The other day I had a question through Instagram and it was a simple one… “How do I break 60 minutes for a 10 km race?”
A simple question but sadly not such a simple answer.
Firstly, besides the fact that I am not currently a coach I just thought some of my knowledge and experience will help. What needs to be understood is that in order for you to run sub 60 minutes for 10Km, you must be able to run below 6 minutes per kilometre for the distance.
Now the reason I mention this is that you will have to train at a pace faster than this speed on occasions. So, if your running has consisted of slow distance running, it is time for change. A time for a change of attitude and a new fresh approach towards your training.
What we are looking at to start with, is being able to run 5Km’s in 5min 50sec per kilometer. This will give you an overall 5K time of 29:10. In South Africa today we have the luxury of the organised and timed Park runs so if the park run near you is a friendly course and not too difficult this could be a good place to target your 5 km PB before we work our way towards a 10 km time.
Now, the secret to your training should be to balance your training with your lifestyle. Your running must never become too much for you. You must always be able to do the sessions asked of you, if you miss a training session you can’t make it up. There is no going back to make up for what you have missed. Doing this is what normally leads to injuries. Making sure you find the “love” of running will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals.
Whether you’re a relatively newcomer or a seasoned runner looking to revise your personal bests, setting your sights on a 60-minute 10k will give you new found motivation and provide your training with a powerful sense of purpose. So how do you crack a 10k in under an hour?
Go the distance
You’ll need to prepare both body and mind for running 10k in an hour and there’s no better way to do this than by covering the race distance comfortably in training. This means including one longer run into your schedule every week.
Longer runs will enhance some of the key training adaptations needed for increased endurance, meaning that you’ll be able to run faster without fatiguing.
Long runs will also enhance some of the key training adaptations needed for increased endurance, meaning that you’ll be able to run faster without tiring as much. You don’t however need to run super long if you’re training for 10k as this could potentially leave you too tired to reap the benefits of your faster sessions.
Aim to build your long run up to 12-14 km. Don’t worry too much about the pace initially, the purpose should simply be to spend some time on your feet. This can be a great confidence booster so you know that on race day you can go the distance.
Get familiar with race pace
A 60-minute 10k equates to 6:00/km pace to be precise! Although this pace may look a little daunting on paper, don’t let it scare you. Like anything, the more you practice it, the more comfortable and confident you will become with it. Confidence in believing that you can hold this pace is one step in the right direction. As I always say the “The body achieves what the mind believes ”.
Try including some running at this pace at least once a week. Interval training and track work is a really effective way of doing race pace specific work as the recovery between repetitions enable you to maintain that pace.
For this reason, it can be a good idea to use an athletics track for some of your race pace running in order to help you control your speed and lock into race pace. The surface is also softer and less damaging than the road or you could find a grass field if there is no track near you.
Complement running with some cross training
Cross training is a great way of doing some additional aerobic work without the impact. By adding a cross training workout into your weekly mix you can reduce your risk of sustaining an overuse injury, strengthen alternative muscle groups that are not predominantly used when running and increase your aerobic fitness.
Remember that as long as you elevate your heart rate your cardiovascular system doesn’t know the difference between running and other forms of aerobic activity. Cycling, circuit training and elliptical training are all excellent cross training choices for running.
The 10K is the single event where any runner can enjoy the full range of everything road racing has to offer. As a test of both speed and endurance, this distance combines the best aspects of the 5K and the marathon. That means that improving your 10K performance can put you in striking distance of improvements at those other distances as well. In fact, much of the appeal of the 10K is not only that it demands versatility of runners, but also that it helps to develop it within them. Running the 10K often means running better.
So as a starter I would say get out here and focus on these 3 key aspects of your running and training and you well on your way to achieving that 60 minute barrier.Consistency is key.
Make sure you set yourself a race target. The race that gives you enough time to apply theses 3 principles in your training.
Hope this little bit of information has helped in some way and I look forward to seeing you all on the road and chasing those goals and times.
Set goals, DREAM BIG but most of all HAVE FUN