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10k Runner's Guide

Challenge yourself

Want to get fit, lose weight and improve your mood? If you can walk for ten minutes, then you can do this.

You’ll begin this easy step-by-step training with a ten-minute jog (so slow that you’re almost walking) and if you follow this guide you could be completing a 10k in just 16 weeks’ time. Our Fundraising Team will be backing you every step of the way with tips and ideas to make sponsorship collection so easy you just have to focus on the training.

Get started

Fitness Assessment
You must feel confident that it’s safe to start a new exercise plan. If you answer YES to any of the following, or if you are concerned about your fitness, make an appointment with your GP before you start.

  • Are you aged over 30 and/or have not exercised for some time?
  • Do you suffer from any medical conditions?
  • Are you a smoker or have recently given up smoking?
  • Have you undergone any surgery in the past two years?
  • Are you suffering from any injuries?
  • Are you currently on any prescribed medication?
  • Are you unsure about beginning an exercise programme?

The Charity for Civil Servants disclaims liability for loss, risk or injury incurred as a result of any information, recommendation or advice contained herein, either directly or indirectly.

Get prepared

These are some simple guidelines to help you get the most out of your training and avoid injury. You can go online or ask in a specialist running shop for further advice.

Nutrition and hydration
It's important to eat a balanced diet to keep your body fuelled for your training and also to keep drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.

Stretch
Stretching for five to ten minutes ensures your muscles are loosened up and function efficiently both before and after a session. Find some suggested stretches you can use.

Warm up
Increase your heart rate and prepare your body for exercise with a five-minute warmup walk at the start of a training session. As you step up your training around week eight, this should be a very slow or easy jog.

Main session
Complete the main activity laid out for the day in the training programme, e.g. ten-minute easy jog.

Cool down
Immediately after your main session, lower the intensity of your exercise for five to ten minutes – this helps your body recover quicker, for example from running to an easy jog, jogging to a very slow jog then finish with a walk.

Safety
Don’t put yourself at risk during training. If you choose to listen to music keep it at a lower volume so you can hear cyclists, traffic or other runners. Make sure you wear reflective or bright clothing and dress for the weather. Find more information on choosing your running kit.

Training guide

This is everything you need to get yourself running. Use the key below to match your speed each day.

Very slow jog icon Very slow jog – just slightly faster than walking.
Easy jog icon Easy jog – more of a jog but not too exerted.
Jog icon Jog – slow pace but faster than the easy jog.
Gentle run icon Gentle run – a comfortable pace. You could still easily talk to a training partner.
Steady run icon Steady run – an even-paced, steady run. Would be difficult to talk to a training partner.

Rest – take a break from your training schedule on the days indicated with white blocks.

Get going with our 16-week training plan

Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
1
Very slow jog icon
10 mins
Take it easy
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

Very slow jog icon
10 mins
Miss if tired

You can't start a new chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

Easy jog icon
15 mins
Jog and walk if necessary

2 REST

Easy jog icon

10 mins

REST

Easy jog icon

10 mins

The voice in your head saying you can't do this is worth proving wrong.

Jog icon

15 mins
Take it easy

3 REST

Easy jog icon
10 mins

REST

Easy jog icon
10 mins

Every day is a new beginning. Take a deep breath and start again.

Jog icon
15 mins
Try to jog the entire time

4

Very slow jog icon
10 mins
Your 1st back to back session

It doesn't matter how slow you go, as long as you don't stop going.

Easy jog icon
10 mins

Even a bad run is better than no run at all.

Jog icon
15 mins
Try to jog the entire time

5 Add a little 'Umph' to 'Try' and you get 'Triumph'!

Easy jog icon
15 mins
Non-stop, maintain your pace

REST

Easy jog icon
10-15 mins

REST

Easy jog icon
20 mins
Try to jog the entire time

6 REST

Jog icon
10-15 mins

REST

Jog icon
10-15 mins

You can feel sore tomorrow or you can feel sorry tomorrow. You choose.

Jog icon
20-25 mins

7 REST

Easy jog icon
10-15 mins

REST

Easy jog icon
10-15 mins

Push yourself, because no one else will do it for you.

Jog icon
20-30 mins
Try to jog for at least 25 mins

8 When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.

Jog icon
10-15 mins

REST

Jog icon
15 mins
Miss if tired

REST

Gentle run icon
15-20 mins
Start slow and build

9

Easy jog icon
10 mins
Try to recover from yesterday

Half way now - the hardest bit is behind you, look how much you've already achieved.

Gentle run icon
15 mins

No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping those on the sofa.

Jog icon
35 mins
Take it easy

10 REST

Easy jog icon
20 mins

REST

Gentle run icon
15 mins

If you run you are a runner.

Jog icon
40 mins

11 REST

Easy jog icon
20 mins

REST

Gentle run icon
20 mins

REST

Jog icon
45 mins

REST
12

Gentle run icon
20 mins

Tough times don't last but tough people do.

Steady run icon
20 mins
Spend longer stretching

Slow progress is still progress.

Jog icon
50 mins

13

Easy jog icon
10 mins
To recover from yesterday

Gentle run icon
20 mins
Miss if tired

REST

Easy jog icon
25-30 mins

Three weeks to go!

Easy jog icon
50-60 mins

14 REST

Gentle run icon
25 mins

REST

Steady run icon
15-20 mins

Never give up on something because of how long it will take. Time passes anyway.

Easy jog icon
60-65 mins

15 Start by doing what's necessary, then by doing what's possible. Suddenly you're doing the impossible.

Gentle run icon
20 mins

REST

Easy jog icon
25 mins

REST

Easy jog icon
40 mins

16 REST

Easy jog icon
15-20 mins
Test race kit

REST

Easy jog icon
15 mins
Miss if tired

Well done! Feet up and eat some pasta. You've earned it and the carbs will give you a boost for race day. 10k Race Day
Good luck!

Get equipped

Shoes
It’s important that you wear proper running trainers. Do some research on what will be best for you; visiting a specialist sports footwear retailer is advisable.

Socks
Running socks aim to keep your feet dry from sweat. There are also socks with padding. Both of these help prevent blisters. Socks should be fairly tight fitting, but not too small.

Ladies: Sports bras
You may need to try on a few different styles. The bra should be snug fitting without being uncomfortably tight or creating bulges around the sides. Seek advice in a sports shop should you need further assistance.

Shorts and tights
Running shorts should be comfortable and lightweight. Make sure shorts aren’t so tight that they cut off circulation or so loose that they move around or risk falling down! Running tights are advisable in colder weather. They hug the legs, keeping you warmer and stop wind and rain affecting your legs, reducing muscle injury.

Running tops
Should be reasonably tight but not figure-hugging. They feel lighter but have the properties to keep you warm or cool depending on when you wear them. Cuffs on long-sleeve shirts will stop the arms from riding up. When the weather gets wet it is advisable to run in a waterproof top to keep you warm and dry.

Stretching

How to stretch

Here's a few stretches you can do. Search online or talk to a specialist about other ways you can limber up.

Quadriceps stretching Quadriceps:
Whilst standing, pick up your right ankle with your right hand and pull towards your buttocks, ensuring your knees stay close together. Repeat with left leg.
Calf stretches Calf:
With feet hip-width apart, follow the diagram to place arms on wall and step backward on one leg. Keep both feet flat on the floor, back leg straight, front knee bent and hips forward. Repeat with other leg behind.
Shoulder stretches Shoulders:
Individually rotate each shoulder backwards and forwards gently for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with both shoulders together. Next, pull your arm behind your head as shown and gently pull the elbow down towards your back. Repeat on other arm.
Back stretches Back:
With feet hip-width apart, keep your knees soft/not locked straight, interlock fingers and push out with your palms outwards and head looking down to feel the stretch in your back.
Chest stretches Chest:
Place your hands on the lower part of your back and gently move your elbows towards each other behind your back until you feel a slight pull.
Hip and thigh stretches Hip and thigh:
Lie on your back and bring one knee up and pull close to your chest, keeping your other leg stretched out. Repeat with other leg.
Spine and trunk stretches Spine and trunk:
Sit on the floor, legs outstretched and raise your right foot and place it beside the left side of your left knee. Stretch your body round to the right, using your left arm to push against your right leg and further your stretch. Remember to sit up straight and keep your shoulders down. Repeat with other leg.
  • Relax both physically and mentally, to achieve maximum benefits.
  • Ease into the stretch gradually and as soon as you feel slight tension, hold that position. Stretching should be a comfortable tension, it shouldn’t hurt. Hold stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Relaxed breathing will reduce muscular tension.
  • Rest for 30 seconds before repeating a stretch or moving on to the next one.

Give us a call...

For confidential support and advice call 0800 056 2424 Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm