On Assignment 10k Training
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015
Commission File Number 000-20540
ON ASSIGNMENT, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
26745 Malibu Hills Road
Calabasas, California 91301
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (818) 878-7900
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
(Title of Class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements of the past 90 days. Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o
Large accelerated filer x
Accelerated filer o
Non-accelerated filer o
Smaller reporting company o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No ý
As of June 30, 2015, the aggregate market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $1,888,588,488.
As of February 22, 2016, the registrant had 53,200,487 outstanding shares of Common Stock, $0.01 par value.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
We are incorporating by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K portions of the registrant’s proxy statement for the 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed within 120 days of the close of the registrant’s fiscal year 2015.
ON ASSIGNMENT, INC.
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SPECIAL NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). Such statements are based upon current expectations, as well as management’s beliefs and assumptions, and involve a high degree of risk and uncertainty. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Statements that include the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” and similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our anticipated financial and operating performance for future periods. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed or suggested in the forward-looking statements herein. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) actual demand for our services; (2) the general political and economic environment; (3) our ability to attract, train and retain qualified staffing consultants; (4) our ability to remain competitive in obtaining and retaining clients; (5) the availability of qualified contract professionals; (6) our ability to manage our growth efficiently and effectively; (7) continued performance and improvement of our enterprise-wide information systems; (8) our ability to manage potential or actual litigation matters; (9) the successful integration of our recently acquired businesses; (10) the successful implementation of our five-year strategic plan; and the factors described in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K ("2015 10-K") under the section titled “Risk Factors.” Other factors also may contribute to the differences between our forward-looking statements and our actual results. In addition, as a result of these and other factors, our past financial performance should not be relied on as an indication of future performance. All forward-looking statements in this document are based on information available to us as of the date we file this 2015 10-K, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or the reasons why our actual results may differ.
Item 1. Business
Overview and History
On Assignment, Inc. (NYSE: ASGN), is a leading global provider of highly skilled, hard-to-find professionals in the growing technology, life sciences, and creative sectors, where quality people are the key to success. We go beyond matching résumés with job descriptions to match people we know into positions we understand, for contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire assignments.
We were incorporated in 1985 and commenced operation of our first contract staffing line of business, Lab Support. Expansion into other professional staffing markets has been achieved through acquisitions and internal growth. The following is a summary of significant acquisitions in the past five years:
On June 5, 2015, we acquired the holding company of Creative Circle, LLC (“Creative Circle”). Creative Circle, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, was purchased to expand the Company’s technical and creative staffing services. Creative Circle is included in the Apex operating segment.
On December 5, 2013, we acquired the holding company of CyberCoders, Inc. ("CyberCoders"), a privately-owned provider of permanent placement services headquartered in Irvine, California. CyberCoders is included in the Oxford operating segment.
On May 15, 2012, we acquired Apex Systems, Inc., now Apex Systems, LLC ("Apex Systems"), a privately-owned provider of information technology staffing and services headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Apex Systems is in the Apex operating segment.
Significant divestitures in the past five years include the sale of our Physician segment on February 1, 2015 and the sale of our Nurse Travel division and our Allied Healthcare division in 2013. In this 2015 10-K, these businesses are presented as discontinued operations in our consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income for all periods presented.
Financial information regarding our operating segments and our domestic and international revenues is included under “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” in Part II, Item 8 of this 2015 10-K.
Our principal office is located at 26745 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas, California 91301 and our telephone number is (818) 878-7900. We have approximately 157 branch offices within the United States and in seven foreign countries.
Industry and Market Dynamics
Based on December 2015 projections, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) estimates total U.S. employment will grow by 9.8 million jobs, or 6.5% percent, between 2014 and 2024. By comparison, under the previous estimate for 2012 to 2022, BLS projected total employment would grow by 15.6 million jobs, or 11% percent. The decrease in projected growth from the prior period is primarily due to the aging of the U.S. population and more people retiring, resulting in a decrease in the labor force participation rate and growth rate.
In their September 2015 Staffing Industry Forecast report, Staffing Industry Analysts (“SIA”) estimated total U.S. staffing industry revenues were $124.9 billion in 2014, and were projected to be $133.9 billion in 2015 and $142.4 billion in 2016. The largest industry segment, temporary staffing, is forecast to grow at an annual rate of six percent in 2016 with revenues of $123.0 billion, while permanent placement is forecast to grow 11 percent in 2016 with revenues of $19.5 billion. Within the temporary segment, professional staffing is expected to grow at an annual rate of seven percent in 2016 to revenues of $68.8 billion. The temporary staffing industry is historically cyclical and typically has a strong correlation to employment and GDP growth.
Specific to the professional temporary staffing markets where On Assignment’s businesses are concentrated, the SIA report projects the U.S. IT and the marketing/creative temporary staffing markets will each increase six percent, engineering/design will increase five percent and clinical/scientific will increase four percent in 2016.
We anticipate clients for our technology, life sciences, and creative staffing services will increase their use of contract labor through professional staffing firms to meet the need for increases in capacity of their workforce. By using outsourced labor, these clients will benefit from cost structure advantages, improved flexibility to address fluctuating demand in business, and access to greater expertise.
We serve our clients by effectively understanding their staffing needs and providing them qualified professionals with the unique combination of skills, experience, and expertise to meet those needs. We believe effective engagements of contract technology, life sciences, and creative professionals require the people involved in making assignments to have significant knowledge of the client’s industry and the ability to assess the specific needs of the client as well as the contract professionals’ qualifications. During the year ended December 31, 2015, we provided contract professionals to approximately 12,500 clients. In 2015, no single client represented more than 5% of our revenues.
When clients use independent contractors, they face the potential risk of worker misclassification and resulting liability of federal and state taxes, wage and hour laws, immigration, diversity, employee rights, and other regulations. That risk can be significantly mitigated and clients can stay compliant with ever-changing employment laws and regulations by working with a reputable staffing firm like On Assignment.
Our clients set rigorous requirements for the talent they are seeking, and we use our extensive database and deep relationships with our contract professionals to quickly identify and pre-screen candidates whose qualifications meet those requirements. We are responsible for recruiting, verifying credentials, hiring, training, administering pay and benefits, and compliance. Clients select the candidate and control and direct the work of contract professionals and approve hours worked. Once on their assignment, contract professionals are generally our employees, although clients provide on-the-job supervision of these professionals.
The candidates we recruit are technical, scientific, and creative professionals looking for either contract work or permanent placement opportunities.
Hourly wage or contract rates for our contract professionals are established based on their specific skills and whether or not the assignment involves travel away from their primary residence. For our contract employees, we pay the related costs of employment including social security taxes, federal and state unemployment taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, and other similar costs. After achieving minimum service periods and/or hours worked, our contract employees are offered access to medical and other voluntary benefit programs (e.g., dental, vision, disability) and the right to participate in our 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan. Each contract professional’s employment relationship with us is terminable at will.
Professionals looking for a permanent placement may apply directly for open positions within a company or partner with a staffing agency to ensure they receive the best opportunities available in their industry. Candidates may work with one or more staffing companies during this process and often develop long-term relationships with their recruiter for future career advancement. Once placed in a permanent position, the professional is paid and receives benefits directly through the employer.
On Assignment’s strategy is to identify, enter and be a dominant player in the most attractive segments of the professional staffing market through acquisition, organic growth and effective execution. Our financial goals are to grow our business to $3.0 billion in revenues by 2018 while maintaining attractive margins and EPS growth. To achieve these goals we will continue our specialization in the large and growing technology, life sciences, and creative segments of the professional staffing market; reinforce our position as a dominant competitor in each; invest primarily in domestic markets; and pursue further disciplined acquisitions.
Our strategic innovation efforts and technology investments focus on putting the best productivity tools in the hands of our Account Executives and Recruiters, and we continue delivering world class services that make working with On Assignment easy for our clients.
We consolidate our corporate support services - finance, accounting, human resources, legal, marketing, and IT - in centralized locations where we can most effectively and efficiently perform these functions, allowing us to leverage our fixed costs and generate higher incremental earnings as our revenues grow. In addition, we invest in leasehold improvements as we expand, relocate, and rationalize our branch facilities to increase the productivity of our staffing consultants.
In 2015, we continued to focus on increasing market share in each of our businesses, expanding our service offerings, and controlling our operating costs. We also substantially added to the number of staffing consultants employed by the company. Over the course of the year, the average number of recruiters and sales personnel we employed increased 16% in our existing businesses, and 22% overall when our June 2015 acquisition of Creative Circle is included.
We compete with other large publicly-held and privately-owned staffing companies on an international, national, regional, and local basis. Each of our businesses has unique competitors, and further details are provided within the Operating Segments section below.
The principal competitive factors in attracting qualified candidates for temporary employment or permanent placements are contract rates, salaries, and benefits; availability and variety of opportunities; quality, duration, and location of assignments; and responsiveness to requests for placement. Many people seeking temporary employment or permanent placements through us are also pursuing employment through other means, including other staffing agencies. Therefore, the speed at which we assign prospective professionals and the availability of attractive and appropriate assignments are important factors in our ability to fill open positions. In addition to having high quality candidates to assign in a timely manner, the principal competitive factors in obtaining and retaining clients in the staffing industry are properly assessing the clients’ specific job requirements, the appropriateness of the professional assigned to the client, the price of services, and monitoring our clients’ satisfaction. Although we believe we compete favorably with respect to these factors, we expect competition to continue to increase.
On Assignment maintains registered trademarks, trade names and service marks in the United States, Canada, the European Community, and various other countries. The current marks and tradenames we have registered include On Assignment®, Apex Systems®, Creative Circle®, CyberCoders®, Lab Support®, LabResource®, Oxford Global Resources®, Oxford International®, Oxford Healthcare IT®, Valesta®, The
Right Talent. Right Now.®, and Because People Are The Future of Technology®. We believe they carry significant value, differentiate our brands in the marketplace, and are important to our business. In addition, we maintain other intangible property rights.
On Assignment provides services through two operating segments, the Apex Segment and the Oxford Segment, with each addressing different sectors of the professional staffing market with distinct business models attuned to those sectors. Businesses in the Apex Segment predominately serve markets with a large and local talent pool, and provide a full range of skills through a network of local offices where clients most value relationship, speed, reliability, and price. Businesses in the Oxford Segment predominately serve markets with higher-end, specialized skills through a combination of national recruiting centers and local offices where clients most value the unique skill of the candidate and speed of response.
The Apex Segment provides a broad spectrum of technical, scientific, and creative professionals for contract, contract-to-hire, and permanent placement positions to Fortune 1000 and mid-market clients across the United States. Our businesses in this segment include Apex Systems, Lab Support, LLC (“Lab Support”), and Creative Circle. Apex Segment revenues for 2015 were $1.5 billion and represented 72.0 percent of our total revenues.
Apex Systems provides IT operations professionals across 13 primary skill disciplines that cover the entire IT project life-cycle, including IT infrastructure, application development, project management, and healthcare IT. These contract professionals encompass a wide variety of backgrounds and levels of experience within information technology. Apex Systems also has a growing Consulting Services group that provides deliverable-based projects to help clients drive better business performance. These service offerings include managed processes, such as support service centers, and managed projects, such as software development. Clients primarily include organizations in the following industries: technology, financial services, healthcare, business services, telecommunications, government services and consumer/industrials. Assignments for Apex Systems typically vary from four to 12 months.
Corporate support services for Apex Systems and Lab Support are based in Richmond, Virginia, and 85 branch offices across the United States and one branch in Canada support our sales, recruiting, and field activities. Competitors include TEKsystems® (Allegis Group Inc.), Randstad Technologies (Randstad Holding N.V.), Insight Global Inc., Experis™ (ManpowerGroup Inc.), and Kforce Inc.
Lab Support provides locally-based contract and permanent life science professionals to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, personal care, chemical, medical device, automotive, municipal, education, and environmental industry clients in North America. Primary client contacts include a mix of end users and process facilitators. End users consist of lab directors, managers and department heads. Facilitators consist of human resource managers, procurement departments and administrators. Scientific professionals include chemists, clinical research associates, clinical lab assistants, engineers, biologists, biochemists, microbiologists, molecular biologists, biostatisticians, drug safety specialists, SAS programmers, medical writers, food scientists, regulatory affairs specialists, lab assistants, and other skilled scientific professionals. Their experience ranges from technicians with entry-level chemistry or biology backgrounds and lab experience to individuals with bachelors and/or master’s degrees and considerable experience. Assignments for Lab Support typically vary from one to six months. Main competitors include ManpowerGroup Inc., Kelly Services Inc., Adecco S.A., Yoh Services LLC, and Allegis Group Inc.
Creative Circle provides creative, marketing, advertising, and digital talent to a wide range of companies in North America. Consumers’ rapidly growing demand for real-time information and services requires an increase in both creative and technical professionals to support these digital platforms. To help our clients effectively respond to this demand, Creative Circle offers talent across the spectrum of traditional advertising and digital marketing skill sets. Creative and digital marketing professionals include account planners and strategists, information architects, content strategists, copywriters, interactive art directors and designers, and front-end developers. Creative Circle’s clients include advertising agencies and company marketing departments in retail, entertainment, technology, food and beverage, education, and other industries. Assignments for Creative Circle typically vary from one to seven weeks. Creative Circle’s corporate support activities are based in Los Angeles, California and field activities are located in 25 branch offices across the United States and one branch in Canada. Main competitors include Aquent LLC, 24 Seven Inc., and The Creative Group (Robert Half Inc.).
The Oxford Segment provides specialized, niche staffing and consulting services in select skill and geographic markets. Our businesses in this segment include Oxford Global Resources, LLC (“Oxford”), CyberCoders, Inc. (“CyberCoders”), and Life Sciences Europe. Segment revenues for 2015 were $578.0 million and represented 28.0 percent of our total revenues.
Oxford Global Resources
Oxford specializes in recruiting and delivering experienced IT, engineering, and regulatory and compliance consultants to clients for temporary assignments. These consultants typically have a great deal of knowledge and experience in specialized technical fields which make them uniquely qualified to fill a given assignment. Our competitive advantage comes from our recruiting-driven business process that results in our ability to respond very quickly with high quality candidates to a client's request, thus Oxford's tagline “The Right Talent. Right Now®.” Demand for Oxford's services is driven by a shortage of experienced consultants with specialized technical skills that organizations need quickly but cannot find on their own. Additionally, the push for adoption of health information technology, compliance with FDA regulations, and increasing digitization of business processes is accelerating the demand for services. Our services are provided to clients in a wide range of industries and range from large companies that may, for example, be installing new enterprise-wide computer systems and have a need for a subject matter expert with a specific technical and industry-specific experience, to small and mid-sized companies, such as a medical device manufacturer who needs a specialized hardware engineer. Assignments for Oxford typically vary from two to eight months.
Oxford's sales and recruiting activities are delivered through eight recruiting centers across the United States and two in Europe, along with 17 local offices serving major metropolitan markets in the United States. Corporate support activities for Oxford and CyberCoders are based in Beverly, Massachusetts. Oxford’s competition varies across their service lines, and includes local, regional and national specialty staffing companies as well as small boutique and large international IT and engineering consulting firms. Examples of Oxford competitors include Accenture PLC, Cap Gemini S.A., Robert Half Technology (Robert Half Inc.), Validant (Kinsale Holdings Inc.), Nordic Consulting Partners Inc., and K2 Partnering Solutions Inc.
CyberCoders specializes in recruiting professionals for permanent placements in engineering, technology, sales, executive, financial, accounting, scientific, legal and operations positions. CyberCoders’ proprietary software and unique matching algorithm combine to deliver an impressive turnaround time for employers and help candidates find jobs that truly fit their background and career goals. Our permanent placements are typically subject to a contingency period; if the candidate leaves the company during the contingency period, we will find a replacement at no cost to the client. Although the contingency period can vary by contract, it is typically 90 days or less. CyberCoders’ is based in Irvine, CA, with sales and recruiting operating from three hub locations in the United States. Other companies that have large permanent placement divisions include Robert Half Inc., Management Recruiters International Inc., Allegis Group Inc., Randstad Holding N.V., and Adecco S.A.
Life Sciences Europe
Life Sciences Europe includes the brands Lab Support, LabResource, and Valesta, which provide locally-based contract and permanent life science professionals to clients with research and development projects in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, personal care, chemical, medical device, automotive, municipal, education and environmental industries. Assignments for Life Sciences Europe typically vary from five to 18 months, although they can be longer. Life Sciences Europe sales and recruiting services are delivered in eight local branch offices in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, and corporate services are based in Cork, Ireland. Competitors include Hays Life Sciences (Korn/Ferry International), Randstad Life Sciences (Randstad Holding N.V.), and Science Recruitment Group Ltd.
At December 31, 2015, we employed approximately 3,320 full-time regular employees, including staffing consultants, regional sales directors, account managers, recruiters and corporate office employees. Throughout 2015 we placed approximately 47,600 contract professionals on assignments with clients. Those assignments varied in length as described in the Operating Segments discussion above.
We take reasonable steps to ensure that our contract professionals possess all current licenses and certifications required for each placement. We provide state mandated workers’ compensation insurance, unemployment insurance and professional liability insurance for our contract professionals who are employees and our regular employees. These expenses have a direct effect on our costs of services, margins and likelihood of achieving or maintaining profitability.
For a further discussion of government regulation associated with our business, see “Risk Factors” within Item 1A of Part I of this 2015 10-K.
Available Information and Access to Reports
We electronically file our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Proxy Statements and all amendments to those reports and statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). You may read and copy any of our reports that are filed with the SEC in the following manner:
At the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at (800) SEC-0330;
At the SEC’s website, http://www.sec.gov;
At our website, http://www.onassignment.com; or
By contacting our Investor Relations Department at (818) 878-7900.
Our reports are available through any of the foregoing means and are available free of charge on our website as soon as practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Also available on our website (http://www.onassignment.com), free of charge, are copies of our Code of Ethics for the Principal Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, Corporate Governance Guidelines and the charters for the committees of our Board of Directors. We intend to disclose any amendment to, or waiver from, a provision of our Code of Ethics for Principal Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers on our website promptly after the amendment or waiver has been granted.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Our business is subject to a number of risks including, but not limited to, the following:
U.S. and global market and economic developments could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In the past few years, global macroeconomic conditions and trends have been uncertain and difficult to predict, particularly within the United States and Europe, which have experienced a period of slow growth and recession, respectively. Demand for our staffing services is significantly affected by the general level of economic activity and employment in the United States and Europe. As economic activity slows, companies may defer projects for which they utilize our services or reduce their use of temporary employees before laying off full-time employees. We may also experience more competitive pricing pressure during periods of economic downturn. Approximately 96 percent of our revenues in 2015 were generated by our business operations in the United States. Any significant economic downturn in the United States or other countries in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Demand for the contract staffing services that we provide is significantly affected by global market and economic conditions. As economic activity slows, particularly any negative effect on research and development, quality control and capital spending, many clients or potential clients reduce their use of and reliance upon contract professionals. During periods of reduced economic activity, we may also be subject to increased competition for market share and pricing pressure. As a result, a recession or periods of reduced economic activity could harm our business and results of operations.
If we are not able to remain competitive in obtaining and retaining temporary staffing clients, our future growth will suffer. Agreements may be terminated by clients and contract professionals at will and the termination of a significant number of such agreements would adversely affect our revenues and results of operations.
The contract staffing industry is highly competitive and fragmented with limited barriers to entry. We compete in national, regional and local markets with full-service agencies, and in regional and local markets with specialized contract staffing agencies. The success of our business depends upon our ability to continually secure new orders from clients and to fill those orders with our contract professionals.
Our agreements with clients do not provide for exclusive use of our services and in some instances we provide services without entering into contracts. As such, clients are free to place orders with our competitors. Each contract professional’s employment or independent contractor’s relationship with us is terminable at will. All contract assignments, regardless of their planned length, may be terminated with limited notice by the client or the contract professional. The duration of agreements with clients are generally dictated by the contract. Usually, contracts with clients may be terminated with 30 day's notice by us or by the clients and, oftentimes, assignments may be terminated with less than one week’s notice. If clients terminate a significant number of our staffing agreements or assignments and we are unable to generate new contract staffing orders to replace lost revenues, or a significant number of our contract professionals terminate their employment with us and we are unable to find suitable replacements, the growth of our business could be adversely affected and our revenues and results of operations could be harmed. As a result, it is imperative to our business that we maintain positive relationships with our clients and contract professionals.
x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
o TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value
New York Stock Exchange
If you’re planning on running your first 10K in the upcoming three to four months, but are a complete beginner, then you’re in the right place.
Yes, three to four months might be all you need to get prepared for the distance—even with no previous running experience, provided you’re in decent shape and are willing to be consistent with your training.
Follow my simple guidelines below, and you’ll be on your way to completing—even crashing—your first 10K.
So, are you excited?
Then here we go.
What’s The 10K?
Running a 10K is a fantastic way to get in shape—maybe the right motivation you need to get going with your fitness and health goals.
This race is a classic distance that covers all bases. It has elements of both endurance and speed.
Beside the 5K, the 10K is one of the most common and popular races among beginner runners, especially those in an already decent shape and are looking for a challenge.
In fact, you can train for the 6.2 miles distance without throwing your life out of balance. The training requires no major disruption to your current schedule.
Further, by crashing a 10K, you’ll propel your fitness into new and uncharted territories: running for more than one hour.
Crossing the 60-minute mark will push your endurance and stamina levels skyward and improve your leg strength and willpower like nothing else.
It’s also ideal for recreational runners who don’t feel they are quite ready to tackle the half or full marathon distance.
The 13-Week Couch To 10K Training Program
If you’re genuinely getting on the 10K path from zero running experience, then you need to proceed with caution.
The training plan shared below is quite challenging. And some of you might not be ready to run a 10K even after six months of training.So, please keep in mind that the plan is not for everyone.
If you’re obese, over 40, have chronic injuries, or physical limitations of any sort, then consult your doctor for a check-up and explain what you’re planning to do.
To tackle this 10K training plan, you should have no major health problems, and preferably already doing some form of training, whether it’s swimming, biking, strength training, etc.
My best recommendation?
The safest way, in my opinion, to start this plan is to only do it once you can walk comfortably for more than 60 minutes.
If that’s impossible, then you might need to spend more time training—longer than three months.
Be sure to build up your walks and then start the plan.
Already in a good shape? (meaning you can run 30 minutes without much huffing and puffing) Then skip the complete beginner weeks.
Take More Weeks
The program is 13 weeks long, but in case you need to repeat some weeks, then feel free to do so. No one is holding a gun against your head.
As a beginner, you’ll need time for both your body and mind to adapt to the high demands of training.
So, if this plan advances too quickly for you, then slow down and repeat a week—or two. This is so much better than getting hurt or discouraged—forcing you to stop training altogether.
Pick a Race in Advance
By registering for a race in advance, you’ll have a goal to work toward.
Just make sure your goal for the race is realistic and in tune with your current conditioning level.
Don’t shoot for the stars if you know it will only get you hurt and discouraged.
Training Program instructions
The plan below strikes the ideal balance between building endurance and prioritizing injury prevention by alternating intervals of medium intensity jogging/running and walking for most training duration.
In essence, the run-walk method involves intervals of low intensity running—or jogging—as well as walking for recovery.
The breaks will help you build running stamina safely as they reduce stress and impact on tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
By doing so, you’ll let your body adapt to running gradually, letting your muscles recover, helping avoid injury in the process.
In the end, your ultimate goal should be to finish your first 10K without walking.
But if you take a couple of walk breaks during the race, then it’s not the end of the world. You still have the rest of your life to work on your fitness—and by completing the whole distance—unscathed—you’ve just taken a huge leap forward.
Warm up Right
Start your workout with a 5-minute walk of brisk walking to warm up, and again to cool down after each session.
Keep it Conversational
Perform every session at a comfortable conversational pace, aiming for 65 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate, or a 6 to 7 on a rate of perceived exertion scale of 1 to 10.
If you’re getting winded and find yourself gasping for air every step of the way, then just slow down and recover.
During non-running days, feel free to cross train or rest.
Cross train on, at least, a couple of days per week. Best exercise includes biking, swimming, strength training, and yoga. These will also help you further build your endurance and stamina.
Just whatever you do, be sure to take one day off every week—for most people, that’s a Sunday. But different people, different strokes, as the saying goes.
This is the hardest phase of the training.
The first step is all about getting you out the front door.
So, if regular exercise has been absent from your life for the past few years, then you need to get in the habit of regular training.
Here is the exact breakdown
- Session I – 26 Minutes. Run one minute. Walk Two minutes. Repeat seven times.
- Session II—30 minutes. Run one minute. Walk two minutes. Repeat eight times
- Session III— 33 minutes. Run one minute. Walk two minutes. Repeat nine times.
- Session I – 35 Minutes. Run two minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat five times.
- Session II – 31 minutes. Run 90 seconds. Walk one minute. Repeat six times.
- Session III—35 minutes. Run 90 seconds. Walk 30 seconds. Repeat eight times.
- Session I—35 minutes. Run two minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat six times.
- Session II—40 minutes. Run two minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat eight times.
- Session III—40 minutes. Run two minutes. Walk 30 seconds. Repeat ten times.
- Session I—40 minutes. Run two minutes. Walk 30 seconds. Repeat ten times.
- Session II—40 minutes. Run three minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat six times.
- Session III—40 minutes. Run three minutes. Walk 30 seconds. Repeat eight times.
Once you get through the first month of training you’ll start to notice drastic improvements in your overall conditioning and fitness levels, especially if you’re starting from scratch.
Now it’s time to take it up a notch, but by no too much. So don’t worry.
- Session I—40 minutes. Run four minutes. Walk 90 seconds. Repeat six times.
- Session II—40 minutes. Run four minutes. Walk 30 seconds. Repeat eight times.
- Session III—45 minutes. Run five minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat six times.
- Session I—45 minutes. Run five minutes. Walk 30 seconds. Repeat eight times.
- Session II – 45 minutes. Run seven minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat four times.
- Session III—45 minutes. Run Seven minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat six times.
- Session I—45 minutes. Run eight minutes. Walk 90 seconds. Repeat four times.
- Session II—50 minutes. Run ten minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat three times.
- Session III—45 minutes. Run ten minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat three times.
- Session I—50 minutes. Run 12 minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat three times.
- Session II—50 minutes. Run 15 minutes. Walk 90 seconds. Repeat three times.
- Session III—50 minutes. Run 20 minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat two times.
This where you’ll start to really challenge yourself.
Please don’t give up yet. Keep going strong and do what you have to do to get things done. This is especially the case if you are starting from scratch and unused to regular training.
- Session 1—55 minutes. Run 25 minutes. Walk for two. Repeat two times.
- Session 2—50 minutes. Run 30 minutes. Walk two minutes. Run 20 minutes.
- Session 3—55 minutes. Run 35 minutes. Walk three minutes. Run 15 minutes.
- Session 1—50 minutes. Run 30 minutes. Walk two minutes. Run 15 minutes.
- Session 2—55 minutes. Run 35 minutes. Walk three minutes. Run 10 minutes.
- Session 3 —45 minutes. Run 40 minutes
- Session 1—45 minutes. Run 40 minutes.
- Session 2—50 minutes. Run 45 minutes.
- Session 3 – 60 minutes. Run 30 minutes. Walk five minutes. Run 20 minutes.
- Session 1—45 minutes. Run 40 minutes.
- Session 2—50 minutes. Run 45 minutes.
- Session 3— 70 minutes. Run 35 minutes. Walk three minutes. Run 20 minutes.
- Session—60 minutes. Run 50 minutes.
- Session—45 minutes. Run 20 minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat two times.
- Session—40 minutes. Run 15 minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat two times.
Race Day– Run 6.2 miles.