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How to Train for a 10k on the Treadmill

If you’re reading this article, it means you have already started running a few months ago. I am sure it was extremely difficult at the beginning, but consequent training and ambition got you to your first milestone: finishing a 5k.

Completing a 5k is not an easy milestone to reach. Most beginners give up running from their first weeks of training. So congratulations, you are now an official runner.

But it is time to set higher goals for you and reach the next milestone: completing a 10k race. I know a 10k race is not as easy as a walk in the park, but it’s doable. And anyone can do it if they train correctly.

As a runner, I have a routine which helps me train. I first use the treadmill to prepare for a goal (it can be a 5k, a 10 k, a marathon). Then I test my new skills outside.

Why I prefer treadmills? First of all, it’s easier to run on a treadmill and I see progress faster. Secondly I can follow a training routine on the treadmill with more strictness. And last, but not the least important, it’s very convenient to have the treadmill right in my home.

How did I finish my first 10 k on the treadmill, after I had been able to run a 5 k? It got me around 8 weeks to get there, and a strict treadmill workout routine.

10 k Treadmill Workouts focus on completing the 10 k (or 6.2 miles) distance by alternating only incline, because first of all you must build endurance and muscles. After you reach a comfortable zone and you run 10k without any discomfort, then you focus on speed. So, remember, there is no rush to get to the finish line.

When training for a 10 k I use 3-4 days for running and 4-3 days for rest. Rest is extremely important and that is why I make sure I always alternate a training day with a rest day.

There are 3 treadmill workouts I recommend, each for a different training level.

10k Treadmill Workout – Beginners

For this workout, incline is always set to 0%

Warm up – 4 minutes (at slow pace)
Exercise: Set distance goal to 10k and start running
Cool down – 4 minutes (at slow recovery pace)

You have to try to do this workout at least 2 times a week. At the beginning you will feel the need to stop until you reach the 10k goal. It’s only natural and you should listen to your body.

You can alternate this exercise with Interval workouts (also available in treadmills’ consoles). They help increase your cardio and pulmonary efficiency, which means they can help you maintain your breath and your endurance for longer time.

As you are concentrated to reach your goal, in 4-5 weeks of training you should be able finish this 10k exercise.

The next step is to increase the 10k treadmill workout difficulty, so you can prepare for an outside race.

10k Treadmill Workout – Beginners 2

Warm Up: 2 minutes at 0% incline
Warm Up: 2 minutes at 0.5% incline

Exercise:
Segment 1: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 1% incline
Segment 2: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 0.5% incline
Segment 3: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 1% incline
Segment 4: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 0.5% incline
Segment 5: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 2% incline
Segment 6: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 3% incline
Segment 7: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 2% incline
Segment 8: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 4% incline
Segment 9: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 2% incline
Segment 10: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 3% incline
Segment 11: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 2% incline
Segment 12: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 0.5% incline

You repeat the 1 to 12 segments until you reach the 10k distance (or 6.2 miles).

Cool down: 2 minutes at 0.5% incline
Cool down: 2 minutes at 0%

When you use incline, you simulate outside running better. That is why, when you reach the level where you can finish this workout, you are ready to alternate treadmill training with outside running.

If you want to challenge yourself and finish a 10k at an intermediate level, you can follow this workout routine.

10k Treadmill Workout – Intermediate

Warm Up: 2 minutes at 0.5% incline
Warm Up: 2 minutes at 1% incline

Exercise:
Segment 1: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 1.5% incline
Segment 2: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 1% incline
Segment 3: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 3% incline
Segment 4: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 2.5% incline
Segment 5: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 4% incline
Segment 6: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 5% incline
Segment 7: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 4% incline
Segment 8: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 6% incline
Segment 9: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 4% incline
Segment 10: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 5% incline
Segment 11: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 4% incline
Segment 12: 0.16 km (or 0.01 miles) at 2.5% incline

You repeat the 1 to 12 segments until you reach the 10k distance (or 6.2 miles).

Cool down: 2 minutes at 1% incline
Cool down: 2 minutes at 0.5%

Remember, progress comes in time and running must always be fun. That is why you always have to pay attention to your body’s needs, no matter how bad you want to be ready for a 10k race.

Before and after each workout, always stretch your muscles. This will help preventing unwanted injuries. Try to wear appropriate running shoes, even if you run on a treadmill. And most important, be sure you consult your doctor at the smallest sign of chest pain.

And don’t worry about the right treadmill. These workouts are already preset in Livestrong Treadmills, so all you have to do is buy one for your home. They cost little, have a good warranty and they are efficient.

Happy running!

About the Author:
This is a guest article by Anna, a runner and treadmill tester for RunReviews.com, a website dedicated to treadmill reviews and workouts.

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