sub 6 minute per mile 10k

hi has any body got any tips on breaking 6 minutes per mile pace i,ve got a pb of 39.22 .i only started running last year just wonderd what work outs i should be concentarting on thanks.


  • If your PB is 39:22 then you're still some way from sub 6ing. I would concentrate on running sub 39 mins. Can you maintain sub 6 min miling for a 5k race? That would be your first step.
  • Hi Stephen,

     I'm in the same boat as you, I'm hoping to run a sub 6 min/mile 10K by the end of May. My training involves 3 major sessions a week. 2 track based sessions, one is almost always shorter intervals, anywhere from 200m to 800m reps, usually mixed. The second session is higher intervals, 1k-2k and everything inbetween. Then the third is a pure tempo run. On top of that I have a recovery run on Wed and Fri and a 90 minute easy run on Sundays. Using this method I've improved my 10K time every time I've raced.

     Figuring out which speed sessions to do means either reading new and old Runners World and asking other runners. In an 18 week schedule I've not repeated the same speed session twice which is great for keeping up the motivation. If you want to take a look at some specific sessions let me know and I'll post a couple.

    Something that has really helped is switching from per mile to workign everything out per kilometer, with 10Ks and below it makes your goals, training paces and everything else more clear.

  • Back in 2008:

    I did 1 track session a week (normally running Yasso 800s) whilst training for a marathon (Jan to Mar) and normally making Thursday a threshold pace run.  I was doing 6 days training (with 2 sessions a day of at least cycling) and taking my diet seriously.  In the end I couldn't run the marathon as I got hit by a car (only a bad sprain but out Mar - Apr).  After rehab I just did a month's general fitness training (May) before racing weekends at 5-10km distances.  I started the track sessions during June and ran a sub 30min 5mile.  In August I ran the Nike World Race and did 6 min miles (36:12 I think - in Madrid). 

    Basic programme was: Daily 5 miles bike to and from work - no distances as I was training for sub 3hr marathon (10km pace was a side effect)!

    Mon - Rest  Tue - Intervals (Yasso 800's)

    Wed - Easy (maybe longer for marathon)

    Thu - Threshold (85% Max HR) Fast or hills

    Fri - Easy or rest

    Sat - Easy or rest

    Sun - Long

  • Stoked are you part of a club? Could you post some sessions please? I'm trying to work on the same goal and have just started to integrate a third session so would be good to see what kind of combinations you use. Thanks
  • Like you I am aiming for a sub 6.00/mi 10k and beyond. My current PB is 37:37 (6:03/mi). I convert fairly well up to 10 miles which would suggest I have reasonable endurance. So I am attacking this from a speed perspective and I am currently training for the 5k (as has already been suggested by Stevie See). I don’t think I can do a 6.00/mi 10k until I can do a 5k at 5:45/mi at least.  So my short term aim is running 17:xx for 5k and then have another go at the 10k.

    All this really means in terms of my weekly schedule is a change to my interval session. Yesterday I did 10x200m with 200m jog recovery at 1500m pace. I will then move this session on as I get fitter to doing longer intervals at a slightly slower pace something like 3k pace. A session could be 4 – 5 x 3mins at 3k pace though I am still trying work this part of my schedule out. Then as I get closer to the race I will introduce a few 800s and 1ks at 5k pace to get used to the pace I will be racing at.

    I will not neglect my aerobic fitness during this phase, so I will continue to crank out a long run, a hard mid-week run (incorporating Tempo, hmp and mp) and 2 or 3 shorter easy runs to boost the mileage.

    Have a look at some 5k training, there are some decent articles about (not on Runners World) get some ideas and try to work it in to your schedule.

    Oh and 3 sessions a week is asking for an overuse injury imho Stoked.
  • YD - although I agree that you essentially need to be capable of running sub 18 for a 5km (last year I ran 17.32 for 5km and 36.36 for 10km), I don't think 3 sessions a week is necessarily asking for an overuse injury. Not speaking from experience too much as I've only been running 2 years but from observations of other people's training plenty of people seem to be doing this successfully. The only thing I'm wary of now that I've started it is session progression, meaning obviously the chance of injury might increase if the intensity or volume of all 3 sessions are increased at once.That's where setting upper limits of volume at training paces becomes useful (eg no more than 6km @ 5km pace, 8m @ mara pace etc).I'm only intending to do this throughout the summer though, and will move back to more aerobic mileage focus through the winter.

    I think body awareness has a big role to play in avoiding overuse injuries, so I think you have to pay extra special attention to niggles that we all sometimes have and be sensible in that a 1500m session in spikes with already tight calves might not be the be the wisest decision.

    I'll report back in a couple of months though......

  • I was in a similar boat last year. My downfall probably always was not being strong enough as opposed to speed - I did my first ever set of XC races and this helped me no end.

    The training I would always do would be one set of reps per week(periodised to go short hills, longer hills, 400s, mile reps), one tempo, a long run and then fleshing it out with easy running / core work.

    The tempo, in my view, is your key session here and not the trackwork. Trackwork will complement tempo however in my view the key session you MUST get in every week is a tempo of ~4 mile at 85% heart rate but it is key to be disciplined and keep it at 85% otherwise you defeat the purpose of it.

  • ALD – good point on the body awareness thing. As I have only been running a year it is something I think I have only recently started to understand.  Becoming more flexible in my schedule has played a big part in staying niggle free of late. So I would recommend the OP doesn’t get too worked up when sessions are missed.

    The thing I worry about with running 3 sessions per week at our level is where do you then go when the inevitable plateau arrives? 4 sessions a week? Bigger mileage?

    The OP has only been running for about a year so he will still see improvements on 1 or 2 sessions per week.
    3 sessions per week might be what it takes to take a runner from a 34 - 35 minute 10k runner to a 32 – 33 minute runner.  That’s what I am hoping anyway, you can always dream cant you image.
  • I'll second that, a drop from 36 - 32 would be nice image

    IMO there is such a variety of sessions you can put together that a year on year peak can occur at a higher level for many years without a plateau. The training I'm doing this month is preparing for the next month which prepares me ultimately for next year and the year after and I hope I'll get quicker each time. Yeh there'll be periods of different focus, like at the moment tempo style workouts are still the prevailing workout and I save more energy for these than any other, and I won't expect my best performance during every stage, but I think hitting all gears in one week makes sense. True you could do this with 1 or 2 sessions, but within this there's always going to be a piece of the puzzle missing or at least absent / not trained for long enough for it to potentially deteriorate.

    I'll admit though I made dramatic improvements through 2009 by just running more and doing 2 long tempo runs similar to those you do each week, resulting in increasing milage from 45 to 60+ per week which I've held since. So for the OP it could also be the best way forward considering how long he's been running. Remember though not everyone is capable of a 32min 10km.
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