8 – 9 week training schedule for beginners aiming to do one loop of the Neon Night Walk.
The 8km track at Porirua is probably roughly equivalent to 10- 12km on the flat on pavement.
A 10K walk is a common distance for charity runs and walks. Most walkers complete a 10K walk in 90 minutes to two hours. Here is a training schedule to get you from the couch to the finish line, feeling great.
Hills and steps – for the Neon Night Walk – recommend including some hills in your walks and take the stairs at work for at least 2-4 floors, as this will be good practice for the steps on the trail.
Shoes – You will need a good pair of trainers or walking shoes with good grip – the Neon Night Walk is on a trail, and whilst it is well maintained it has a rougher more uneven surface than the pavement.
Make sure your train in what you will wear on your feet the night.
Torch or head light – if you plan on walking in the dark or even if you start in the first wave at 5.30pm and aren’t sure you will do the course in 2 hours, eg you plan on stopping at the top and admiring the view!
Wellington, Porirua and Hutt Valley have loads of great walking tracks to practise on, and its much more enjoyable than walking on pavement!
10K Beginner Training Goals
Walk the track in two hours or less.
Improve your walking technique and walking posture.
Feel great after finishing
10K Beginner Prerequisites
The schedule is designed for people who haven’t started fitness walking but who don’t have major health issues. If you have a significant health condition, consider seeking medical advice before starting a fitness program.
The Beginner 10K Walk Training Schedule
You will first work on increasing your time spent walking and improving your walking form. Working on speed comes later.
The within-week walks will provide the minimum recommended moderate aerobic exercise time each week just to maintain health. You may wish to also do strength workouts on alternate days, which is recommended for health.
One day each week is a longer mileage-building day which will help you develop endurance and toughen your feet to prevent blisters.
Complete each week and assess whether you feel good enough to progress to the next week. It’s wise to repeat a week if you fall behind or you found it too challenging.
Week 1: Start Walking
Workouts: 15-minute walks at an easy pace, aiming for a total of 60 to 75 minutes for the first week.
Schedule: 5 days. Alternate rest days within the week, don’t skip more than one day so you can develop consistency.
Shin Splints: You may feel pain in your shins when you first start a walking program. This is common. See how to prevent and treat shin splints. https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-prevent-and-treat-shin-splints-3432863
Week 2: Improve Your Walking Technique
Workouts: Increase walking workout time to 20 minutes on four days per week.
The fifth walking day is a mileage-building day with a walk of 30 minutes.
Walking Technique: Good walking posture and the correct use of foot strike, stride, push off and arm motion will boost your walking speed and fitness benefits.
Week 3: Moderate-Intensity Walking
Workouts: Increase walking workout time to 25 minutes, four days a week.
Mileage-Building Day: On your fifth walking day, walk for 45 minutes.
Walk at a brisk pace to bring your heart rate into the moderate intensity zone.
Your breath will be faster than usual
You should still be able to talk but it would be difficult to sing.
Gear up for continued walking improvement with performance walking shoes and socks. This will help prevent blisters for longer walks.
Week 4: Building Mileage
Workouts: Increase walking workout time to 30 minutes, 4 days a week, at a moderate pace.
Mileage-Building Day: Walk for 60 minutes at a moderate/easy pace.
Water: For walks over 30 minutes, carry water or stop at a water fountain.
Week 5: Work on Speed
Workouts: Walk 30 minutes a day, four days a week.
Mileage-Building Day: Walk 90 minutes at an easy to moderate pace.
Building speed: Use your 30-minute walks to improve speed using better walking form. Using good arm motion can boost walking speed. Use this tutorial on fast walking technique
Week 6: 10K
Workouts: Walk 30 minutes per day, four days a week, working on walking technique and speed.
Mileage-Building Day: Your long walk this week should be 10 km at a moderate pace. If you are already a fast walker, you may have achieved that with the 90 minute walk. This week, measure a route that is 10 km and walk a moderate pace.
Weeks 7 and 8: Add Interval Walking Workouts
Use your 30-minute workout days to do higher intensity interval workouts. This will build aerobic fitness and improve your speed.
Interval Workouts: One Economy Walk each week for speed-building. One Anaerobic Threshold Walk each week for aerobic fitness. Use your other walking days as recovery health walk days at an easier pace.
Mileage-Building Day: Walk 120 minutes at a moderate pace. This may mean that you walk more than 10 km which will help your endurance during the 10K walk.
Week 9 and Beyond
Simulate a 10K race on your long walk every other week before your 10K race. Walk at 80 percent of your race pace instead of walking at an easy pace.
On the alternate week, increase the distance of your long walk steadily while walking at an easy pace throughout it. Add 15 minutes to the time, increasing it steadily every two weeks. This will build your endurance for the 10K and before you know it, you will be seeking out half marathons!
Now you can hold your head high at the Neon Night Walk/Run.