Training

10 Weeks to 10K

The most daunting thing about starting anything new is getting the feeling that you are out of your depth; in unfamiliar territory and out of your comfort zone. Our 10 Weeks to 10K challenge is the perfect training programme for those who want to start running but are unsure how to begin.

“10k is a really exciting and manageable distance for new runners and this training plan is the perfect guide,” says five-time Olympian Jo Pavey, who is championing the 10 Weeks to 10K challenge.

“The plan doesn’t say that you need to go out running every day. It starts off with getting you to run for a bit and then to walk for a bit before progressing up to running only. It’s all about easing people into running.”

If the Vitality London 10,000 is your first 10K race, you might be feeling this way. It’s ok to have a few questions and doubts. We don’t start something new and challenging by being amazing at it – it takes time! We get there in our own way, at our own pace and with a few ups and downs along the way.

Enter the race now and begin your 10 Weeks to 10K challenge.

First steps

Being a successful runner doesn’t mean running faster than anyone else. It means being able to walk, run-walk or run at your own pace, with confidence, balance, rhythm, posture, regularity and a smile. If you’re focused on the process of getting ready for your 10K – rather than the outcome of it – then your experience, insight and fun along the way will be awesome.

A common problem with new runners is thinking that they have to leave their front door and sprint as fast as they can. By the time they reach the end of the road they are folded over with their hands on their hips and out of breath, with their muscles screaming and cursing themselves, saying “It’s no good, I can’t do this running”.

Runners who start out like this tend to give up and drag themselves home, exhausted and dejected.

But, here’s the magical thing about running. The more you do the easier it gets! The best running pace to start with is one where you can chat very comfortably with a friend. Initially, even this may sound a daunting prospect as your early attempts may leave you breathless.

Don’t panic if you get out of breath. Being a little breathless is normal during running and it’s also good for you. The important thing is to learn to control this breathlessness. If it’s making you feel uneasy, uncomfortable or it hurts, slow your pace down, walk, let your breathing return to a more controlled state, compose yourself and keep calm.

As you become more confident you will learn to embrace and harness your breathlessness. The more running you do the fitter you get and the easier your breathing will become.

With patience, motivation and determination it won’t be long before you get into your stride and can run continuously for increasing lengths of time. When getting started, consistency is really important. The more regular running you can do the ‘easier’ it becomes, as your body adapts and changes to be more efficient and better at putting one foot in front of the other.