Training

Beginner 10 mile programme

This programme is designed for a beginner runner to train for a 10 mile run. It will focus on completing the distance comfortably, without a particular emphasis on speed.

The programme sets out a schedule of running three times a week on the following days: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. You can train on different days depending on when you have time, but you should keep the recommended rest days between training.

To make the most of the programme, you should be able to run/walk 5km in less than 40 minutes, and you may have completed the beginner 5km programme.

Clothing

In this programme you will be setting off on some fairly long runs, so you may be running outside for longer than you have done before. Make sure that your clothing and shoes will keep you comfortable over the 12 weeks, particularly later in the programme when you will be doing the longer runs. Also, keep in mind the seasonal weather changes that may happen over the 12 weeks.

Beginner 10 mile programme
  Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Mon Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day
Tues 30 minute walk/run 40 minute walk/run Run 30 minutes continuously Run 30 minutes continuously Run 30 minutes continuously Run 30 minutes continuously
Wed Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day
Thur 30 minute walk/run 40 minute walk/run Run 30 minutes Run 40 minutes Run 40 minutes Run 50 minutes
Fri Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day
Sat Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day
Sun Run 2 miles continuously. Record your time here: Run 2 miles continuously. Record your time here: Run 40 minutes continuously Run 3 miles continuously. Record your time here: Run 50 minutes continuously Run 5 miles continuously. Record your time here:
  Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Mon Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day
Tues Run 40 minutes continuously Run 40 minutes continuously Run 40 minutes continuously Run 45 minutes continuously Run 40 minutes continuously Run 40 minutes continuously
Wed Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day
Thur Run 45 minutes continuously Run 30 minutes continuously Run 60 minutes continuously Run 5 miles continuously. Record your time here: Run 60 minutes continuously Run 5 miles easy
Fri Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day
Sat Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day Rest day
Sun Run 60 minutes continuously Run 6 miles continuously or do a 10km race. Record your time here: Run 60 minutes continuously Run 8 miles continuously. Record your time here: Run 90 minutes continuously Run 10 miles continuously or do a 10 mile race. Record your time here:

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Training aims

Weeks one to four

The first four weeks of this programme aim to get you to a level of fitness where you can run three miles at a steady pace.

Use a combination of walking and running if you need to during the midweek sessions of weeks one and two. The key is continuous movement and keeping your heart rate and breathing raised but steady. You shouldn't be going above effort level six on your perceived effort scale.

You may want to try one of the sessions from the last two weeks of the beginner 5km programme to help you structure your walk/run sessions.

When it comes to the long Sunday runs, it's important that you can run the distance continuously. If you can't run the two miles at the end of week two, it's a good idea to repeat weeks one and two before you go on to weeks three and four.

Record your first measured mile at the end of week one: 12 minutes per mile or more is fine for a beginner. When you time yourself again in week two, you may be pleased to see that your mile time has improved. As you get fitter, your mile time may even improve again for the three-mile run at the end of week four. After week four however, you can probably expect to see your mile times increase (ie each mile takes longer for you to run) as you start to run longer distances.

Pace management

Test your pace to track and improve your performance

Weeks five to eight

Weeks five to eight aim to build up your continuous running and extend your distance. This isn't a huge step up in distance from the last four weeks, but what's important here is building up your running efficiency.

Your body also has to get used to the habit of regular running - if you aren't managing to do three sessions a week, you may struggle to complete the 10 mile distance.

During the shorter midweek runs you can start with a light jog, but try to move up to race pace when you can, taking your perceived effort scale to seven. You should use your Tuesday sessions as a recovery from the weekend's long run. The Thursday run is a good day to try experimenting with pace.

Do your long runs at an even pace, focusing on good technique and rhythm. As you extend the distances, each run may take you into unknown territory, so don't start off too fast. If you run three miles at an effort level of seven, you should start out on a five-mile run at an effort level of six and finish strong. This is better than starting at an effort level of seven and having to walk the last mile.

The five-mile run at the end of week six is important. Plan a good, measured route for this run, as you will be using it again later in the programme. Run at a steady pace and record your time. You are now half way through the programme and half way through the distance. Could you run it again? Maybe not just yet, but when ask yourself again in week 12, you may feel different.

At the end of week eight you are aiming to run six miles. This is a good opportunity to have a go at a 10km race. It will be fun and give you a taste of races to come. So see if there is a suitable race that you can fit into the schedule at this point.

Weeks nine to twelve training aims

Over the last eight weeks you will have improved your running technique and got into the habit of regular running, recovery and stretching. You will have improved your aerobic fitness, strengthened your muscles and may have lost some excess weight. You are now at the level where you can run five or six miles. If you maintain this level of fitness by doing two or three runs a week, you could run 10km fun runs regularly without much extra training. But if you want to progress to longer distance races such as 10 miles or half marathons, you now enter the more challenging phase of increasing the distance. This means the commitment of regular runs taking an hour or more. You will need to be mentally tough to keep getting out on the road whatever the weather.

You now need to push the distance up quite quickly from five or six miles to eight miles or just over. You don't need to run the full 10 miles before the event. The programme is designed to have you ready to complete 10 miles at the end of week 12. This will be an enjoyable challenge but you will probably be at about your limit.

The toughest parts of this section of the programme are the eight-mile run in week 10 and the 90-minute session in week 11. Once you have finished these, you will find a one-hour run easy.

For the five-mile runs in weeks 10 and 12, go back to the course you measured in week six. You should be covering the distance smoothly and easily now. Compare your times with those you recorded in week six: your times should now be improved. Try to push your perceived effort to seven, which is what you will be aiming for in the race.

Week 12 is a "taper week", which allows you to recover from the long distance you ran the previous Sunday. The five miles on Thursday should be a light preparation run. Don't be tempted to lengthen this run or to do it too fast. Keep your perceived effort level to six or seven, and your body relaxed.

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