How to run a great 10K


In partnership with Fitbit

Want to get the most from your 10K training and racing? Using a Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition will help you measure and track your progress

Deciding to really go for a 10K is a bold choice. Run it flat out from the start and you’ll have legs like lead by halfway. Yet start off too slow and you won’t have the time to make amends later in the race. To run a great 10K you will need:

  • A strong aerobic foundation and base endurance
  • A decent turn of top-end speed
  • The physical capacity to hold a high percentage of your maximum effort
  • An economical and efficient style of running
  • The psychological edge and a tough, focused mindset

And you can use a smartwatch like the Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition to measure your training, track your progress and help you run to your target pace on race day.

Training for a 10K

The biggest mistake that many new 10K runners make is failing to include enough training that is of high enough intensity to make a real difference come race day. They either train too slow or too fast. They do plenty of steady and easy running with a little bit of very fast running thrown in for good measure, and not a lot in between.

Training is done to make your 10K race feel easier, so for a better 10K you need to train at paces that match and exceed your target race pace. And to know what paces you’re running at, you’ll need something reliable to measure them on – enter the Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition with its built-in GPS to measure pace and distance and exclusive adidas sessions to take you to the next level.

Easy running all the time won’t help you run 10K faster. Running longer distances won’t make you faster over 10K either. Instead of heading out for another steady plod, properly mix up your miles and include the three golden tickets of 10K racing success: threshold, race pace and speed. Running a fast 10K means being able to push the boundaries of comfort a little further that you might think is possible.

These three training types help you do just that.

1. Threshold
Mastering discomfort is key to running a better 10K. Threshold running is a pace best described as ‘controlled discomfort’. You need to push the boundaries of comfort and run on the edge as effectively and efficiently as you can. In terms of effort, threshold running equates to about an eight out of 10.

2. Race pace
To race a great 10K you should be teaching your body to tolerate anticipated race-day pace, intensity and duration. Interval running at race pace (or faster) is a proven winner for 10K success. Great 10K intervals improve VO2 max, and your cardio fitness score on your Fitbit app. Intervals for 10K might be run at 85-90% effort level.

3. Speed

Speed work is run at faster than target distance race pace. Speed training will definitely get you properly out of breath, send your heart rate into the peak zone and send your muscles into overdrive. That’s the point. Completing a speed workout means running fast. The term ‘fast’ is relative and can change depending on stage of training, fitness, and session goals. What you can control, however, is your effort. To get the most from speed work, your effort/intensity levels have to be very high (90% of you maximum).

Use your Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition to track your heart-rate to help ensure you’re running at the right intensity. For added motivation, try to do these sessions with other runners who can spur you on. 

How to race a 10K

Running a 10K well demands that you quickly get to your limit and stay there until the finish line. Through your training, you will have developed a tolerance for your 10K race pace. Fast 10K running isn’t about suffering for hours like in a marathon. It’s about hurting for less time but more intensely.

Know your race pace per K or mile to the second. You should be able to knock out a set of 5 x 1-mile repeats (or 8 x 1K repeats) at bang on target time, with a little recovery, if you’re going to put yourself in with a chance of stringing them together with no rest on race day. Use your Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition to ensure you’re running at the right pace throughout the race.

Don’t spend the first half of the race gently getting into it. You’ve got to be hitting your target race pace quickly and focusing on holding it for each mile. Mess around for the first two miles and it’s too late to play catch up. Go too hard for the first two and the final two are going to be hell!

Push when it hurts – no letting off. It’s going to hurt. That’s the nature of 10K racing. Your strength comes from knowing that you can mentally master the pain and keep churning out the pace with no let up. Be relentless. You won’t nail your 10K by being easy on yourself.

The Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition smartwatch is designed to provide a unique coaching experience for runners and athletes of all levels who want to improve their performance. In addition to all the advanced health and fitness features of Fitbit Ionic, the adidas edition includes exclusive features such as the adidas Train app – six on-screen workouts and step-by-step coaching developed by adidas to help improve your form, power, and speed – a stylish and breathable sport band and unique adidas-designed clock face – all with up to five days of battery life.

For challenges, running tips, competitions and more about the Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition go to If you’re looking for a great 10K in London, check out the adidas City Runs at

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