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Training towards a sub 31 minute 10K

Training towards a sub 31 minute 10K

Training towards a sub 31 minute 10K

Firstly, what must be understood is that in order for you to run sub 31 minutes for 10Km, you must be able to run at 3 minutes 05 seconds per kilometer for the distance.

This program is for advanced runners and therefore should be accustomed to what training is needed at this level.

Our 5 x 2000m session is the backbone of this program, so 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 close to 3min per kilometer. It is a priority to get your 5K time close to sub 15min [15min = 3.00 per K]. Added into your training will be sessions at this speed and faster.

Your components now consist of running at 10K pace, running at 5K pace and then add to this a long run of 90min [you can increase this run to 25k if you have the intention of racing 21K’s] and you are ready to progress towards your objective.

Also note that there is a Hillwork session every 3 weeks (every cycle) and it will consist of 10 x 400 to 600m repeats. The gradiant should not be steep but should climb gradually. Effort should be at perceived 15k race pace effort. No faster as you have a long run the following day.

And by now, if you a sub 33 minute 10k campaigner, you should be running 8 to 10k am runs to supplement your training. If you are not doing am runs then join the forums so we can assist in getting you onto am runs – 10K Training Feedback

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. Doing this 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 31 minute 10K – 10k Training Program

Training Program towards a sub 31 minute 10K
Your Comments
01 75 to 90min easy distance
02 30min easy run
03 am run – 8 to 10k – discuss in running forums
start with 5x2k R90 6min to 6 min 10 (3.00 – 3.05 per k) T
04 Rest
05 Hillwork 10 x 400 – 600m hill – light gradient at 15k race effort
06 longest run – ‘time on feet’ up to 1Hr 30min or up to 25k if 21K
07 easy day of up to 10k running – relaxed – recovery
08 am run – 8 to 10k – discuss in running forums
start with 6x1k R60 2min 55 to 3min00
09 easy day of 40min running
10 am run – 8 to 10k – discuss in running forums
start with 10 x 400m R 60 400/66 to 68sec – no fasterP
alternate 6x600m R60 discuss in running forums
11 am or pm 10k easy running
12 5K paced run – aim paced 15:25 for 5k
13 1Hr easy run or 15k easy
14 easy day of 10k easy running
15 am run – 8 to 10k – discuss in running forums
warm up then 3x 1600 R3min – 4min 48sec controlled session
16 easy day of 10k running
17 am run – 8 to 10k – discuss in running forums
30min easy 6x1min fast with 1min slow – 1min @ Race Pace FF
18 Rest
19 Race day up to 15K [21K if doing 25k run]
* 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.

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’ was 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.

Author: Gavin Doyle



  2. you nave to have quite a bit of talent to break 31 on what 40? 45 miles per week?

    • Hi there, most certainly doable, however do see this: … Firstly, it wasn’t considered necessary to mention the 10K am runs one can do to enhance your overall program. If you feel that you are able to slot in a 10K run in the morning, without it affecting your day then here is when and where to slot them in. This would certainly only apply to athletes running 36 min or faster.
      Week 2 : Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday – Friday : an easy 10K am run
      I can mention though: if the athlete has the talent the rest is easy, and in truth, I have coached an athlete who ran sub 29 minutes on this schedule. Athlete name: Thabang Baholo .. look up on Google .. there is also a pic of TheEd shaking hands with him on Flickr

      • Hi there, I’m a runner, and I hardly practice and my best 10k is 33min, what’s your recommendation to prove my self to 28 min, regards

        • Hi there, first focus on becoming consistent in training towards a sub 32 minute followed by sub 31 minute and onto sib 30 minutes for 10km, once achieving sub 30 you can look at what needs to be done towards 28 minutes. All the best TheEd

  3. Hi there,

    I’m looking to do the 31 min time programme, I run 10 k every day apart from Saturday as well as a few shorter runs. I’m not an expert and don’t understand the 6x1k r90 language so if someone could help with that that would be great.

    I want to do the schedule so do I keep on doing the 10k as well as the schedule or just do the schedule by itself. Thank you again guys hope to hear from you soon

    Kind regards


    • Hi Ashley, apologies for missing this. Have you got a latest 5k time or even 4k time to work off?

      and here is a post regarding the Program Tips as well as a post about the thoughts behind the program

      hopefully this assists you

      if you keen on having a user account created then, let us know and we shall create one


  4. hello, i run currently a 10km race at 40minutes and im going for the sub 31 😀 give myself a challenge
    on on of the days it says

    am run – 8 to 10k – discuss in running forums
    warm up then 3x 1600 R3min – 4min 48sec controlled session

    does this mean run a 8 – 10km run in the morning
    then in the afternoon run 3x 1600 with a rest of 3 minutes aiming to do it at a time of 4min 48sec

    • Hi stephen, there is no ways we recommend that you start on the sub 31 minute program, if you currently in 40 minute 10k shape.

      Start with the sub 40 program and work systematically down towards sub 35 and onto sub 31

      everything is progressive

      ps.. yes, it is a morning run of 8 to 10k

      • you said morning run of 8 to 10k ……ok

        rest of the 3×1600 is for afternoon or not?

        • timeadmin says

          Hi Dileep, the twice a day running is for athletes who are experienced and who are running close to sub 31 and who have run sub 33 before. In answer to your question, the 1600m session is for the afternoon

  5. chriszando Jacobs says

    Looking foward to use the program

  6. I have a PB at 32’02, but to be honest this training program sub 31 is for me unreachable.
    My goal is to reach 31’45/50 one day…don’t you have a sub 32′ plan to start with 😉 ?

    PS: I plan a marathon in April 2016, at 2h35. Do you propose any marathon training plan?

    Best Regards


    • Hi Anthony, if you feel you are not ready for the sub 31 minute schedule then start on either the sub 35 minute 10k program or sub 33 minute 10k program

      consider registering on our forums so we can provide feedback towards what you would like to achieve, send an email to info @ with the username you want and we will manually create an account for you.

      from there we can give advice regarding the marathon as well



  7. Hello,

    I just want to be clear with the 8 to 10K run in the am is that an easy effort o a more intense effort. Do you follow that in the afternoon or evening run the 2K intervals and the day you run the 3X1600?

    • Hi there, morning runs must be very easy and if you new to the program should rather be introduced once you have adapted to the program. Yes, the 2k session would be on the same day in the evening.
      ps.. Forrest, I would highly recommend you login to the training forums
      we created an account for you
      regards TheEd

      • TheEd,

        I used the the user name and password you gave me to login It would say I was logged in and then it would send me right back to the login screen. I know you said to use F5 but I’m not sure if that works on the Mac or not. Didn’t appear to do anything for the cache

        • try to clear your cache, this a problem users experience. Once you login, you are logged in.
          We are looking to upgrade the forums this year but can’t put an exact date on when this will occur


  8. Talent muguwu says

    In my first month on this program here in Mozambiq .body responding amazingly .l think it will wk for me

  9. guddu baliyan says

    Sir my 10 km time is 35 minute i want run in 30 minutes 10 km.and run a half merathon in nov 2017

  10. Rohit Hooda says

    I am currently running 10k in 48 minutes.
    I am running 50-60 miles a week @avg pace of 8 minute per mile.
    What could be a realistic and achievable goal for me so that I can improve my timing to 30 minutes ?
    How much time will it take ?

    • timeadmin says

      HI there Rohit, how long it takes to get to 30 minutes is probably related to how much natural talent the athlete has. Good luck. TheEd
      ps.. I would start of running a 4k time-trial to map your level and then look at the program tips to see what pace your sessions should be

  11. Guddu baliyan says

    Sir what is means .easy running 1 hour to 1:30 4min pace per km 5 min pace per km.plz tell me i am canfuse

    • timeadmin says

      you run 1 hour to 90 minutes at a pace of 4 minutes to 5 minutes per kilometer. Hope this is understandable. TheEd
      ps.. which program are you using?

  12. Guddu baliyan says

    Sir hillwork 10×400 600m but what means 15 km race effort.what i can do 10×400 600m .ya 15 km race .canfuse .sub 31 min 33 min complete

    • timeadmin says

      Hi there, you do either the 400m session or the 600m session, and your pace for the 400m or 600m would be at the same pace as what you would race 15km at.
      hope this helps TheEd

  13. hello, I had the opportunity to run on your schedule several times and it suits me very well. I have a question, can this plan be run all year round? without any periods of accumulation, transformation, etc. I am a 29-year-old runner from Poland, current vo2max 67, 10km in 34 min greetings

  14. Hello. Can i ask? What do you mean for this? 400m x 10? If i do 400m x 10 i also do 600m x 6 for the same day?

  15. Hello,
    When you say “easy Run” or “easy distance” what does it means? Can I Control it using my HR sensor? How?

    • Hi Soab, in the days before heart rate monitors became so prevalent, we used to work on an easy run up to 1hr or 15km being 1 minute per k slower than current 10k shape. So if you were running 10k in 40 minutes then easy run would be at 5 minutes per k. For longer runs 75 minutes to 90 minutes an longer we used to add 90 seconds per k, to the current 10k shape.
      Over the years, we found that on average, the easy runs would equate to 140 bpm, so if you use the HR monitor then look to keep you HR below 140 and see what pace you are running.
      As you become fitter, running at 140 bpm, your pace per k should get quicker
      Hope this helps TheEd


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