Your Sub 1 Hour 10K Guide

Run a 10K in one hour
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Whether you’re a beginner runner or training for your 17th 10K, setting a goal of running a 10K in 60 minutes or less is an endeavor worth pursuing.

This running goal will give you motivation and provide your training with structure and a powerful sense of purpose.

In today’s article, I’m going to share with you my best guidelines on how to crack 10K in under one hour.

More specifically, I’ll be delving into the following:

  • How Achievable is a sub 1 hour 10k?
  • Is Running a 10K in hour good?
  • Long Runs For A One-Hour 10K
  • Strategies For One-Hour 10K Race Day
  • Know Your sub 1 Hour 10K Pace
  • How to run a 10K in one hour
  • and so much more

Are you ready?

Let’s lace up and dig in.

How Achievable is a Sub 60 10K?

Just like anything else, the answer varies. There are many elements that contribute to your 10K ability, such as your:

  • Current fitness
  • Running experience
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Motivation
  • Consistency
  • Training plan
  • Mental strength

Regardless of these, finishing a 10K within one hour or less will require running at an average pace of 9.40 per mile or 6.00 per km, or faster.

Have no idea what this pace means? Then head to the nearest track and experience that pace.

This pace equals running 12.5 laps around a stand 400 running track, clocking each lap at exactly 2.23 minutes.

If you can already run a 5K within 30 minutes, then you reasonably assume that you could run the whole 10K within 63 minutes.

A beginner? Start with this couch to 10K schedule for beginners.

Is Running 10k In an Hour Good?

Even though running times shouldn’t your main goal, running a 10K in one hour is considered a good timing. It’s in fact a target that requires work and effort to achieve.

Beginners be careful. A sub 1 hour 10k isn’t something you can pull overnight.

5K Vs. 10K

Completing the whole 10K distance in 60 minutes is actually quite harder than finishing a 5K in 30 minutes.

Even though you’re running at the same pace, you’ll need a higher level of speed endurance to run for twice the distance.

When it comes to running ability, running a 5k in 30 minutes equals running 10K in just over 63 minutes.

Your Sub 1 Hour 10K Guide
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Interval Running

One of the best ways to improve your running speed is by doing interval training.

Interval training refers to performing periods of higher intensity running with recovery periods in between.

How fast you go during the high-intensity intervals depends on your running goals and training ability.

To make the most out of your training for a sub-60 minute 10K, running at or faster target, 10K pace is the way to go.

If you have access to a track, the following workout is perfect. You simply run fast for 400-meter, then do a slow 400-meter for recovery.

Rinse and repeat for 30 minutes.

Tempo Training

In essence, tempo runs consist of sustained 20 to 30 minutes of effort—or roughly two to four mile in length. These are usually performed at 10 to 20 seconds per mile slower than your current 10K race pace.

The premise is simple. Start your run at a slow and nice jog for the first 5 to 10 minutes.

Then you gradually dial up your speed for the rest of the workout.

Where to do them?

Practically anywhere, but I’d recommend performing them on any easily-measured, flat road with little to no traffic or obstacles. By the end of the tempo session, you should feel tired but not completely drained.

Additional resource – How to train for an 8K

Long Runs For A One-Hour 10K

Running a sub-hour 10K isn’t just about speed—your endurance also matters.

Of course, speed training is key, but so is endurance.

So how do you do it?

Simple.  Start running long.

As a rule, build up your long runs to roughly 8 to 10 miles.

What’s more?

Do not try to run your long runs at 6.2 miles per hour—instead, keep them easy, conversational, relaxed pace—and enjoy them. Use these sessions as your opportunity to get used to endurance training and improving your technique.

Forget about pace and finish times. Focus on spending more time on your feet instead of worrying about how fast (or slow) you’re going. Try and go fast, and you’re more likely to crash and burn—and you don’t want that.

Additional resource – When to skip a run

Strategies For One-Hour 10K Race Day

Training your body and mind for running a sub-hour 10K is important.

But what you do around and on race day can also impact your 10K time.

Here are a few of the measures you need to take to ensure an optimal running experience.

Recover Well

Before you step onto that starting line, make sure that your body is well-rested—that’s when you perform your best. Otherwise, your running performance will, at best, be subpar.

Here are few hints:

  • Get plenty of sleep for two to three nights before your 10K race.
  • Avoid intense sessions in the few days before race day. You won’t like running in pain.
  • Eat for performance, not for pleasure

Know Your sub 1 Hour 10K Pace

To help make the most out of the race, know your 5K time splits and what they should be at each mile mark. Keep in mind that these times are based on the supposition that each split is run at the same pace.

Here are normal time splits for a sub-60-minute 10K:

  • Mile One – Split Time: 9:39 – Lap Time: 9:39
  • Mile Two – Split Time: 19:18 – Lap Time: 9:39
  • Mile Three – Split Time: 28:57 – Lap Time: 9:39
  • Mile Four – Split Time: 38:36 – Lap Time: 9:39
  • Mile Five – Split Time: 48:15 – Lap Time: 9:39
  • Mile Six – Split Time: 57:54 – Lap Time: 9:39
  • 21 – Split Time: 1:00:00 – Lap Time: 2:06


I hate to sound like a broken record, but warm-ups are key.

Complete a dynamic warm-up in which you include five minutes of slow running to increase your body temperature and heart rate. Next, perform a series of dynamic stretches, such as inchworms and air squats, to fire up your muscles accordingly.

Negative Split Your One-Hour 10K

Running at the same pace the entire race is often tricky to achieve when you factor in a variable such as competitions, fatigue, and terrain.

The best way to do so is via a negative split, which is running the second half of the event faster than the first. This is a common tactic among elite runners but uncommon in recreational runners.

The key is simple—start easy and finish strong.

Here’s an example of a negative split for a sub-60 minute 10K:

  • Mile One – Split Time: 10:12- Lap Time: 10:12
  • Mile Two – Split Time: 20:05- Lap Time: 10:07
  • Mile Three – Split Time: 29:55- Lap Time: 9:50
  • Mile Four – Split Time: 39:40- Lap Time: 9:45
  • Mile Five – Split Time: 48:55- Lap Time: 9:20
  • Mile Six – Split Time: 58:02- Lap Time: 9:10
  • 21 – Split Time: 1:00:00 – Lap Time: 1:58

Additional resource – Guide to urban running


There you have it. If you’re looking to run a 10K within an hour or less, then today’s guide should get you started on the right foot. Now the ball is in your court, and it’s up to you to do the work. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David D.