Running in Qatar; my plan for the Doha College 2017 10km Race

Right now I am training to run a 10k race here in Doha.  Yep, I have a 10k race running plan in action and I am raring to go.

The last time I ran a 10k race was all the way back in 2014, heck the last time I RAN 10k was back then.  That was nearly THREE years ago.

Yet, one more baby later, here I am again.  Signed up ready to do the Doha College 10k race on the 17th of November.

Except I’m not ready.  I’m a long way from ready.

Lucky for me my husband has spent the summer marathon training here in the heat of Doha, with a calf injury and some minor surgery putting him out of contention for the Budapest marathon he was due to run this month, he has turned his attention to me.  And my 10k race running plan or lack thereof.

After my first step of running wildly on a treadmill, having a mental block at running for any longer than 90 seconds, stopping it and walking.  I first downloaded a plan called “Bridge to 10k” which aims on increasing your plodding distance.

I completed week one.  Three times last week I’ve went out.  I walked the 5 minutes to our local park, then ran for 10 minutes, walked for 1 minute, repeated four times, before walking the 5 minutes back home.

Plodding along

Distances of 6.05km, 6.15km and 5.93km covered.  All at various points of the day ranging from the cooler evening to the sun blaring down in the morning (that would have been the 5.93km run….)

All of them a long way off 10km.  All of them leaving me feeling that I couldn’t take another step.  More than that, all of them a long way off the time that I would actually want to do.

My first, last, and only 10km race I ran in a time of 1h02m04s and I’d love to beat that.  More than that, I would love to come in at under an hour.

At the moment if I keep going at the pace I’m going I’m looking at 1h10m PLUS.

I know that I have it in me to run faster and part of my problem at the moment, other than lack of fitness, is that it is HOT here.  I mean scorching.  My morning run, where I finished by 8am, was at a temperature of 33°.

That is hot.

Enter my husband

With his marathon planning genius behind him he set to work on setting me a 10k race running plan.

Apparently plodding away for however long each week was all well and good, but it wasn’t specific enough to target what I actually needed to do.

It would get miles in my legs, which apparently is very important, but it wouldn’t be consistent nor would it improve my speed.

Which I wanted to do.

So he set about writing a plan that would take my shuffle from an average pace of 7:15 min/km on a good day, giving a time of 1h 12m 30s to a running plan that should see me complete the race in 1h 05m.

Again, this is slower than my ideal.  It’s also slower than my previous race of 1h 02m 04s where I ran an average pace of 6:12 min/km.

BUT it’s a plan.  And it’s a start.

The 10k race running plan

What he has done for me is work on a four day on, three day off week.  Mixing up all the runs to include the following:

  • Fast run
  • Interval run
  • Distance run
  • Recovery run

Which apparently will mean that my legs, and my pace, will thank me.

Two runs into it and he’s shouting at me for not following the pace set, but I felt good so I sped up.  Which apparently isn’t the point on a recovery run.  But still.

Already I can see progress.  I’m not sure if it is the mental idea of following a running plan, or the fact that I’m coming home to report on my progress, or indeed just the fact that someone believes I can do it.  But instead of running for 10 minutes and being desperate to walk I am running for 35-40 minutes.


Tomtom Running watch
My longest run at my fastest pace captured by TomTom Cardio Spark*

And yes, others might be faster.  Yes, others might be running further.

But this is my goal.  My accomplishment.

And I’m excited.

My personal 10k race running plan**

10k race running plan


*I use a TomTom Cardio Spark to map and record my running.  So often I felt that as a beginner runner I didn’t need a fancy GPS watch, yet it has been invaluable to me – and definitely makes it to my essentials for a beginner runner!

My 10km race running plan


**Please note this is my husbands plan that he tailored to me and my abilities.  This is not an official running plan, nor affiliated with any fitness program. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.


  1. October 12, 2017 / 9:21 am

    OMG I’m so excited for you!! I am aiming to eventually run a 5K! Yes, starting off with the basics! My kids regularly participate in these runs, but I have never managed to. I think I need a running coach. I’ve tried running outdoors, with the C25K app, but with the weather and lack of training, it is seeming very hard.
    Where do you run? I’m usually at Aspire Park. There are some other series if you are interested in taking part. Look up Qatar Running Series by Z-Adventures.

    • Laura
      October 12, 2017 / 9:34 am

      I tried the C25k and got fed up, I think once you manage it once you realise you can do it and then you just force yourself. It helps that my husband runs marathons and runs for fun (!!) with the Doha Bay Running Club so seeing him go off and run helps to motivate me somewhat.

      The weather is still brutally hot, but I’m finding it much better once the sun has gone down.

      I run at Aspire too – for now it’s right by where we live (though we move next week!) so it’s easy!

  2. November 23, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    This is awesome! I am about to move to Doha and I would like to participate in a 10k race in January. I was wondering in what time of the day to train and where!!!?? Do you have some recommendation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.