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Training towards a sub 35 minute 10K

Train on the sub 35 minute 10km program

Train on the sub 35 minute 10km program

sub 35 minute 10K program – Firstly, what must be understood is that in order for you to run sub 35 minutes for 10Km, you must be able to run below 3 minutes 30 seconds per kilometer for the distance.

sub 35 minute 10K Training Program

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 close to 3min 20sec per kilometer. It is a priority to get your 5K time down to sub 17min [16min 40sec = 3.20 per K]. 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 75 to 90min [you can increase this run to 2Hrs if you have the intention of running 21K’s] 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. 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 35 minute 10K – 10k Training Program

Training Program towards a sub 35 minute 10K
Your Comments
01 75 to 90min easy distance
02 30min easy run
03 start with 5x2k R90 6min 50 (3.25 per k) T
04 Rest
05 longest run – ‘time on feet’ up to 1Hr 30min or 2Hrs if 21K
06 easy day of 30min running
07 easy day of 10k running – relaxed
08 start with 6x1k R60 3min 15 to 3min20 L
09 easy day of 40min running
10 easy day of 1Hr running or 15K distance
11 Rest
12 5K paced run – aim sub 17:30 5k
13 1Hr easy run or 15k easy
14 easy day of 30min running
15 start with 10 x 400m R 60 400/76 to 78sec – no faster P
16 easy day of 10k running
17 30min easy 6x1min fast with 1min slow – 1min @ Race Pace F
18 Rest
19 Race day up to 15K [21K if doing 2Hr 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.

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 increase your Long run to 25k if you have the intention of racing 21km. 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 16:40 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’ 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


  1. Hi

    I’m currently around a 17.10-17.20 5k runner and would live to go sub 17 for 5k and sub 36 for 10k, would be great if you could give me some training tips and sessions etc. this week this is what my training has looked like:

    Monday: 45 min run
    Tuesday: 1.5 mile warm up, 4 mile tempo in 23.30, 1.5 mile warm down
    Wednesday: circuits session 60 mins
    Thursday: rest
    Friday: 1 mile warm up, 15×50 second hill sprints, jog down recovery, 1.5 mile warm down
    Saturday: rest
    Sunday: 12 mile in 84 mins, 10 mile at 7-7.10 pace and the last 2 mile at 6.30 per mile

    Any tips would be great thanks

  2. i would like to try your 10k run sub 35min plan ,am currently ran a 10 k back in sep 2012 and clocked 37;43
    and i also ran a 5k in 17:34 i can see that aerobic fitness isnt so good and at the moment in base phase for 10 weeks tryiing to get up 60MPW AND 1HR45 MIN LONG RUN . I going to be runinng a 10k in august after this base phase i going to try rhis program and would like guidance on this and any other ips on this schedule

  3. bertrudus says


    I do spring triathlons where 5k is the main run. Jamieh has recommended this forum. My 5k pb is 16:50 but immediately off the bike it is currently above 18 mins with heavy legs ! I want to improve to get closer to my current PB running off the bike with the world age group championships in 3 months time. Would you recommend the 10k programme to achieve my objectives ? Do you have any recommendations for ‘Brick sessions’ running immediately after a bike session.


    • timeadmin says

      HI there, drop me an email to info @ time-to-run . com and then we can chat further. I currently only recommend doing brick sessions once you have adapted to the 10k programs, and particularly days 3 to 8 as those sessions are the most important. The brick session in the future could come into Week2 weekend on the Saturday. Will await your email TheEd

  4. Hello, I run for pleasure and enjoy pushing myself to achieve better times. I want to follow your sub 35 min 10k plan, i dont understand what “5x2k R90 6min 50 (3.25perk) means?!

    Please could you elaborate?



  5. I am guessing run five 2k with a rest of 90 sec, each 2 k ran with a pace of 3.25 per k??

  6. Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to do the 3 week schedule for sub 35, knowing that’ll I’ll probably not get anywhere near it. I turned 56 years of age last June, and I’d just like to post a couple of respectable times before it gets too late, I managed to run 37:26 a few weeks back and I’ve another race this Sunday and it would be nice to see some improvement having tried to follow the schedule (though I have struggled and failed to complete any of the speed work days) but at least I did some of the sessions and its more than I’ve done in years.
    Back in 1989 I could run 30:23 for 10k and 1:07:10 for Half

    Thanks for giving me some structure to my training, Tony

  7. Hi, i run 17:10 last march my Pb for 5k. i want to improve my 5k and aiming for sub 36 on 10km. can you suggest a training program that i should follow in able for me to improve. i still have less than 3 months before our school competition will i improve before that time? thankyou so much!

    • Hi there, if you have the ability and you can nurture it instead of breaking down you should achieve your goal, 3 months is sufficient time.
      Consider doing a 4k time-trial and then drop us an email (from the contact form) and we shall manually register you if you have problems. Then you can post on the forums and get individual help according to your needs.

  8. Shahnawaz ahmad says

    please elaborate the program of Day 17

    • timeadmin says

      6 x 1 minute fast with 1 minute easy in-between. 1 minute fast @ anticipated race pace, the pace you want to run at on race day. TheEd

  9. I currently have a 10km PB of 38min and a 5km PB of 16.50min.

    I ran these times off of avg about 40-45km a week but with a couple of speed sessions included (ie, 10x400m in 70-72sec or 20x200m 30-32sec).

    I really want to crack 35min for 10km and 16min for 5km but am afraid that these sessions will kill any speed i have in my legs (close to 2min 800m), any tips or modifications you recommend?

    i had a few years of poor running of late due to stress of a PhD (and it really was all down to stress as i was keeping up the training)…i am now starting to get back to those PBs above (only a few seconds off) by only training as a previously did. I am hoping the increase in milage is the key to getting these times down.

    • Hi Nathan, with the 10k program, the secret is in the 2k session which develops ‘speed endurance’. Day 3 to Day 8 is the difficult and all important part of the program, this is what provides the results. If you want for us to create an account for you to see how we can assist you, then drop us an email to info @ with the username you want and we shall create an account for the forums. TheEd

  10. How can i adjust day 3 and 8 down to a sub 36 min 10k program? I did the 5x2k with a 3.36-3.39 pace. Sounds OK? Would be great if you could post a program between sub 40 and sub 35 10k.

  11. moderately over weight brewer with drinking habit and history of smoking, but did 1/2 marathon in 1:25, 31 years ago thinks he may be able to do 10 km in 45 minutes. Would you advise my “friend” to revise his estimate for charity run in November or is this achievable?

  12. hi,i found your site by chance and liked very much the advice you give to us,simple mortal a 38 mint/10k runner,and based on my base fitness I believe I can get closer to 35 question is:looking to the schedule you provided,we must follow exactly that order or we can swap certain sessions?i think matter to say I’m 38years old,got a full time job and average around 60/65 miles a week running.i can do all sessions but due to my professional life I would need swap some sessions.some of them are challenging,so to balance recovery between them and my work I would need swap a few around.many thanks for your time and advice.

  13. training is only done once in a day for each of the 19 that day?
    one more question, …
    does any day I could do on the hill?

    Please reply my question…I really need to push myself before the competition next month

    • Hi there, we only recommend introducing hillwork when the runner is comfortably under 35 minutes for 10km. The programs are progressive, and includes a build-up period for once the runner has become accustomed to the schedule. If you do Day 3 to day 8 correctly, you will receive the benefits. Hope this helps. TheEd

  14. I’m currently able to run a 39:27 10k and fastest 5k time of 18:13. Could you possibly explain in non technical terms what; R90, 30min easy 6x1min fast with 1min slow – 1min, R60. I’m not sure I can manage day 3 and 8 just yet. At what point in the program do you think that I should incorporate hillruns in the program and what distance they should be, and how many repeats?

    • Hi Matan, you can go onto the sub 35 minute 10k program schedule but you need change the pace according to a current 5k time or do a 4 time-trial now, and then read – work out the pace best suited for your current fitness.
      R90 = Rest 90 seconds . 30 minutes easy running, the talk-test is the suitable pace. 6 times 1 minute fast / paced at upcoming events pace with 1 minute easy running in-between. you do this 6 times. O
      Our programs are progressive, and after a few cycles of the program, you then go onto an off-period followed by a build-up. On these programs rolling hills on introduced, and as you develop hillwork becomes part of future programs. The programs get results and we look to achieve this in the easiest least risk way. the 5 x 2k session defines the program, doing that is worth many hillwork sessions :o) TheEd

  15. paulo simoes says

    thank you vey much for your answer and advice.the moment broke my training routine by no run at all,and started the built up program,towads to the 35 mint plan.wanted to do it without rushing things or catch any to ask two last things.the reps of 1k,could i increase them to 10x1k?and the 400 could be increased to 12-16×400?Rest times remain the same.forgive me ask this .was what i used to do so i just want to make sure i do it right.And how i can sign on on your training forums?thank you for your time and patience again.

  16. Hi, great resource. So, if you aren’t racing on the 19th day, what do you do?

    • Hi there, so if the race day is on a Sunday .. then you make Saturday the Rest day and Friday the 6 x 1 minute fast / slow session. Tuesday is normal and then you simply have the two easy days running on Wednesday and Thursday .. hope that helps TheEd

  17. P in “no faster P” refers to 3000m pace.

  18. Hi,
    How fast should the longest run ‘time on feet’ be ? Also if I don’t have a race at the end do I just race myself in training ?

    • Hi Stuart, what I can tell you is that the time-on-feet shouldn’t be faster than 1 minute per k slower than your current 10k pace. So if you running around 36 minutes currently, you shouldn’t run faster than 4.35 per k, and it shouldn’t be slower than 5.15 per k .. at the end of the cycle you can choose to do a time-trial of either a 4k to 8k. Save the standard distances for racing 5k and 10k. If you had a group of friends to do a 10k time-trial then it is fine, but not on your own.
      Enjoy TheEd

  19. I want to know when to do bodyweight exercises, plyometric exercises, core exercises in sub 35 min running plan

    Training Program towards a sub 35 minute 10K

    • Hi Keshav, when first starting on the 10k program, Day 3 to Day 8 should not be interfered with and from Day 9, you can do exercises on Day 9 . 10 and something light on Day 11. In week 3 you can do something on Day 14 . 15 and 16. Don’t do any leg exercises 2 to 3 days before the event on Day 18. After 2 or 3 cycles then you can add exercises in the day before Day 1 and on Day 1. Be careful what you do, as you do not want to do the quality sessions feeling tired. Good luck TheEd

  20. Abhishekk says

    Hello sir before pandemic I was running sub 42 10k. In lockdown I didn’t practice much, I did a trail run in lockdown period I ran 53min 10k. Now it has been 1 year without practice. If I start to run once again will I break sub 35 10k. Cuz in our area there is problem for food diet. We should survive what we are taking. So can I start to run or else it will be waste of time for me

    • timeadmin says

      when returning to training, run every 2nd day to adapt. take it slowly and you should move in the right direction. After a few weeks of intermittent running, do the 4k time-trial and then take it from there, TheEd

  21. paulo simoes says

    Hi Ed,I’m a runner from the UK,the moment I’m in 35 mint shape,or perhaps a bit slower due to non any kind of running events due this times that affect us writing to you to know your opinion about half marathon.i don’t know if any other fellow runners asked this before.could we adapt this schedules for
    Half marathon?if so,I guess it’s to extend the long runs and tempo runs.could you please let us know your opinion and advice?thank you very much for your time and response.ah, almost forgot,my Pb on the half is 1h18.right before lock down,one year ago.not sure where am the moment.apologies for such long mail

    • timeadmin says

      Hi there, yes, this program has been used for the half-marathon. Simply increase your long run on the first weekend of the program to 18-20k, the rest of the program esepcially the 5 x 2k session sets you up sufficiently, enjoy TheEd

  22. Hello. How can I improve running for 5x2k as I can do max 3 runs after I feel exhausted,legs won’t listen. Yesterday I did 5k run in 17:01. Is it to early for me to start 35 min for 10k. Also is there any food advisories? I think hunger is my weakness at the moment , I feel like teenager with huge matabolism in my 37 years body.

    • timeadmin says

      Hi Rami, run the 2000m at a slower pace until your body adapts to doing the 5 x 2k session. Even if you start off slowly, the secret to this session is completing 5. This is the one session that makes your racing 10k easier. TheEd

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