If you've ever tasted the rewards of endurance and determination that come with running a competitive race, you're probably intent on doing it again and getting even better at it. The thrill is exhilarating for competitive runners. This is perfectly healthy. Running is a great way to get fit and stay in shape, so it's good to pursue that competitive instinct and continue to challenge yourself.
Of course, training comes in stages. If you've never run a 10K before, this article isn't for you; you should check out How to Train for Your First 10K. If you are already an athletic person, you might assume that you're ready to jump ahead, but that would be a mistake. Running takes patience and baby steps to gradual success. The proverb "slow and steady wins the race" couldn't be more appropriate. If you start off with expectations that you can't meet, you set yourself up for physical and emotional injury. Foot, leg and knee injuries are common for inexperienced runners who take on a training program they aren't ready for. But also, your ego will be hurt if you find you can't accomplish what you set out to do. So, in other words, don't bite off more than you can chew.
However, if you have gone through at least one season of beginners' race training and have completed a few 5Ks and at least one 10K race, you're probably ready for the intermediate level. If you fit this description, you probably ran the first 10K with the main objective to simply finish. And if you did finish, you deserve a hearty congratulations -- it's a significant personal accomplishment.
Now, you're probably ready to race not just in order to finish, but to improve your time, stamina and endurance. These are goals that a good intermediate training program will help you accomplish. But, as at all stages, you will still need to improve gradually to avoid discouragement and injury.
Read on to see what an intermediate 10K training schedule may look like.