Are you a middle-distance runner who loves to run 5Ks and 10Ks on a normal basis? Or are you looking forward to getting a good time for the upcoming race? If you answered “yes” to either of these two questions, then perhaps you are already looking for ways on how to PR for the next 10K competition (for our articles on PR, check it out here).
Granted, you can train and train all you want, but maybe you are not seeing the results yet, which is frustrating. However, there is no need to feel discouraged: we are here to help! Learn more in this article on just what is a good 10K time, as well as find answers to your frequently-asked questions on how to train for the best time possible. Soon enough, you will get there in time.
With that said, let’s begin!
Comprising of around 6.2 miles, a 10K run is definitely an endurance race and so, depending on your fitness level and abilities, good race times for this specific distance can really vary. Generally speaking, 10K times can range anywhere from 50 to 70 minutes, although some novice runners can take between 80 and 90 minutes to complete it.
In addition, you will also have to consider just what kind of terrain it is that you are running on. Especially if there are hills, uneven surfaces, and other obstacles on the course, they can slow down your running time, as you get tired out more easily and so forth.
Just like with any other competition you might have done, e.g. 5Ks, one-mile races, you will need to train in order to get in shape. Not only that, but you will also need to eat well and be smart about your body when it comes to becoming fit. Here are some things you can do to get started:
Whether it is running every day or doing so a couple of times per week, it is necessary to have a consistent workout schedule as means of seeing your improvement over time.
Granted, waking up early in the morning to get your run in before work can be a tough ordeal, and sometimes, you might be tempted just to sleep in. However, kick that habit and do your best to get up and go out. Trust us; your body will thank you for it later.
When it comes to consistency, setting up a schedule can be very helpful. Purchase a daily planner and pencil in the days of the week that you would have the time and would be willing to run. Then stick to it; more often than not, it will pay off in the end.
Even if you are aiming to run a 10K race, running 10Ks every day for practice will just not be enough. Not only does it get repetitive and boring, but also those aspects can discourage you from continuing to practice, especially if you are not seeing any results after a week or two.
Even more so, it has been proven that doing the same workout every time leads to your body becoming complacent, which then makes it impossible to improve in terms of race times.
That said, try your best to mix up the workouts from time to time: in terms of running, perhaps spend one day running long-distance (10Ks and higher), then followed by a short-distance workout the next day (5Ks and under).
Read more: How To Train Your Best For a 5K Run In Just 6 Weeks
In between, you can also work on conditioning with speed intervals and ladder exercises (increasing and decreasing mileage with each set). This breaks up routine and keeps your body alert and constantly having to adapt to changing workouts, which in the end can improve you.
Aside from running, doing other physical activities like weight-training and stretching can enhance your race performance, for you are developing muscle for more force and flexibility for quick, easier agility, respectively. Aim to do each of these activities at least once or twice a week, and you will soon see results!
Eating sugary, high-in-fat foods might seem excusable just because you are burning them off during runs, but in terms of affecting your body at resting state, it can be not so great. In fact, they can make you feel sluggish and not as motivated to run next time, and overall counter balance just what you had worked so hard to burn off. Really, it is a lose-lose situation.
Hence, try your best to get in as much whole-grains, lean proteins, and fruits and vegetables as possible, for they not only fuel you effectively, but also keep your body clean and healthy. Examples include whole-wheat bread or pasta, chicken and eggs, and bananas, which are an excellent source of potassium.
Running every day can be healthy, but sometimes, a bit of rest does not hurt. Actually, it is necessary to rest in order to prepare your muscles; otherwise, you risk getting injured. Taking a day or two off from exercising is fine- you can then do some light jogging or casual sports in the meantime.
Now that race day has arrived, it is time to go! The most important thing is to pace yourself, getting out of the racing block in a quick and easy fashion before settling into a comfortable rhythm that you can keep up for the next five to seven kilometers. By the last one to two kilometers, pick up the pace before going all out towards the finish line.
10K races are actually not that different from 5K ones; for more on the latter, you can check out our article here.
Overall, running a 10K race requires a lot of patience when it comes to training and during the race itself. The process to getting to that optimal race time is just as important as actually achieving it; by knowing your goals and sticking through with them, it is guaranteed that you will do well for the next 10K race that you do.