10K Pacing Strategy

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

I forgot to tell you guys that I registered for a 10K this weekend. My half marathon training schedule had a 10K race on it, so I found the Cohasset Road Race by the Sea to run. I hear it’s a beautiful course, and I convinced a couple of friends to run it as well, so I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.



I haven’t run a 10K since last summer, so I want to see if I can PR at this one. I actually haven’t run too many 10Ks in general, so I really have no idea how to pace myself. I usually just go out there and run with no plan at all. I’m typically slow to start, but then I get into a grove and try to pick up the pace at the end. How’s that for a pacing strategy?

The other night, I went in search for some pacing strategies for 10K races. There are a lot of ideas about how one should run a 10K, but this advice from Multisports.com caught my attention:

Write goal splits on your arm or hand ahead of time or get a pace bracelet. Get out smooth and light. Not too easy Pace should be about 10-15 seconds faster than you goal pace finish time
Example: Goal Time: 42:00 (7:00 mile pace)
Go out 1st mile in 6:45-6:50
2nd & 3rd mile about 5 seconds over goal pace (7:05)
4th & 5th miles right at goal pace (7:00) Don’t worry about your HR. Just hold the pace you need. 6th mile. Try to get back under goal pace. should not be more than 10 seconds slower than 1st mile. HR is HIGH! .2 finish – Go to Leg Speed & Lengthen stride. Pass someone. Don’t get run down.

Interesting, right? Obviously, I don’t plan to run a 42-minute 10K, but maybe this type of pacing would help me on Sunday? It couldn’t hurt to try, right?

How do you pace yourself for races? Do you have a plan and/or time goals before you start the race? Any advice for me on pacing for a 10K race?


This morning’s breakfast was waffles with sunflower butter and banana slices on top. I had some extra banana leftover, so I spread some sunflower butter on that too.

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I had an early appointment this morning, so I took my iced coffee to go with me in the car.

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For lunch, I mashed up some sweet potato wedges and spread it on a tortilla with some chunks of chicken.

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I have no idea why I made my lunch on the edge of the kitchen counter, but as I was moving it into the toaster oven to heat up, a piece of chicken fell on the floor.

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Five second rule!

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If you’re wondering what the pink beverage is in my water bottle, it’s G.I. Balance, a supplement to support G.I. tract health and function. (It’s berry-flavored.) FoodScience of Vermont initially sent me some free samples to test out, but after trying them for a couple of weeks, I ended up buying the G.I. Balance as well as their Mega Probiotic to help keep my digestive system happy and healthy now that I’m feeling better. So far, so good! (FoodScience of Vermont also makes the vanilla protein powder I like so much.)

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Race Entries: Give & Get

If you saw my previous post about race entries, I apologize for the confusion. I decided to unpublish it since a lot of races don’t allow transfers and, apparently, you can get in a lot of trouble for it. A couple people mentioned forums for specific races, so if you’re looking for an entry or can no longer use one, check out the race website to make these transfers. Again, sorry for the confusion! I thought it was a good idea””just trying to be helpful! Derp.

P.S. I need a Marylou’s Peanut Butter Wonderful iced coffee in a bad way. That is all.



  1. Are you still doing the Apple Cider Vinegar drink thing? I am curious to know if it has been helping you! I started drinking it once a day this week (started on Monday), and its probably just mind over matter, but I think my stomach issues have started to die down a bit!

    1. @Aditi: I am, but not everyday– usually every other day. It’s only been a week, so I’m not really sure if it’s helping? It might be? My stomach seems happy!

  2. I haven’t done many 10K’s, and my strategy for 5Ks used to be to just go go go go the whole time (but not to get too overwhelmed at the start). For half marathons and marathons, I like to have a goal time in mind, and I try to stick near the pace bunny that will keep me just under that time.

  3. I’ve never run a 10K, but in the half marathons I’ve run, I’ve just tried to stick with my goal pace for as long as possible. When I ran the DC half, I felt really strong and noticed that I was running under my goal pace by at least 15 seconds and, since I didn’t seem to be tiring myself out, just kind of went with it. I’m sure that’s not a scientific or professional answer, but I’m a big believer in listening to what my body says—and if it says I can go faster, I go faster!

  4. I haven’t really spent much time and effort on learning to pace myself better, but I probably should! I was fairly consistent with my mile times for my two half marathons, but I was pretty bad at it for my full! Oh well. Your 10k plan sounds great – hope the race goes well for you on Sunday!

  5. hi tina! long-time reader and first-time commenter – i had to when i found out that you’re running the 10K! it’s in my old hometown and it’s a fantastic race. one thing to keep in mind is that the second half is all pretty solid rolling hills. nothing you can’t handle, just wanted to put it on your radar. good luck!

  6. I wish it was easier to transfer race bibs, and they didn’t make it practically a federal offense. I think we should all band together to make it mandatory. It’s ridiculous that so many of these races sell out, but if you register 6 mos in advance, who knows what’s going to come up? Plus, races are getting absurdly expensive–$95 for a half marathon, really? And, they can’t come up with some electronic process to transfer bibs? Come on!

  7. For the half of quincy, I checked out the elevation maps and since I saw the last few miles had some killer hills, I knew I wanted to start out fast, figuring that I’d get slower as the race went on. Seemed to work, and when I hit those hills, I slowed down a bit but was still on pace to come in faster than my goal.

  8. I wish I could say I follow a given pace for races. I usually just go with how my body feels and try not to start off too fast.

    I just bought the Food Science Protein Powder. I really like it! This is from someone who really isn’t a fan of any protein supplements!

  9. For 10Ks my strategy is to start out very steady and keep making progress with pace in miles 1-4. The last 2+ miles are a pick-up for me. I always figure if I think about it as 2 5Ks, I’ll go too fast. I want to save something in my tank for the final push.

  10. My first 10K was earlier this month and I didn’t have my Garmin, so I just ran it according to RPE. I started around at 8 and then pushed it toward 9 near the last two miles (and like a 10 for the last 0.2 mile). It was fun! But I think I’ll try another one this year (with Garmin) and try a different strategy.
    Lunch looks super yummy 😀

  11. I typically run longer races but my best advice is to aim for a negative split. Start out conservatively and if you’re feeling great at mile 4, let ‘er rip! I’m all about running be feel, because if I time my mile splits I go crazy doing math in my head and it just slows me down 🙂 Good luck!

  12. Good luck with your 10k. Wish I had brilliant advice to offer, but I think you probably know better than me what you’re doing!! : ) Have FUN!!

  13. I love Food Science of Vermont’s mega probiotic””the only bummer is how long it took me to find it!

    I hope you got your much-needed iced coffee. It was that kind of day for me too.

  14. I love seeing all your experimentation with sweet potatoes….I. Currently ona very limited naturopath-prescribed diet, and sweet potatoes are one of the few things I can eat, so I may just have to follow your lead!

  15. hey! I have a question.. can I ask how much you pay for crossfit classes? It’s $120/month unlimited up here and I’m just wondering if that’s way off base or if thats about average. Also, how many days a week do you do it? I was thinking 3 times a week?

  16. I’ve become quite the iced coffee addict myself, so I can understand your obsession with Mary Lou’s! It’s just so good 😉

  17. You should have left the race post up! I didn’t see it, and I imagine the comment section would have been a good learning experience for all.

  18. Ha! Wish I saw this sooner. I will be running it as my first road race I’ve actually trained for (having done a few others not seriously), and being from the next town over, I went to pace it out a few weeks back, knowing there are some BIG San-Fran style hills out there. It is killer miles 3-5, all HILLS but beautiful views to make up for it. I was inspired by your earlier post to make the “hills my B—-“, which will be my mantra for the day! Have a good race & see you there!

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