Couch to 10K Training Plan – Week 6


Couch to Central Health Derby 10K Week 6 – Base Training Finishes as we approach the 8 Week Countdown!

We’re coming to the end of base training this week which has made up the first half of our Couch to 10K plan. The aim of this half has been to build up fitness and endurance before we begin ‘peak training’ in the lead-up to the race.

Your training pattern should be pretty regular by now and the small increments in runs should be allowing your body to recover. Andy, our coach, explains more in the outline of this week’s plan.

If you’ve been following the plan and haven’t got your Central Health Derby 10K entry in yet you’ve only got a month so don’t hang around! We’re looking forward to seeing you all on race day, but firstly at our Race Ready Evening at Central Health’s main treatment and rehab facility, 70 Nottingham Road, Spondon, on 15th March from 5.00-8.00pm. Make sure the date is in your diary! Leading physiotherapists, Sporting Futures event staff and Andy Brookes our coach will all be present to answer any pre-race questions regarding training, the event or injuries if they’ve been affecting you.

Week 6 

If you’ve been following our training plan, congratulations! You’ve made it to the last week of the ‘base training’ phase. We hope this will have given you a solid foundation for the ‘peak training’ phase which starts next week. And, it’s certainly time to take a moment to reflect back on the progress you’ve made so far, and give yourself a big pat on the back.

In case you have been wondering about the logic behind the training sessions we’ve suggested so far, now is perhaps a good time to give a little explanation. To start with it’s perhaps worth understanding that the best measure of fitness isn’t how much you can do, but how quickly you can recover to do it again.

For some beginners, going out and running for an hour on the first training session may be possible but, if they’re so sore they can barely walk for the next few days, it’s clearly not a wise thing to do. Our plan is therefore designed to build you up in manageable increments with adequate recovery, whilst getting you out training consistently – which is the most important factor.

Having walking breaks in the early stages may feel a bit frustrating for some. But, as well as being necessary for beginners to get their breath back, there are other benefits to fitness. They help the body become more efficient at recovering quickly and, as the legs are still moving, continue to work the body’s aerobic system.

Many of you will have found that the first one or two running segments in a training session are the hardest, and then it starts to feel a little easier. This is because the body is a bit like a diesel engine; it creaks and groans a bit when you first start it up but, once fully warmed up, it cruises along smoothly and efficiently. This is why we tend to start with shorter running segments, before progressing to the longer ones.  It ensures your body is thoroughly warmed up and has reached operating temperature, before embarking on the hardest part of the session.

We also consider the brain as well as the body. We find that structuring the sessions this way helps to ensure you pace yourself and do not go too hard too soon, because your brain knows what there is to come. Also, finishing your week with the longest continuous running segment will hopefully show you that you’re really making progress, feel good about yourself, and be motivated for the following week’s training.

Week 6 Recommended Training Sessions

  • Session 1

Warm Up

5 minutes brisk walking

Main Session

Run 5 mins, walk 2 mins: twice

Run 8 mins, walk 4 mins: twice

Total running time = 26 mins

Cool Down

5 minutes walking, gradually reducing pace

Total Time 44mins

  • Session 2

Warm Up

5 minutes brisk walking

Main Session

Run 5 mins, walk 2 mins

Run 8 mins, walk 4 mins: twice

Total running time = 21 mins

Cool Down

5 minutes walking, gradually reducing pace

Total Time 37 mins

  • Session 3

Warm Up

10 minutes brisk walking

Main Session

Run 5 mins, walk 1 min

Run 7 mins, walk 2 mins: twice

Run 10 mins

Total running time = 31 mins

Cool Down

10 minutes walking, gradually reducing pace

Total Time 54 mins

Additional activity – Strengthening Exercises

This week, we recommend that you continue to do the exercises from week 4, and add a couple of new exercise, such as the ones below:


Lie flat on your front with your arms out in front.

Raise one leg and the alternate arm a few inches off the ground.

Hold the position at the highest point for 1-2 seconds and slowly lower back down. Repeat with the other leg/arm.

Superman (or Bird Dog) 

Kneel on all fours with your knees directly below your hips and arms directly below your shoulders.

Straighten one leg out behind you and the opposite arm in front of you as shown.

Hold the position for 1-2 seconds and slowly lower leg and arm back down. Repeat with the other leg/arm.

Read advice on ‘Dealing with Running Injuries’ here



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