How To Run A Sub 40 Minute 10K
Run your fastest 10K
Distance10,000m (6.2 miles)
World record26:44 (road race)
Your target45 mins
The benefitsIncreases aerobic fitness by up to 12%; over 800kcals burned during race; ideal foundation for longer distances
Ten kilometres is the distance that just keeps on giving. Founded on the holy trinity of distance training stamina, strength and speed its a great race in itself but it also provides a base for tuning any other race time. Use it to sharpen up your 5K or give your lungs a going over ahead of a marathon. A great 10K athlete can become a great all-rounder, says GB athlete and two-time winner of the Great Manchester Run, Jo Pavey. Harness the power of the 10K, with our top training tips.
Up your tempo
Tempo sessions are crucial to 10K training, says running coach Nick Anderson. They train your body to sustain speed over distance. They also elevate anaerobic threshold.
Your moveDo 10-10s. Repeat 10-minute runs at 10K goal pace, with a 3-5 minute jog after each. Aim for 4-5 repeats. This will improve your endurance and efficiency.
The lazy way to speed
"Running economically will help you run faster and longer, says exercise physiologist Jonathan Dugas. That means using as little energy as possible with each stride by ironing out flaws.
Your moveRun as though youre on top of clouds, says Anderson. Youll run taller, becoming less of a slow-footed heel-striker and more of a fast mid-foot runner. Keep your elbows close to reduce tension and shoulders relaxed to encourage better breathing.
Pool your efforts
Aqua-running is the best cross- training choice for runners. Its a full-body workout, says Anderson. Studies show runners who aqua-run improve their hip extensions for longer strides and faster race times.
Your moveAdopt a sweeping, pendulum-like motion from hips to toes. Keep your arms straight and take short strides for 3x5 widths of the pool.
The optimum pre-run meal should contain 200-300g of carbohydrate for energy and be low in gut-shifting fibre, says nutritional therapist Henrietta Bailey.
Your moveTry a bowl of porridge with honey and berries. And wash it down with a flat white. In studies at two Minnesota universities runners saw a 4% increase in VO2 max and a 3% increase in lactate threshold after caffeine which translates into a 30-second cut in 10k time.
The ability to push hard when youre tired is based on holding back at the start, progressing patiently, and finishing fast. Muscles perform best when relaxed, so knowing you can deliver a strong finish helps from the start, says Anderson.
Your moveRun 8x2 minutes with the first minute at race pace and the second slightly faster, says Pavey. Rest for two minutes.
Run for the hills...
Youll notice the benefits of hill training in the last third of a 10K race, says Anderson. It strengthens your quads so you can power through to the finish.
Your moveTry hill sprints of 30 seconds to boost leg power, says Pavey. Aim for 10x30-second uphill repeats, jogging down in between.
...and back down again
A study published inThe Journal of Strength & Conditioning Researchshows that sprinters who train up and down hills improve their speed.
Your moveRun 4x2 minutes on the flat, then 2 minutes downhill 20 seconds faster than race pace. Increase the flat and downhill portions to 4 minutes. Recover with 2-minute jogs.
Video: Run Strong and Fast! 10K Running Training
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