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10212 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Apr 13, 2011 10:01 AM by Andrew7000 1 2 Previous Next
kzum0411 Amateur 20 posts since
Feb 7, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 4, 2011 11:36 AM

10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

Hi All,


This is my very first time writing on here so please excuse me if I don't get all the lingo right .  Anyway, I have been "training" to run a 10k (Illinois Marathon) race in a few weeks.  I have been training 6 days/week for 6 weeks now.  I run 3 days a week (1 day/week I lift weights after I run) and I bike the other day with 1 rest day/week.  Since where I live has been cold, I have done most of my running on a treadmilland each week I do a long run and I increase the distance by a half mile each week.  I finally got my pace under 11min/mi but on Friday, I went to a park do my long run of 5 miles.  And I couldn't do it.  I ran 3.6 miles in 40-some minutes.  I was so tired and disappointed in myself for not doing what I was supposed to do.  I ran 4.5 miles with a pace of 11:10min/mi just last week (on a treadmill) and now I can't even run a 5k with that pace outside.  Should I stop running on a treadmill and do more outside to get used to running outside? I want to run this race but I'm just not sure I can finish.  I have 3 weeks, can I do it and are there any tips to running outside vs. inside that I should do?


Thanks and sorry if this was scattered!

Illinois Marathon 10k - 04.30.2010 -01:07:42

Kirby Derby 10k- 05.14.2010 -01:00:32

Kirby Derby 5k - 05.12.2012 -34:07 (25 weeks pregnant with baby #2)

Schumacher Shuffle 5k- 11.10.2012 -32:37 (13 weeks post partum)

Illinois Marathon 5k- 04.27.2013 -29:56

Ilinois Marathon Half- 04.28.2013 -2:22:23

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 4, 2011 8:49 PM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    If you're going to race outdoors, at some point you do have to get used to training outdoors. Your body needs to learn to adapt to harder surfaces, changing inclines, temperature changes, the effects of wind (either in your favor or against) and so on. You also need to learn to calibrate your pace without the convenience of an electronic display in front of you. The more you practice outdoors, the better you'll get.

    Also - how are you calibrating your outdoor runs? Make sure you're measuring the course distance accurately. If you have a GPS watch, it's probably pretty accurate, but if you're measuring off a map or via your car odometer, it may not be. Also, how well calibrated is your treadmill? There's a chance that the speed your treadmill is registering may not be accurate.

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57

  • thedevotedrunner Legend 439 posts since
    Jul 7, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Apr 4, 2011 11:11 PM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    I don't do much treadmill running, but I know of many people that do that have stated that the pace listed on the TM is different from the pace you will run outside.  The more you run outside, the more your body will adapt to it.  Give it a few weeks and you should be fine. Not knowing your fitness level, I do not know if you will be able to transition enought to RUN the whole 10K, but it sounds like you are training smart and should be able to complete the distance.

    Running the straight and narrow,


    "Run because you love it. If you don't, learn to love it. Running will bring things into your life that you could never imagine." - Scott Jurek, Star of "Born To Run"

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  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Apr 5, 2011 6:28 AM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    Garmin 305 on Amazon for about 130ish.  You just need to run more outdoors.  I am the opposite of you 95% of my runs are outdoors, I have a hard time running my regular pace on a TM!.   Get outside and run, you will be fine in your 10K, just don't go out to fast, try for a faster last 3 miles than the 1st 3 miles!   Enjoy

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Apr 5, 2011 9:48 AM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    kirsten-z wrote:


    Thanks for the input!  Most of the trails I run outside have mileage markers along the trails.  I don't have a good way to calibrate my runs outside unless I check my ipod time when I start and stop.  Would a gps type watch make a difference?  I am sure wearing a watch would be easier than fiddling with that ipod.  Any suggestions on a good watch to get?  I guess I better get my shoes ready for some outdoor running.



    If you're running, like, "through the woods trails", then you will be slower than you would on pavement or the treadmill.  There is definitely an increase in effort on dirt, gravel or sandy trails.




  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Apr 6, 2011 6:22 AM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    Treadmill calibrations can be off and even 15-30 seconds per mile can be a HUGE difference when you are calculating your running pace.  I would take the TM pace only as a generality to track your progress.


    If you want to run a race outside, then you need to train outside!   It isn't the same as TM running.  As far as calculating your pace, if you have mile markers on your trail then all you need is a cheap chronograph watch to keep your time.  I use a $10 watch from Target - that's all I've ever used.  No GPS or iphone apps or anything else.  (I am a low tech runner.)   You probably won't significantly improve your speed in three weeks, but your best bet is to do as many training runs as possible outside during that time.   Don't worry about pace - at this point it is what it is - just run the speed that you can sustain over a distance of 5 miles.  You can train for a better time in your next race.


    Good luck!

  • JasonFitz1 Legend 578 posts since
    Jun 19, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Apr 6, 2011 6:32 AM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    Another possibility is that the trail markers are off. You never know if they're 100% accurate.


    I ran a 20 miler on a marked trail (C&O canal) and my mile splits ranged from 6:20 to 7:50 on the same level of effort! It averaged out in the end, but don't take them too seriously.

    It's a good idea to do more and more (gradual transition, of course) of your running outside so you get used to the many variables of outdoor running. Since your 10k race isn't on a treadmill, you don't want to do most of your training on a treadmill. It's probably also a good idea to do some easy fast running, like strides or a very short fartlek, 1-2 times per week. It'll help your form and make your regular pace feel a lot easier.


    Good luck!

    - Jason.

    Strength Running
  • Andrew7000 Rookie 2 posts since
    Apr 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Apr 7, 2011 5:05 AM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    If you can run 4.5 miles you can run a 10k.  By your description, it sounds like you're burning out between 3/4.5 miles.  I would suggest decreasing your pace for the first half of the race.


    It seems like a lot of people who go from treadmill to roads need time to get used to self-pacing and understanding what their bodies are capable of.  There are so many more variables on a road that something as simple as wind should adjust your pace by over 3min/mile.

  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Apr 7, 2011 11:02 AM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    One other strategy is to work on the other end of things, ie. your sense of pace / pressure and running philosophy.  Think about just running to enjoy how it feels to run and to listen to how the running resonates in your body.  Especially for the very beginning of your running career you would do well to avoid pushing yourself.  That often leads to injuries and setbacks.

    Based on the good effort you've been putting in so far, you should have no problems at all finishing the 10K unless you hurt yourself twixt now and then.  Be a little gentler on yourself, perhaps, and maybe read a bit about how to run with excellent form.  Stick with the goal to become a runner and to run a race.  Just let go of a bit of the other baggage you're carrying

    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

  • how2runfast Legend 207 posts since
    Sep 21, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Apr 9, 2011 11:08 AM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    Good luck with your 10K.  A GPS watch is a great training tool and it can help you with your race pacing, too.  You don't have to rob a bank to get one.


    Here's a post I wrote that might help you select one that is right for you.


    6 Great GPS Watches for Under $200


    Boston Marathon Finisher

    How 2 Run Fast

    Follow me on Twitter

    Albany (NY) Times Union Runners Blog

  • ORcoastrunner Pro 83 posts since
    Apr 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Apr 9, 2011 1:37 PM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    Kirsten, I am brand-new at this (just finishing Couch to 5K this week!) but hoping to run a 10K in September.  It is a very hilly, challenging course, and I was starting to have a lot of doubts about making it.  Then, I talked to a co-worker who has lost about 100 lbs in the last 2 years.  He ran this 10K last fall, and a year prior, he couldn't go up a flight of stairs without stopping to rest.  He told me that his strategy was to run as long as he could (often down the hills), walk briskly when he needed a break (often up the hills), and run again after a few minutes.  It was very freeing to me to realize that I could do that if I needed to!  I have my first 5K, my first race ever, in 2 weeks.  I'm pretty sure I can run the whole thing, maybe not very fast, but I'm comforted by the fact that if I have to walk a little then run some more, I can do that.  My biggest downfall is starting out too fast, so I think that the advice to try and run your second half a little faster than your first might help you set a better starting pace.  If you feel like you can't make it anymore, walk a bit, and try again.  You might not finish first, but you'll finish!

    I may not be good, but I'm slow!

  • Urbster Legend 760 posts since
    May 27, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Apr 9, 2011 5:05 PM (in response to kzum0411)
    Re: 10k in 3 weeks, can I do it?

    I ran on treadmills for years  for fitness only then I got hooked on running outside.  My first race changed my life.   I ran 5k races for over a year before hitting the 10k's.  I am kinda surprised you're doing a 10k as your first race and not a 5k but you will finish.  You might have to take some waking breaks but I am sure that on race day the energy will get you though it and I'll bet you have a great day, (especially after you cross that finish line).  I am doing a 10k on 5/1 so I am in your corner.   Good luck and keep running

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