Running Headquarters  Frontpage
Injuries and Treatment  Injuries
Nutrition Information  Nutrition
Marathon Information  Marathon
Running Training Forums  Training Forums

   Running Information      USA Running      Running South Africa      Running New Zealand      Running UK      Running Ireland      Running Ireland      Deutsch Laufzeit      Copenhagen Marathon      Suomen Juoksu      Sverige Löpning      Tel Aviv Marathon      Running Australia      Running Kenya      Running Europe      Running Malta      Running Namibia

Training towards a sub 40 minute 10K

sub 40 minute 10km

sub 40 minute 10km

Firstly, what must be understood is that in order for you to run sub 40 minutes for 10Km, you must be able to run below 4 minutes per kilometer for the distance.

Introducing paced running to your program is the main secret to the success of running faster over the 10k distance. You will need to either have a track available or you will need to measure out a 2K training circuit (preferably a loop course).

What we are looking at to start with, is being able to run 5Km’s in 3min 50sec per kilometer. This will give you an overall 5K time of 19:10. Added into your training will be sessions at this speed as well.

Your components now consist of running at 10K pace, running at 5K pace and then add to this a long run of 1Hr 30min and you are ready to progress towards your objective.

Now, the secret to your training should be to balance your training with your lifestyle. Your running must never become too much for you. You must always be able to do the sessions asked of you, if you miss a training session you can’t make it up. There is no going back to make up for what you have missed.

Trying to make up for what you have missed is what normally leads to injuries.

Other 10k Training Programs available:

10km Program Tips

Forums for our 10k Training Programs – Feedback and Advice

Training explanations and must do’s below schedule

sub 40 minute 10K – 10k Training Program

Training Program towards a sub 40 minute 10K
Day
Session
Your Comments
Effort
01 60 to 70min easy distance
02 30min easy run
03 start with 5x2k R90 7min 50 (3.55 per k) T
04 Rest
05 longest run – ‘time on feet’ up to 1Hr 30min
06 easy day of 30min running
07 easy day of 10k running – relaxed
08 start with 6x1k R60 3min 45 to 3min50 L
09 easy day of 30min running
10 easy day of 1hr running
11 Rest
12 5K paced run – aim sub 20:00 5k
13 1hr easy run
14 easy day of 30min running
15 start with 10 x 400m R 60 400/86sec – no faster P
16 easy day of 40min running
17 30min easy 6x1min fast with 1min slow – 1min @ Race Pace F
18 Rest
19 Race day up to 15K
* easy recovery after race. 30min – 1Hr
** 2nd easy day after race. 30min
*** final easy run after race would be Day 01 of program

Training explanations and must do’s :

T stands for 10K pace development L stands for 5K pace development R = Rest F is for Fartlek

Easy running is important for recovery and preparation before a harder day. Easy is at a pace where you are able to talk [“talk-test”] All quality sessions must be preceded with a warm up and stretching, and it is recommended that you warm down as well.

This is a 3 week cycle and after every 3 weeks you are able to run a race, up to 15K. It is not recommended that you use this program to race above 15k. If you have raced 21k’s before continue to do so, but do not look to this program to achieve great results, as your long runs in this program are not sufficient for a ‘great’ effort over 21K. After your race day, it is imperative that you use the next 3 days as recovery.

The 5K paced run, you should not run faster than 19:10 on these days. If you want to run a hard 5K then you must do so on the race day. Adhere to this advice for success with the program.

After 2-3 months on this program, it is recommended that you take a break from this schedule. The break should be for 2-3 weeks and during this time you should take a break from running for 3-4 days and then come back to running by building up to distance runs without any quality sessions

[ The Off Training Period followed by The Build Up Period ]

Print out the program and fill in your comments and under ‘effort’ fill in your ‘perceived’ effort for each session. rate your effort from 1 to 5, with 5 the hardest and 1 the easiest. [This is NB] For Printable Program : Click here

Finally, this program is not recommended for a ‘beginner‘ who has not got a background of running. It is recommended that you have a reasonable amount of ‘running’ without injury before attempting this program.

Further data has been added to the Training section about fartlek, ‘build-ups‘ and methods.

see the article: Race your Best 10km

Author: Gavin Doyle

Comments

  1. This plan really worked for me in training for the British 10k in July. Went from 44 minute best to 40:25 – next time I hope to go sub-40

    • Very encouraging as my best time is 44:06… Starting sub40 training on April 17th. I’ll get back with some update at the end of Summer 2012.

      • A bit late about “end of Summer 2012” update… Things didn’t go as expected as my body was simply not ready for the training last April. Got injured during the second training week.

        I am now increasing my weekly mileage, hoping to at least reach the distance, the running time as well as the frequency which this training requires. Thinking about give sub-40 training a try again, starting probably in April this year

    • Did you make day 3 at 3.55/km ?

      • I don’t think I did, my fitness improved as I worked my way through the program. I just ran it to the best of my ability at that point.

  2. Hi, used to run as a kid but stopped when I was 14 to concentrate on footy. Have kept myself fit most of my life and have just hung up the boots at 35. Have run 3 10k’s this year and have a got 39.15 last month. I like a challenge and would love to get my time down. I started the sub 35 program but realised after trying the 2k runs that its a bit beyond me at the moment. However I’m probably just beyond the sub 40 at the minute. Could you give advice on times for sub 39,38 etc

  3. When can i expect the forum registrations to be open?? I have many questions to ask.

    • Forum registrations are open however we have blocked gmail and the other free emails due to SPAM. If you send us an email asking to register then we will manually create a user account for you

      TheEd

  4. Alan Sutherland says:

    Today I beat my personal best for 10km which was 41:31, I ran it in 39:59 today so just sub-40 🙂 I used some of your training methods such as running longer runs from 13 km to 21 to 31km even and also recently ran 5km in 19:10 which included my first sub-6 minute mile (sorry to go imperial) now that I’ve cracked 40 I want to crack 35. I’m 26 so I’ve got another 9 years at peak performance, who knows maybe one day I’ll crack 30 🙂 to be honest I only run 3-4 times a week but I’m changing that to 5-6 times a week to see just how fast I can get and also build up my stamina towards running my first marathon

  5. carl white says:

    hi i have just finished a marathon two weeks ago, i normally do halfs or 10ks and am now going back to 10ks for a bit im not rushing in to it im planning on doing a 10 k oct 13th as i want to build my base up to do a sub 40 min 10k. my half marathon best is 1:37:04 my only ever 10k was a hilly one done in 00:43:15 with the first 5k done in under 19 mins. my current 5k is around 21-22 mins. what i would like is somebody to design me a training plan over 5 or 6 days a week if possible

  6. lekfart says:

    Can someone decode Day 17 for me:
    30min easy 6x1min fast with 1min slow – 1min @ Race Pace

    • timeadmin says:

      you run 1 minute fast at projected race pace then 1 minute slow

      you repeat this 6 times in total

      Hope this helps

      TheEd

      • ok, so does this mean that you do 30 min easy run first, and then 12min of alternating fast then slow minutes? 42 min in total?

        • warm up for 10 minutes then do 1 minute fast @ projected race pace and then 1 minute easy in-between. Do 6 times and then warm down for a total of 30 minutes

  7. I just ran 4k on 400m grass track at a 4:04 pace, and was very pleasantly surprised, considering my half marathon pace a couple of weeks ago. Wondering whether I should target sub 45 or sub 40 min for 10k, starting day 1 today?

    • timeadmin says:

      Hi Philip, maybe for the first cycle consider doing the sub 45 minute program and then see how strong you are in that before moving up to the sub 40 minute schedule. If you would like for us to create a user account on the forums let me know – 10k Training Feedback

      TheEd

  8. Mark Gowers says:

    This plan worked for me. I have completed 2 cycles of the plan and ran 39:26 today in the Southend 10k. I will keep going with it and see if I can bring my time down further. Thanks

    • timeadmin says:

      congrats Mark .. do consider utilising the 10k feedback forums to assist you in developing further, as a fair amount to the programs are mentioned there and you can learn more about Build Ups and how to balance things better from the info

      TheEd

  9. What is da difference between easy run and easy distance? Does easy run mean you run slowly for the assigned amount of time and easy distance mean you run slowly untill you reach a distance you set yourself? Can you clear this up?

    • Hi baran, one of the main plans when coming on the program is to be able to focus on the quality sessions and to then be able to recover on the days in-between. With the mentioning of easy and associating it to time, the intention is not to focus on the distance but to simply get the ‘time on feet’ in, so that you are adapting to the ‘running process’

      When we mention distance, the intention is to increase the ‘time on feet’ by running a specific distance. As the runner develops the pace will quicken up automatically. Here’s hoping this all makes sense

      TheEd
      ps.. do look at the 10k Program Feedback Forums

  10. john fagan says:

    I just completed 3 iterations of this training program (9 weeks) and managed to get my sub 40mins!

    Previous to this, my PB was 41:46 and i got 39:47 at the Brighton 10k.

    I did not manage to stick to the plan 100%, i missed 17 runs, but they were the easy days. I felt my body needed a rest. Then in the last week approaching final race day, i missed almost the whole week due to injury, which i recovered from in time for race day. Very happy.

  11. Steve Dunbar says:

    Hi there,

    I’m keen on getting my 10k time to under 40min, with a current PB ( in adulthood ) of 45min. ( school days 35min ), and just been looking at the forums for advice.

    I am 45 , 68kg and 171cm.

    Best 5km time 20.54min, with my 10km PB splits 22.36, then 22.29

    Thanks in advance

    Steve

    • timeadmin says:

      apologies for the delay in response, would you be interested in joining the forums so we can assist you?

      TheEd
      ps.. send email to : info @ time-to-run.com

  12. Paul Cooper says:

    do you have any advice breaking 5K in 20 mins? Currently can run in 20:45.

  13. Mike Arndt says:

    So, I have a running background as a college distance runner
    4:16/20 mile, 15:16 -> 5k, mid 32’s 10k cross country…. Older now
    at 39 …. took time off, 10y actually. So, my best 10k since has been low
    39’s and now I am just getting maybe 20-25mi a week now, really no diversity in
    training with speed work,hills etc. My goal is to break 36min @ 40+. Should I just jump into one of these programs and let whatever happens happen? or should I do some preliminary base work prior?any thoughts suggestions? thanks in advance!

    • timeadmin says:

      Hi Mike, consider doing a 4k time-trial to see what level you are at and then from that you can look at doing the sub 35 minute 10k program, however with the sessions revamped for you.
      Drop us an email info @ time-to-run.com and we can look to arrange to set you up on the forums if you want
      TheEd

  14. I’m 16 and i’ve run 10k in 45 minutes. I´m trying to get 41 minute sor less in 10 weeks, I also train football 3 times a week, and I play tennis 2 hours a week, do you think I can complete this plan?

    • To be honest, you should be able to run close to sub 45 minutes for 10km off the current exercise (football & tennis) you doing now. What you could do is consider running a 3 to 5k time-trial to get used to the continuous exercise rhythm of distance running every 3 weeks. You could also consider trying to do the 6 x 1k session. Let us know your thoughts. TheEd

  15. Hi, i was training for a period of 3 years (2008-2011) and come back 3 weeks ago. My PB is 36:40 in 10km (in march 2011). Last week i started your program with 3x2km, average 9:06, yesterday i do 5x1km average 4:20, and i want folow the sub 40 program. Can i do the 10x400m next week? (sorry the english, i am brazilian)

  16. Hi! Perhaps I’m being dim, but what is the meaning of the ‘P’ in “start with 10 x 400m R 60 400/86sec – no faster P”. I couldn’t find an explanation in the page.

  17. Hi,

    Could you please advise how much to change the pace of the 2k sessions(day 3) for heat. I am looking at 20-25 degrees this week and would like to know how much to adjust them by. I have found the standard runs much more difficult in this heat and I am not yet acclimatised.

    Thanks.

    • timeadmin says:

      Hi Rob, look to run at 5 to 10 seconds per km slower and consider taking longer rest where necessary, make sure to hydrate throughout the session. If the session becomes too hard, then do consider not continuing. Live to run another day

      Good Luck with the session. TheEd

  18. Ruben James says:

    Hi, i’ve done the 10K in 45 minutes and i’m targeting the 40 minutes mark. I play soccer all tuesdays and i’m trying to incorporate the sub-40 program. These tuesday games are usually pretty hard and i’m a little reluctant in doing those wednesday’s fast paced workouts. Any advice on which day i could use to do those speedy workouts?

    • timeadmin says:

      Hi there, Day 3 to Day 8, are the most important days of the program, we start Day 1 on a Tuesday, so Day 3 falls on Thursday and Day 8 on a Tuesday. Once those days are behind you, you are able to juggle the rest of the sessions around. You may have to move the 1k session to the Monday?

  19. Cab someone please interpret item # 17 on the sub 40min 10K training program. I am doing it for the second time and I am not sure I understand it. Thanks

    • Hi Ant, this would 6 x 1 minute fast @ predicted race pace with 1 minute easy in-between each segment of fast running. The intention of the session is seen as a fine tuning before racing. Hope this helps

      TheEd

  20. I was running 35:55 min for 10k at age 24, after that i took 15 years break of running, (doing a little bit of swimming and other sports). Now at 44 year of age it’s my 3rd year coming back to running. Two year ago i did a 5k in 19:45 and now want to go sub 40 for 10k in october. i did a 3k race on track end of july and went 11:51 coming back from a minor surgery in may. Now was looking for a training plan on the internet. I don’t understand this one : day 03 start with 5x2k R90 7min 50 (3.55 per k) T, if i could manage to run 5 x 2k 3.55/k intervals now, i beleive i’ll be able to run sub 40 for 10k. Tapering, adrenalin, racing flat etc. make me run faster in a race than any long intervalls session. I can sustain more pain. I have 8 more weeks of training to do my 10k. I’m finishing my 1st week with this plan :
    multisports.com/archives/40_min_10k.shtml
    i’ll do another reply in october happy running !

  21. Hi,

    I am on day 2 of this programme – thanks, it looks great!

    I was wondering what good looks like on each day – what are good distances and times to help you get under that 40 min mark?

    Thanks!

    Tris

  22. Hi,
    I’m a 52 year old runner who recently ran a1 hr 38 for 1/2 marathon, 45.13 for 10K and 21.50 for 5K. Is it possible I could get “throw back the years” and get under 40mins for 10K?
    I currently run about 40K a week with my longest run about 45 mins.

    About 20 years ago, I ran a 33.50 10K, and a 1hr 20min 1/2 marathon -but obviously a bit slower these days in terms of natural speed. I’m reasonably fit with other sports and could increase my mileage if need be..

    • timeadmin says:

      Jeff, if you have not been assisted yet, please send an email to info @ time-to-run.com
      Thanks TheEd

  23. Moamen Morsy says:

    Can you please provide more clarification for the practices u used
    Like easy distance/easy run/ long run
    Currently i run at 10.5 pace and i want to reach 10k in 40 min

    • timeadmin says:

      Hi Moamen, easy running is often best at a pace where you are able to talk to someone while exercising. Easy distance, the intention would be to cover the distance as easily as possible, using the ‘talk test’ mentioned. Easy run, will be as you feel, keeping things easy and relaxed, without the restriction of having to do the ‘talk test’. Long run, is specific to achieving a certain distance and is normally aimed at a pace which is 1 minute to 90 seconds per kilometer slower than your current 10k pace. Hopefully this helps. TheEd

  24. Joe chen says:

    R90 stands for a 90seconds rest between intervals?

  25. Hi Ed,
    I started the under 40mins 10k plan a week ago. Currently, my 5k PB is 19:55, and 10k PB is 42:08. I’ve adjusted the plan via the instructions found in the program tips.

    I would like to know if an extra adjustment is needed for winter training. Around the time I train, the temperatures in my area will be around 5-9 degrees C for the following weeks. Any advice for pace adjustment for the hard sessions?

    Also, I would like to know during which days I can include some weight training(dumbbell exercises for core & leg strength).
    Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • timeadmin says:

      Hi there, are you able to train on a treadmill for the interval sessions? Winter is a very difficult time to try to maintain consistency in training. As for the strength training, we recommend not doing strength training between days 3 to 8, after 2 or 3 cycles then you can introduce strength on those days. So strength training is fine, after Day 8 to start with. Hope this helps. TheEd

      • Thanks for the reply!
        I don’t have a treadmill available, unless I get a gym membership. But I’d rather train outdoors.
        I’m currently at day 9 in the first cycle and I believe I should be able to mantain the paces for this cycle given the predicted temperatures for the next 2-3 weeks.

        Do you think that it’s a good idea that instead of the 2’nd & 3’rd cycle I should do more volume training at an easier pace(HR zones 3-4)? And do speed/interval when temperatures will allow? This of course means that I won’t have a structured approach, because I’ll have to rely on the weather outside.
        Thanks!

        • Hi Daniel, the whole idea behind the cycles is to get the body to adjust to the training and perform on the day you want to do well. Take a look at the link below to understand the thoughts behind the program and then see if you able to apply and achieve the same by changing aspects. Let us know if you would like an account for the forums, as then you can receive feedback there. Thanks TheEd
          http://www.time-to-run.com/theed/10k-training/behind-the-programs

  26. Hi ,
    my personal best in 5 km is 22 min.10 sec . In 10 km is 48 to 50 min . ( can’t maintain pace )
    Pls advice which program shall i have to follow in order to achieve 4min per km at least untill 7km .tks.

    • timeadmin says:

      Hi Nil, consider doing the sub 45 minute 10k program Do a 4k time-trial and then work out your pace using this article Program Tips . Good luck with achieving your goal, if you would like to use the forums to provide your feedback, send an email to info @ time-to-run.com providing the username you would like and we will manually create an account for you. Thanks TheEd

  27. what does p mean in day 15, and quite fast?

    • timeadmin says:

      not to worry about that pepe, however it means it is aimed at developing 3k speed which helps towards your 5k speed. With a faster 5k, it makes the 10k pace easier to cope with. hope that helps, TheEd

  28. Two questions:

    What is meant by “start with” in the qualitiy sessions, does that mean they should be extended later on?

    What is the reason for going “no faster” than 86 in 10×400?

    • timeadmin says:

      Hi, yes, there is development as you improve.

      because the 400m is so short, often the athlete will try to run faster as he feels it is easy. This is not the aim, as you should have an event on the weekend, and often, the athlete may end up with sore calf muscles after the 400m session. Hope this helps. TheEd

      • Thanks a lot for this. I find that I am doiing the intervals quite easily -1000 around 3.40 and 400 around 80, but racing really does not work (40.55, with around 19.30 half way). So I am thinking how I should be able to make it though the whole 10k. Distance wise I think I am doing fine to even though I often run trail and mountains that tend to be slow.

        Thanks a lot for a great site.

        Jakob

  29. I’ve adapted the sub 40 plan so that I can run 3k and 5k races and I have just won gold medals for regional vets champs at 1500m, 3000m and 5000m. Will be using the plan as a straight 10k plan next. Thanks for the great plans!

    • timeadmin says:

      nice to hear Mark, drop me an email and I can mention how to use the program for your future short events. info @ time-to-run .com . TheEd

Leave a Reply to Tris Cancel reply

*