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The Anatomy of a 10K Race

A 10K race is run at 55% of your maximal speed. That recruits 100% of your slow-twitch fibers, 80% of your intermediate fast-twitch fibers, and 35% of your super fast-twitch fibers. That requires 90% of your maximal aerobic capacity with 10% anaerobic contribution which is with ~4.6mmol blood lactate/liter slightly above your lactate threshold.
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Training for a 10K Race

In my opinion, the most appropriate training periodization for competitive amateur runners is funnel periodization (see graphic above) as it allows for multiple peaks and a well-rounded fitness level year-round. The 3 phases for 10K training are as follows:


1. Base + Speed

General endurance = Easy to steady pace
Aerobic support = Marathon pace
Anaerobic support = 3K – 1500m pace
General speed = 1500 – 400m pace


2. Pre-Competition

General endurance = Easy to steady pace
Direct endurance support = LT-pace
Direct speed support = 5K – 3K pace


3. Race-Specific

General endurance = Easy to steady pace
Race-specific = 10K pace (obviously)


Note: There’s no equal distribution between the suggested workout modes. General endurance always takes center stage.

Hi! I'm Sandro Sket, a NSCA-Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and coach to competitive runners. Having studied the philosophies and methods of all the great coaches (past and present), I’ve become an advocate of funnel periodization. I’m bilingual in exercise science.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs.

10K Training Plans

Extraordinary 10K race results are the outcome of structured training. It requires maximizing your aerobic fitness, muscular power, and 10K-specific endurance—in the right order.

Train more effectively (and efficiently!) with funnel periodization.

Elevate your aerobic capacity (VO2max)
Boost your lactate threshold/tolerance
Increase your neuromuscular power
Upgrade your fatigue resistance
Improve your running economy

10K Intermediate

10-week plan
4 running days/week
25 miles/week (40 km/week)

10K Advanced

10-week plan
4 - 6 running days/week
37 miles/week (60 km/week)

10K Pre-Elite

10-week plan
5 - 7 running days/week
50 miles/week (80 km/week)