10k in under 50 mins

My best time for a 10k is 52.29 mins. I would like to improve my speed to beat 50 mins! What average speed per mile should i be looking at and how do i improve my speed?


  • next time your out for a run give yourself a 50 min cut off time for your run and see how close you are to a 10 k distance  . if you run against time other than distance you,ll find you will speed up . or run with someone who can do a 10k in 50mins .you'll find their pace will pull you a long  best of luck kev
  • Same here.  My best 10k time is 50min 37s and doesn't want to budgeimage  I've been doing tempo runs and intervals trying to extend periods of running at 4.50-5min/km.  It does hurt though... Seems like chafing off 37 seconds should be relatively easy but it's so not!  I'll have another go on 5th September, fingers crossed.  I could also do with some good adviceimage
  • I'm desparate for a sub 50 10k. My pb is 51.21 and am hoping for a sub 50 on a flat 10k next January. I' m upping my mileage from 20 to 30 miles a week which hasn't been easy to fit in with work kids etc but I'm doing plenty of hill work and speed work as well.
    No pain no gain!!
  • Yep - hills/speed work etc I think is the key. I have been following a 1/2 marathon plan I found in RW by George Anderson (I think!) which is 3 days a week and has alot of speedwork etc. Before I started this plan my recent 10km time was 53mins 15 secs. Wk 4 of the plan was 10km race (didn't do race just a 10km run) and managed 48min 51secs!! OK so distance may not have been exact but I was astounded by the difference following a structured plan has made to my time. I was absolutely dead by the end of the run but was so chuffed - so it can be done!

    Good Luck!

  • I use the Cool Running Pace Calculator to work out my pace per mile.

    To get a PB you'll have to run faster than 8:26/mile.

    I managed to go sub 50 this year. I think a mixture of tempo/interval and hill sessions helped. You definitely need to train at faster-than-race-pace for short periods. You need to get used to that uncomfortable feeling of running hard and be able to sustain it.3-4 days rest beforehand really helps to supercharge the batteries. Try to find a race that is flat with not too many corners.

  • Thanks every one for their responses, seems I'm not the only one struggling to break 50! Just done a 5K this morning at 26:27 which is a massive PB for me so think I'm on the right track, got a Half planned end of Oct and Brighton 10 k mid nov is my target!
  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭
    I was stuck 50-51 min for ages (and was getting v frustrated!image)but kept with the training plan esp intervals/hills and finally got there. Now at 49:05 and frustrated I can't beat 49!! Sure I could on a flat course have about 1000ft of down and up on my route - with the hill up in the last km which makes it tougher!
  • just worked out on the cool running pace calculator I would need to run 8:02 min/mile av to hit 50 mins!!! Jeez that sounds fast!! Although to this day I still have no idea how I managed to record 52.29 for the Brighton 10k in 2006??? And then I was almost 2 stone heavier than I am now!! So thats got to be worth a couple of mins in the bank for me already!
  • what training plan did you use jeremy?
  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    Well it's roughly based on a 23 week marathon training plan for Dublin


    I adjusted LSR's around work schedule and holiday. As I was doing higher mileage at the start anyway I concentrated on hill/interval/tempo runs to try and get my speed up before the weekly mileage increased and it seems to have paid off. Just ran 48:47 this afternoon! down from 60 min in April -eventual target is 45. I don't think I have enough time to train to get much faster than that.

    Keep up the training and keep believing and you will get there!

  • wow Sara thats a brilliant result! Thats given me hope!
  • Hi Gary, I am not a talented runner but I have got my 10k time down from 59:49 to my current PB of 46:52.  I found the main thing that helped was, believe it or not, long slow runs! 

    I am currently training for a marathon and this seems to have a knock on effect on the shorter distances.  My normal pace has increased, even on slow runs, and shorter runs take less out of me alowing me to push myself more.

    I guess the moral of the story is your underlying fitness & stamina will show through at all distances.  No quick fixes, just hard graft!

    Good luckimage

  • Yeah I agree BB. my time dropped by 2 mins when I was marathon training. Add a bit of speed and hill work and sub 50 here we come!!
  • compo 1compo 1 ✭✭✭
    just keep training and you will do it
  • Jeremy... Great run!!

    Barrowbunny- you are my inspiration ha ha

    Always hated Athletics at school, never had any pace, but right now I actually consider myself as a runner! Was training last year for a marathon , had got my mileage up to 10 miles on my long runs, was loving it then I injured my knee so only got back into running again from july. I've just started adding some speed sessions into my schedule, am getting out 3 times a week but need to step it up to 4 now.

    Its also very motivating to have had so many replies from people who i don't know... thank you again!
  • WexterWexter ✭✭✭

    I ran my 3rd 10K in 49 minutes 38 seconds which is my personal best. I  had started going for longer 9 miles runs and think I managed about 3 of these before the event.  They are a struggle for me and took 90 to 100 minutes.

    I paced myself in the 10K , looking at the serious guys wanting to sprint off in the beginning but took the first 5K slower and being within my limits. I was then able to speed up when I got to about 8K and from 9K onwards seems to have energy and the mindset to go for it though my legs were aching. 

  • Also think you need to choose what 10k you race for your pb. I've deliberatley chosen a flat one to up my chances of a sub 50. Also plan to do a 10 miler as well just to see what pace I can do. My long run is generally no less than 10 miles which takes me about 1hr 30min. I live in a hilly part of the country so I'm also hoping to reap the benefit of having to run up the damn things!!
  • gary amer wrote (see)
    just worked out on the cool running pace calculator I would need to run 8:02 min/mile av to hit 50 mins!!! Jeez that sounds fast!!


    This is exactly how I feel.  I mean- to beat 50min it makes sense that I have to consistently run at 5min/ km or faster and it just seems impossible when I'm training and trying to maintan this speed for more than 3-4km.  But then I must have been quite close when I ran 10k in 50min37seconds... How on earth did I do it?  I guess you push yourself a lot more when you race without realising itimage

  • yeah I think thats it..when you're racing the adrenalin kicks in which doesn't happen in training and your head is probably in a different space which must also help.image
  • Did the Richmond River Run yesterday.  50min 20 seconds... grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  I was so so close I could almost smell it but it wasn't meant to be.  Made a mistake of going to the toilet just before the race started and as a result ended right at the end of the pack.  Spent the first 3km dodging and overtaking everyone wich included jumping over stinging nettles on the side of the path.  Not great.  This will teach me to get in the right position next time...

    The good thing is that it was still better than my last 50min 37 seconds so going in the right direction slowly but surelyimage

    Neet to start planning the next attempt at 10k after Run to the Beat in three weeks time.

  • Sara Rush, can you remember where you found that 3-day-per week half marathon schedule? I'm just looking for a good one now (I'm not lazy but a combination of crazy commitments makes it hard to find 4 evenings to train with rest days in sensible places).

    FWIW, and people have already made these points, I ran my 10K PB (50:51 grrrrrraaaaargh) whilst half marathon training. In fact it was the week before as a "practice" as I hadn't raced in a long time.

    The combination of speedwork in the half mara plan I was doing and long runs, also worked for the 10K.

    What did for the sub-50 I was on track for was runners trots. On the bright side, at least I learned the lesson about not drinking a pot of coffee for breakfast, pre race, before the 10K, not the half marathon.....

  • Just completed a new personal best 48 minutes 10 seconds. I am still trying to do one 9 mile run a week  at a  slowish pace and a few shorter runs. One of my shorter runs is about 3 miles and I try and use this for speed work. It has really helped as able to push in from 9 KM and sprint the last 200 metres.
  • Mon77- great run, know you're so close but its progress... well done, good luck for the Run To The Beat!

    Wexter- Fantastic 10k time you show off!!

    My longer runs are upto 7m now but i try to go very slow but still seem to be around the 10 min/pm mark? Did a 5K this morning in 26:07, decided to concentrate on speed instead of HRM training zones so tried to keep to a 8:20 mile pace, pleased with time, slightly disappointed not to break 26 mins but its all going in the right direction.

    Thanks again everyone for all the advice!!
  • If you want to break 50 mins there are a few things you will needs to do:

    Run at a far greater speed than 10k pace. Doing 8 x 400 is a good way to do this. You need to increase leg turnover and running economy. Make sure you run the distance at least twice a week. A 9 and 6 miles slow run should be in order. You also need to do tempo or interval work. 4 x 1 miles at 10k pace is always good. But basically your times will go down as your milage goes up. My weekly milage was 15 miles and I had a PB of 48mins. My milage is now 45 and I have a PB of 39:30. But there was a year building up the miles between. Best of luck.

  • Guys.. and girls!! Got a bit of a problem in my bid for a sub 50 10k at brighton in november!!! I've only run once in the last 3 wks due to a niggling hamstring injury!! I've been stretching, heating it etc but nothings working. I read about a test to do to see if its ok to start running again, basically mark out 90 yards on a flat surface- 30 -30 - 30 and use 1st 30 to accelerate.. nxt 30 to keep the speed then last 30 to decelerate then walk back to the start. do 4 lots for one set and only if you can do at least 2 sets should you consider light running again. Needless to say i couldn't even manage 2 attempts, never mind 2 full sets!! What do i do?? I've already put off doing a half at the end of october that i was hoping to do to make sure i'd be ok for the 10k but i'm starting to think that i may not start training again for another couple of wks which would leave me short of time to improve my speed for the run. Shall i just forget about any races till nxt yr now. Also should i be looking at maybe physio or doctors in a bid to heal the problem? Thanks for all your responses so far!! Gutted

  • I have only ran one 10k race and managed to do it in 46:54 which i was pleased with. For training i go out on 1 long run a week about 10 to 12 miles and then do circuits and bike riding that build up speed and stamina, seems to work for me.
  • Just done my first 10k sub 50 mins. My previous best was 50:38 but managed 47:36 tonight on a fairly hilly course. Well happy with that. Only been running 6 months and when i started I was doing about 67 mins,

     Seems the hardwork has paid off image. Not related but also did my 5k PB this week in 22:30, so all in all a good week.

  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    Some great times/improvements everyone - you must be chuffed Adrian. Doing the LSR's (20,21,22 mi) for Dublin marathon training has def helped me - yesterday did 46:13. Was reading some training stuff and it said for a 3:45 marathon you should be able to do a 46 min 10K etc. While I know I am on plan - 22miles at 8:30/mile comfortably I hadn't done the 46 min 10K so thought I'd give it a go - wasn't as bad as I expected so now completely sure I'm ready!! After Dublin I'll be aiming for sub 45 min 10K!

  • Adrian- congrats on your time!  I'm having another go on 21st November.  Doing a lot of speed work/ intervals/ tempo runs with the running club I joined and a couple of long runs a week so hopefully I'm heading in a right direction.  Most people in the running club are much faster so I'm working really hard trying to keep up with themimage.  Going from just over 50 to 47.36- amazing!
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