Training for a sub 50 10k

Hi All,

First post so apologies if i fail any forums rules etc!

I have decided to take up running a bit more this year and enter into a few 10ks and hopefully next year up to some half marathons.  Ive set myself a goal of a sub 50 10k, hoping to manage it in the Manchester 10k at the end of May. 

Last August i started running at the gym twice a week, Monday mornings i started running 5-6k and built up to 10k, normally finishing around 54 mins.  On a friday i used to do an army fitness test which was 3.2 and completed most weeks just over 15 mins with a PB of 14:44.

Since new year i have decided to start running outdoor.  My current plan is Tuesdays doing intervals (still in the gym).  2km at 10kmh warm up then 400m intervals at 9kmh jog - 13kmh run for 4km then a 2km at 10kmh warm down.

Wednesdays i play 5 a side

Fri/Sat 5km tempo run, running around 5.05min/km

Sat/Sun - long run.  Around 5.50min/km for around 10k.  Longest has been 13.

I feel like im improving quite fast but certainly not at a sub 50 pace yet.  By the end of my 5k tempo run im pretty shattered and couldnt do it all again.

Am i best keeping my training as it is now?  Or am i best dropping the intervals/tempo runs for now and doing 2 long runs a week?  Im happy that i can complete the 10k so im looking for improvements of speed which will take me under that 50 mark! Any advice would be fantastic.




  • Don't worry about pace on the long run, and don't run it any faster - I think it looks too fast for a 50 min 10k.

    The tempo run is good but build in a 2 mile warm up and a 1 mile cool down.

    Look at putting in another slow run of about 2/3 the length of your long run.

    Sub 50 will come very soon.

  • Cheers CB!

    Ill keep at it as i am at the moment, getting the miles in without worrying too much about pace.  Im struggling to get another run in because 5-a-side kills my legs until at least friday so it rules out Thursday but ill see what i can do image

    I've entered the 10k at Delamere on March 10th so that will give me a good indication of where i am pre-Manchester!


  • Johnny Morris! A great name from the past for those of us over 50! I second what chubby says, and would point out that a few years ago I was going round in near 50 mins but am now just over 42 for a 10k. It takes a bit of time and you might find yourself settling for a setting a marker in your first 'race'. If you don't do under 50, nothing to be ashamed of, but you will get a better idea of what race pace feels like and whether you have it in you. Old advice, but beware of going off too fast - even on a 'short' long distance such as the 10k, you can harm your chances by allowing the excitement to get the better of you. Everyone's different, but most people run pbs by running at a steady pace. Good luck.

  • You can be in your, ahem, early 40's and still have flashbacks to Johnny Morris....

    Ito the OP.... think you might want to push the speed up a bit on your interval pace, you need 12km/h average to hit a 50mins 10k. Appreciating that you are hitting 13km/h for 400 metre chunks doesn't seem to be enough to build up the speed endurance?

    That's probably why your 5:05 per km tempo over 5km is leaving you shattered.

    You need to push the speed higher on your interval at little to develop speed endurance and once you can sustain that make the intervals longer in distance or time. That way 12km/h won't be close to your max, it will be more higher cruising pace and you should be able to sustain it for longer distances.

    Also your long run needs to be over 10k, but slow it down.

    Good luck


  • Im a little young to remember Johnny Morris in his prime but the AnimalMagic nickname lives strong and is my username for almost everything these days!

    Thanks to you both for the advice.  I did feel my interval work was a little slow, it was my first week at it this week and i felt like it was pretty easy.  Ill push it up to 15 on Tuesday and do 4km at a 9-15 jog/run split.

    Am trying my best to slow down on my long runs but im still in the stage of really enjoying it and finding it hard to run slower than what feels natural.  i'll manage in time image

    My Delamere 10k is most certainly just getting used to race conditions.  Id like to do a good time but im more interested in making sure i can pace myself.  I read somewhere that some events dont let you take your phones etc to use as GPS devices which worries me a bit as i rely on it quite a bit for pacing.


  • I can't think of a race that would stop you wearing a GPS watch, though. Might be worth investing in one at some point. Some races ban iPods and/or phones, mainly I think for the potential distraction factor.

  • You can pace yourself with a cheapo digital stopwatch and a RunnersWorldPaceBand if you can't take your phone.

    Sounds to me like you are really close - my 10K times in training were always 55-57 min, yet I managed under 48 (PB) in my first 10K race this morning.  Mainly because it was a race so more adrenaline, I tried harder, had a crowd to contend with so felt i couldn't walk or slow down and had someone to follow/chase who was going to come in in sub 48min.  Your full distance training should always be slower than in a race ( I learned that on here) - I think for *beginners* a race is possibly worth an extra 5-10% off your best training time.

    I'd imagine as well as the advice above, getting your long slow run distance up wouldn't harm (or time to 90+min) - it did me the world of good (I started backwards training for HM+FM first) last year.

    I'm knackered now and won't really be able to run/train for a few days, but that's what you save your full effort for I suppose.

  • Congrats on your PB Daeve! Thats a cracking time,I would be delighted to get near that. I managed my first Parkrun on Saturday at Wythenshawe, was a complete mud bath but managed to get round n 26.13. Was very happy with that as in the dry I'm pretty sure I could break the 25 barrier.

    Yesterday was my long run and I managed 16.2k image speed was bang on 6km/h so still a little too fast but felt good.

    No 5 a side this week due to the Madrid game so going to slip an extra 7-8k easy run on weds/thurs this week but keep the rest the same as last week but upping the run speed on my intervals to 15k
  • Well 2 months on and things are going well.  Ive got my parkrun time down from 26.13 to 24.32.  I missed a few weeks when i had a chest infection so that didnt help things which also made me miss the Delamere 10k last month.

    I ran my first 10k of the year this morning (Lymm) and ran a 51.42 which i was pretty happy with.  The wind was horrible and there was a nasty 600m climb on the two (non identical) loops at the end, so 4.5 and 8.5k, they were killers!

    Must push on now keeping up the interval training at the local athlectics club and also keep up my sunday LSRs.  1m 42s to knock off in 6 weeks!


  • I did it!!  Despite the heat and the congestion at Manchester i posted a 49:29 at the weekend!  Absolutely delighted.  I also have my 5k time down to 23:28.

    Onwards and upwards from here!  I've just entered by first half marathon in November so will be looking to pick up the mileage (currently around 20km a week, so rather on the low side) and will be looking at keeping up my participation at ParkRun and maybe a few more local 10ks!

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