Whether you're new to running the 10K distance or are building up to smash your 10K PB, getting training right is crucial for success on race day. These 5 10K training tips (plus 1 bonus tip!) will help you to get faster a running a 10K.
1. Tempo Runs
Tempo runs are steady state runs, where you aim to run at a consistent pace. Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes, then run at a comfortably hard pace, somewhere between your half marathon and 10K pace. Finally finish up with a 5 to 10 minute cool down. When you first start out, the tempo section can be 15 minutes, but you'll want to build it up to 30 minutes over time.
Intervals alternate fast running with a slow recovery jog. The workout pace of the interval is faster than your 10K goal pace, closer to the pace you'd race a 5K. Intervals are typically run with 400 metres running fast and then the same amount of time for the recovery jog. So if it takes you 90 seconds to run the 400m, then jog it out for 90 seconds between intervals. Ideally 400m intervals should be run at a track, but anywhere flat will do.
3. Progression runs
Progression runs get progressively faster, helping to simulate the tiredness you'll feel later in a 10K race. Start off slowly, and then as each kilometer or two passes, pick up the pace and run your last kilometer at the same sort of pace you'd run your tempo run at.
4. Fast finish
The fast finish run is similar to a progresssion run, but where you run for 30 to 60 minutes at an easy pace, and then run last 10 minutes at your goal 10K pace. If you want to give yourself a harder workout, then run at your 10K pace for 5 minutes followed by your 5K race pace in the last 5 minutes.
Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning "speed play" and is where you mix it up. While similar to intervals, they are unstructured. Do a warm up first and then run hard for a minute and easy for two to three minutes. If you're running along a footpath, you might run hard out to the next lampost and then take it easy for the next one or two. The hard minutes should be faster than your 10K or 5K race pace.
Bonus Tip: parkrun 5K
And the bonus tip is to use parkrun as training session for your next 10K. Run it a couple of weeks out from your 10K race, at a slightly faster pace than you're planning to run the 10K.
Find your next 10K in Australia
Running Calendar Australia has the most comprehensive list of upcoming fun runs and running events around Australia. Check out our 10K Fun Runs Calendar, and then use the search function to find a race near you.