12 km Training Guide (Beginner – 8 Weeks)
This training guide will get you running 12 km in 8 weeks, one step at a time.
Don’t forget to stretch! It’s important to start each training session with some stretches and gentle movement to prepare your body for your workout. After your session, cool down with more stretches to help with recovery.
If you’re pretty comfortable running 5 km and want to challenge yourself to run further, this is the guide for you. Over 8 weeks, you’ll build the endurance you need to complete 12 km feeling strong.
Remember that everyone is different, and your base level of fitness may vary. This training guide is just that – a guide – so listen to your body, and feel free to adjust your plan a little to make it work for you.
If you are still new to running and the first few weeks feel too challenging, consider trying the 10 km or even 5 km plan first, and give yourself a strong base to work from.
You don’t need to go too hard, too soon – that’s what demotivates people and puts you at risk of injury. Build your way into it.
Training days explained
Stretch + strengthen: In this guide, stretching and some strength training is scheduled for Mondays, following your long run on Sundays. Strength training could include bodyweight exercises like push ups, chin-ups or dips, or light weights with high reps at your local gym. This guide also recommends strength training following your Thursday session.
Rest: Rest days are an important part of your training. They give you an opportunity for your body to recover and your muscles to build in strength. Don’t be tempted to skip your recovery days – giving your body a rest will lead to better results in the long run.
Run: The trick is not to worry about speed. In general, try to run at a pace that allows you to comfortably hold a conversation. Find a pace that allows you to finish the distance of the session, or as close to it as you can.
Cross-training: On cross-training days, complete your choice of workout – like biking, swimming, walking or a group fitness class at the gym. The variety will help your overall conditioning and allow you to stay active, while having a break from running.
Long runs: The longest runs of this 8 week guide are planned for Sundays, but if Saturday works better for your schedule you can swap. Long runs are designed to be taken slow and to build your endurance, both aerobic and muscular.
Don’t forget to stretch!
It’s important to start each training session with some stretches and gentle movement to prepare your body for your workout. After your session, cool down with more stretches to help with recovery.
Download the full guide here.