10km in 40 mins training programme

Hey guys,

I am new to the site so hello and I apologise if this is in the wrong place!

I have been reading about the famous 10km in 40 minutes and it's something I really want to nail for a local 10km at the end of May. Last year I did this in 43:06 but didn't do any training other than football.

Now I understand there are a few other threads about this but I guess I am looking for some advice due to my current training which is a little different - 

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Interval training - 4 x 4 min at 90% HR with 2 min rest

Wednesday - Swimming

Thursday - Football 5 a side Training

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 90 minute football match

Sunday - Long run - 15km roughly

I appreciate any help in advance.

Many Thanks,





  • Hi Moley,

    Having just done something similar last year off around 6 months of training (probably starting from a lower level of fitness than yourself), my main observation would be that there is not a huge amount of running in your schedule.

    I appreciate that you are running a decent amount in 5-a-side and a 90 minute football game but it is not really specific running training. You need to increase the time on your feet without all the stoppages that you have in a football game.

    I'm assuming that the football is not budging from the schedule therefore you should try and get a couple of easy runs in maybe on wednesday instead of swimming and on the friday.

    I would say these easy runs should be 4-6 miles and probably 8:15/mile pace or slower. Your long run should be at around this pace also. Leave the hard running for the interval session (although there is a debate that you should not have an interval session in there until you are at much higher mileage).

    I think you would have a decent chance with these additions but it will be a decent challenge in 3 months.

  • Hey Iwan,

    Many Thanks for the response.

    So is the key to this getting the mileage in the legs rather than focusing on pace work? 


  • Mark – quite simple, run more, add in as many runs as you can without getting injured or burnt out.
    I would like to note that as the majority of the training you currently do is quite intense (Football, intervals, long run) I would only add in extra easy runs. By easy, I mean 9 minute miles, if you don’t have a GPS device to help you control your pace then make sure these runs feel ridiculously easy, or if you can run with someone else make sure you are able to hold a conversation when running. I would apply this rule to your long run as well.
    If you can build in a second medium long run to your week, say a one hour run each week, that will help your general aerobic conditioning no end. It will support your long run and may even help you to increase the long a run a bit.
    As for the intervals, not a bad session, how are you getting the 90% figure, is this a HR max figure? If so then you need to make the session it harder. I would maintain the effort pace and then reduce the recoveries over time and once you have the recoveries down (say to one minute) you can then look to increase the pace or length of the efforts. You could also replace the intervals with a tempo session. Something like 2 mile jog warm up 20 mins at about 10 seconds per mile slower than 10k pace 1 mile warm down.
    You could do longer tempo’s say 30 mins at 15 – 20 seconds per mile slower than 10k pace and so on.

    Long term if you are really determined to do this and then go onto becoming the best runner you can possibly be, then ditching the football and swimming might be necessary to achieve this, but achieving a 40 min 10k while still playing football and swimming should be achievable for you.

    Good luck, there are no short cuts or no magic sessions, hard work and patience are what’s required.

  • Hey Y D, 

    Thanks a lot for your advice, that is exactly what I needed. What sort of pace should I be running the second medium/long run? 

    Yeah I was using a HR monitor to determine the 90% for the intervals. So I need to look at making this a little harder by reducing recovery and increasing length/pace. 

    That helps a lot!

  • For the med long run, run it slow, that same pace as your long run and other easy runs.

    Another thing to consider is that using HR for shorter intervals isn’t always the best way to train. It takes a while for the HR to get up (longer than 4 mins I would say) so 90% for a shortish interval might not be a true reflection of effort. I use a HR monitor, but more for post run feedback, I do occasionally look at my HR mid run, but not when really working hard.

    For short intervals you might be better setting an appropriate pace for the session. For 4 x 4 mins I would think you should be running quicker than 10k pace, start with maybe 5k pace. It might be worth you doing a parkrun if you live local to one so that you can work out what 5k pace is and that will then help you work out what your current fitness is in terms of 10k pace and tempo pace etc.

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