Race Report: TCS World 10K 2024 by Aravind

Training insights and race strategy of Aravind's TCS World 10K 2024
Race Report: TCS World 10K 2024 by Aravind
Date: 28 May 2024
Start time: 5:10 AM
Start point: Parade Grounds, Bengaluru, India
Elevation: 35m ascent/37m descent
Race Distance: 10km
  • A Goal: 42m:30s
  • B Goal: 43m:00s
  • C Goal: Personal Best (43m:14s)
  • Achieved : 43m:41s

TCS World 10K has been a ritual in my annual running calendar ever since I started running. Like many runners, this race kicks off my running calendar for the year. However, my participation this year was initially uncertain. Training for the 10K race is hard. An advance in the race date, coupled with lingering fatigue from the New Delhi marathon, made me think if I am ready for the commitment. After a fortnight of easy running following the Delhi marathon, I felt ready. With about 7 weeks until race day, I began my training.


For this training cycle, I had few key considerations:

  • Given the lingering fatigue from the previous marathon, I aimed to keep the volume relatively low.
  • Prioritizing strength training, which had been neglected in the previous cycle.
  • With a fall marathon on the horizon, I wanted to use this race to build speed before transitioning into marathon training later in June.

Based on these considerations and some research, I largely modeled my training plan on Pete Magill’s “Fast 5K” book. Although it might seem odd to use a 5K training method for a 10K race, I liked the focus on speed work and progression in his training approach. I made adjustments to suit the 10K distance, incorporating long runs with tempo sections and additional repeats for VO2Max work as needed.

Here is a chart that shows the HR zone distribution of my runs. Dec-Feb shows the HR zone distribution during my New Delhi marathon training cycle, while March & April cover the TCS 10K training cycle.

(click to zoom)

Goal Pace - A 5K time trial at the end of the third week helped gauge my speed endurance. While I had hoped to finish around 4:06-4:08 min/km, I managed only 4:10 min/km. This served as a reality check, leading me to set my target race pace between 4:15 min/km and 4:18 min/km (See Pace Chart). That will be a sub-43-minute finish.

Training Specificity - Given the course profile, which features gently rolling hills, I prioritized hill training in my regimen. The change in route this year added an interesting twist, continuous downhill running, with potentially challenging hills toward the end. I incorporated uphill sprints, VO2Max intervals on hills, and interval sessions on downhills into my training routine.

Three weeks before the race, I ran the course to familiarize myself with its profile. The rolling course, especially toward the end, proved to be challenging but held no major surprises. A 6K tempo run at race pace two weeks prior seemed like a good idea. I ran on the rolling hills of rural Bengaluru’s (Maddur) roads, and as expected I struggled to hit the target pace, managing around 4:20 min/km. However, a shorter dress rehearsal of a 4K tempo run on the Sunday before the race allowed me to comfortably hit the paces, and helped to get confidence back.

Nutrition - Another thing that I have prioritized for past few training cycles is diet & nutrition. The goal is to focus on nutrition that supports my workout intensity & performance, help me recover faster while cutting out excess fats. With guidance from Sonali Sahoo of myinsightsnutrition for the past four months, I eliminated processed foods and increased my intake of home-cooked meals, protein, veggies, and complex carbs. My sleep has improved, and of course energy availability has been great.


The pre-race expo had a much better ambiance this time, with ample parking, elegant decor, and a spacious layout that allowed attendees to move around comfortably. Being an election day, the expo was less crowded than expected, with shorter queues. I collected my bib quickly and met with familiar faces while browsing the various brands on display.

Race Day - Start

Given the summer and excessive sweating, I have been careful with my hydration and electrolyte intake for the days before the race. For the race week, khichdi was my go-to option for dinner for those extra carbs. Race day morning was a bit different this time. On race day morning, I opted for oatmeal. I drove to the nearest metro to catch the first train to the start point along with my training group. To my surprise, the first train was packed. Had a Maruten drink mix on the way.

Race Day - During

Reaching the start point was uneventful. The new start point at RSI cricket ground was a bit cramped, and hardly there is any space to warm up. That restricted my warm-up routine a bit, and I had to cut it short.

As per my race plan, I have broken it down into 4 segments, primarily aligned to the terrain. My planned pacing strategy is to run the first 3kms slightly conservatively (~4:20-4:23 min/km), then go under 4:12 min/km for downhills, and maintain 4:15-4:18 min/km for the flatter sections.

Start - First 3 kilometers:

The start was typical chaos that we saw in earlier editions. Despite some improvements, the A corral was packed with slower runners, making it impossible to weave through without feeling like a bowling ball knocking down pins. And a sharp left run and u turn in the first 500m, there is hardly any chance to get the rhythm. Lost a good 30-40 seconds just trying to find my stride. Then, just when I thought I was catching up, to my horror my shoelace decided to bail on me. rookie mistake! Had to stop and tie both laces, costing me another 40-50 seconds, and worst of all, killing my momentum. Super bummed about that.

4th to 6th kilometers:

But hey, things started looking up from the 4th to the 6th kilometers. Legs felt surprisingly fresh, and the downhill sections were like a breath of fresh air, pushing me forward. Shoutout to my training group – Aditi, Raji, Sangho, Harish – their cheers on Cubbon Road really helped get the rhythm back. I also had the GeeksOnfeet Downhill Mile Challenge in mind, which kept me going. Still, by the 6th kilometer, I was way off my target time.

7th and 8th kilometers

Well, during my recce I’ve found these kilometers the hardest. That was no different on race day, but I was ready for it. I wanted to maintain the pace till the 8th kilometer and push in the last two. Tried passing as many runners as I could, and that was fun. By the end of the 8th kilometer, I was about 50 slower than my goal of <43 minutes. Snagged a bite of gel and a gulp of water on the 8th kilometer for a bit of kick for the final push.

9th kilometer - finish

I knew that this is the section that decides how you feel at the end of the race. Once I hit the Gurdwara, it was game on for the final mile challenge. Tried pushing up a bit, but missed that extra gear, maybe the rough start indeed affected me. I saw the runners slowing down in front of me, and that was motivation for me to push forward. As I turned left into Kamraj Road, and heard the cheers from my buddies, but my watch was already at 42:40 - a clear no sub-43 minutes for me. Just kept the pace steady to finish the final hill to 43:41. Not what I hoped for, but hey, it’s all part of the race, right?

Post Race

I have to say, overall, I quite liked the course. Had just the right amount of challenge to keep things interesting. But that start-line management – is still a mess. Organizers need to get their act together and figure out how to start us off in shorter batches. How hard can it be, right?

As for my finish, it was a bit of a downer. I trained hard, and felt fit enough to smash that sub-43, but hey, it is what it is. Still, not letting that get me down. Stepped into the parade grounds, and it hit me – this finish felt different from the Kanteerava Stadium vibe in previous editions. Thinking back, realizing I’ve been at this for eight editions now, slow and steady progress.

The metro ride back home, and breakfast with friends – made the whole race worth it.

Key Stats

  • Overall Pace: 4:23 mins/km
  • Rank: 249 of 13771
  • Category Rank: 22 of 1204
  • Gender Rank: 240 of 10575
  • Shoe: Nike AlphaFly Next%2

Strava Link

Official Race Result

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, despite the disappointment, I have to give some credit to that training – it helped me gain some speed over the past 8 weeks. Now that the race is over, I’ve got my eyes set on that fall world marathon major in October, so I will keep building on this speed, and ramp up the mileage while keeping the focus on strength training. I will run a few short format races in the meantime to keep things interesting and make sure I don’t get rusty.


Aravind is a techie, running geek, and a marathoner. He loves all things technology and technology in running, with special interest in running form analysis. He is the co-founder of GeeksOnFeet.

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