Hal Higdon: 10K Novice

Average Weekly Training Hours 01:20
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 01:20
Training Load By Week

Hal Higdon: 10K Novice: This program has been designed for new runners looking for a training program to prepare them for a 10K race. Or for experienced runners, looking for an easy schedule involving a relatively low level of weekly miles. Each day, I will send you an email telling you what to run and also offering tips about training. For more information and directions, visit my website: halhigdon.com.

Sample Day 2

Your first run in the program is 2.5 miles, the same as you will run the next two Tuesdays. Big gains in fitness can be made with small increases. As we get further into the program, I'll be asking you to run 3 miles on this day. In describing the amount of time it takes to run different distances in this program, I assume everybody trains at an average of 10:00 per mile.

Sample Day 3

This is the day we cross-train for a half hour. Walk, swim, cycle, even jog a little: I don't care what you do as long as you keep the effort level low. If you would like to switch some of your strength training to this day, be my guest. This program is flexible--and should be flexible so as to fit comfortably into your schedule of business and family activities.

Sample Day 4

Your running doses on Thursdays will be slightly less than on Tuesdays: 2 miles. The difference isn't great, but I want to allow you some time for stretching and strength training, should you choose to do so on this day. Need more rest? Don't be afraid to run today's workout at a slower pace. Nobody will be standing by the side of the road timing you on these workouts.

Sample Day 6

Forty minutes of cross-training, a jump from the 30 minutes you did on Wednesday. This is not without purpose. I am gradually increasing your training load. Don't push yourself too hard on this cross-training day. Keep the mood the same. Don't push the pace in whatever activity you choose.

Sample Day 7

Three miles for today's long run. Not much, you say, but this is half the distance for those planning to run a 10K at the end of eight weeks. Use today's workout to mentally rehearse how you are going to run those first 3 miles. Consider also the fact that 3 miles is nearly the same as 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). Unlike in my training programs for Intermediate and Advanced runners, I don't normally encourage Novices to do much or any racing.

Sample Day 9

For today's workout run 2.5 miles, the same as last week. You will hold at this Tuesday distance one more week before moving ahead to 3.0 miles. That's how a progressive training program works: progressively and gradually increasing the distance of each run. We're on track.

Sample Day 10

Today's cross-training workout is 30 minutes, the same as last week. How are you doing? For many people who lead Normal Lives and work during the week, the toughest thing about this type of training is finding time to do it. Thirty minutes? No sweat. In fact, you don't have to sweat during this workout. Given an hour for lunch, there's no reason why you simply can't head out the door of your office and walk for 30 minutes, then come back and grab a light lunch.

Hal Higdon
Hal Higdon Communications

Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for Runner's World, that magazine's longest lasting writer, Hal's having contributed an article to RW's second issue in 1966. He also is the author of more than three dozen books, including Marathon: The Utimate Training Guide and the recently published Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training and Run Fast (3rd edition).