How much faster in an event?

Hi everyone, I'm really new to running; I just got into it around 6 or 7 weeks ago. I have been running 10km's in around 50 minutes, for example this morning I ran in 49:00. Im not really too worried about times since it is more for fun, but how much faster should i expect to be/pace myself in a race? I have my first event coming up on Wednesday and it is a 10km race. Thanks in advance for all the help! :smile:


  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Hi tuga78 - it's a difficult question to answer as it would depend on your development as a runner and how much training you're putting in. Certainly if you're running sub 50 for the 10K now, after 6 or 7 weeks, then I suspect there's still some time that you can take off of that with some structured training.

    The question would be more to yourself of how much you think you could take off. Sometimes what holds us back is our own self imposed limitations. That's to say that you find a pace that you feel is your natural pace. To go beyond that pace requires more effort and a bit of pain. 

    I would say that for a race you can possibly expect to go a bit faster as you're running with others and a certain competitiveness can enter into the equation. Good luck with it and tell us how you get on.
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Hi tuga78, Guarddog is right; it's a difficult question to answer. However, the fact that you are asking the question would suggest that you are quite keen to progress. 
    I reckon that you might easily go a couple of minutes faster, on a favourable course with good conditions, if you arrive 'fresh' with no injuries.
    It can help if you know the course. Will you be running alone or with mates? How many in the event? Is it flat or hilly? Road or trails? 
    Don't know what effort you have put into your 10k training runs. My training runs over that distance would often be anything from 4-8 minutes slower than my race time.
    If you have only been running for a couple of months these are early days for racing, and it would be easy to get things wrong. To be at your best for Wednesday you need to ease-off now, and arrive in good shape. Get there early. Start at a comfortable pace, and see how you feel about pushing on in the second half.
    There is a lot of great experience and wisdom on these threads so let us know how you get on, on Wednesday. Then, if you still want advice of other runners on here you'll need to divulge a few more personal details; 
    age, previous activities, weekly training runs (miles, hills,) etc..
    Hope all goes well!
  • tuga78tuga78 ✭✭
    Hi Guarddog and MrM2,

    Thank you very much for your constructive comments, to be honest I am quite interested in progressing but I am still deciding if I really want to fully commit to some of the training plans I have read on these pages. At this point I'm not really running too much maybe 3 times a week, with one of those runs being around 10km and the other two being around 6km.

    I have taken some rest in these past two to three days, the only running I did was yesterday, and it was a slow 6km. The event will be on pretty flat ground on concrete and I usually run on trails so I'm guessing that could make a difference, and I'm running alone but some mates are coming along to watch!

    Again thanks for the information it really helps! :smiley:
  • tuga78tuga78 ✭✭
    Just an update; I ran 47:15! was really pleased with my performance in my first race. I started out way too fast, ran the first 5km in 22 minutes so had a rough time in the 6-8km period but managed to finish strong!
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Well done tuga78! You've put down a decent marker. With a few more race experiences and a bit of 'structured' training you should be able to take chunks off that time.
    (Did someone say, 'Start at a comfortable pace.'?) 
    Congrats. Take it easy for a couple of days, and look out for any unusual aches or pains. General rule is to expect a delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) and particularly note any that affect only one side which could indicate a weakness or injury.

    Why don't you try a few parkruns (5k) for some of your faster work, and add the occasional longer run (more than 10k) at a slower pace?
    Anything else planned?
    Happy running.
  • tuga78tuga78 ✭✭
    Thanks MrM2! Yeah I really wanted to pace myself properly but I guess the adrenaline just got to me haha. Im taking a few days break now as you indicated and will probably get back into it at the start of next week. Thanks for the tip on looking out for one side of soreness!

    The parkruns will probably be my next point of progress although I am away for most of the summer so I hope to keep the training up while Im not in the uk. And yes I hope to try to run slightly longer distances at a slower pace to build some sort of stamina.

    The only proper race I have planned now is a 10k in december, which given my time now I hope to get maybe a 46 or so? I have realised that Im quite keen on maybe trying out some of the structured training programs for 10km, are there any you would particularly recommend?
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Well done tuga78, that is a fantastic result.

    Strange you mentioned adrenaline as after I'd replied earlier I thought I should have mentioned that to you. You always get that surge in a race and think how "easily you're running and able to hold a pace you never figured you'd be able to" and then....bam, the adrenaline burst ends.

    Still, having done your first one you now know what to expect and a lot of improvement comes with structured training and experience. 
  • Interesting thread Tuga...I have just done 2 races a HM and a FM and both are among my fastest road times - I was amazed at how much quicker I was in a race...adrenaline really seems to kick in and taper gives you new legs for the race....
  • xink1982xink1982 ✭✭✭

    Yeah I was just gonna say you can potentially run 1 minute or so faster at 5k pace and perhaps 2 minutes or more faster at 10k pace when your racing as opposed to training on your own.

    As well as the adrenaline your racing to keep pace with other people - It's quite a strange phenomenon that we can only unlock our true potential under race conditions :) 

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