Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

10k in Miles | Pro Tips to PR over 10,000m NOW

10k in miles is 6.2 miles. Of course, that is the quick answer. I am glad you have made it here to rundreamachieve.com. My goal with this post is to share with you some tips and strategies to ensure you succeed in your next 10k race. Running a 10k race is a great opportunity to work on your speed training for longer races such as the marathon. The faster you can get over the 3.1 mile (5K) or 10,000m (10 kilometers) distances the better equipped you will be. I have run 31:09 for 10K, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. So, do understand what it takes to run fast over these distances.

No, results didn't happen quickly. There truly are no shortcuts in this sport. You are either trained or untrained. So, in order to run faster over 10,000 meters or 6.2 miles you have to train at or below your goal 10k race pace. The vast majority of runners are not training sufficiently at their goal paces. Yes, you can build a great deal of endurance from running easy. That being said, strength and stamina is what you need in the 10 kilometer race.

How Many Miles is a 10K?

1 kilometer is equivalent to running around the track 2 and half times. 1 mile is 1.6 kilometers. 10k in miles comes out to 6.2 miles or 10,000 meters. It takes 25 laps around the track to run 10,000 meters which is the longest track and field race.

Remember, a 10k may seem like a long way to run but a marathon is 42.2 kilometers. So, over 4 times the distance. A common mistake I see a lot of runners making is running too low of a percentage of their weekly volume too slow. In addition, they are running too fast on their easy, recovery days.

Remember, all of the benefits of your hard work are going to come within the rest period. It takes the body about 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to the physiological stresses you are placing on it. So, you have to pre-plan accordingly to run a fast 10k. The average 10k time is around 50 to 70 minutes.

The world record for the 10k is 26:11 and for women, 29:01. Again, these are the very best times ever run for the distance. So, don't compare yourself to these runners. It is simply to show you what the human body is capable of.

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What is a Respectable 10K Time?

A respectable 10k time is anywhere from 50 to 60 minutes. The majority of runners can run around these time barriers or slightly slower. Of course, the faster you are aiming to run over 10 kilometers the more specific training comes into play. The key tactic here is to improve your body's lactate tolerance. The ability to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up is where your focus needs to be. Why do the best middle to long distance runners make it look so easy?

They spend about 40 percent of their weekly mileage training at or far below their goal 10k race pace. The problem for most runners is they aren't spending enough time practicing at their goal pace. In addition, far below it.

Pace sustainment is the key here and you want to slow down less than your competition. Also, proper pacing in your 10k race is essential. I always recommend to my athletes to focus on doing a negative split in the race. 10k in miles is 6.2 miles so if you are going to race this distance you might as well do it right.

So, focus on running that second 5k faster than the first 5k. I highly recommend subscribing to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new videos ranging from training for your 10k, mental training, motivation and much more.

Average 10k Time for Beginners

A finish time of 50 to 75 minutes is a very respectable time for a 10k for any beginner. There are many athletes who have never run a race of 10 kilometers in length. So, racing over 6.2 miles and finishing is a huge accomplishment for many athletes. Of course, you don't need to be running 7 days a week and running 100 miles a week to run a great 10k time. That being said, the faster you are aiming to run the more you have to focus on speed development. I recommend doing strides twice per week.

Strides, are short 50 to 100 meter sprints. The great part about doing them is that they don't build up any significant lactic acid. So, you can work on your form, leg turn over and acceleration using these short workouts. In addition, you can do them on top of your weekly speed, tempo runs and long run workouts.

Again, always be thinking of how can I cover 10k in miles as quick as possible? What can I do in training to help me be as successful as possible. One of the best ways is to invest in your personal development.

There are training plans, running courses and monthly coaching available here at rundreamachieve for you. It is a great way to take the guesswork out of your race preparation. In addition, you will have a better understanding of what workouts you need to do and why you are doing them.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Running 10K?

We burn about 100 calories per mile that we run. So, you are burning around 600 or slightly more depending on the size of the athlete. One of the best benefits of running at faster speeds is you teach the body to burn fat at race pace. Yes, you still burn fat running slow as well.

That being said, the key tactic the best runners use is to conserve what they have less of, carbohydrates. So, they can call upon those vital glycogen stores when they need them the most, at the end of the race.

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10km in miles

We have far more fat stores as compared with carbohydrate storage. Again pace sustainment is the objective. So, we have to train in such a way that we sustain pace more efficiently over 6.2 miles. 10k in miles is 10,000 meters or double the distance of a 5 kilometer race.

The 5k is more of an anaerobic event because it is so short. The 10k race is more of an aerobic event like the half marathon and marathon distances. That being said, you still need to work on your speed development even when training for a 10k race.10k in miles comes out to 10,000 meters or 10 kilometers.

Again, 1 kilometer is 1,000 meters in length and is like running around the track 2 and half times. The 10,000 meters is the longest track race which is 25 laps and is 10 kilometers in length.

Average for Beginners by Age and Sex

The IAAF and RunRepeat did a running an analysis on recreational runners where they showed what a good 10k time was for males and females in good running shape was as following:

  • Ages: 16–19 – Average 10K Time: 46 minutes and 36 seconds
  • Ages: 20–24 – Time: 51 minutes and 40 seconds
  • 25–29 – Time: 53 minutes and 31 seconds
  • Ages: 30–34 – Time: 54 minutes and 21 seconds
  • Ages: 35–39 – Time: 54 minutes and 21 seconds  
  • 40–44 – Time: 53 minutes and 31 seconds

Below is a list of their findings for females

Average 10K time for females

  • Ages: 16–19 – Time: 1 hour and 21 seconds
  • Ages: 20–24 – Time: 59 minutes and 50 seconds
  • Age Group: 25–29 – Time: 1 hour 2 minutes and 25 seconds
  • Ages: 30–34 – Time: 1 hour 2 minute and 31 seconds
  • 35–39 – Time: 1 hour 2 minutes and 19 seconds
  • Ages: 40–44 – Time: 1 hour 2 minutes and 37 seconds

What Should I Eat Before 10K Run?

It isn't so much what you eat the night before a 10k race as much as it is what you eat the week of the race that counts most. I would focus on eating foods high in carbohydrates as well as protein. You will need these in the race. So, foods such as cereals, bagels, salads, pasta and rice are all great options to choose from. Also, fruits and vegetables are essential as well. Hydrate well before, during and after your workouts.

In addition to that, ensure you take in a gel during the race as well. Gels are instant bursts of glycogen you can ingest during your race. Gels usually contain anywhere from 100 to 150 calories and are sugar.

One of the best methods to ensure you start and finish the race in record time is proper hydration and nutrition during your race. As mentioned above, proper planning and pacing is essential as well.

So, don't take off the first mile or 5 kilometers too fast. It is much more fun to run a 10k race when you are passing people in the latter miles rather than being passed. 10k in miles is 6.2 miles so to run it efficiently you certainly want to stress the energy systems of the body properly. So, nutrition, hydrating well before, during and after your workouts and race is vital for success.

Again, to run an above average 10k time you have to think outside the box. So, study what the best middle to long distance runners do and simply duplicate their work habits.

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10K Training Plan for Beginners

The 10k training plans that I have created here at rundreamachieve are 16 weeks in length. 4 months is sufficient time for any athlete to prepare properly to race over 10,000 meters or 10 kilometers. 10km in miles comes out to 6.2 miles. So, you cannot rush your fitness. It does take time for your body to adapt to the workouts you are doing. Again, it takes about 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load you are placing on the body. So, the benefits of the workouts you are doing today will be seen several weeks from now.

I always recommend to focus first on building 3 to 4 weeks of easy aerobic mileage before starting a 10k training plan. Remember, you want to first strengthen your ligaments, joints and muscles before starting into race-specific training. You can also do alternative workouts such as pool running to take the wear and tear off of your body. Pool running is equivalent to land running when water pressure is factored in.

Pool Running

Yes, you can make this workout much more difficult when not wearing a flotation device. Pool running is conducted in the deep end of a pool. So, you focus on running just as you would on land only you have to focus on staying above water. Of course, you can always wear a flotation device which will help you maintain your form. In addition, stay easily above water. Do you want to make it a much more difficult workout? Take the flotation device off and focus on pumping your arms and legs.

What Should You Eat the Night Before a 10K?

I would focus on eating some pasta and salad. Again, it is what you eat the week of the race that counts the most. Yes, what you eat the night before also matters but it is what you consume 7 days prior that matters the most.

The night before you don't want to overeat. You can consume foods or snacks that do have protein, high in carbohydrate to carbo-load and some fruits and vegetables.

I usually would always have a clif bar, bananas and apples nearby to snack on. There are a lot of runners who like peanut butter. I am not one of them but I do know peanut butter is very high in protein and is easily digestable.

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs are key to help improve your lactate tolerance. Again, sustaining pace longer than your competition is the end goal whether a beginner or elite level runner. A common mistake I see a lot of runners making is doing too short of tempo runs. Remember, the longer you can spend training at your anaerobic threshold the better.

You will be racing at or close to this effort. So, first work on doing 2 to 3 mile tempo runs. Once you have adapted to the intensity and duration of this workout then move on to longer efforts.

The longest tempo run I would focus on while training for a 10km race would be around 8 miles. Again, going that extra mile will help you psychologically as well. Remember, it will take time to adapt to these types of workouts. So, be patient with yourself.

You will want to run your tempo runs around 88 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.The athlete that has a max heart rate of 175 should aim to do his or her tempo run around 154 beats per minute at 88 percent. 90 percent? 157 or thereabouts.

How Much Fluid Should You Drink During a 10K Race?

I would recommend drinking about 500 to 550 milliliters of fluid 2 hours prior to the start of your 10k. Again, you still want to drink in the race but not so much that you get a cramp.

Remember, practice hydrating during your long runs. So, you can get an idea of how much fluid your stomach can take while running at higher speeds. I would suggest ingesting at least 200 milliliters during the race.

Long Runs

One way to become dangerous as a 10k specialist is to start doing faster, varied paced long runs. I used this tactic to lower my half marathon best from 1:10:31 to 1:07:06. In addition, to lower my marathon personal record from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. So, don't just run long and slow every single weekend.

The long run is the hardest workout that I do. That being said, you also want to ensure you recover from this type of workout as well. Below are some examples of varied pace long runs I did prior to running 2:19:35 for the marathon…

  • 2 mile warm-up, 12 miles@160BPM (85% of max heart rate), 1 mile in 4:55, 3 miles easy, 2 miles@165BPM, 1 mile cool-down
  • 1 mile warm-up, 18 miles steady at @165BPM (about 87% of max HR), 1 mile cool-down
  • 2 mile warm-up, 4 miles@160BPM, 1 mile jog, 2 miles@175BPM, 2 mile easy, 1 mile in 4:55

So, these same types of workouts can be used to cater to your own goal race pace. Of course, you don't have to run quite as far for a 10K as you may need to for a marathon. Your long run for the 10K doesn't need to be much further than 12 to 14 miles. The fact that you will be running twice or slightly over twice the distance of your race will build a massive amount of endurance.

Interval and Speed Workouts

I always recommend to my athletes to focus on doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. Your vo2max is your maximum oxygen uptake. It is running at speeds that are so fast that you can't clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. So, we have to take a few minutes rest between most of our intervals especially if they are longer in duration. You may only need a few seconds to recover after doing a 200m to 400m repetition.

Again, when it comes to racing the 10k race well you have to focus on your form and leg turnover. So, speed development and running at speeds much faster than your goal 10k race pace is vital to be successful.

I was able to run 31:09 for 10 kilometers or 10,000m using the tactics I am covering in this post. You can also do fartlek workouts too preparing for your upcoming 10k races, Fartlek is a funny sounding, swedish word that means “speed play”. Examples of fartleks that I have used are below…

  • 2 miles easy, 20x1minute hard followed by 1 minute easy, 1 mile jog cool-down
  • 1 mile jog warm-up, 5×5 minutes hard with 2 minutes easy in between each set, 1 mile jog cool-down
  • 2 miles easy, 10x2k on the roads running at @175BPM (vo2max effort) with 2 minutes of jogging in between sets, 1 mile cool-down

10K Running Tips for Beginners

Focus on staying as relaxed as you can during training. Have you ever watched an elite runner? How do they look? relaxed right? They make it look easy for a reason. They are masters at staying as calm and collected as they can during their race. In addition, they know how vital it is to not waste any mental or physical energy in the race.

So, practice keeping your facial and body muscles as relaxed as you can. You can practice this while running slow and especially fast in training.

Remember, focus on the areas of your training and racing you have control over. Do not worry about things that don't concern you. Is the weather condition bad the morning of the race? You don't have control over that. That being said, you do have control over your thoughts and staying calm. Let your competition be uptight and overly nervous, not you.

10k Race Day Tips for Beginners and Elites

Ensure you get to the start line with plenty of time to spare. Also, eat your breakfast 2 hours and preferably 3 hours before the start of the race. You do not want to have to jump in a porta john in the middle of your race and lose time.

I did this at the 2011 Monumental Indianapolis marathon. I was running with the leaders of the race and lost at leas 3 minutes because of this. So, I ended up finishing with a time of 2:26:43, my second fastest marathon time, and in 5th place overall.

That being said, I could have won and perhaps ran anywhere from 2:22 to 2:23 had I ate earlier that morning. So, ensure you give your body enough time to digest your food well in advance of the start of the race. Also, ensure you set your alarm clock on your phone. You definitely do not want to miss your race after all those weeks and months of training.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this post has been helpful to you as you prepare for your upcoming races. As mentioned above, we have training plans, running courses and monthly coaching available to you. So, use the tools to help speed up your progression. It certainly is much more helpful. Lastly, aim at a 10k that is closer to your home than traveling to another state or country. Of course, this may be a different case for runners who are at the elite level.

A lot of times we go after races that have prize money. You can certainly look up races in your area that do offer prize money. You definitely want to be in great anaerobic shape to have the best chance of going home with some cash. Again, it goes back to how well you can properly train at and far below your goal 10k race pace. So, aim at training between 35 to 40 percent of your weekly mileage at speeds near, at and far below the pace you want to race at.

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