How to Run a Faster 10K With Race-Specific Workouts

Faster 10K

The 10K is a fantastic race distance that challenges your endurance and speed. At double the distance of the more introductory 5K, it's the common "next step" for beginning runners who are looking for their next challenge.

As races get longer, your training needs to change. What worked for the 5K won't work as well for the 10K distance. Many runners know this, but aren't sure how to train differently to run their best 10K.

There will be some constants of course, like the need for a long run and strength exercises to stay healthy (try this medicine ball workout if you're ready for a challenge).

But once you cover the basics, you'll need to run 10K-specific workouts that mimic the demands of the race itself. These workouts can help you run faster the next time you toe the starting line.

The Classic Tempo Workout

Tempo runs are staples in any good training plan for the 5K all the way to the marathon, and for good reason: They build the endurance you need to run faster, for longer.

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.

Always err on the side of running a little too slow than too fast. If you run too hard, you negate the benefits and will just wear yourself out.

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About the Author

Jason Fitzgerald

Jason Fitzgerald is a USATF-certified running coach, 2:39 marathoner, and the founder of Strength Running. Have a question about running? Download the free Strength Running PR Guide to get 35+ answers to the most commonly asked questions about running.

Jason Fitzgerald is a USATF-certified running coach, 2:39 marathoner, and the founder of Strength Running. Have a question about running? Download the free Strength Running PR Guide to get 35+ answers to the most commonly asked questions about running.

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