Training For A 10k Race On A Treadmill (For Beginners)

Woman training on a treadmill for a 10k


By Simon Gould

A 10k race is a bit more of a challenge than 5k. You’ll be running 6.2 miles and you’ll be running 30+ minutes. Practising on a treadmill means you’ll be able to do some race pace running or faster This will help you get a good time. This plan assumes you can run for around 20 minutes so you already have a fitness level you’ve achieved.

The 10k treadmill plan

This plan will have you running a combination of mileage and time spent running. The time spent running will be the Sunday run and is your longest run of the week. All runs are done on treadmills except I encourage you to try and do 1 run outside per week. This is especially important leading up to the race. I’ve used some abbreviations so the key below will tell you what they stand for.


  • CT – This is a cross training day. You still need to do a cardio workout but the equipment changes. Try an elliptical, bike or swim on these days.
  • O – This means try and do this run outside. I recommend one a week or more if possible.
  • RP – Run at race pace or faster when you see these initials on a day. This will help improve your time.

Week 1 to 4

Tue1 mile O2 miles O2.5 miles O3 miles O
Thu1 mile RP1.5 miles RP2 miles RP2.5 miles RP
Sun20 min30 min40 min50 min

Week 5 to 8

Tue3.5 miles O4 miles O4 miles O3 miles O
Thu1 mile RP1.5 miles RP2 miles RP2.5 miles RP
Sun60 min70 min45 min10k Race!

As you can see this builds you up slowly from someone who can run for around 20 minutes, to a full 10k or 6.2 miles in 8 weeks. If you can’t run for 20 minutes then add a few weeks by running for 5 or 10 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Increase that by 5 minutes every week till you reach 20. Then follow this 10k plan.

How fast do I go?

If you’re new to running and this is your first race. Then I recommend jogging between 4 and 6 mph. If you go at 5.3 mph, you’ll do 10k in 70 minutes. Make sure you go at a pace where you can run for the whole 10k without need to stop and walk. Most beginners run too fast. Set the treadmill to a comfortable speed and this may quicken as the weeks go by in your training.

You’re likely to run slightly slower outside than you do on your treadmill. Beginners tend to run too fast. Don’t do this or compare yourself to others. Run at a speed you’re comfortable with. Ultimately, you’re really running against yourself and your achievement when you finish the race will be your own. Don’t bother with any incline.

What to do on race day

If this is one of your first few races, don’t worry about your speed or time. Completing it should be your aim. For some people it takes some practice not to even walk part of the 10k race. Take it slowly, finish the race. Find out what time you did, you should be told at the finish line. Then it’s something for you to beat in future.

Make sure you hydrate well during your training and the race. Don’t eat a main meal sooner than 2 hours before your runs. Make sure you have good running shoes that fit well and aren’t old. When on the treadmill, think about having good posture, don’t look down or hold onto the handrails. Don’t abruptly change any of your running gear for the race. Stick to what you’re used to.


There it is the 8 week plan to 10k. It’s suitable for all runners really, not just beginners. On race day, at the end, go for an energy gel or protein bar especially if it takes you 45 minutes or more. You need to replenish your energy. Take a few days of rest afterwards. Lay back and enjoy your accomplishment. Then see what more you can achieve.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.

Similar Posts