How Many Miles is a 10k? 11 Essential Tips + a 10k Training Plan
Have you completed a 5k race? If so, you might look for a more significant challenge in road racing next.
So, what should be next on your list of distance races to run?
A 10k, of course!
Now you might ask, “how many miles is a 10k?” We’ll answer that and use the following tips and tricks to help you succeed at this amazing middle-distance race! Get your running buddies, and let’s get going.
How Many Miles is a 10k?
Jumping right in, we first need to know how many miles a 10k is to prepare.
Simply put, a 10k is 6.2 miles.
The “k” in 10k stands for kilometers. Kilometers are a measurement used within the metric system around the world. However, if you’re an American running a long-distance race in the US like me, kilometers can be a bit complex to conceive.
If you’ve already completed a 5k, you might know the distance of that race equals 3.1 miles. As the 10-kilometer distance is double the 5k race distance, we can assume the length of 10k in miles is double the mileage of a 5k.
Why You Should Run a 10k
⭐️ Whether an experience or novice runner, the 10k is a great way to thoroughly enjoy long-distance running without overworking your body the way a half marathon or marathon would.
⭐️ Training for a 10k means you’ll spend less time training than needed for the longer-distance races. For busy people, the length of time you need to train is much more manageable for shorter races like 5ks and 10ks.
⭐️ Because 10k training is less intense than that of longer races, you have a lower risk of injury. You can slowly build up your weekly mileage, which allows your musculoskeletal system to strengthen, helping avoid common injuries like shin splints and plantar fasciitis.
⭐️ The 10k race is a good introduction to distance running for anyone considering running a half marathon. This can help you see how your body responds when put under pressure for a middle-distance race.
⭐️ There are many charity events and fun runs for the 10k race distance. To make your race more meaningful, consider running your race to raise money and help a cause. I’m a big-time supporter and charity runner for St. Jude Children’s Research hospital.
While the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Race Series doesn’t have a 10k, it does have a 6.15-mile race that is nearly the distance while repping our city area code.
Is 10k a Full Marathon?
The simple answer is “no.”
Beginner runners and non-runners often make the error of referring to all running events as “marathons.”
It’s common to hear someone say, “how was your 5k marathon?” However, a 5k is nowhere close to the distance of a full marathon race.
Even a 10k is not nearly the distance of a full marathon – which is 26.2 miles, by the way. A 10k isn’t even the distance of half of a half marathon.
If you’re not really into longer distances, the 10k will be your absolute best distance race. You can learn all you’ll need here to succeed at your first 10k race!
What’s the Average Time for a 10k?
When assessing the average time it takes a runner to finish a 10k, you need to consider two things.
1️⃣ The runner’s age.
2️⃣ The runner’s gender.
These two elements are crucial to think about when discussing averages. Typically male runners run faster than female runners. Age also has an impact on a runner’s speed.
The following chart shows the average time for a 10k based on gender. It’s further divided into age groups. You can see runners tend to be faster at a younger age.
What’s a Good 10k Time?
People frequently ask what a good 10k time is because they want to know what goal time to set.
Keep in mind it’s better to set a realistic goal for your first 10k rather than just choosing a time based on what you saw posted on the internet. Consider your age, gender, fitness level, and ability to commit to a 10k training plan.
That means a good running pace for a 10k comes down to each runner. Consider what your average mile time is right now, and make a goal based on this.
The average person can complete a 10k in under an hour. You may find an hour to be a good 10k time for you as you’ll need to keep about a 10-minute mile pace.
Advanced runners who spend significant time training can generally finish a 10k in about 40 minutes.
A Good 10k Time by Age
If you’ve already run a 10k in the past, know that your age can impact the time required to run the next 10k.
If it’s been 5 or 10 years, it’s a great idea to reassess and consider aiming for a new goal. As you can see on the Average 10k Times chart, average times tend to get a little slower as runners age.
A Good 10k Time by Gender
If you refer back to the Average 10k Times chart, you’ll see that the average times are always a little quicker for male runners over female runners.
You likely know that this doesn’t mean that only men will cross the finish line before the first woman crosses. But it is an element to consider when setting your goal of a 10k time.
What is the World Record 10k Time?
If you want to set a world record in the 10k race, you’ll need to get your legs tuned to run lightning fast. Elite runners run like the wind.
Races of all distances have a world record holder. 10k races are no different.
🏅 The current 10k world record is held by Rhonex Kipruto, completing the distance in an impressive time of 26 minutes and 24 seconds.
🏅 The women’s 10k world record holder is Joyciline Jepkosgei, with a speedy finish time of 29 minutes and 43 seconds.
These are the fastest times recorded, so they aren’t realistic for a first-time 10k runner. If you’re hoping to earn first place at your local 10k, you likely won’t need to run as quickly, but you’ll still need to manage a fast time to win.
These competitive runners are next-level, but one can still appreciate their faster pace.
How Long Does it Take to Train to Run a 10k?
This is a loaded question. The answer depends heavily on your previous running experience.
Some people are sitting behind their computer or phone screens reading this, and they’re in good enough shape to race a 10k… tomorrow!
If you’re starting from the beginning and you’ve never run a race before, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to improve your base training.
You’ll need to get in shape beyond just learning to run well. Then you’ll want to use the best 10k training plan to get started.
Allotting ten weeks to train to run a 10k race is sufficient time. If you’re already physically fit, you can likely get by with a few weeks less training for a 10k.
Can I Train for a 10k Race in Two Months?
Although ten weeks is an ideal schedule to train for a 10k, some runners can make it happen in 2 months or less.
This is two weeks less than most beginners’ recommended 10k training plan. If you’re low on time, you’ll need to be serious about training for two months. This might mean making sacrifices on fun times out with your friends.
How Long Would it Take to Walk a 10k?
Maybe you prefer to walk rather than run. Or perhaps you started training for a 10k, and your training got derailed. Now you’re hoping to walk the distance on race day.
On average, people can walk a mile from 15 to 22 minutes. Considering this information, we can use basic math to find how long it would take to walk a 10k.
On average, a person should be able to walk a 10k between 1 hour 33 minutes and 2 hours 16 minutes going at a slow pace. If you’ve got a bit more pep in your step, you’ll likely finish the 10k in close to an hour and a half.
You’ll need to check with the 10k race you decide on to be sure you’ll have enough time if you choose to walk the race.
How to Successfully Train for a 10k
To be successful on race day, you’ll need to train for your 10k race properly.
The best way to train for any running event is to find a trusted coach. A coach will help you create the best training plan based on your needs.
Understandably, many runners don’t have the money to hire a coach, so they rely on the internet to find the best 10k training plan. The following tips will help you focus on the most critical parts of your training program.
11 Tips to Help You Succeed for Your 10k Training
The following training tips will help you start, sustain, and complete an entire training program for your 10k race. If today you feel overwhelmed by the thought of training, these training tips will help you have a good racing experience.
✔️ Check with your doctor to be certain your general health is adequate.
Yearly physicals are essential to ensure you’re in good health before you begin any exercise program. Before starting a training plan, you can discuss any medical condition, injury history, daily health, and other things with your doctor.
Make an appointment with your primary care physician to confirm that running a 10k will improve your overall health.
✔️ Start with the proper equipment.
If this is your first race, you might not have any of the essentials you’ll need to get started.
Good running shoes and moisture-wicking clothes are essential for your training and race day. Remember, never run a race in brand-new shoes. Use the training runs to break in your new pair to be ready for race day.
✔️ Lock in a training plan and stick to it.
Please print out your training plan and cross off each day as you complete it to help you stay motivated!
✔️ Stay consistent.
It’s a good idea to complete at least a handful of training runs at the time of day the race will take place. Then you can try different pre-race fuel and beverages to be sure they sit right with your stomach.
You may even want to consider starting a healthy habit by keeping to a morning running routine. Maintaining consistency will ensure the best race day.
✔️ Find your support system.
This could be your family, friends, or even your local running club. Having people in your life who support your running journey will help you keep you going on your most challenging training days.
✔️ Take rest days. Seriously.
It’s never a good idea to overdo it and experience burnout. It would be best if you also were sure to get enough sleep so your body can repair from your workouts.
✔️ Add in cross-training.
Once you’ve reached a base training fitness level, add cross-training to strengthen your running. These different forms of exercise will significantly improve your running.
Some excellent strength training workouts include yoga, weight lifting, and cycling are great options.
✔️ Keep yourself healthy with healthy food and beverages.
Eating a well-balanced diet, ensuring that you get quality carbohydrates, and staying hydrated with water and low-sugar electrolyte drinks will keep your body in top shape.
✔️ Taper before race day.
Make sure you’re not running yourself ragged in the days leading up to race day. Tapering provides your body with a reset and allows it to fill your glycogen stores to provide energy on race day.
✔️ Trust your training.
If you’ve never run a race before, you might feel nervous the day before and the morning of the race. This is entirely normal. Remember that you trained to succeed and are ready to run 6.2 miles!
✔️ Have fun!
The most important thing and the main reason we do this sport is for the fun of it. Enjoy your time on the course, and remember that race day is the celebration of your training efforts.
10k Training Plan
Training plans can be very general or as specific as a runner needs. This is why working closely with a running coach can be beneficial.
For those who go the route of solo training for their 10k, a proper training plan should be followed but altered as needed. You should follow the general guidelines of a solid training plan, but adapt as your body needs.
A proper 10k training plan will include a few possible elements each week.
👉🏼 Long Run
The staple in every training program is the weekly long run. These longer runs help your body adapt to the distance and help your musculoskeletal system strengthen.
The longest long run for a 10k training plan will range anywhere from 6 to 10 miles.
The lesser mileage is helpful for a first-time 10k runner, whereas the longer mileage is beneficial for a runner attempting to improve their previous race time and earn a PR.
👉🏼 Tempo Run
A tempo run will be done at a near-race pace.
A good tempo run consists of warming up, running for an extended period at a good pace, and cooling down. Tempo runs will help you meet your race day pace goal.
👉🏼 Easy Runs
These runs help you recover after long mileage or strenuous workouts. Running slower can benefit your overall running, so don’t skip these runs!
Repeats are a type of sprint workout. There are various options to choose from.
For 10k training, it’s wise to use interval training by sprinting for 30-45 seconds and walking or jogging to recover for one minute before running again.
Including speed work like this will help your legs become more familiar with the quicker pace of a 10k.
👉🏼 Cross Training Session
These workouts will help you build strength beyond your running muscles.
Remember that walking is considered cross-training, so you should make time for these alternative exercises in your training schedule.
👉🏼 Rest and Recovery Days
Remember, rest is an integral part of any training program. Proper rest helps the body to recover and build muscle fibers back stronger fully. Recovery days can include light jogging or walking.
Your weekly mileage will gradually increase until you begin the taper phase, but each of the above elements should be a part of your training cycle.
Print the following training plan, or save it to your phone and mark off the days as you complete them!
Final Thoughts: How Many Miles is a 10k?
If you’re getting ready for the new challenge of training to run your first 10k, use the above tips to have a successful race day. The 10k foot race is a great distance to help take your running to the next level, especially after tackling the length of a 5k race.
If you’re living in the United States like me, you should know how many miles a 10k is after reading this post. Now Stick to your training plan, get your rest, and I’ll see you at the finish line!