Sub 50 minute 10k

SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭
Hi, 40 yo female, been running for around a year. Currently run 3 times a week. Did first 10k at weekend in 50 mins 48 secs. The course had a couple of small hills, but was a local race so the field wasn't huge. I'm now doing the BUPA London 10,000 in 2 weeks and wondering if I can do it in under 50 mins? Put my predicted time on the form as 55 mins. Does anyone know what pen I will end up in for the start? And as it's a big field, does this mean it's quite hard to get going? Any advise appreciated, including any training tips. Am currently trying to do one speed session, one hill session and one longer run each week.


  • Hi SK

    My first 10K was a very similar time, also a local race on a course with a few little hills!

    I've not done the BUPA 10,000 but it should be pretty flat?  Do you have a coloured number that ensures you go into the right pen?  I wouldn't worry too much about the start, most of the bigger 10Ks I've done have a sub-40 pen, 40-45mins, then 45-55 mins. So you'd be in the right pen regardless of 50 or 55 minutes.  The best races I've done pace-wise are the ones where I've set off slightly slower than my planned pace as it means you spend the later stages of the race feeling good and overtaking others who've gone off too fast!

    It took me a few attempts to get under 50 minutes, I think my first 10K I was so scared of coming last that I ran as hard as I could for the whole race!  My training then was also three times a week but unlike you, I would just run everywhere at the same pace and wonder why I wasn't getting any faster!  I was also clueless about pacing, I would just run without working out what pace per mile or km I should be going at.

    Your training sounds much more structured.  It's only 2 weeks away but if you have a garmin or similar you could maybe try doing one of your speed sessions before the race with maybe 3 or 4 x 1000m @ 7:55 pace (goal 10K pace) and see how it feels? 

    Good luck with it, it's brilliant when you do crack that 50 minute barrier image

  • SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭
    Thanks Carrot, some useful tips there. I use the Nike plus app for pacing so will try the speed sessions you mention. Hoping the flat course will help me! 7:55 pace just feels a lot faster than 8:00...! Think I may need a few attempts.
  • Proof that so much of running is mental rather than physical! 8:05 to 8:00 wouldn't sound half as bad... try switching to kms rather than minute miles, you won't realise. Do keep me updated how you get on.
  • I've run the Bupa 10,000 3 times, and the course is nice and flat (there might be one uphill by Blackfriars brige overpass if I remember correctly). It goes a bit narrow and wiggly through the City, and the cobblestones under Leadenhall Market can be a KILLER if it's wet (in 2008, absolutely everyone had to slow down to walking pace to not twist an ankle on them).

    I can't remember the exact pen cutoffs, but my estimated time was 50min, so I'll tell you my colour when it arrives. In the past, they've been pretty good at keeping slower people to the back, but the first km or so you'll always have some dodging to do, but once you get onto the Embankment, you get more room to stretch your legs. image

    Good luck! I'm really hoping to break 50min at this race, too!

  • SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭
    Thanks Squirrel. Got my pack today and I am blue B at the start which puts me in the middle of the starting areas. Not liking the idea of cobblestones - do they go on for very long?

    Best of luck to you too.
  • My number is in Blue A, so you're only the pen next to mine. Leadenhall Market is only a couple hundred metres, so it's not too long to endure the cobbles. It's a shame because it's so pretty to look at while you run through - I just wish they'd put down a temporary surface or something so it's less hazardous to run on.

  • SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭
    Hope you got on OK Squirrel.

    Managed to break the 50 minutes today, hooray!! Got 48 mins 41 secs which was really pleased with given the 28 degrees heat. Started at the beginning of Blue B and took a while to get into my stride. Not sure what the cut offs were for the pens but a lot of the Blue A's were going quite slowly.

    Thanks for the advise Carrot. Definitely want to start interval training now!
  • By my watch I finished in 49:45 but when the official times came through, I finished in 50:27! I have no idea how mine could be 45 seconds off, as I tapped in and out exactly on the mats.

    So it's a little disappointing that I didn't get the sub-50 I thought I had, but it's still a big PB for me, and in those conditions, too!

  • SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭
    Well done Squirrel, a PB is a PB and there will be other (cooler) races to break the 50 mins. Very frustrating re the chip time discrepancy though, that must have been really frustrating.
  • Go girls!!  It was really hot on Sunday, I did a local 10K and got a nice tan!

    Dodgy chip timing Sqirrellypoo, sounds like it's recorded your gun time! Watch time PBs definitely count.

    Intervals really do work SK, I've grown to like them as they bring results. You need to change your name to just 'Koala' now image

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