Run More Awesome / Training

Pacing the 10K and Its Speed Work

Last week, I wrote about my four-weapon arsenal of my 10K training program. I spent some of my weekend reading old issues of Runner’s World and refamiliarizing myself with some running jargon and tips. Runners talk a lot about “race pace,” the minutes/mile time required to finish a race in a set amount of time. Honestly, I’ve never ran any race with a pace in mind; I just run with the hopes of finishing. Likewise, I don’t train at a particular pace; I run pretty easy, walking if necessary.

For this 10K, I’m exploring the art of pacing. (Yes, dependent upon the watch I’m hoping to get for my birthday.) I’ve made a table of numbers below to help me (and maybe you) make sense of what I’m hoping to accomplish.

10K Goal 1:00:00 1:05:00 1:10:00 1:15:00 1:20:00
Mile Pace 0:09:40 0:10:28 0:11:17 0:12:05 0:12:54
80% Race Pace/Mile 0:11:36 0:12:34 0:13:32 0:14:30 0:15:29
1/2 Mile (800M) Pace 0:04:50 0:05:14 0:05:38 0:06:02 0:06:27
1/4 Mile (400M) Pace 0:02:25 0:02:37 0:02:49 0:03:01 0:03:13
300M Pace 0:01:48 0:01:57 0:02:07 0:02:16 0:02:25
200M Pace 0:01:12 0:01:18 0:01:24 0:01:30 0:01:36
100M Pace 0:00:36 0:00:39 0:00:42 0:00:45 0:00:48

Here’s an explanation of each row:

  1. 10K Goal. Five potential finish times for the 10K ranging from 60 to 80 minutes. My fastest 10K ever was around 1:07 and my slowest around 1:15.
  2. Mile Pace. The paces I must keep per mile to reach those 10K finish times. Since I haven’t ran with a watch for about a year, I have no idea where my average pace/mile is right now. For all I know, I’m off the chart (the slow end).
  3. 80% Race Pace/Mile. The training tips I read say to do most of my runs, including my weekly long run, at 80% of my planned race pace. Once I get my watch and get on the road, I’ll have a better idea of where I fall on this row.
  4. 1/2 Mile through 100M Paces. Specifically for work on the track. These are the paces I need to run during speed work, so I’ll “learn” what it feels like to run at race pace.

All of this is sort of scary for me. I’m very good at planning and thinking through a training plan. I have trouble with the execution. But I have my weapons: training calendar, magazines, new watch, and encouragers. I just need to execute the plan.


3 thoughts on “Pacing the 10K and Its Speed Work

  1. Ugh, my goal for the 10k this weekend was 60 minutes, but now I’m just hoping I’ll be at 66 minutes, or 72 at worst, because we have not trained for this at all. 😦 It’ll still be a fun run through the center of Berlin, and that’s why we’ve decided to go ahead and run despite our general irresponsibilitiy.

    This plan looks great!

  2. My problem is that I run my races at the same pace as my training runs. I cant help it. If I try to run at 80% (even slower than I already do???) than I would end up running my races even slower, I am sure of it. I think this works for longer training, where you are trying to build endurance and ability to go the distance, but might not work for a shorter race? I’d like to hear how it goes if you follow the plan!

  3. An update on the plan: So far my training runs fall under the 1:05 10K and my speed work falls under the 1:00 10K. But like lifestudent, I tend to run my races at the same pace as my training runs. Whatever the case, I’m training to run fast, so any seconds shaved helps!

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