How To Run 10k In 55 Minutes: Complete Guide + Training Plan

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The 10k race distance is an alluring event for many runners because it’s long enough to feel like an impressive achievement but short enough to allow the training to fit in a busy schedule without getting in the way of work or family time. 

Although just finishing a 10k can be a fantastic accomplishment, experienced runners often like to set time goals. After you break the one-hour barrier in the 10k, you can set your sights on how to run 10k in 55 minutes.

Running 10k in 55 minutes is challenging but is also a very doable goal for runners willing to put in the work. In this guide, we will cover how to run 10k in 55 minutes and provide a training plan to run a 10k in 55 minutes.

We will look at: 

  • How Far Is 10k?
  • 10k In 55 Minutes Pace
  • 10k In 55 Minutes Running Speed
  • How To Run 10k In 55 Minutes
  • Elements Of Training To Run 10k In 55 Minutes
  • 10k In 55 Minutes Training Plan

Let’s get started!

A person trying to run a 10k in 55 minutes.

How Far Is 10k?

If you’ve run a 5k or 10k race in the past, you’re probably aware that the “k” component of the 10k distance stands for the metric distance of a kilometer. Therefore, a 10k is 10,000 meters. For runners in the United States who are more accustomed to miles, this 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.

10k In 55 Minutes Pace

To run 10k in 55 minutes, you will need to run 8:52 per mile or 5:30 per kilometer. This means a 55-minute 10k pace is 8:52 per mile (8 minutes and 52 seconds) or 5:30 per kilometer (5 minutes and 30 seconds).

However, since most people looking to run 10k in 55 minutes want to break 55 minutes as a barrier (running 54:59 or faster), you might want to aim to run the race at an 8:50 per mile pace. This will give you a tiny buffer to come in under 55 minutes.

If you are running on a track, 10k in 55 minutes works out to roughly 2:13 per 400 meters and 4:26 for 800 meters.

A runner on a track.

10k In 55 Minutes Running Speed

If you are training to run 10k in 55 minutes on the treadmill, your race pace workouts will be run at a treadmill speed of 6.7 mph (10.9 km/hr).

How to Run 10k in 55 Minutes

Running 10k in 55 minutes is an appropriate goal if you’ve run a 10k around 60 minutes or faster. If you have yet to run fairly close to this time, you might want to start with running a 10k under 60 minutes.

If this is your first 10k, you should be able to run a 5k in 27 minutes or so. You should also be able to run one mile in 8:50 minutes (or at least one kilometer in 5:30 minutes, though preferable 2-3), as this will be your race pace for 10k in 55 minutes.

Elements of Training to Run 10k in 55 Minutes

Our 55-minute 10k training plan involves running 4-5 days per week, and resting at least one. You should be able to run 5-6 miles comfortably without stopping and have about 6-12 hours per week to train.

To run 10k in 55 minutes, you need to follow a well-rounded training program with easy runs, interval workouts, hills, long runs, cross-training, and strength training.

A runner on the road.

Easy Runs

Easy runs build your aerobic base and give you “time on your feet” without taxing your body in the way that speed workouts do. Easy runs should be run at a comfortable, conversational pace, at an effort of 5-6 on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is max effort. Your actual pace isn’t important, so you don’t even need to use your watch if you don’t want to.

Long Runs

Long runs are endurance-building workouts that improve your aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, and mental strength.

Long runs increase your mitochondrial density, so that your muscles get more efficient at burning fat and producing energy aerobically. They also strengthen your muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissues, along with your heart and lungs.

Most 10k training plans include one long run per week, progressing the distance as you get fitter.

A person running and smiling at the camera.

Speed Workouts

Speed workouts involve running a specific distance at a specific pace. They are usually done on the track so that you have an easy way to precisely dial in your distance and pace. Most speed workouts are done at race pace, VO2 max pace, or faster. 

To run 10k in 55 minutes, this means you will be running 2:13/400 meters or faster. These interval workouts get your body used to running fast and build comfort and tolerance to race pace.

Threshold Workouts and Tempo Runs

Threshold workouts train your body to handle running faster before hitting anaerobic efforts because they are designed to increase your lactate threshold, or the point at which your body is no longer able to clear lactate from the muscles as quickly as it is being produced.

Beyond this point, you will rapidly fatigue and your legs feel heavy and tired.

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, your threshold pace is about 15-20 seconds per mile slower than your 10k race pace. Therefore, if you are training to run 10K in 55 minutes, your threshold workouts should be run around 9:07-9:12 pace per mile or about 5:36-5:40 per kilometer.

Two people running uphill.

Hill Repeats

Hill repeats may be either longer uphill intervals at race pace or threshold pace or short hill sprints at near-maximal effort. Hill sprints develop power, speed, and strength and can help increase your cadence, or turnover, and improve your running form.

Strides

Running strides conditions your neuromuscular system to handle faster paces in a controlled and coordinated manner. This typically involves sprinting 50-150 meters or so at near-maximal speeds or accelerating to peak velocity by the end of the stride.

Cross-Training Workouts

Low-impact exercises like cycling, pool running, swimming, elliptical, and rowing can supplement your running and help prevent overuse injuries. Any activity other than running can be considered cross training. 

Cross-training allows you to get an aerobic workout with less impact on your body than running. Adding variety to the type of exercise you do also allows you to use different muscles and movements, which can reduce the risk of overuse injuries from running. 

A person cycling.

Rest Days

Training to race 10k puts a fair amount of wear and tear on your body. Rest days give your legs and feet time off to recover and rebound from training. You should have at least one day of complete rest from running per week in your 10k training plan.

Strength Training

The 10k is an endurance event and requires muscular strength and endurance as well as strong bones, joints, and connective tissues so that you can handle the mileage you do in training without getting injured.

Try to incorporate core training, mobility exercises, and strength training workouts 2-3 times per week. Total-body strength training workouts help prevent injuries by correcting strength imbalances and building functional stability so that your body can handle the miles of running. 

A person doing renegade rows in the gym.

10km In 55 Minutes Training Plan

This 6-week 10k training plan will help you break 55 minutes in the 10k. In addition to the workouts listed on your training plan below, try to add 2-3 days of strength training per week.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

4 x 800 meters in 4:26 with 200 meter jog in between

8 x 10 x 400 meters in 2:13 with 200 meter jog in between

Cool down 1 mile
3 miles easy runRest dayWarm up 2 miles 

10 x 100 meter or 30-45 second hill sprints

1 mile cool down
3-4 miles easy runLong run 5 miles
Rest or 30-45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

8-10 x 1,000 meters in 5:28-5:30 with 200 meter jog in between

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

2 x 15 minutes at 9:07-9:12 pace or 5:36/km 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

6 x 1 mile in 8:45-8:52 with 200 meter jog in between

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

2 x 20 minutes at 9:07-9:12 pace or 5:35/km 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

2 x 2 miles in 17:34 – 17:40 
200 meter jog 

1 x mile in 8:44-8:49

4 x 400 meters in 2:08-2:12 with 90 seconds recovery

Cool down 1 mile
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 8 miles
Rest or 45-60 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

1 x 2 miles in 17:30-17:40
200 meter jog 

5 x 1,000 meters in 5:20-5:25 with 60 seconds recovery

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

40 minutes at threshold pace (9:05-9:10 min/mile or 5:35/km)

1 mile cool down
4-5 miles easy run
4 x 50-75m strides
Long run 6 miles
Rest or 45 minutes cross-trainingWarm up 1 mile

10 x 1,000 meters  in 5:27-5:30 with 200 meter jog in between

4 x 200 meters at mile pace with full recovery

Cool down 1 mile
4-5 miles easy runRest day20 minute easy jog + 4 strides10k RaceShake out or active recovery walk

After you crush the 55-minute barrier, set your sights on breaking 50 minutes in the 10k. You can do it!

A group of people running on the road.
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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a 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.

1 thought on “How To Run 10k In 55 Minutes: Complete Guide + Training Plan”

  1. Just finished ✅ 1/2 way week 3 today . I’m 61 looking forward to breaking the 55 min mark went from coach 1hour 29 min to 1 hour 11 min to 1 hour 23 seconds.
    I have not missed a day . I have my own track have done a hope run for 3 years

    Reply

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