10k in less than 1 hour + misc questions

Hi. I have a number of questions.


1) I ran my first ever 10k race about two weeks back (Hyde Park Jog organised by British Heart Foundation) and my time was 61 minutes 57 seconds. Here's the thing. In practice sessions, my time is roughly 67 minutes (I started running about 3 months back and am very slow unfortunately) and though I was definitely running faster at the race, I can't imagine it being that much faster. Is it possible that the distance was less than 10k? 

2) I am running another one on 18th November. Is it possible for me to reduce my time to anything less than 1 hour in about 5 weeks (59m 59s will do!)? If yes, does anyone have any useful training tips? 

3) Finally, I ran 13k last weekend and not only did my left foot really start hurting by the end, I also have some tightness in my right calf. Does this mean I am over-training given my current fitness level? Also, what remedial measures can I take? 

Any insights on the above three questions will be much appreciated. 2) is the real priority though. Thanks!


  • Mt race times are much faster than my training times......It might be that it was less as I'm not sure if they state on that race that its a measured course......they should be but sometimes if they put a fun run thing in they get away with a rough distance.......

    It is possible for yiou to reduce it.so much depends on how you feel on the day....I would try and get some massage on the tighness on your calf......

    with the next race.its hard to know how to improve in a short time.what was tyour build up to the last one...did you rest for a couple of days......did you sleep well..did you rest up the day before...no long days standing or sightseeing etc......


    good luck...

  • (1) Following on from seren...  it is also possible that the race was exactly 10K, but your training runs have been a little longer. I'd say that the measurement of the race course would probably be more accurate than the measurement of your own practice run. 

    And anyway, it's normal for race-day adrenalin to speed you along, and this time difference can be biggest in newer runners... so it's not too surprising. That may well be the sole answer.

    (2)How to achieve 59:59 in November?  Well the most important training tip is to address your injury.   You'll never beat the hour by limping round!

    If you didn't have a niggle, then I'd be fairly confident you could make progress in the 5 weeks.   If you've only been running 3 months, you're still in the phase where you can improve times quite quickly.  Plenty of advice around on the net (just google '10K training plans'  and adapt them for your situation.   For me, it's a case of mixing up your training to ensure there are some short faster runs along with slower longer runs.

    3)  It's hard to say... but overtraining is a distinct possibility.  I presume you carefully selected the right shoes, with the help of someone who really knows what they're on about.  Get that injury sorted.. don't exacerbate it.

    4)  Good luck  Enjoy it.

  • Thanks so much for your encouraging replies. Really really appreciate. I sincerely hope the 10k track was accurate because if my time was really 61:57, then that is very respectable for my standards. I have come across a lot of training plans on the internet and found one that I think I will follow from next week. It's basically running four times a week with a mix of short relatively fast runs and long slow ones. The calf situation is obviously not ideal, but I think with plenty of stretching over the next few days, it should be fine. I think I got it in the first place because I never stretch before or after runs. 

    Will keep you posted on my progress during trainings as well as the eventual race! 

  • I would imagine that the Race Day track was an accurate 10k. I train for this distance and I'm aware that because of the layout of my route I run slightly over the 10k and log that as a 10k time. A mate of mine says (and I'm sure others do as well) that you always go quicker on the day and this seems to ring true. Whether it's adrenalin or other runners cutting the breeze for you I don't know but I'm always quicker by a few mins come race time as well, I know a few people that are. Look after that injury mate, if it's hurting you don't push it too hard.

  • Blue Whale...  I really recommend you stretch AFTER runs.  Search on YouTube to find some example of what to do, if you're unsure.

    But the received wisdom nowadays is NOT really to stretch before runs.  I didn't believe it at first, having always been told to stretch before football or running...   but I'm a convert.

    Just progressively warm up with dynamic movement.. start with a walk, then breaking in a gentle trot...  do some 'high knees'  and do some bum kicking  (kick your OWN bum, with your heels)  - when a bit warmer, you can do a bit of gentle running on your toes or whatever you feel works your calves a bit - or whatever exercise you need to warm up any niggly area.    Again, you'll probably find more on youtube.

    12 months ago, if I'd have had that niggly calf of yours, and wanted to run or play tennis or something, the first thing I'd have done would be to do some gentle stretches of the calf, then quite quickly move onto some somewhat more rigourous stretches.  But I was stretching cold muscles.  Not a good thing.

  • Thanks for the advice!! Will definitely check out youtube. Hope I can get rid of the niggly calf soon! 

  • I done the BHF 10KM and have measured it via pedometer and it comes out at around 10.131KM approx.

     see my Runkeeper stats. [bear in mind i didn't get a fix until the first right hand turn] 

    btw my chip time was 59:09 

  • Cooooool! That is proper proof then. Yaaay! Thanks sooo much! 

  • I recently did my own first 10k and ran 10% faster than in training which is roughly same as you so enjoy your moment of celebration!

    Definitely make sure you do a cooldown. I actually do the one from one of the Davina DVDs as need the discipline as well as doing at least a 5 minute walk at end of all runs.
  • Thanks Crimson. After my run today, I did walk for a few minutes to cool down.

    The tightness in my calf is okay now. I have been massaging it regularly and did a proper warm up today before my run and then stretching afterwards and it's not hurting at all. But unfortunately my left foot started hurting again during my run and I stopped running soon after the pain started. It's hurting quite a bit when I walk now. The pain is in my ankle joint. I am thinking of replacing running with other cardio exercises for two weeks and hopefully if it feels better, I will train in the last three weeks for my race (to get my time down below 1 hour). Feeling gutted about this, but I think this is the only way to go about it. Any suggestions? 

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