Everyone has goals milestones when it comes to running distances. A sub 45 minute 10k is one a number of experienced or quicker runners might aim for, a quite impressive time to the average runner.
This blog post aims to help you understand the pace you need to be running at to run 10k in under 45 minutes and what other tips can help you get there. It must be said that 45 minutes is a great time for a 10k and might be unachievable for a lot of recreational runners, especially those new to running.
You should always compare your running performance to your own training history in order to enjoy your training and get the best results. Comparing yourself to professional runners who run at an elite level might be ambitious but can equally be demoralising!
Average times for a 10k race
The average 10k running time for men is about 55 minutes, while for women, it's about 1 hour. More specifically, a good 10k time for a man is 46:43, which is the average time across men of all ages.
For women, the average 10k time is 50-70 minutes, with more advanced runners finishing in 43-50 minutes. Elite male runners should be able to run a 10k in under 38 minutes, while elite female runners should aim for under 45 minutes. The world record fastest 10k time for men is 26:11, and for women is 29:01.
10k Running pace chart
Using Strava's pace calculator, the following table shows the average pace you need to be running on race day to pass the race course finish line in under 45 minutes, which can be a useful tool for someone aiming to beat their personal best. The first column shows the distance of each race and the following columns show the finish time if you run at each average pace. It is important to note that different runners prefer different approaches when it comes to target pace. Some prefer to stick with one consistent pace throughout, where as others prefer to run with negative split times where they get quicker throughout the race. This is entirely down to personal preference so it might be a good idea to attempt a time trial before race day to test both strategies.
Here is a goal pace chart for running a sub 45 minute 10k race in minutes per kilometre.
Here is a target race pace chart for running a sub 45 minute 10k race in minutes per mile.
Training tips to beat your 10 PB time on race day
Warming up before a 10k run is essential to prepare your body for the race and reduce the risk of injury. A good warm-up routine before any training session should include dynamic stretches and a light jog to increase blood flow and body temperature. A recommended warm-up for a 10k race involves a 10-15 minute shakeout run to warm up your legs, followed by dynamic stretches such as high knees and leg swings to elevate your core body temperature and prepare the muscles for the race. It's also important to do some short sprints at race pace to get your body ready for the intensity of the race. Additionally, staying hydrated and doing a light jog or walk before the race can help prepare your body for the run.
Avoid common injuries
To avoid injuries when training for a 10k race, it is important to focus on several key aspects. First, it's essential to establish a structured training program that gradually increases your workload, typically by no more than 10% per week, to prevent overuse injuries. Additionally, paying attention to running form and incorporating strength training, plyometrics, and mobility work into your routine can help prevent common running injuries such as shin splints or tendonitis. Finally, staying consistent with your training, listening to your body, and avoiding overtraining are all important factors in injury prevention.
Follow a training program
To achieve the best results in a 10k running race, following a structured training program is essential. Renowned running coach Greg McMillan recommends a specific workout to prepare for a 10k race, which involves a sequence of workouts leading up to the ultimate 10k workout. This includes building up to running three two-mile repeats at goal 10k pace, which should be performed nine to 12 days before the race to allow for full recovery. Additionally, the program emphasizes the importance of supplementary sessions to create an exceptional training plan for a goal 10k. Another advanced 10k training program by Hal Higdon is designed for experienced runners who compete regularly and want to improve their performances. The program includes runs of 3-6 miles on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, as well as speedwork and tempo runs to enhance performance. These training programs focus on gradually increasing mileage, incorporating speed work, and allowing for adequate rest and recovery to optimise performance and minimise the risk of injury.
Your choice of running gear has a big effect on your performance. Choosing the right running shoes is crucial for a comfortable and injury-free running experience. When selecting running shoes, it's important to consider factors such as foot shape, terrain, pronation, and personal preference. For example, if most of your training is on pavements, road shoes with more cushioning are recommended to provide shock absorption and minimise the risk of injury. Additionally, it's essential to ensure that there is at least a thumb's width between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe, ideally for running. Furthermore, wearing technical running socks specifically designed with added arch support and extra padding across the ball of the foot, toes, and the heel can provide better impact protection. It's also advisable to avoid wearing cotton socks when running, as they retain moisture and can lead to blisters, calluses, and hot spots.
Nutrition and hydration
Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for a successful 10K race. In the days leading up to the race, focus on consuming a well-balanced diet with an emphasis on carbohydrates to ensure your glycogen stores are fully stocked. The night before the race, opt for easy-to-digest carbohydrates, and on the morning of the race, consume a light meal that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat and fibre. It's also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and, if desired, a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink to maintain blood sugar and hydration levels. During the race, drink water to thirst to replace fluids lost through sweating, and consider using a sports drink if the race is expected to last longer than 60 minutes. After the race, focus on recovery by consuming a meal that includes both carbohydrates and protein to replenish glycogen stores and aid in muscle repair.
A successful race strategy for a 10k run involves proper pacing and a focused approach. It is crucial to avoid the temptation of starting too fast, which can lead to exhaustion later in the race. Instead, a recommended strategy is to begin with a controlled effort in the first mile, followed by maintaining a steady and hard effort for the middle 4 miles, and then giving your all for the final mile and two-tenths. This approach helps conserve energy for a strong finish and prevents early burnout. Additionally, staying patient and running a conservative race in the initial stages can set you up for a strong performance in the later stages of the race. It's also important to have a well-structured warm-up routine before the race to prepare your body for the effort ahead. Finally, maintaining proper hydration and nutrition throughout the race is essential for optimal performance.
If you are going out with the aim of smashing your 10k PB... good luck! Let me know in the comments below what time you got!