Training for sub 40 10k in 7 weeks time

I'm running a 10k on 04 November. I would like to run sub 40 mins and was wondering what training you would suggest during the next 7 weeks.

I recently ran a 5k and ran 19.57. My best 10k is 40.31 but that was run last year. This year I've only run one 10k and the time was 41.17 (run the day after I ran the 5k). 

I haven't done much speedwork this year as I have been concentrating on longer runs (have run a number of ultras).

I assume I should be doing some intervals but I'm not sure whether to run 400's, 800's or 1kms or a bit of everything.

Also, what sort of tempo runs should I do.




  • Richard

    I've got similar targets and current PBs as you, and this is my training plan for the next 10 weeks.

    During the next 10 weeks, I'm looking to have another go at a sub-40 10k, hopefully do under 70 mins for a 10miler, and get close to 90 mins for a HM on November 18th.

    I think for 10k and upwards you need speed and endurance, so longer intervals (1km+), and tempo runs of at least 4-5m....


  • I too would like to run a sub 40 (again). The last time I managed this was two years ago when I ran 39:44, however I am currently running around the 42:00 mark. The problem is whilst I have the starting speed I seem to get much slower in the middle part of the race i.e. first 3-4k are ok, but thereafter my form seems to collapse. I can pick it up a bit in the last 1k. Any suggestions as to the problem and the corrective action required, other than running fasterimage

  • propaganda.

    2 simple reasons,
    the first is that you may simply be going off too fast and burning out too quickly, dropping your pce significantly to compenstate giving you some recovery to push the finish.
    the second is that you are just losing focus during the race. This is all about race tactics. throughout the race I would be checking on my pace, is it enough, is it too much - fine tune as you go along. Don't get stuck behind a slower runner and don't try to chase down a faster runner. If there is another runner who is keeping good pace then try and keep up but not to the detriment of your own race.

    Small races are worse for me, if I lose sight of the runners in front then I quickly lose focus. It maybe worth using a stop watch to check your progress though I just find this a distraction unless I have times scrawled on my arm so I don't have to do the maths.

    As for training, are you doing tempo runs? I find these best for getting the pace right. Are you getting the miles in throughout the week? Are your long runs long enough and at the right pace? Are you giving yourself time off during the week prior to your races.

    There really is so much fine tuning that you can do. I'm no expert. Are you actually targetting a race and training for it or just going out and racing without specific training?

  • T.mouse, I am specifically running 10ks, Club Training tends to concentrate on shorter intervals 200s-400s occ 800s and Longer tempo runs, although I can never seem to run them at anywhere near my race pace. I had a whole year off competitive running and have really just started back.The layoff was initially due to injury abut I never quite got back into racing again (fear of failure perhaps). I think I am lacking spefic speed endurance and perhaps I need to up the work on doing longer intervals 1km+ to try and get some endurance for the longer distances. As an ex-sprinter I tend to go all out from the start and hope to hold on, as you suggest perhaps I need to pace a little better. I find this hard. Certainly when I achieved my best times I was constantly watching my pace and adjusting, rently I have been looking at the lap times as they elapse, hoping they would be good, invariably not, which saps my energy a bit - hence the loss of focus. I run around  40-45km per week, over 4 days - easy (10), intervals(10), tempo(13), & long run (15-20km).

    I have wondered whether in the past I was relying on the races to give me the speed endurance but with the long layoff I have lost this element of my training.

    Any suggestions much appreaciated.

  • Should I buy a good watch like Garmin to keep track on my pace?

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭


    I can empathise with all the above. I think Mrs H mousey makes a very good point. I recently cracked the 40 min mark in December but have failed in two attempts since. The best advice i had on here was a week before that race. I questioned why i was fading at 3-4k. Based on the fact i was hammering off at 3.45k pace i was going way faster than my ability. I slowed my start right down and aimed to keep a constant pace of 3.55-3.58 (obviously gaining and loising on hlly bits). I didnt race anyone else. I had my garmin set so it flashed between currnt and average pace and concentrated heavily on that the whole way around, ignoring the distance markers etc. The qadvice i took was a week before the race so clear evidence it was my race tactics not my fitness than had held me back.

    David- For me having a decent garmin has cahnged my running, particularly racing. There are times in a 10k in the 'no mans land stage' where you just drop those few seconds. With a garmin telling you your average pace has just dropped a second below target, it does give you that kick!

    My training in terms of intervals are longer, usually doing 8 x 3 minutes or 4 x 6 minutes etc and my tempo is usually 20 minutes.

    I would love to get to the stage where even on a bad day my 10k come sin at 39.59!

  • I was running at my 480m park nearby my apartment last night. I ran 22 loops thus total distance was 10560m. I used 55mins to complete. How do I go sub 45mins for 10km race in Nov? Thank you. 

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    10 mins off a 10k time is an awful lot in 6 months, unless you perhaps historically have been very fit and have become very unfit in last few years. its easier to get it back than create it!

    The first thing i would do is actually find a 10k asap as you may find your base time is actually a few minutes faster. You cannot replicate race pace running laps of the park alone. You might then find you are at say 52 mins. The principles of getting faster are the same at any level. A long steady run, a couple  of hard sessions (mixed between intervals and various tempo options) and a couple of slower runs at mid distance. Why dont you get involved in local parkrun. Thats a great and free way to race at an informal level every weekend and you can really gauge progress.

  • Hi DT19,

    As I told you I clocked 1/5/13 (55mins) 10560m and I got some it improved to 52mins last night (2/5/13) same distance. I did not know what is Tempo and intervals as I am just a footballer turning to be a 10K mara runner trying to hit sub 45mins on the Bridge Run in Nov.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    You will get better just with time out running as you will get used to it, but speed training gets you there faster. Intervals are short busrst of maximal effort with short recovery, so say 8 x 3 mins of a pace a bit faster than your race pace or 6 x 1km at that pace, with maybe 1-2 minutes rest between each (dependant on ability). Tempo run is generally say a 10 min easy run warm up, then 20 minutes at perhaps 10-15 seconds a mile slower than your race pace, then a cool down. There are all sorts of variations of both that can be found with a bit of googling. You would be better off establishing now though what your race pace currently is by doing one. You could probably find a 10k over next 2/3 weekends locally that you can just turn up and enter as it is the season!

    Also look at link below and find your local organised parkrun race.

  • David, DT19 was trying to help and your reply reads as very aggressive. Read this and hopefully you'll get some idea as to what to do.

    Not sure what a 10k mara runner is?


  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Thanks CB- Thats actually an amazing thread!!

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