Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

Whats a Good 10K Time and How to PR Faster

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Are you wondering whats a good 10k time? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. A good 10K time is going to mean something different to each athlete. There are some athletes who thinking running a 35 minute 10k is a good time. That being said, someone who has a PR of 70 minutes who is trying to run a 65 minute 10K will think that is a good time.

One of the best recommendations I can share is to never compare yourself to someone else. So, focus on what you can control and improving upon your own capabilities. Trust me, your hard work will pay off and your times will start to drop. The key is consistent effort training at or below your goal 10k race pace. the 10k involves speed even though it is still an aerobic-style race. Again, it is only 6.2 miles long or 10 kilometers. The race is over quick as compared with the half-marathon or marathon.

So, you definitely want to work on improving your body's lactate threshold. I recently made a video regarding this topic I have listed below. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new videos for motivated athletes such as yourself there each week.

How Long Does it Take to Train for a 10K?

I would recommend a minimum of 8 weeks and preferably 16 weeks for your training. Everyone has difference schedules and some prefer to prepare for a shorter amount of time than others. I have created 10k training plans here at rundreamachieve that range in duration from 8, 12 and 16 weeks in length. So, you do have some options here. That being said, the longer you can prepare to nail down that goal time you are going for, the better. Whats a good 10k time is a question only you can truly answer yourself. How fast do you think you can cover the 10,000 meter distance? My goal is to help you speed up your learning curve by working smarter, not necessarily harder.

Yes, it does take patience to get in great anaerobic fitness. In addition, it also takes an equal amount of patience to get in aerobic shape. We all know how it feels to just get back into training after some time off. So, focus first on build light, relaxed mileage. I would recommend doing strides 2 to 3 times per week during your base phase of training.

Strides should not be all out until the last 20 meters or so. So, focus on a gradual increase in speed. Strides are great because they won't cause fatigue. In addition, significant lactic acid build up. Also, they are great for focusing on your acceleration capability which you will need in a 10K.

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What is a Good Beginner 10K Time?

I believe a 10k time of between 55 to 80 minutes is a solid first effort. Again, I work with athletes of all capabilities and respect them regardless what time they want. Of course, if you are going to aim at faster 10k times of 40 minutes or faster it will require heavy anaerobic work. So, the faster you are aiming to run the more that is going to be required. Again, whats a good 10k time is going to differ depending on who you ask.

Are you seeking to become a professional athlete? Times of 35 minutes of faster for women is an outstanding time. In comparison, times of 31 minutes or faster for men are very competitive, elite times. Again, it takes heavy emphasis on training longer at your anaerobic threshold to sustain race paces for longer periods of time. Again, the 10k still involves speed. So, you definitely want to be doing 1, vo2max workout per week.

We can only spend a few minutes running at 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate. That being said, this type of training will also help you sustain race pace. In addition, it will make it feel more like a tempo run rather than an all-our race effort.

10K Training Plan Tips

As mentioned above, the longer you can prepare the better. The running courses that I teach end with a 16-week block of training. They are much more in-depth but are focused on the half-marathon to marathon distances. I do intend on making one regarding the 10K distance in the near future. That being said, the training plans that I have range from the 1 mile to 50k distances. So, definitely check out the resources that we have available here for you.

The 4 phases of 10k training I focus my efforts around are:

  • Base/Endurance Phase
  • Race Specific Phase
  • Speed Development Phase
  • Taper Phase

So, whats a good 10k time is individual to the athlete. My job is to help speed up the learning process with the tools that are available here. High mileage is not a guarantee you will run a fast 10k time. The best middle to long distance runners are spending about 40 percent of their weekly volume at high anaerobic efforts. What good is running 110 miles a week if 95 percent of it is spent running too slow?

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10K Training Strategy

As mentioned above, focus first on 4 weeks of easy, relaxed running. This will help strengthen your ligaments and tendons. I would then start focusing on introductory-type workouts which are moderate in effort. The base/endurance phase is where we start doing moderate workouts such as shorter tempo runs, speed workouts and longer, long runs.

Again, always focus on periodization. Remember, it takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it. So, the benefits of the hard training you are doing today will be seen weeks from now. You cannot rush the process of getting into great, 10k race shape. Also, don't get too hyped up about mileage.

Focus on quality versus the volume you are putting in. The 10k training plans that I have here range in mileage from 30 to 65 miles. Of course, I don't have a problem with athletes adding in mileage as long as they are strategic about it.

10K Race Pace

The 10k race specific phase is where we start to focus on training at speeds closer to or slightly faster than goal 10k race pace. Again, you want to improve your body's lactate tolerance. So, this is not an easy process and it won't occur by simply running easy every day. Below are some examples of the types of speed training I would be focusing on if I were aiming to run under 30 minutes for 10K. My personal best is 31:09.

  • 1 mile warm-up, 5-10x800m in 2:18-2:32 with 2 minutes rest between reps (60 seconds when very fit), 1 mile cool-down (faster reps when very fit, slower when not as fit)
  • 2 mile warm-up, 12x400m in 1:08-1:14 with 2 minutes rest (45 seconds when very fit), 2 mile cool-down
  • 1 mile warm-up, 10x1K on the track in 2:58-3:11 with 2 minutes rest (60 seconds rest when very fit), 1 mile jog cool-down

Vo2 Max Training

Speed development is key to get your goal 10k race pace to feel easier. Again, you have to train at this intensity to improve your lactate threshold capability. A common reason why runners have pace sustainment issues is not training long enough at this effort. Remember, it is also what you are doing the other hours of your day that counts in 10k racing success.

For example, how much rest are you getting? Are you training mentally to see yourself breaking your goal time before it happens in reality? The best middle to long distance runners spend equal time training physically as well as mentally. So, start spending 10 to 15 minutes each day visualizing yourself performing at the level you are dreaming about.

The speed development phase of training is also the most demanding. Volume is at its highest as is the intensity at which we are doing our training. Long runs are also the longest during this phase of training.

Faster, Varied Paced Long Runs

I am a big believer in this mode of training. In fact, I was able to lower my half-marathon best from 1:10:31 to 1:07:06 using this strategy. In addition, my marathon best from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. What you don't want to do is run long and slow every single weekend. Yes, it will build endurance but you will just be a superior long, slow runner. Your competition who has focused on faster long runs will be better equipped to sustain race pace longer than you.

So, start implementing this 10k training strategy into your routine. Long runs can range anywhere from 7 miles when just getting started to over 20 miles, depending on the athlete. Again, whats a good 10k time is commonly asked. What is more important is how can I get as fast as possible covering this distance. Faster long runs will help you do that. Below are some examples of the types of long runs I would do training for the 10K to marathon distances.

  • 2 mile jog warm-up, 10 miles@15 seconds slower than goal 10k race pace, 2 mile jog cool-down (14 miles)
  • 1 mile warm-up, 4 miles@10 seconds faster than goal 10k race pace, 2 miles easy, 2 miles@5K race pace, 1 mile easy, 6 miles@20 seconds lower than goal 10k race pace, 1 mile cool-down (17 miles)
  • 1 mile warm-up, 10x1minute hard (175+BPM), 1 mile easy, 1 mile all out, 3 miles easy cool-down

Closing Thoughts

Remember, these are just a few of many tactics to use to improve your 10k performance. I would also work to improve your hydration practices. The longer the race, the more drinking rather than just sipping in the race will play a part in your success. So, drop your water bottles out along your long run course. Again, make sure you are focusing on the details of your training when you are done with the track and road sessions.

It is what you do the other hours of your day that is going to make a significant impact on you improving over the 10,000m distance. So, whats a good 10k time? It is going to be dependent on you to determine just how good you become in the 10K distance. I hope this brief post has been helpful. Make sure to check out the resources here at RunDreamAchieve. My goal is to help you use leverage and get new personal bests.

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