Then, at the mile mark, you can start to run the race pace you think you can run for the 10K. If you do that from mile 1 to mile 5, then you should be able to run the last 1.2 miles fast. Running a negative-split race is so important in the 10K. It shows that you understand how to persevere when you get really uncomfortable. You don't want to run a positive-split race, where you run fast for 4 miles, but slow a bit in mile 5, and then have a miserable mile 6.
10K Race Plan for Advanced Runners
For the veteran 10K runner, the race is simple, yet as jazz pianist Thelonious Monk said, "Simple ain't easy." A well run 10K for the veteran is running the same pace for 6 miles, then speeding up the last .2 miles for a slight negative-split race. But finding the right pace is hard.
What's even harder is not letting the pace settle in miles 4 and 5. It's so easy to give in to the pain and slow down, yet the satisfaction of running a race where you know you didn't give in to the pain is priceless. For the advanced runner, this is what separates the 10K from the other distances. There aren't as many miles that feel good in a 10K compared to a half marathon or a marathon. The flip side is it's not as intense from the gun as a 5K. Comfort in the 10K slowly erodes into discomfort, so you need to be honest that the race is going to start to hurt a long way from the finish, and you can't let the pace settle.
Bonus 10K Pacing Tip
One final tip that applies to all 10K runners is the issue of using kilometer markers during the race. Most good races will have both mile markers and kilometer markers. Some big 10Ks, like the Bolder Boulder, have every 800m marked. For many runners in the final stages of the race, focusing on the kilometer markers just makes things worse. Yes, you know how far you have to run, but there are times when you just need to look straight ahead and stay focused on not letting the pace slow. Obviously every runner is different, but many athletes run faster when, at roughly mile 4, they just race and try to ignore the kilometer signs. It's not easy to ignore big signs on the side of the road, yet if you can do it, then you can simplify the race and stay focused on not letting the pace settle.10K race.