Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

5K to 10K Running Tips | How to PR Faster

Are you seeking to train from the 5k to 10k distances? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here. The 5 kilometer to 10 kilometer races distances are not that much different. Of course, the 10k is twice the distance of the 5k and most athletes know this. So, we are moving from a 3.1 mile race to a 6.2 mile event. I have run 14:18 for 5k and 31:09 for 10k. That being said, running those types of times didn't occur overnight.

I am more of a long distance runner having run 2:19:35 for the marathon. The faster you can run for the shorter 5k to 10k distances the more efficient you will be in longer races. Remember, you always want to develop and work on your speed. Speed matters when it comes to racing the 5 k to 10 k events effectively.

So, you want to work on improving your body's lactate tolerance. Easy running is important but speed work is essential. In fact, running easy won't recruit fast twitch muscle fibers like fast running will. The more of these you can recruit the more economical or efficient you are going to race. You don't need to run high mileage to run a 5k or 10k fast. Quality training is what matters most, not so much the amount of volume you are putting in.

5k to 10k Training Plan

I have created 5 k to 10 k training plans located here at RunDreamAchieve. Are you seeking online coaching to help take your training and racing to the next level? If so, I do offer personal running coaching as well available here. Yes, I know it is an investment but personal development is essential to help speed up your learning curve. I, too, have spent thousands of dollars over the years working with world-class coaches and runners.

I have been creating content here at RunDreamAchieve since 2011. So, it is a labor of love for me to give back to the running community. I focus on 4 specific training phases with the 5 k to 10 k training plans here. In addition, we have training plans for athletes training for the mile, 5 mile, 10-mile, half-marathon, marathon and 50k ultramarathon distances as well. The phases built into the training plans are…

  • Base-building phase
  • Race specific training phase (focusing on workouts at or close to goal 5k to 10k race pace)
  • Speed development phase (training at paces significantly faster than goal 5k to 10k race pace)
  • Taper phase (focusing on a 10-day rather than 3-week taper)
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How to Improve 5 K to 10 K Pace

I would recommend spending longer durations running at your anaerobic threshold. Tempo runs are examples of running at anaerobic threshold. It is basically running at between 86 to 88% of your maximum heart rate. A major mistake I see a lot of runners make is running too aerobically too often. Again, you could be running high mileage but still be running to slow.

Remember, to race fast over the 5k to 10k distance you need to train significantly faster than goal race pace. So, easy running is important but you have to train fast. There are many runners who are still running too fast on recovery days. The benefits of your hard training will occur during the recovery.

I recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 myself and it helps ensure that I am running at the correct heart rate zone. You improve race pace by training for longer period of time at higher heart rates. The reason being is you are accumulating higher amounts of lactic acid. The result is your body adapts to these heavier stresses and race pace becomes easier.

How Long Does it Take to Run from 5K to 10K?

I recommend focusing on a 16 to 24 week build up to race your 5k or 10k event optimally. Remember, the longer your build up the less of a rush you will be in to get into great shape. Great results don't come overnight in this post. So, you have to think long-term in your planning. No, you don't want to be in a rush. It takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to the stress load you are placing on it.

So, the benefits of the hard training you are doing today will be seen severals weeks and months from now. Of course, every athlete is different. There are some athletes who will only have 8 to 12 weeks in order to prepare for their race. Yes, I do have 8 to 12 week 5k to 10k training plans here. That being said, the better way to go is to focus on 16 to 24 weeks in length. Again, a longer build up will ensure you are not rushing your fitness. In addition, that you won't be disappointed with your race results.

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Can I Run a 10K if I Can Run a 5K?

You can most certainly run a 10k if you can run a 5k. Again, there isn't a significant difference between the two aside from distance. The focused athlete will always get results. It is just a matter of being patient with your preparation. Yes, it is double the distances but can be achieved with enough mileage and proper planning. Proper pacing is also essential in order to run the fastest possible time.

There are many runners who go out too aggressive and have to significantly slow down the second half. I always tell my athletes to focus on a negative split. So, aim to run the second half of the race faster than the first half. You don't want to go into oxygen debt and have to slow down significantly in the latter stages of your race.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this brief post has been helpful. Be sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new vlog content there each week to help runners such as yourself run faster from the mile to the 50k distances. Be patient with yourself. I know training for a 5k or 10k can be time consuming. Remember, keep the activity and your training low key. So, don't get too hyped up when you have a few bad workouts or races.

It is all a part of the process when it comes to running a fast time. There will be ups and downs and setbacks along the way. That being said, you will always have the RunDreamAchieve community here to help hold you accountable.

You are more than welcome to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my racing and mental philosophy. I hope that the resources available here at RunDreamAchieve will help you set a new personal best over your chosen distance.

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