10K Walk Training Schedule for Beginners

Walkers at Event

kristian sekulic / E+ / Getty Images

A 10-kilometer (10K) walk is 6.2 miles long. It is a common distance for charity runs and walks and the standard distance for volkssport walks. Most walkers complete a 10K walk in 90 minutes to two hours. Here is a training schedule to get you from the couch to the finish line, feeling great.

10K Beginner Training Schedule Goals

  • Walk 10K (6.2 miles) in two hours or less
  • Improve walking technique and walking posture
  • Feel great after finishing a 10K walk

10K Beginner Prerequisites

The schedule is designed for people who haven't started fitness walking and who don't have major health issues. If you have a significant health condition, seek medical advice before starting a fitness program. To track your progress during your training program, try the pace calculator.

Beginner 10K Walk Training Schedule

You will first work on increasing your time spent walking and improving your walking form. Working on speed comes later. One day each week is a longer mileage-building day which will help you develop endurance and toughen your feet to prevent blisters.

As you progress, the walks will provide the minimum recommended moderate aerobic exercise time each week just to maintain health. You may wish to also do strength workouts on alternate days, which is recommended for overall health and fitness. It can improve your walking performance, too.

Complete each week and assess whether you feel good enough to progress to the next week. It's wise to repeat a week if you fall behind or you found it too challenging.

Week 1: Start Walking

You may feel some muscle aches when you first when you first start a walking program. This is common. Ease into your walking program and be sure to incorporate rest days.

  • Workouts: 15-minute walks at an easy pace, aiming for a total of 60 to 75 minutes for the week.
  • Schedule: 5 days. Alternate rest days within the week, but don't skip more than one day so you can develop consistency.

Week 2: Improve Your Walking Technique

Good walking technique and posture and the correct use of foot strike, stride, push off, and arm motion will boost your walking speed and fitness benefits. 

  • Workouts: Increase walking workout time to 20 minutes on four days per week.
  • Schedule: The fifth walking day is a mileage-building day with a walk of 30 minutes.

Week 3: Moderate-Intensity Walking

Gear up for continued walking improvement with performance walking shoes and socks. Investing in this gear will help prevent blisters for longer walks. 

  • Workouts: Increase walking workout time to 25 minutes, four days a week.
  • Schedule: On your fifth walking day, walk for 45 minutes. Walk at a brisk pace to bring your heart rate into the moderate intensity zone. Your breath will be faster than usual. You should still be able to talk, but it would be difficult to sing.

Week 4: Building Mileage

Now that you are walking longer and faster, you may experience a hot spot or blister. Learn how to prevent and treat blisters.

  • Workouts: Increase walking workout time to 30 minutes, 4 days a week, at a moderate pace.
  • Schedule: On the fifth day, walk for 60 minutes at a moderate/easy pace to build mileage.

Prepare for your walk by drinking a tall glass of water (17 ounces or 500 milliliters) two hours before you head out. During your walk, do a mental "thirst-check" every 15 minutes or so. If you are thirsty, consume enough water to make you feel comfortable.

Week 5: Work on Speed

Use your 30-minute walks to improve speed using better walking form. Using good arm motion can boost walking speed.

  • Workouts: Walk 30 minutes a day, four days a week.
  • Schedule: On your fifth workout day, walk 75 minutes at an easy to moderate pace.

Week 6: Build Mileage

Continue to use your your 30-minute walks to improve speed and practice good walking form. The challenge this week will be to increase your endurance with a longer walk.

  • Workouts: Walk 30 minutes a day, four days a week.
  • Schedule: On mileage-building day, walk for 90 minutes at an easy to moderate pace.

Week 7: Walk a 10K

This week, measure a route that is 10 kilometers and walk the full distance at a moderate pace on mileage-building day.

  • Workouts: Walk 30 minutes per day, four days a week, working on walking technique and speed.
  • Schedule: Your long walk this week should be 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) at a moderate pace. If you are already a fast walker, you may be able to achieve that in about 90 minutes.

At this point you're ready to do a 10K event as long as you can complete the distance within the event's time limit. If not, or if you want to improve your performance, continue following the training plan to further increase your speed and endurance.

Week 8 Week 9: Add Interval Workouts

Use your 30-minute workout days to do higher intensity interval workouts. This will build aerobic fitness and improve your speed.

  • Workouts: Turn two of your 30-minute walks this week into interval workouts. After you warm-up, walk as fast as you can for 30-60 seconds and then recover at a moderate pace for 1-2 minutes. Repeat for 30 minutes.
  • Schedule: On your mileage-building day, walk 105 minutes (during week 8) or 120 minutes (week 9) at a moderate pace. This may mean that you walk more than 10 kilometers, which will help your endurance during the 10K walk.

Week 10 and Beyond

Simulate a 10K race on your long walk every other week before your 10K race. Walk at 80% of your race pace instead of walking at an easy pace.

On the alternate week, increase the distance of your long walk steadily while walking at an easy pace throughout. Add 15 minutes to the time, increasing it steadily every two weeks. This will build your endurance for the 10K. Before you know it, you will be seeking out half-marathons and dreaming of walking a marathon.

Was this page helpful?