The 10K challenge

Looking for a bigger challenge? This 5 week training plan, designed by Jo Pavey, will get you ready for that 10K goal.

10K training plan

This plan is intended to lead on from both the 3K and 5K programmes. It gradually increases the time that you're running and also the intensity of workouts.

This programme also includes an extra run per week, which is optional. This optional shorter run is useful in getting you prepared for running more times per week, but you can leave it out if you feel the need for an extra rest day, to comfortably cope with the volume of running in the schedule.

As with the previous plans, cross training can be added into your programme if you feel like you want to add another fitness activity to your week whilst avoiding the impact of running. It's suggested on one of the days, but it could be done on one of the other non-running days if it fits better.

5K to 10K

Running provides so many great benefits to both physical health and mental wellbeing. In this video Jo Pavey talks you through achieving your first 10K, whilst considering how to manage your rest and recovery. She also highlights the importance of planning and monitoring your progress to win the mental battle.

Tips to get the most of your training

Read some extended notes from Jo Pavey, on the key areas of consideration when taking on this part of the WPA running programme.

Recovery from workouts

During this plan you'll be gradually increasing the amount of running you're doing, so it will become more and more important to take proactive steps to aid your recovery, particularly after tougher workouts.

When you've finished your workout, rehydrate preferably with a sports drink that contains electrolytes. Do some gentle stretches that focus on all the main muscle groups, to stop them from tightening up. This aids recovery and helps to prevent injury. If you've driven to the run, then stretch before getting back in the car. Within the first 15 minutes after your run, it's good to have a snack to top up energy levels and start the recovery process - then ensure you have a proper meal 60 to 90 minutes after exercise. Your body is more receptive to replenishing glycogen and nutrients within the first 2 hours after exercise, so it's important to refuel within this time. Later, after your workout, you could use a foam roller to work on tight areas of muscle or have a sports massage.

Some runners choose to use ice baths after tough workouts, but this is not usually necessary during a normal training week. You could use one if you feel particularly sore after a workout, but it's thought that using an ice bath too regularly could actually reduce the muscle's adaptation to training. After a tough workout a warm bath can be good to ease the muscles and get the circulation going, once initial soreness has settled. Getting enough rest and sleep is also an important part of a runner's recovery.

The 5 week training plan

Each workout will always start with an easy walk or a jog to warm up. This is in addition to the dynamic warm up exercises in our videos. Then the work really starts. Typically, each workout consists of a period of high intensity running followed by a rest which you will repeat a set number of times.


In the plan it's written like this:

  • 8 minute easy warm up
  • 3 x 4 minute run with 2 minute recovery between
  • 4 minute rest
  • 3 x 1 minute run with 1 minute recovery between
  • 8 minute easy cool down

This means you will:

  • Do an 8 minute easy run to warm up
  • Run for 4 minutes at a higher intensity and then jog or walk for 2 minutes to recover - repeat 3 times
  • Rest for 4 minutes
  • Run for 1 minute at a higher intensity and then jog or walk for 1 minute to recover - repeat 3 times
  • Do an 8 minute easy run to cool down

In total, this session is 44 minutes in length - but remember to allow time for some dynamic warm up exercises before you start and stretching when you finish.

Expand and collapse your weekly training plan below to see your daily schedule. You can also download a PDF of the training plan to take away with you.











Download the 10K training plan


To help prevent injury and maintain flexibility, it is important that runners have a regular stretching routine. In these short videos, Jo Pavey will demonstrate a series of warming up and cooling down exercises.

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The content of the WPA website, including the WPA Health & Wellbeing hub ('the hub'), is for information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment and you should not rely upon it for that purpose.

Not all forms of exercise will be suitable for everyone. Always consult a doctor before beginning any exercise programme. To the extent permitted by law, WPA shall not be liable for any loss, liability or damage suffered or incurred as a result of using an exercise programme or accessing any information on exercise made available on the hub.