For a lot of folks, the pandemic brought running front and center. When gyms shut down and we said “see ya later” to group fitness, running was an accessible form of exercise with serious mental health benefits.

To celebrate the joys of running, the slow-but-steady return of race season, and all that we’ve survived over the last year, we put together a kick-ass training plan to help you reach new heights, distances, and milestones — no matter your fitness level.

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner, a casual jogger, or someone who’s never even run a mile, we’re challenging you to take on a 10K (say it with us: YES 👏 YOU 👏 CAN 👏). Sign up for an event. Run a virtual race. Grab some friends or hit the road solo — however you decide to hit the pavement, we’re here for you every step of the way.

Ready to dig in? Here’s how to get in amazing 10K shape in just 4 weeks.

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Illustration by Maya Chastain

Meet your coaches

You deserve the best, so we tapped three running pros to build out this training plan. Consistency is key, so stick to our 4-week schedule and you’ll crush it on race day.

The calendar features 6 days of training, 1 day of rest, but there’s room for customization to make it work for you.

Meet your coaches

  • Becky Wade. Becky is a professional runner, Team USA qualifier, cross country coach, and author. She has created a run program that’ll get you from couch to PR in no time.
  • Ben Lauder-Dykes. Every run training plan should have a strength and mobility component. Ben — a Fhitting Room instructor and run coach — has your back with movement drills, supersets, and strength circuits designed to support your runs.
  • Angie Asche. If you’re gonna train hard, you need to fuel up. Angie is a sports nutritionist (MS, RD, CSSD — all the certs!) and cookbook author who works with elite endurance athletes to create meal plans that power performance. Look for her weekly nutrition tips that’ll get you to the finish line.
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To start this plan, you’ll need to brush up on some basic running lingo, along with essential strength-training movements and stretches. Don’t worry — we’ve gathered everything you need to know!

  • Step 1: Our all-in-one guide explains how to start running at any level, from form and pacing, to tracking your progress.
  • Step 2: Brush up on running lingo — and check out the short list of terms below that we’ll be using in our 10k training program.
  • Step 3: Bookmark this visual reference guide for all the strength training exercises and stretches we’ll be doing.
  • Step 4: Gear up! The only essential equipment you need is a good pair of running shoes (and no, they don’t have to cost a fortune!). If your 10k includes trail running, you’ll want a few extras for hydration and protection against the elements. Training for a winter 10k? You’ll want to invest in some cold-weather running gear.
  • Step 5: Load up on magnesium-rich foods on your next grocery store run. Think almonds, black beans, and brown rice. Read on for more info.

Running Lingo for Beginners

Strides (or “striders”) refer to a series of short sprints, usually between 50 and 200 meters.

Easy run. These light runs are best done at a conversational pace. (That means if you can’t run and recap last night’s episode of “The Bachelor” at the same time, you’re going too fast!)

Recovery run. Also lovingly referred to as “junk miles,” a recovery run is a short, slow run that takes place within a day after a long, harder run. This teaches your body how to work through a fatigued state.

Interval training. Here you’ll be alternating specific time periods of specific high and low intensity during a run.

Tempo run. Usually done only once per week, tempo runs are a tougher form of speed training. Runners challenge themselves to hold a “threshold” (or comfortably difficult) pace for a 20-minute period during a run. (Don’t forget a good warmup and cooldown, too).

Check out our full guide to running lingo here.

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You’ll be able to navigate to the deets of each week by using our interactive calendar, but you can also click on each week below if that’s more your jam.