How Far is a 10K & How to Train for One: The Ultimate 10K Guide
A 10K is a wonderfully magical distance. It is that sweet spot distance that we find ourselves gravitating toward when looking for a new challenge after running 2-4 miles for a while.
How Far Is A 10K Run?
A kilometer is .62 of a mile. When you run a 10K race, you are running 6.2 miles.
Depending on where you are racing, the course may be marked in kilometers, and it could be marked in miles.
Whatever your preference for measuring distance when running, the final distance traveled does not change.
How Long Should a 10K Run Take?
The average time for running a 10K is right about an hour. Experience comes into play here, so don’t expect more than your body is ready for when running any race.
If you have run 5Ks, you should know that your 10K time will be more than twice your 5K run time.
It is assumed that the longer distance you run, you will slow down some.
You can use a pace predictor to estimate your time to run any given distance. You do need to keep in mind that those numbers do not occur in a vacuum – the experts who create the predictor assume you have adequately trained for the longer distance.
If you run a 27:00 5K (8:41 pace), Race Finish Time predictor estimates that your 10K finish will take you about 56:18 (9:04 pace).
We would be remiss if we discussed 10K races without giving you a glimpse into what elites can do.
The women’s world record 10K time is 29:17:45, and for men, it is 26:11:00. We know – that is blazing fast.
Am I Ready to Train for a 10K?
If you can run 2-3 miles without stopping and have at least 8 weeks to train, you can easily get yourself ready to run a 10K.
As an experienced runner and coach, I often encourage people to step outside of their comfort zone if they are already running 5K races.
Doubling the distance you are racing does not necessarily mean doubling the training time commitment.
If you have a decent running base and can commit to one long run each week, you are ready to train for a 10K.
The Best 10K Training Plans
There are many excellent 10K training programs out there. As with most race distances, you can usually find plans tailored to beginners, intermediates, and more experienced runners.
Hal Higdon is a big name in the world of running. If you are looking for a training plan, you may turn to Hal, no matter your skill and experience level.
Hal Higdon’s 8 Week/10K Training Plan
|1||Rest||2.5 mi run||30 min cross||2 mi run||Rest||40 min cross||3 mi run|
|2||Rest||2.5 mi run||30 min cross||2 mi run||Rest||40 min cross||3.5 mi run|
|3||Rest||2.5 mi run||35 min cross||2 mi run||Rest||50 min cross||4 mi run|
|4||Rest||3 mi run||35 min cross||2 mi run||Rest||50 min cross||4 mi run|
|5||Rest||3 mi run||40 min cross||2 mi run||Rest||60 min cross||4.5 mi run|
|6||Rest||3 mi run||40 min cross||2 mi run||Rest||60 min cross||5 mi run|
|7||Rest||3 mi run||45 min cross||2 mi run||Rest||60 min cross||5.5 mi run|
|8||Rest||3 mi run||30 min cross||2 mi run||Rest||Rest||10K Run|
If you want to make your own training plan, we have some words of advice:
- Commit to running 4 or 5 days each week.
- Add a weekly long run to your schedule. Your long run should be run slower than other runs. Consider running 7 miles at least twice before your race. That way, on race day, the 6.2 seems short!
- Incorporate speed work at least once each week.
- Find a hill to train on. Do some hill repeats to help build strength.
- Speaking of strength – some strength training or cross-training is also an excellent idea. High repetitions of low weights are great for runners.
- Some core work will help make you stronger. Even committing to just 10 minutes, 3 times each week, is enough to make a difference!
- Respect the rest day. You can overtrain your body; don’t make that mistake. Schedule rest days and/or non-impact days to rest those legs.
What Is a Good 10K Time for a Beginner Runner?
First off, the word beginner is relative. If you are a true newbie to the world of racing, particularly the 10K, you should expect to finish somewhere from 60 – 80 minutes.
Having said that, a woman I know who had never run a road race decided to train for a marathon and finished in an hour and 45 minutes. Now she was in excellent shape, participated for her whole life in numerous different sports, and trained hard for that first half.
Why mention all of this? Because some new runners knock their first race out of the park.
Also, if you were just walking 3 months ago and recently picked up running, it would not be reasonable to compare yourself to other runners.
Are you running a 12-minute mile pace? Good for you! A 10-minute mile? Again, good for you.
No matter what pace you are running, remember your race, your pace.
Even though most runners finish in that 60-minute zone, consider where your present fitness level is at. Don’t judge yourself too harshly.
If you toed the finish line and ran the best race you could, be proud of that!
How Many Calories Does a 10K Run Burn?
On average, a runner burns roughly 100 calories per mile run.
So, on average, a 10K run will burn around 600 calories.
Having said that, the number of calories you will burn running a certain distance does depend on many factors. The athlete’s size and weight, your running pace, and the weather you are running in all come into play.
A heavier runner will typically expend more calories than someone of smaller stature when traveling the same distance.
Although we often want to make things one size fits all, that is not always the case.
What Should I Eat Before a 10K Run?
Determining what you should eat before a race is tricky.
If your run is in the morning, that does make things easier. Something easy to digest that you have eaten before on a run day is always the best choice.
Excellent pre-run breakfast ideas include:
- Bagel with cream cheese
- Wheat toast with peanut butter
- Greek Yogurt and granola
5 Key Tips for Your First 10K
Once you have picked your race and done the training, consider some things before you toe the line.
1. Remember the runner’s rule of nothing new on race day. This extends to clothing, running shoes, food, and beverages. Do not risk taking in anything new on race day.
2. Lay out your clothing and anything you need to take on race morning. Having everything laid out ahead of time helps ensure you are not rushing around in the morning. In the running world, that is called a flat selfie.
3. Figure out your route to the race and, if you can, pick up your race packet ahead of time. Avoiding lines on race morning is always a plus. If you are staying in a hotel, be sure you bring your food and anything you need for breakfast in the morning. This planning helps avoid panic.
4. When it gets to the actual racing, get into the corral and just take a deep breath. You have done a lot of work to get there. Savor every moment. Don’t make the mistake of getting pulled into a fast start.
Remember what we said: your race, your pace. Try to use the experience you have of listening to your body to run hard enough to do well while avoiding starting off too fast.
5. Watch the mile (or kilometer) markers and peek at your watch when you reach them to be sure you are on target. Again, savor the experience. Run hard enough to hit good achievement but not so hard that you have no gas in the tank at the end.
After completing the race, just think: you don’t have to wonder how far a 10K race is. You have now experienced it!
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