Base-Building for Your First 10K: The 50-Mile Challenge

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Here's how the weeks ended up playing out:

  • First week: 2.6-mile run, 2.7-mile run 3.7-mile run (total: 9 miles)
  • Second week: 2.3-mile run, 2.6-mile run, 3-mile run, 4-mile run (total: 11.9 miles)
  • Third week: 2.3-mile run, 2.6-mile run, 2.3-mile run, 5-mile run (total: 12.2 miles)
  • Fourth week: 3.6-mile run, 2.6-mile run, 3.7-mile run, 2.6-mile run, (total: 12.5 miles)
  • Fifth week: 2.6-mile run, 5-mile run (total: 7.6 miles)

The month ended in the middle of the fifth week, and so did the challenge. I ended up running 53.2 miles, hitting my goal in the middle of my last run on the last day of the month.

More: Hit the Treadmill for a Fast 10K

It was one of the more enjoyable periods of training I've ever had. Every single run chipped away at the goal, so every one felt meaningful and necessary. Motivation wasn't a problem the entire month. I ended up running about four days a week, and the normal busyness of work, family and friends didn't deter me from getting out the door. I had a challenge to meet.

My 10K was three weeks after the 50-mile challenge wrapped up. With my base established, I was able to do a 6-mile run and a 7-mile run before the 10K. I also mixed in a little speed work (though not as much as I should have!). When race day rolled around, I felt good throughout, and blazed to the finish line with a time I was really happy with.

It's obviously a simple plan, maybe too simple for a lot of runners. But if your first 10K is looming and you don't know how to conquer the training, try the 50-mile challenge and you'll be off to a great start.

More: How to Go From 5K to 10K

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