My 3 steps to an awesome 10K

So you’ve decided to run a 10K, pretty popular choice and there’s lots of advice out there on how to run one and cross the finish line.  But what if you want to do more with your 10K?  What if a PB is your target?

Well, I’ve collected my top 3 pieces of advice –  to take you from wherever you are now and get you across the finishing line with a new best time under your belt.

Ok so let’s jump right in and get you that Personal Best 10K you deserve!


Aerobic first – no excuses

Yep, getting long and slow miles in benefits A LOT of different race distances and the 10K is no exception, so this is your first place to start.  Begin with what you can comfortably do, then build up your mileage to the 6.2 mile mark.  Once your here go past it – you might be thinking what’s the point?  If I know I can run 10K then I know I can run 10K, right?  Right!  But you’re not here for me to give you my experience on just running a 10K – you want me to get you to you a PB performance!


So yes, go beyond the 10K or 6.2 miles, how much is up to you – I would go for as long as is comfortable and of course you’ll be bound to some extent by the time you have available, you’ve got other pieces of our 10K puzzle to resolve so we need time to get these sorted too, so it’s going to be useful to keep some time during your week to commit to those.  The more you can add in long runs as part of your regular running the better, but my advice here is to only increase gradually and make sure you ease back (in terms of your mileage) every 4th week.


It’s really important to keep a watch out for overtraining as you attempt to increase mileaage – check out my guide to smashing through running plateaus here

Hills for strength anyone?

So you’ve been adding in long runs, that’s a great start, it dials up your endurance and will set your body up to run the distance.

That’s great, I hear you say, but where is my PB?  How do I translate that running into speed and a first class performance?

The answer is two-fold:

  1. I’m going to give you some speed specific workouts that will increase your speed, they’ve worked for me and they’ll work for you too
  2. You’re going to increase your overall running strength, and once you do you’ll feel more comfortable running faster – it’ll be easier. Feel that PB getting closer?

Start off by adding one or two speed workouts per week – I’m assuming you’re going to be able to run either 3 or 4 times per week.  More isn’t necessarily better, so think quality here rather than quantity in term of how often you run.

Follow this workout:

Choose a hill nearby that is of a gradient that will provide challenge for you to run up fast.  It doesn’t need to be a monster, or particularly long.

Long enough for you to be able to run for 30 seconds to start.  Warm up first on the flat and at a slow pace. About a mile.  Now get to the base of your hill and sprint as fast as you can to the top.  Turn around and for two minutes run/walk down again.  Don’t skimp on this recovery, it makes all the difference.

Repeat the sprint element again for 3 more attempts and recover after each go.

Add this workout into your training once per week and increase the intensity as I describe below: 

Week 1 30 seconds x 3 repeats x 2 minutes active recovery

Week 2 45 seconds x 4 repeats x 90 seconds active recovery

Week 3 60 seconds x 5 repeats x 60 seconds active recovery

Week 4 30 seconds x 3 repeats x 2 minutes active recovery


Try this for a month or two and watch your strength improve, these methods are tested and used by professionals as well as new runners and they work!  For more info on hill repeats check out my youtube series on exactly that here and don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for more detailed info.

How fast can you go?

OK, let’s take a quick re-cap of where you’re up to if you’ve followed your plan so far:

  1. You’ll be adding longer runs, increasing that super-useful endurance running
  2. You’ll be completing hill sprints, gradually dialling up the intensity and starting to see results

And before you move onto the speed work that I’m going to provide, you’ll need to be doing the good stuff above first for a good 6 weeks.

The reason?

To get your body ready for speed, to strengthen it in really specific ways.

Now let’s get you ready for the PB performance you’re planning for.

First, work out what your 10K pace will be.  Decide what time you’re going for, if you’ve run a 10K previously then pick a time that’s realistic as well as challenging.

Tempo and Intervals are your friends

Warm up before all of these runs and of course cool down too!

Week 1 of speed – Tempo run, start off slow for 10 minutes but faster than your long run pace, then build up to your 10K speed for 15 minutes before easing back to your long run pace again

Week 2 of speed – as above but increase the fast section to 20 minutes

Week 3 of speed – as above but increase the fast section to 25 minutes

Week 4 of speed – as above and reduce the fast section to 10 minutes


You’ll really supercharge your training if you can find time to get some interval training into your week too.  Try these to get that extra benefit:

Week 1 of speed – run an Interval of 400 metres at a faster speed than you want to run your 10K at – yes this might be a stretch, but that’s what’s really going to make a massive difference – recover for 2 minutes at a slow walk/jog before moving into your next 400 metre interval at the same speed, continue for another 2 x 400 metres with recovery between.

Week 2 of speed –  As above with 6 intervals

Week 3 of speed – As above with 8 intervals

Week 4 of speed – As above with 4 intervals


All of the strategies and tips here will get you to not only run much closer to your target PB pace, but you’ll also have the mental knowledge that you can achieve your target.

You will be running faster, longer and adding intervals at speeds in excess of your target pace, all through this you’ve built on a rock solid foundation of long runs which continue throughout your training, and of course hill repeats which have strengthened your running related muscles.

Don’t forget that running injury free is a lot easier to achieve than many runners realise, if you’d like a free pdf copy of my ebook on avoiding runnning injuries simply subscribe to my blog and I’ll send you a copy

Get out there and practice, mix the workouts up, and don’t forget, if you get a plan, commit to it and then follow it – that 10K PB is yours to take!


For other helpful articles subscribe to my blog, follow me on twitter for regular updates and strategies and join YOUR running coach on facebook for a community of like minded runners working to share the best info out there for other runners.

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