Friday, 15 November 2013

How Long - part 1 (to be able to run a 10K)

For the last few weeks I have noticed a lot of people ask me one question
How long did it take to lose all your weight?
How long did it take for you to be able to run 10k?
How long did it take for you get used to eating healthy?
How long...

So I have planned to have a series ‘How long??’ starting today with a post about how long did it take for me to be able to run a 10K?

Let’s start from the beginning...
I was not remotely fit, when I first tried jogging I barely managed a few seconds before feeling like I was about to get a heart attack. Then I stopped jogging started doing other workouts, I started walking and finally I joined the gym (all this took a few months)
In the gym I would regularly walk on the treadmill but I still did not jog, I slowly increased my walking pace and then one fine day I tried jogging at my walking pace just to make sure I could jog without falling off. Once I managed this I started ending every 30 minute walk with 2 minutes jog then I worked on increasing this from 2 minutes to 20 minutes. All this took a few months, mainly it took so much time because I was not very consistent with my exercising. Once I reached 20 minutes I started increasing my treadmill speed because  I was still jogging at a fast walking pace when I increased my speed my time reduced, again I worked my way back to 20 minutes at a little faster pace.

At some point in all this I became more consistent, more healthier and I shifted my focus from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Finally after I could manage 30 minutes on the treadmill I started focusing on my distance. A few months in I could manage 5K on the treadmill that’s when I tried running outdoors for the first time, again my mileage went down I stopped more often than expected, it took longer than the treadmill but I finished a 5K

Now I had a new goal, I wanted to finish 5K without stopping and that’s all I focused on, I did not focus on time just focused on finishing 5K without walking. Once I got this done I went back to the treadmill (big mistake) and I stuck to the gym for sometime till one of the trainers in the gym suggested a 10K run. I always wanted to start racing but did not ever have the courage so when she suggested it I signed up and that’s when 10k became my new goal.

This time I had distance and time in my mind, I went online looked for 10k plans. I had 6 weeks to move from being a treadmill bug to running outside and to increase my mileage from 5K to 10K.I used the following plan . I did make some adjustments but this helped me complete my first 10k run (I ran the whole way, maybe walked a minute or two in between).

So if you consider the time from when I jogged for the first time in my adult life it had taken me more than 1 year to reach 10k, if you consider from the time I became consistent with my workouts it has taken me a 9-10 months and if you consider the time from when I started jogging outside it has taken me around 2 months. Depending on how you plan your workouts you can reduce your time, I know if I would have been more consistent in the beginning and if I would have stuck to proper running plan I would have managed the 10k earlier.

In short if you want to know how long it will take you to run a 10k some things to consider are
1.    Your initial fitness level (how many minutes or km can you already run without feeling uncomfortable?)
2.    How many days can you dedicate for your runs & how consistently you follow your plan
3.    Your fitness goal – do you aim at finishing it in a fixed time? Do you want to complete a walk/jog run?
4.     Based on all this it can vary from as much as 1 year to just a few weeks
I know if you are looking for fixed time you would be disappointed but this is what I feel. I would love to hear your experience.
Have a great weekend :)
Keep Reading I will Keep Writing 


  1. It's nice that you shared your progress, Tanvee! I agree that it depends on a lot of factors. There are things you thought would be a challenge, that end up being manageable (e.g. my asthma), and other things you had not planned that get in the way (e.g. injuries). But with patience and commitment, you get to your goal! Keep running! :-)

    1. I never thought of injuries and other health challenges, thanks for mentioning those :)

  2. The old saying 'don't run before you can walk' comes to mind.

    I think any changes to fitness should be gradual, especially the older you are, life isn't a race, set yourself an achievable target or goal and go for it !!

    Thanks for sharing

    All the best Jan

    1. have to start slow and make small manageable changes

  3. Wow! You write so well! I agree with you each has their own pace and fitness level.

  4. Running certainly does not come easily, well at least for me. You did the hard work and commitment and it paid off!

    1. no activity ever came easily to me..I always preferred sitting around but after all the effort and hard work I am surprised at how much I enjoy my runs :)

  5. Wow - this is really helpful and motivating.

  6. As an artist, the worst question I get is "How long did it take you to do that?" Every artist knows that for the most part, the time is irrelevant. The best artist I know answers it by saying, "All my life!"

    1. so true...the journey is lifelong and there will always be ways to improve and become better

  7. Although I never intend to do a 10k it will be every useful for any long long run. Happy weekend.

    1. thanks Gopinath, Hope you had a good weekend too