How To Run 10K In An Hour: Our Expert Coach’s Training Guide

Break the one hour 10km barrier with this training schedule

After finishing your first 5K, the question that naturally enters the minds of most runners is, “What next?”

Among any number of possible next goals, you might choose to work on your speed so that you can run your next 5K faster, or you might want to bump up your distance and start training for a 10K.

Whether training for your first 10K or your 10th, you need a good training plan.

Although the endurance demands of a 10K race are certainly less extreme than they are for a half marathon or marathon, a 10K run is still quite demanding, and you have to be well-trained to have a successful race.

Fortunately, running a 10K race in an hour (or less) is an achievable goal for many recreational runners who have some running experience with 5K races or longer distances.

In this guide, we will cover how to run a 10K in an hour and provide a 10K training plan to run a sub-60-minute 10K.

We will look at: 

Run 10k In An Hour featured image 2

How Many Miles Is a 10K?

The “K” component of the 10K distance stands for the metric distance of a kilometer, so a 10K is 10,000 meters. 

For beginners or runners in the United States who are more accustomed to miles, the 10K distance converts to 6.214 miles.

For simplicity, most people shorten the 6.214 miles to 6.2 miles when they discuss 10K, but the distance of any official 10K event will be the full 10 kilometers or 6.214 miles.

Can You Run 10K in an Hour?

Absolutely.

Running 10 kilometers in an hour is an achievable goal for recreational runners with average fitness levels and some running experience.

According to Running Level,110k Times By Age And Ability – Running Level. (n.d.). Runninglevel.com. https://runninglevel.com/running-times/10k-times the average time for a 10k race across runners of both sexes and fitness levels is 49:23.

Elite runners can often run under 30 minutes for a 10k, as the 10k world record for men and 10k world record for women are both faster than 30 minutes.2World Athletics. (n.d.). Worldathletics.org. https://worldathletics.org/records/by-category/world-records

People running on a track.

What Pace Per Mile Is Needed to Run a 10K in an Hour?

To run 10K in one hour (60 minutes), you will need to run 9:39 minutes per mile or 6:00 minutes per kilometer. 

This means a 60-minute 10K race pace is slightly faster than 9:39 per mile (9 minutes, 39 seconds) or 6:00 per kilometer (6 minutes, 0 seconds).

However, since most people looking to run 10K in one hour want to break 60 minutes as a barrier (crossing the finish line in 59:59 or faster), you should aim to run the 10k race at just under 9:39 minutes per mile pace.

This will give you a tiny buffer on race day to cross the finish line in under one hour.

If you are running on a track, 10K in an hour works out to roughly 2:24 per 400 meters (one lap) and 4:48 for 800 meters (two laps).

A person looking at their running watch.

Splits per mile (average pace per mile) to run 10K in an hour

MileSplit
19:39
219:19
328:58
438:37
548:17
657:56
6.259:59

Splits per kilometer (average pace per kilometer) to run 10K in an hour

KilometerSplit
16:00
212:00
318:00
424:00
530:00
636:00
742:00
848:00
954:00
1060:00

What is a Sub-60 Minutes for 10K on a Treadmill?

Many treadmills use speed as its primary metric: miles per hour (mph). If you’re training to run 10K in an hour on the treadmill, your race pace workouts will be run at a treadmill speed of 6.2 mph (or, more obviously, 10 kilometres per hour)

Can I Run a 10K Race Under an Hour?

Running a sub-60-minute 10k is an achievable goal if your current fitness level is at or better than running a 10K under 65 minutes, or if you can run a 5k under 30 minutes.

Beginners who can run a mile in 9:30 can also train to run a 10K faster than an hour.

Ideally, beginners should be able to run more than one mile in 9 minutes and 39 seconds (or at least one kilometer in 6:00 minutes, though preferable 2-3 without stopping), as this will be your race pace for a one-hour 10K race.

Following an eight-week 10K training plan for a one-hour finish time is an achievable time frame to build the aerobic fitness, leg strength, and speed you need to run a 10K in under an hour if you’re already able to run a 5K in under 30 minutes.

Although shorter 10K running plans are often feasible for more experienced runners or runners just looking to finish a 10K, eight weeks is a good amount of time for recreational runners to allot to their training for a 10K in an hour finish time.

Beginners looking to run a sub-60-minute 10K may need to follow a Couch to 10K training plan first or work with a running coach to build up better cardiovascular endurance before trying to break an hour for the 10K race.

People running a 10k race.

What Types of Workouts Are Included in a 10K Training Plan?

Our 10K in an hour training plan involves running 4-5 days per week and taking at least one rest day per week.

You should be able to run four miles or even longer distances comfortably without stopping and have about 5-12 hours per week to train.

Make sure you have a good cardiovascular fitness level (aerobic base) before you start this training schedule because the aerobic base is necessary before layering on speed sessions with fast running or VO2 max intervals.

To run 10K in under 60 minutes, you must follow a well-rounded training program with interval workouts, fartleks, tempo runs, hills, distance runs, cross-training workouts, and strength training.

A quad stretch.
  • Distance Run: Base-building run to improve your aerobic endurance.
  • Easy Run: Run at a conversational pace to aid recovery from speed workouts and hard efforts. Slow down your pace if you are feeling especially tired.
  • Long Run: Long endurance workouts to improve physical and mental stamina. You should run at a comfortable, conversational pace, at an effort of 6 on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is max effort.
  • Threshold Interval Workouts and Tempo Runs: The lactate threshold occurs around 83-88% of your VO2 max, so your threshold run pace would be the pace you are running at 83-88% of your VO2 max according to your lab results or roughly the pace you could hold at max effort for an hour of running. For most runners, the threshold run pace is about 15-20 seconds per mile (9-12 seconds per kilometer), slower than your 10k race pace. Therefore, if you are training to run an hour 10k race, your tempo runs and threshold interval workouts should be run around 9:54-7:59 minutes per mile or about 6:09 – 6:12 minutes per kilometer.
  • Cross Training: Non-running aerobic workout. Examples include cycling, swimming, rowing, elliptical, aqua jogging, and hiking.
  • Rest Day: No structured exercise. Focus on rest and recovery (stretching, foam rolling, taking it easy).
  • Strides: Accelerations where you reach your max sprinting speed by the end of each one. They can be done on a running track, grass, road, or treadmill.
  • Time Trial: Race-pace effort to assess your fitness level and rehearse the race experience.
  • Speed workouts (interval training) on the running track: Involve running reps of race pace and VO2 max intervals. These speed workouts get your body used to running fast and build anaerobic fitness, improving VO2 max and running speed.
  • Shake Out Run: Very relaxed run to loosen up the day before a race or critical workout.
  • Fartlek Run: A less structured interval speed workout with various accelerations.
  • Warm-up: Easy jog to warm up.
  • Cool down: Slow down your pace at the end of a workout, downshifting to an easy jog to recover.
A person doing a deadlift.

Our 10K In an Hour Training Plan

This eight-week 10K training plan will help you break an hour in the 10K. 

In addition to the running sessions and cross-training workouts listed on your training schedule below, try to add 2-3 days of strength training per week with full-body exercises like lunges, squats, step-ups, and plyometrics.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Rest or 30 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

2 x 10 minutes at goal race pace with 60 seconds recovery jog

Cool down 1 mile
3 miles easy runRest day30 minute fartlek run with 10 x 1 minute at 5k pace with 60 seconds recovery jogRest or 30 minutes cross-trainingLong run 4 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

2 x 15 minutes at goal race pace with 60 seconds recovery jog

Cool down 1 mile
3 miles easy runRest day30 minute fartlek run with 10 x 90 seconds at 5k pace with 60 seconds recovery jog3-4 miles easy runLong run 5 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

8 x 1,000 meters in 6:00 with 200 meter jog in between

Cool down 1 mile
4 miles easy runRest dayWarm up 1 mile

2 x 15 minutes at 7:30-7:35 minutes per mile with 90 seconds in between

4 x 30 seconds at sprint/mile pace with 30 seconds rest

Cool down 1 mile
3-4 miles easy runLong run 6 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm-up 1 mile

3 x 1 mile in 9:30-9:39 with 200 meter jog in between

2 x 800m at 5k pace2 x 400 at mile race pace

Cool down 1 mile
3-4 miles easy run Rest dayWarm-up 1 mile

2 x 20 minute tempo runs at 9:55 minutes per mile pace with 90 seconds in between

4 x 30 seconds at sprint/mile pace with 30 seconds rest

Cool down 1 mile
3-4 miles easy runLong run 7 miles
Rest or 30-60 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

6 x 100m strides

5k time trial in 30:00 or faster (Hit the first mile in 9:39 minutes per mile, and then stay steady or pick up the pace)

Cool down 2 miles of easy running
4-5 miles easy runRest dayWarm up 2 miles
 
10-12 x 100-200 meter or 30-60 second hill sprints

1 mile cool down
4-5 miles easy run
4 x 50-75m strides
Long run 7-8 miles
Rest or 45-60 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

2 x 2 miles in 19:00 – 19:20 200 meter jog
 
4 x 400 meters in 2:20 or faster with 90 seconds recovery

Cool down 1 mile
5-6 miles easy runRest dayWarm up 1 mile

6 x 100m strides

5k time trial in 30:00 or faster (Hit first mile in 9:39 minutes per mile, and then stay steady or pick up the pace)

Cool down 2 miles of easy running
4-5 miles easy run
4 x 50-75m strides
Long run 6 miles
Rest or 30 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

3 x 1,000 meters in 5:59 with 200 meter jog in between

4 x 400 meters in 2:18-2:20 with full recovery

Cool down 1 mile
4-5 mile easy runRest day20 minute easy jog + 4 75m strides10k RaceShake out or active recovery walk
Finally, it’s also important to focus on fueling your body well when training for a 10k.

Learn more about nutrition for runners here.

After you crush the 60 minute 10K on race day, consider training for a half marathon or setting an even faster 10K.

References

Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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