I completed my first 10K last month and it. was. tough. But I did it! And for this entry in the Couch to Marathon series, I’m sharing how I managed to get it done!
Honestly, at the time, I didn’t think much about how quickly I was progressing from running 3.1 miles to doing 6.2 miles. But it was a little bit…faster than I expected. Here’s how I went from 5K to 10K in 5 weeks, while staying injury-free!
Disclaimer: I am not a fitness expert. Please consult a medical professional before beginning an exercise regimen of your own.
Image c/o: Daxiao_Productions / Depositphotos
How to Go from 5K to 10K in 5 Weeks
I want to stress that this is what worked for me. I know my body, my schedule, and my time demands, so I know what I can do. Please, please, please do not feel like you have to do this in 5 weeks to be a “real” runner.
Confession time: As I mentioned in my post about running my 5K, I use run/walk/run repeats, so I’m not running the entire time. That technique did a lot to help me avoid injury, but here are a couple of other tips that helped.
Add half a mile each week.
Since I had already done 3.1 miles (twice this year), I started training for the 10K immediately after my last 5K. The next week, my long run was 3.5 miles. After that, I added a half-mile to my long run each week. The final long run before my 10K was 5 miles. Once I completed 5 miles successfully, I felt that my chances of doing 6.2 were pretty good.
Choose a course you know well.
The race I chose was held at a local park that I’ve visited with my family several times over the years. In fact, I had just walked the same route with my kids about a month prior. That was a huge help, because I knew what to expect and how to prepare.
The Reality about Running a 10K
I want to add: Even with the tips above, that 10K was HARD. During my race, I had to do the designated route two and a half times to complete the 6.2 miles. I promise that, during that sixth mile, it really felt as if the finish line was moving away from me.
When I finished, I was sore and tired and a tad discouraged. Later that day, though, I went out with my family and functioned like a normal human being, not like someone who had just run 6 miles that morning.
And that is when I started to feel like a real runner. I thought, “I’m out here with all these people and no one knows what I did this morning but me. But I’m still able to walk and talk and feel great.” It was a new (and wonderful) experience.
So – yes, it is possible to go from 5K to 10K in 5 weeks. I did it. And, with a careful training plan, others can too!
For more fitness tips, follow my Bye Bye Baby Weight board on Pinterest!
And don’t miss the rest of my Couch to Marathon series: My year-long journey to running my first marathon!