The quest for sub 40 min 10k

Hi everyone,

I am currently running 44 mins for 10k and really want to improve!! I have built up a good base currently running 5-6 times a week. I was wondering if anyone had some good tips and advice to help me. I really want to get my time under 40 mins soon, am I being realistic? Does anyone have any success stories to give me inspiration!!



  • One word: Speedwork!!!

    I was running 42/43 mins. Then I jopined a club (but you can do it on your own of course) and within 3 months - YES - 3 months - I got down to a 39. Within a year it was 36 and 2 years a 35.

    I think the best session for a 10k is 6x1k with a 2 minute rest. If you do under 4 mins on your first set you'll be doing well, but (as a 44 minn 10k runner now) you'll be averaging under 3:40/k within 5 sessions.

    Also, do some really short stuff. I try to get in some 200mx20 with 45second rest. It's Lactic Acid city, but it keeps you on your toes, and your lungs "big" too
  • Blackers - i am in a similar position to Molly pb is 43mins and want to get under 40, when you say 6x1k with 2 min rest, is that complete rest or just slower speed. Most speedwork plasn i have seen do not have complete rest. a 2min rest between each 1k appears high
  • interesting stuf blackers.
    the progression to 35mins is very interesting!

    i did a 38:27 a18months ago..before i started doing a good 25-30 miles a week.

    I haven't broken it since, in 4 attempts which have either been on hilly courses or on excessively hot days!

    I fear i lack the ability to "race" and tend to just run as i would in a training run..if i feel like it i'll push the pace on but otherwise go comfortable!

    my clubs recommences its speedwork sessions this tuesday after 6 month gap so hopefully that will help!

  • My club is also starting speed training again so hopefully with a bit of competition I might be able to push my times down! I know what you mean about lacking the ability to race. I think I talk myself out of a race before I have run it! Although I think that hopefully as I am relatively knew I will get better with some more experience.
  • I know that it is going to take alot of blood sweat and tears and I'm definately not expecting it untill at least a bit into 2007. Just going to keep plugging away at my training, I know I need to increase my stamina for one. But I suppose thats the fun of running, seeing your hard work paying off! Thanks for your reply JJ. :-)
  • Whereabouts do you live Molly - if it's anywhere near Nottm the Caythorpe 10k at Christmas is very fast.
  • Thanks popsider am in North Yorks for the minute though although do tend to be up and down the country though so will bear this one in mind! Thanks :-)
  • I had a similiar progression from 42min to 35min in a space of 5 years. Try this program for a target time of 39:50

    Mon 10km easy (4:45 to 4:55min/km)
    Tue 5 x 2000m with 90sec total rest
    (Aim to run total distance 39:30 to 39:45)

    Wed 10km easy (4:45 to 4:55min/km)
    Thu 6 x 1000m with 60sec total rest
    (Aim to run at 3:48 to 3:50min/km)

    Fri Rest
    Sat or Sun 20km long slow distance (5min/km)
    Sat or Sun 10km easy (4:45 to 4:55min/km)

    Do this for 9 weeks with a race every three weeks. Take it easy on the 9th week before your goal race.

  • Thats very usefull thank you V much.
  • I did a sub-40 for the first time in late 2004 after being in my running club for about three years. I've only done it twice since. My first 10k was 44 mins something. It was a lot harder than running a sub-90 half marathon. What I found is that if I run over thirty miles a week for several weeks I can run a sub-40. I usually do a hard interval session with my club midweek as well.
  • Molly, Perfectly realistic.

    I managed to go from 39 to 34 within a year. There are no tricks to it - just get out there and run lots of slow miles.

    Going to 7 days a week training will help. In that should be a long run (90mins is ok for 10km racing), some slow reps (10km paced is fine, but look to cover 8 - 10km) and a tempo run (HM paced). The way things are progressing, I'd hope to take another minute to 90s off bt December using this method.

    See here and here for some pointers.
  • And forgot to add to word 'consistancy' to the above. You should be looking to progress your training from now until March, then add some speed when the spring sunshine arrives.
  • I sympathise... But then I did speedwork badly. Make sure you warm up and stay warm (especially as winter is upon us) and don't do what I did. I warmed up, cooled too quickly and as a result, basically f**ked up my running since.

    I went from 40.25 to sod all. be careful.
  • Thanks for all your replies and encouragement. Thanks James for the links very usefull! Will keep you all posted on my progress. :-)
  • I went from 46:53 to 40:08 off marathon training - 40-50 miles a week of easy running and no speed sessions bar the odd 5k time trial.
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