7 Workouts to Run Your 10K PR
The following workouts are intended for the race-specific portion of your training. Complete a dynamic warm-up routine and run for at least 10 to 15 minutes before you start a faster workout to help you warm up properly. After you finish the repetitions, run for another 10 to 15 minutes to cool down.
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Tempo pace is often described as "comfortably hard;" it's the pace that you could hold for about an hour. For many runners, tempo pace is actually very similar to their 10K pace. So it makes sense to include tempo running early in your training plan before you get to faster, more specific workouts.
When you're just starting to do tempo runs, start with repetitions like 3 x 1 mile at tempo pace with two minutes of easy jogging in between each mile. If you're already comfortable with tempos or need more of a challenge, increase the distance, and run the tempo as a continuous run for 4 to 6 miles.
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The mile helps runners build speed and stamina for any distance; it's an adaptable distance that can be run at various paces on different courses to achieve a variety of goals.
To increase your speed, start with 3 x 1-mile repeats at 5K pace with 3 to 4 minutes recovery jogging between intervals. Complete this workout every two to three weeks, gradually increasing the number of repeats as you progress in your training cycle until you're at 4 to 5 repeats.
To learn how to run at your goal race pace, try this: Run 3 x 1-mile repeats at your goal 10K pace with 4 to 5 minutes of easy jogging between each interval. Complete this workout every 2 to 3 weeks, gradually increasing the number of repeats as you progress in your training cycle until you're at 5 to 6 repeats.
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Start with repetitions of 800 to 1,000 meters (it's best to run these workouts on a track where you can precisely control your pace) and a total volume of 3 to 5 miles. One example is 8 x 800m at goal 10K pace. You can take a recovery interval of 400 meters of slow, easy jogging to rest in between each repetition.
Over four to six weeks, gradually increase the distance of your repetitions and the total volume of the workout so it looks closer to a 10K race. Here's a sample progression:
- Week 1: 6 x 800m (3 miles total)
- Week 2: 6 x 1,000m (3.75 miles total)
- Week 3: 6 x 1,200m (4.5 miles total)
- Week 4: 5 x mile (5 miles total)
- Week 5: 5 x mile (5 miles total)
- Week 6: 6 x mile (6 miles total)
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The goal of fast-finish runs is to finish the final miles of the run fast: For 10K, run the last 1 to 2 miles of your longest run of the week at goal 10K race pace or, ideally, faster. Used most frequently during half marathon and marathon training, this workout is great for the 10K distance as well because it teaches you how to push on tired legs. If negative splits are a part of your race strategy, this workout will get you used to picking up the pace at the end of the run so that, on race day, this feels second nature.
Sprinkle these efforts into your training plan every two or three weeks.
The Do-or-Die 10K Workout
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If you can make it through this grit-your-teeth effort while sticking to your 10K race pace, you can toe the start line confident that you're fit enough to race at your goal pace for 6.2 miles. Run 3 x 2 miles at 10K race pace with a 3- to 4-minute recovery jog between each interval. Complete this workout two weeks prior to your goal 10K.
Race-Week Workout for Beginning and Intermediate Runners
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- 1- to 2-mile warm-up
- 4 x 1 mile at 10K pace with 60 seconds rest
- 2 x 1000 meters at 10K pace with 45 seconds rest
- 1- to 2-mile cooldown
Race-Week Workout for Advanced Runners
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- 2- to 3-mile warm-up
- 2 x 1 mile at 3K to 5K pace with 5 minutes rest
- 2 x 400 meters at mile pace with 3 minutes rest
- 2-mile cooldown