The 60-minute 10k

Run 10k in under an hour

Whether you’re a relative newcomer or a seasoned runner looking to revise your personal bests, setting your sights on a 60-minute 10k will give you new found motivation and provide your training with a powerful sense of purpose. So how do you crack a 10k in under an hour? Check out these top tips to set you on your way.

Go the distance

You’ll need to prepare both body and mind for running 10k in an hour and there’s no better way to do this than by covering the race distance comfortably in training. This means including one longer run into your schedule every week.

Long runs will enhance some of the key training adaptations needed for increased endurance, meaning that you’ll be able to run faster without fatiguing.  You don’t however need to run super long if you’re training for 10k as this could potentially leave you too fatigued to reap the benefits of your faster sessions.

Aim to build your long run up to 12-14 km. Don’t worry too much about the pace initially, the purpose should simply be to spend some decent period of time on your feet. This can be a great confidence booster so you know that on race day you can go the distance.

Sharpen up with a 5k

If you’re looking to nudge your 10k personal best down to 60 minutes then you’ll need to train at a variety of paces, including some running at slightly faster than your 10k race pace. This, in essence, should make 10k race pace feel a little easier when you return to it. A great way to include some slightly faster running with company is to incorporate one or two 5k races, such as your local park run, into your training programme.

Running a park run is also a useful way to gain race experience over a shorter distance before the main event. Not only will this give you some objective feedback as to how your training is progressing and your current fitness levels, but it will also allow you to practice key aspects of your pre-race routine.

 

Get familiar with race pace

A 60-minute 10k equates to 6:00/km pace or 9:39/mile to be precise! Although this pace may look a little daunting on paper, don’t let it scare you. Like anything, the more you practice it, the more comfortable and confident you will become with it.

Try including some running at this pace at least once a week. Interval training is a really effective way of doing race pace specific work as the recoveries between repetitions enable you to maintain that pace.

If you run with a Garmin or similar GPS gadget then it is worth bearing in mind that these devices can be a little inaccurate and inconsistent at times. For this reason, it can be a good idea to use an athletics track for some of your race pace running in order to help you control your speed and lock into race pace.

Complement running with some cross training

Cross training is a great way of doing some additional aerobic work without the impact. By adding a cross training workout into your weekly mix you can reduce your risk of sustaining an overuse injury, strengthen alternative muscle groups that are not predominantly used when running and increase your aerobic fitness. 

Remember that as long as you elevate your heart rate your cardiovascular system doesn’t know the difference between running and other forms of aerobic activity. Aqua jogging, cycling, circuit training and elliptical training are all excellent cross training choices for runners.

Editorial Credit: BluIz60 / Shutterstock.com

Written by Louise Damen

Louise is a two-time England Cross Country Champion and a former European XC Trials winner. She has also represented GB at various international events and her marathon PB is 2:30:00.

Comments (8)

  • stewada 'Um, did someone just change all the times and paces in this to 60 minutes / 6 minutes per km? I thought this was a serious site but someone whose PB a marathon is 2:30 (less than 4 minutes per km) can't seriously be talking about how to get under 6 minutes per km for less than a quarter of the distance... surely... 6 minutes per km is approaching walking speed.'

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  • Mrhinuk 'I found this article interesting as someone who is trying to break 60 minutes. 6 minutes per km is far from walking speed. Obviously stewada is an elite athlete and is in no need to benefit from this article as he/she is probably trying to get under 30 minutes!'

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  • cath232 'Good point, but I'm guessing this isn't the pace at which she runs 10k, but is just giving some advice to new runners to boost their times by mixing up their training. "Do what you've always done, get what you've always got" - isn't' that the old saying?'

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  • Mandybear 'are you saying that you can't give advice to beginners if you are a pro?? I would love to get to under an hour 10k and I am training for a marathon!'

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  • stewada 'My apologies for any offense :) I think I was a bit tipsy when I wrote this... re-reading the article I can see some of the good points. However, I am still a little amused at some of the language... "A 60-minute 10k equates to 6:00/km pace or 9:39/mile to be precise! Although this pace may look a little daunting on paper, don’t let it scare you"... seems a bit hyperbolic to me... FWIW I'm no elite athlete. I'm 40 and I've only been actively running for a few years. My PB 10k is 40:37 which I don't consider particularly fast. IMHO, if you're struggling to get under 60 minutes for 10k and you are not injured, maybe you should look at some other factors such as diet. I would say the biggest factor in my speed improvement was dropping from overweight to a healthy weight.'

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  • oconnell580 'Stewada, congratulations, you've managed to make your apology more insulting than the original post. I am glad that in the few years you have been running you have gained enough knowledge and confidence in yourself to make the helpful comments above. In a recent 10k i ran only 3 women ahieved a time better than your PB so perhaps rather than judging another's running journey you could be grateful for your own ability and skip the derogatory comments against an article you so clearly do not need.'

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  • oconnell580 'Stewada, congratulations, you've managed to make your apology more insulting than the original post. I am glad that in the few years you have been running you have gained enough knowledge and confidence in yourself to make the helpful comments above. In a recent 10k i ran only 3 women ahieved a time better than your PB so perhaps rather than judging another's running journey you could be grateful for your own ability and skip the derogatory comments against an article you so clearly do not need.'

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  • Busters_Trainer 'Good article by Louise, Oconnell580 and others commenting on Stewada are spot on. I coach beginners to running to marathon first timers and improvers. My lifetime 10,000m PB is 30:14 and I now regularly pace at races from Parkrun to Marathons (including the London). With nearly 1000 races behind me (including over 100 marathons) I still found the article useful. Just saying - oh, I am nearly 60.'

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