If you want to run 10k, it is certainly a worthwhile endeavour that challenges both your endurance and speed, but it requires time, organisation and dedication, whatever your level may be. The first step to completing and training for one, is knowing how long it should take to finish a 10k run. Being able to estimate the approximate finishing time can be advantageous prior to starting the race: helping you to fully prepare for it beforehand, as well as to better pace yourself during the run itself.
At WholyMe, we recognise the importance of taking a holistic approach to training and improving your performance. Take a look at below for tips on benchmark, training and looking after your body when preparing for a 10k run.
Benchmark your 10k run
The time it takes you to run 10k (which is the equivalent of 6.2 miles) will be determined by a number of factors, including your age, sex, and overall fitness level when you start. It is also worth keeping in mind that the ideal time it takes to run a 10k is also quite subjective. After all, depending on what your objectives are (for example, you may be wanting to improve your personal best, or perhaps your goal is to run 10k for the very first time) an excellent finishing time for one runner may prove to be disappointing for someone else.
Nevertheless, setting benchmarks for completing a 10k run (whatever your current running level may be) is an excellent way of tracking your progress, as well as to set your sights on an achievable goal.
For beginners, you should aim to complete a mile within approximately 13 minutes. If you kept this same pace throughout a 10k, you can expect to finish within approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, if you are new to running, it is recommended that you start with at least some 5k experience beforehand progressing to 10k. This means you’ll have learnt some of the basic skills of running (such as endurance and distance) which can help you tackle a 10k more effectively. You can read our blog on how to run a 5k here.
For regular runners (that is, runners who are relatively fit already and are running approximately 15 to 30 miles each week,) you should be focusing on completing a mile in approximately 9-12 minutes. If you keep to these timings, you can expect to complete a 10k in 1 hour to 1h 15.
For more advanced runners, the optimal time for running a 10k can vary between 43 to 50 minutes in total.
How to train for a 10k
Training needs to be adapted to the length of the run itself: there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. With 10k training, there are some aspects similar to preparing for a 5k run: such as doing long runs and strength exercises for building endurance. This includes tempo runs, which help you to build faster for longer.
If you are a beginner to tempo runs, it is advised to start with 3×1-mile repetitions, and then do some light jogging for two minutes between every mile. For more advanced runners, increase the distance and do this as a continuous run for 4 to 6 miles.
Once you have built a solid foundation through regular tempo runs, move onto 10k intervals to improve your overall performance and reach your goal 10k pace. For example, you could start with repetitions of 8,000 to 1,000 metres for a total of 3 to 5 miles, and increase this over time through the course of four to six weeks.
What to eat to prepare for a 10k
At WholyMe, we know the importance of taking a holistic approach to improving your running performance: and fuelling yourself with healthy, unprocessed food is a good place to start. When preparing for your 10k, be sure to keep meals balanced with a mixture of healthy carbohydrates (oats, brown rice, legumes) proteins (eggs, fish, nuts, meat), and fats (such as oily fish, seds and avocados).
The most important note to take from this, is that whilst being aware of estimates for completing a 10k can be useful, it is important to not get too caught up in comparing your running time with others. The overarching aim should be to complete a 10k that is achievable, in accordance with your individual circumstances.
How to support your muscles and joints
At WholyMe, we want to you relieve your body so you can not only keep healthy but enhance your body’s potential. Running regularly can cause some wear and tear to your joints and cause muscle soreness. It is thus paramount to get into a habit of caring for your muscles and joints, by adopting daily self-care gestures: apply a natural topical, like the WholyMe Relief Balm, twice a day to relieve tensions and improve your body health.