Going from 5K to 10K

Recently I had a darling friend ask for advice about making the jump from the 5K to the 10K.   Since it’s 5 extra Ks in the distances here are my 5 best tidbits of advice for anyone who might be ready to take the next, longer race distance on.


this is me making my 10K PR a reality this past November.  just a little joyful.


  1. Run your first 5K race and feel comfortable doing it. I really randomly decided it was time to run a 10K after I had been back at running for about a year.  It was my first one and I had run so many 5Ks (one as recently as two weeks before) I felt really confident in my ability to double the distance.  I knew what it felt like to pin on a bib, toe the line and get across the finish line.  The mental portion of the race was the most difficult part, but having completed some 5Ks without feeling like I was dying was a huge confident boost.
  2. Increase your training miles slowly.  I’ve read a lot, when anyone is about to tackle a new distance, they should increase their mileage by about 10% each week.  I don’t like percents a whole lot so I like to focus on 2 miles per long run per week.  So if you’re running 2 miles as your long run increase your weekly runs by 1-2 miles and then do 4 miles that long run.  If that seems like too much just try 1.5 or 1 mile.  The bottom line is you need to listen to your body and what feels like too much or not enough and adjust accordingly.
  3. Make sure your shoes are AOK.  If you’ve trained for and run your first 5K chances are you have good running shoes.  If you don’t have good running shoes, now is the time to get yourself to your running store and get fitted.  I know this might seem like a lot for a 10K but trust me, you should NOT have been training for that 5K in the trainers you used to wear to the Pete your sophomore year at Pitt, OK?  We’re not 20 anymore so we have to take good care of the machine and all its parts.  If you DID get new running shoes recently take them back to the running store, make sure they’re wearing well and consider picking up a second pair.  You can switch between the two so they wear longer.
  4. And make sure the rest of your gear is up to par.  Chances are the seasons have changed from your 5K triumph to training for your 10K.  Make sure you have appropriate wicking clothes for the upcoming season — I’m looking at you appropriate capris and shorts for when fall ever decides to arrive.  You don’t have to go nuts either — just get a cute pair of oiselle knickers on sale!
  5. Have fun.  Period.  If you get to the 4th run in your new training and your like man, I really hate this, back off.  If after backing off you’re like man I still hate this then it’s OK to stick with 5Ks for a while.  The reason I love running so much is because it’s fun.  And anytime I’m not having fun, I literally don’t do it.  I’m not talking about like not gutting out a hard work out.  I mean more like never really hitting my stride in a training cycle.  And we’ve ALL been there.  Losing the love is never an option so keep it fun!  Join a training team, find your tribe online with #runchat or email me.  I will always have a fun running story to keep you going.

Are you upping your distance soon?  Any other advice for anyone that is?

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