Moving from 5k to 10k


I've been training for 2 months now since returning from injury, but yet again it appears that my natural bias towards shorter distances is dominating. What can I do to improve my speed over the longer distances?

For example, I did a 23min 5k parkrun (and with plenty left in the tank at the end) a couple of weeks back, but despite having been training at up to 12.5km long runs managed only a 52min and 51min 10k race either side of it.

While in a 5k i feel like I can push myself hard to the end, I just seem to run out of energy while doing a 10k!

I'm eyeing up a coupel of 10k races during august, but will also be further increasing my long runs in preperation for training for a HM later in the year. I feel like I want to start pushing harder in my long runs, but everything Ive read seems to say that the long runs need to be very slow. The 12.5k training run i did was about 1 hour 08, is this about right?

Any ideas how I can rebalance this? As at the moment i feel like i will be heading towards a heavilly skewed 21min 5k, 50min 10k, 1:55 HM by the end of the summer?

Grateful for any help!


  • What does a typical training week look like? How many miles, on which days and at what paces?

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Great question Matty. Was just about to say exactly that.
  • JD 41JD 41 ✭✭

    Since starting running again at end April / start of May ive gradually built up from one short slowish run per week (checking i was fully recovered from injury) to 2 or 3.

    Typically I've been building up to the following 3 sessions each week in this order with 1 rest day between:

    (Tues) Long run (approx 5:30 per km / 8:48 per mile) - although I replaced this with 10k races in 2 of the last 3 weeks as above

    (Thurs) Easy Run (approx 5km at 5:30-5:40 per km / 8:48-9:00 per mile)

    (Sat) Parkrun as a tempo / speed session (should be about 22:30 this week: 4:30 per km / 7:12 per mile)

    Weeks where I'm planning on running a weekend 10k or life will otherwise get in the way of making the parkrun I'm thinking of doing an interval/tempo session with 3 minute intervals at approx 4:00-4:15 per km / 6:24-6:49 per mile and 3 mins rest between intervals at approx 6:00 per km / 9:36 per mile, have only done one of these so far, was relatively tough.

  • It looks to me like you aren't getting enough quality mileage, or running often enough. Your 5k time is similar to mine so I'll use those paces as examples. I have a 22m 5k and 46m 10k.

    Your tempo run is only 5k - thats not going to get you any more speed endurance up to 10k, so you need to start building up your tempo run to make it gradually longer, making sure you are running at actual threshold pace (Use to work out your threshold pace - mine is about 7.20m/m). A good session is 1m Easy, 3m Tempo, 1m Easy, then build that middle section up week on week to closer to the 5 mile mark.

    I'd be looking at building up a long run of 10m at about 9.15m/m pace (Again, my pace but yours will be similar)

    I'd also extend the easy runs. 1 x 3m easy run isn't really going to help. You need to be doing more like 5-6 mile runs, 3 times a week. Perhaps one of them at a "Steady" pace.

    So 1 x Longer Tempo Run, 1 x Longer Slow Run, 2 x 6ish mile easy runs and 1 x 6ish mile steady run.

    I think you'll get the best results just from more mileage and more frequency. But that tempo run will be key to that endurance stamina.

    Remember not to break the 10% rule and build the mileage up slowly over the next 7-8 weeks, and don't do back to back quality sessions (Tempo and Long Slow run). 

    The Intervals will be good for base speed and if you can squeeze these in too it might help, but its the endurance it looks like you need to work on for the time being, in my opinion.

  • So, two months on:

    I did actually follow this advice to some extent after very rudely not replying at the time! (Sorry!) Well, largely followed it just in building the mileage as much as possible.

    Ran afew sessions faster and slower but then stumbled across the HADD training thread, and as I was coming back from injury decided to adapt that slightly as it seemed to make sense. But with not owning a heart rate monitor I just picked my own very slow pace of 6:00 per km / 9:36 per mile and ran EVERY run at that pace. Increased the mileage as much as I could and it seemed to work as I knocked my 10k PB down into the 47's within a month.

    However by the time I'd built the mileage up to about 25-30k per week my knees and other various part started to feel abit "achey" without any actual njury developing so I dialled the mileage back a bit before completing the GNR last week (in 1:51 - so faster than predicted above despite the warm weather) but now wondering where to go from here!

    Cant decide whether I should increase my mileage up to a reasonable level first, again just using lots of slow running, or whether I should introduce tempo and interval sessions from the start? I'm thinking of running mostly parkruns over the winter in order to break my parkrun PB set back in 2011.

    I was also thinking of taking two weeks (!?) off to recover from the half marathon, having only done a quick 15minutes on tuesday to loosen my legs since. Wondering whether the consecus is if this is considered sensible or too much rest? I finished without injury other than the expected soreness on mon/tues, but it just seemed prudent when I decided this following the race.

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