Beginners Training

The Mathematics behind the 10K Beginner Runner Chart

Today I want to share with you the mathematics behind a training chart to prepare you for running a 10K as a beginner. Rather than following a pre-made chart, I want to share my experience and method for creating a customized chart, without getting lost in complicated paces, especially if you’re a beginner.

Before we begin, we need to consider some key factors: how many times a week you can train, how many weeks you have before your 10K, and what final time goal you want to achieve. For example, let’s say you can train 3 times a week for 6 weeks, and your goal is to complete the 10K in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Key Parameter: Pace Variation

A good preparation requires at least one session a week where you run at a faster pace than usual, while the rest of the workouts should be long enough to be effective but at a slower pace, so you can complete them without issues. To be prepared for and finish this shorter but more challenging workout, remember you can alternate your pace between minutes, without overdoing it, but always remembering that the goal is to complete the training session so, if necessary, slow down.

Let’s Create the Chart Mathematically

Let’s start with your final time goal: 90 minutes. Divide this time by two: 90/2, which gives us 45 minutes. These will be the maximum running minutes you’ll do in a single run the week before the race, but also overall during the race week itself. So, in the race week, you’ll run a maximum of 30 minutes and 15 minutes to prepare for the 90-minute race.

In the week before the race, you’ll have two 45-minute training sessions and one “fast” session of 25 minutes (the 30′ mentioned before minus 5′, and make sure to include a thorough warm-up). Continuing to calculate backward, subtracting 5 minutes (or even 10 minutes for longer sessions), you’ll arrive at the first week.

The chart builds itself by following these mathematical principles, but remember it’s not necessary to be too precise. Trust your instincts and listen to your body. If you run more than three times a week, you can add easy-paced runs by subtracting 5′ from the runs so that the weekly minutes are never too many (I wouldn’t go beyond one and a half times the final race time, so in our example 90’*1.5=135′ total).

Enjoy and Keep Motivated

Remember, while reaching the 10K finish line is incredibly rewarding, the journey that takes you there is equally important. Don’t get discouraged if one day the workout doesn’t go as planned. The important thing is to enjoy the process and keep your passion for running alive.

Here’s your Chart:

  • Week 6: (30′) (15′) (10K race in 1 hour and 30 minutes)
  • Week 5: (25′ above average) (45′) (45′)
  • Week 4: (20′ above average) (40′) (40′)
  • Week 3: (15′ above average) (35′) (35′)
  • Week 2: (10′ above average) (30′) (30′)
  • Week 1: (10′ above average) (20′) (25′)

Follow this chart as a base, but remember your body is the best coach. Enjoy the process, always give your best, and you’ll see you’ll achieve your goal. Running is a journey, so make sure it’s a path that excites you. Run with passion, and you’ll see how far you can go.

Good luck, future runner!