How to improve my 10k speed?: So my journey so... - Bridge to 10K

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How to improve my 10k speed?

caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
โ€ข22 Replies

So my journey so far... I started C25K via the NHS app late February 2019 and ran pretty much every day. In May 2019 my local running group started a weekly C210K course so that worked out nicely with nearing the end of C25K. I was mostly running 3 times per week but I had quite a bit of time off due to injury and holidays through July and August but I finally completed my first 10k on Saturday!! My time was 1hr 22 minutes so plenty of room for improvement there!

I'm just really wondering what's the best way to improve my time. Should I aim for shorter/faster runs or long/slow ones, a mixture of both or interval training? Or something else? I've entered Telford 10k which is on 8th December so I have about 10 weeks to make a difference! It's the fastest run in the country apparently so that's a bonus!!

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mindscratch

Run faster?

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to mindscratch

Of course! Silly me ๐Ÿคฃ

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K8nno
K8nnoGraduate10

Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life. Iโ€™ve found my 5K times have tumbled now that Iโ€™m training for a HM

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to K8nno

Thanks, will do ๐Ÿ‘ Good luck with the HM.

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damienair
damienairGraduate10

Mix it up. I found when I did interval training for 5K my 10k times also got so much better. Aim for 30 minute 5k and do one interval session, one nice 5K , perhaps a parkrun and a longer 10K run each week if you can. When training for 10K thatโ€™s what I do, run 5K easy on Tuesday, 5K interval training on Thursday, parkrun on Saturday and a nice easy long 10K on Sunday.

I managed to bring my 10K time down from 1:15 to 57 minutes. Faster 5K will help get you used to running faster.

Damien

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to damienair

Thanks so much Damien. What intervals would you recommend for 5K? You've done amazing bringing your 10k time down! How long did that take?

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damienair
damienairGraduate10
in reply to caroldavies071969

I did 5K intervals. I split 5K into 5 1K intervals. After a warm up I ran kilometres 1, 3 and 5 at a fast pace and ran kilometres 2 and 4 at a slower recovery pace. I selected initially a 6 min/km pace as my fast pace and 7 min/km pace as a recovery pace. I sometimes would have to take a breath and a little break after the 3rd kilometre. But once I was able to run it all without taking a break I then switched it up. Fast pace became a 5:45 min/km pace and recovery became 6:30 min/km pace pace. Do same again and switch it up.

It took me about 3-4 months to really get my times down. My 5K is about 26 mins (25:36 PB) and 10K is about 58 mins. But it will really help you get used to running faster. Itโ€™s a good thing to do over the winter as it sets you up for the spring and summer months for breaking parkrun PBโ€™s.๐Ÿ˜€

Damien.

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to damienair

Fabulous, thanks so much for your replies Damien ๐Ÿ‘ I'm running with the running group tonight but will try some 1km intervals on Wednesday.

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damienair
damienairGraduate10
in reply to caroldavies071969

Good luck. Iโ€™m no expert, this is just what has worked for me. Enjoy your run later.

Damien

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UpTheStanley
UpTheStanleyGraduate10

A different approach to intervals (all part of mixing it up) goes something like this:

Warm up for 5 mins or so at an easy jog;

5 (maybe) reps of 30 secs slow jog: 20 secs parkrun/5k pace: 10 secs eyeballs out sprint;

2 mins easy jog;

5 reps as before;

Warm down at an easy jog.

I run the sprints hard enough to make me use most of the following jog phase just getting my breath back, with the first few paces not much more than a stumbling walk! I think the aim is to remind my legs how fast they can go if they need to. All done in 25 minutes or so; obviously you could do a third set of 5 if you were feeling good after the first two, or only do 3 or 4 reps in a set if you can't initially muster 5 sprints (3 good hard sprints will be better than 5 half-hearted ones).

There are apps around which will beep at you at appropriate moments, and most watches can be programmed to do this, but I just do it by watching the elapsed time display - I know I can't sprint all out for more than 10 secs, so I just hang on as long as possible in that phase.

Good luck!!

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to UpTheStanley

Thanks for your suggestions UpTheStanley I will do my best to give them a try ๐Ÿ‘

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Twigmango
Twigmango60minGraduate

I was reading this with interest especially re: the interval training so thanks Damien & UpTheStan. Congrats on your 10k - am on week 6 of the magic plan! Slowly getting there. ..

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to Twigmango

Thanks Twigmango thankfully it was a pretty flat course, a lot of it along the river ๐Ÿ‘ Good luck with the magic plan!

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JonathanP
JonathanPGraduate10

Well done on your first 10k! ๐ŸŽ‰ Can't really add anything to what others have said but continuing to run that distance once a week alongside a 5k and a parkrun has brought my time down to (just) under an hour from 1.07. Best of luck!๐Ÿ‘

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to JonathanP

Thanks Jonathan and well done on getting your time down. The thought of running 10k once a week scares me but I'll try to build up to it ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿคž

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kpks
kpksGraduate10

I have been reading the responses w great interest - Iam kinda in the same boat though I don't run as regularly as I should. UpTheStanley sounds very interesting and doable. damienair sounds good but not doable for me - I will end up running everything at a middling to poor pace. I lack the inner voice goading to better my pace. What I have is a voice telling me to slow down and enjoy the view

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to kpks

I am glad my question is helping you kpks and Twigmango. Keep at it, it can be a slog can't it? I certainly didn't enjoy the run last night with my running group, but I'm glad I went and my legs are suitably aching today so I must have done some good.

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Twigmango
Twigmango60minGraduate

It can be! Am heading out imminently for my last run of week 6: 55 min run. Both looking forward to it and fearing it!

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caroldavies071969
caroldavies071969Graduate10
in reply to Twigmango

Good luck! It's pouring with rain here, hope it's drier where you are.

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backintime
backintimeGraduate10

I found some slight inclines and a bit bigger hills have helped my leg strength and my speed a bit, but someone said to me on here (can't remember who) that to run faster you also need to get used to moving your legs a bit quicker, which is where the intervas are a great help, you need to see that as another gear - something I am struggling with at the moment.

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caroldavies071969

Thanks backintime. Today I tried running alternative kms faster and slower and a small walking break between each. My slower km's were a bit too fast which left me too tired to do the faster kms much faster! Will try harder next time and hopefully won't be hindered by the rain next time!

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backintime
backintimeGraduate10
in reply to caroldavies071969

Most of my kms are slow, I struggle to switch up when I want to, sometimes I drift into going a bit faster, but I need to find the ability to make it a conscious decision rather than drifting all over the place

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