's exactly the plan used by the set of podcasts linked to above. Sounds like it worked well for you! I'm happy to hear that, since I just started the first week yesterday!


I want to do this too but I can't do 5K in 30 minutes yet --- should I wait before embarking on the 10K program? Thanks Delia

PSAt present I do stepping stones/ speed and stuff for 2 runs plus a longer run each week. Pleas advise xox

IronMattGraduate in reply to DeliaItaly

My advice: You do not _need_ to wait before starting on the Bridge-to-10K programme... but you might be more satisfied if you do. It depends what you are aiming for. Is it distance only? Or is it both speed and endurance?

If the latter, I would suggest sticking with 5K runs until you can break the magic 5K-in-30minutes mark. That's what I did, and why I didn't start the Bridge-to-10K until yesterday, even though I finished Couch-to-5K in mid-October. The intervening two and a half months were used to work on speed (over a 20% improvement) and to consolidate my achievement. With the speed at a level I am happy with, I felt ready to increase distance once again.

If, on the other hand, you are less concerned with speed and only want to run for longer, I don't see any problem with starting the Bridge-to-10K plan now. As a Couch-to-5K graduate, you are ready for it!

DeliaItalyGraduate in reply to IronMatt

Thanks ironMatt -- your advice sounds good -- I'll try and break the magic 5k first! Happy 2013!


I want to do this too but I can't do 5K in 30 minutes yet --- should I wait before embarking on the 10K program? Thanks Delia

PSAt present I do stepping stones/ speed and stuff for 2 runs plus a longer run each week. Pleas advise xox

mark909Graduate in reply to DeliaItaly

I think training for 10k will improve your speed because if you can run 10k in say an hour what's not going to stop you pushing yourself that bit harder when you only have to run for 30 minutes! (I say only 30 mins very tongue in cheek of course!)

swanscotGraduate in reply to DeliaItaly

No, I wouldn't wait. Reading various running sites and forums, it seems to be the accepted idea that as you build up your endurance, your speed will also improve.

Example: Runners World says (in relations to building endurance and speed): "Increasing your endurance will also help you prepare for your 5K race. Lengthen the distance of one run a week, your “long” run. The actual distance of a long run is relative to the distance of your goal race. Since you are training for a 5K, try increasing your long run to six miles. Increase mileage very gradually over time by increasing your total weekly mileage by 10% a week."


Once I graduated I wanted to do 5k in under 30 minutes and 10k too. So I used the Stamina podcast once a week (35 minutes), the Speed run once a week and a weekend run on my own which I gradually lengthened week by week (5k, 6k, 7k etc etc). I ended up being fitter and faster by combining the two pocasts and managed both my goals. If you've done C25k I don't see why you shouldn't aim to get faster and run for longer at the same time - it seems to work that way anyway! Don't get hung up about runnng 5k in under 30 minutes - it'll happen if you concentrate on getting fitter.

genevanGraduate in reply to Nevertoolate

That is what I am doing now. I decided to go for stamina first, so completed B210K, and now I am trying to work up my speed before embarking in the Runners World 10 week prep plan for a half marathon I have signed up for in early May. So through January I plan to do a track day and increase my pace each outing (sth like 8 laps), then a hill day to increase my strength (sth like 1k of not too steep hill added to a 3k or so run), and then a long run on the weekend, aiming to increase by 500m each week. I think I will try the Speed podcast next week as I did enjoy the Stamina one.

Good look to everyone aiming to increase speed, distance, stamina or just generally enjoy running in 2013. And to think many of us could not (or maybe would not) run for a even minute at the beginning of 2012! C25K rocks!

DeliaItalyGraduate in reply to Nevertoolate

Gosh your advice sounds good too! It seems to be a question of what works best for us, right? Happy 2013!


Wow thanks everyone.

Seems like x1 speed x1 stamina and a longer run increased by 10% each week is what i should be aiming for. I just need now to com up with a cunning way to monitor my distance accurately whilst i'm running.

I guess i'd better admit to not having run at all this week. Ooops

NevertoolateGraduate in reply to alliec

In that case I have to admit to not having run since last Saturday and I don't plan to run again until this Saturday - I think we all deserve a rest from time to time!

I was lucky to get a Garmin watch for Xmas so I can now monitor my runs automatically - a real luxury and very worthwhile investment (I have the Garmin 10, the cheapest model but just what I need). Before this I used to go onto MapMyRun site and very simply plot where I'd run. Its very easy - you also put in how long you ran for and then you get back how fast you went, how far etc.

alliecGraduate in reply to Nevertoolate

I used mapmyrun too and have it on my iphone butu i'm not too sure if i can tell it i want to run say 5.5K and it'll tell me when i've gone that far. I guess i could plot my intended run before i go out so i know where i need to stop. Perhap i should put a Garmin on my birthday wish list


So pleased you asked this question as I graduated in October and not been awfully affective since but what you are all suggesting will fit into my week. So here goes for getting to 10k . Currently furthest run is 3.63miles x good luck all and thank you

I used 'One Hour Runner' program which has you run 2 shorter runs a week ( starting at 30 min) and one longer run. Thus there is no walk- run intervals, just gradual increase in running time. The program got me after graduating the c25k to running 8k and then I broke a toe. LOL. Anyways it worked for me and I will be going back to it, once I feel better.

alliecGraduate in reply to AnnaVictorya

Ooh i'm intrigued perhaps I'll google it in my lunch break


This might seem a bit trite and simplistic but the method I'm following is simply to run for a bit longer! That's it really. I'm not following a programme. I try to never run less than 30 mins and crank it up some when it feels right. I think some people may over-analyse it?

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