From 5k to 10k

Any non-complicated training plans?

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23/04/2003 at 19:46
I ran my first 5k race last year,one of the thousands inspired by Race for Life, and got bitten by the running bug. This year I set myself the goal of running my first 10k. But. While all the training plans I've seen for 5k are lovely, easy to understand, practically colour-coded run/walk schedules, the 10k ones just look scary and full of complicated words like "speedwork" and "400m x3" !!!

Without a car or a handy primary school to nick a metre stick from, I don't know how far that is, or what an "easy run" might be, and I only have the one race to know what my "5k pace" might be. Isn't there an easier way of training for a 10k, by simply building on the 30 minutes' running 4 times a week I do now for example? Tell me there is!

Thanks, friends.

23/04/2003 at 19:59
If you do 30 minutes 4 times a week i expect youd get round a 10 k anyway

Good starting point

Try extending one of the runs, say by 5 mins per week, till you are up to an hour

try one run as a speed session. you can do this by timeie, run flat out for 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes, and repeat x6
Then do your other runs as normal

my best 10k time is 63 mins, and ive done a marathon

i think the speed work is probebly important, i avoid it!
23/04/2003 at 20:02

You have posted exactly what i wanted to know too!!
Will watch and wait for replies

23/04/2003 at 20:03
I feel invisible today
23/04/2003 at 20:14
Aw you're not! I can see you, you're a lovely yellow colour :o)
23/04/2003 at 20:19
I am sorry plodding Hippo please except my sincere sorry:-)
Have noted your advice and will take it on board.


23/04/2003 at 20:19
I dont know owt
im a cruddy runner
and Im low
ignore me
23/04/2003 at 20:28

Cheer up bet you are a great runner better than me .I have not done a marathon or any race yet.Perhaps a glass of wine or piece of choccie would help!! unless watching weight like me:-(
24/04/2003 at 01:22
Dear Hippo and Poppy,

Thanks so much for your responses!

I posted and then went out, but have just returned and couldn't resist going online to see if I had any responses. Hippo, thank you so much for your message, and I'm sorry it looked like your very welcome response had gone ignored. Not at all! I just posted and then buggered off for the evening, a bit downhearted about my own running and not really expecting any answers to my plea. Kind of thinking . . . maybe it's a stupid question and all the REAL runners will snort and think, oh, bloody work it out for yourself. But also not caring what others would think because - hey - we do it!!!! We run, and whatever level we're at, we're bloody brilliant for doing it at all!!!

I forget sometimes, when I'm reading RW, that two years ago I would have been so incredibly proud and, frankly, aghast to know that I could regularly run for 3 miles and enjoy it!!! Yet now, often I just think, oh it's only 5k for goodness sake - the bottom of the pile in the World of Running. We forget sometimes, just how impressive our achievements've run a marathon, for god's sake!!! Whether it was years ago, or you could've done it quicker, or you did it this year and smashed your PB - you have done it and that makes you incapable of being considered a cruddy runner!!!

Your comments were really useful, and I'm going to try your suggestions out - much less scary!! So - thanks, and I hope your low mood passes quickly.

Poopy - it was such a relief to see your message too! I thought about posting it for a while, but worried that it was a daft question. Still, I thought, I bet someone else is wondering. And there you were!

So - any more advice for us, anyone?!?!


24/04/2003 at 09:35
Hi Joy

The advice you got from hippo is sound and the way to go.

The only thing I have to add is on the distances mentioned in the 10K schedules and I am no expert.

I have been running for 9 months now and always by time (which is up to 2 hours now) but never had any idea how far I was running. I don't have a car and mostly I do laps of a local park.

What I did was buy a cheap speedometer (€21) for my bike which also measures trip distance and cycled a lap of the local park (1.3 miles). Speedo can also measure in Km. So if you have access to a bike maybe this would ne a way of measuring 400m.

Then time your self over this distance and see how long it take you at your normal pace. Then for your speed work simply run 1 400m a little faster (after a warm up of course) then run 400m slower than your normal pace to recover and do this three times. When you are comfortable try to increase the speed slightly or add another 400m fast/slow section.

As for easy runs these are usually used for recovery runs and should be at a pace which is slightly slower than you normally run. You should be able to hold a conversation comfortably or sing a song while running at this pace.

You already seem to have quite a good base to work from but when adding speed work don't go too crazy. EASY does it. Just run your fast 400s a couple of seconds faster than normal to begin with to avoid injury.

Also I would think that 1 lap of a football pitch in a local park would be around 300m at least. The 400m is not cast in stone, it's only a guide to get you running at a slightly faster pace over a set distance. You can start with 100s, 200s etc, what ever feels comfortable for you.

As you improve you will be able to increase the distance that you run fast over and/or decrease the amount of recovery between fast sections. Have fun experimenting and good luck with you 10K goal.

24/04/2003 at 09:52
I can assure you all that you can cheerfully ignore all the scary, complicated training schedules and still improve your running greatly.

I've been running for years now and have never followed a formal training plan because I feel that running is basically a simple pleasure. One of its great benefits to me is the freedom you have just to indulge yourself, and to escape from outside constraints. For me, having a formal training schedule would make running feel far too organised - like the rest of my life.

The simple way to get faster is to run faster. It doesn't matter if you don't know the exact distance to the metre, but pick a training course of about 5 miles that you enjoy, and time yourself, then record the time in a training diary. Next time on the same course, try to speed up half a mile from the end. Next time speed up a bit sooner, and so on, and just watch your times come down in the diary.

After a few weeks, try a slightly longer course of about 6 miles and do the same thing. This way you build up both speed and stamina.

One other thing to mention - running improvement isn't linear, so you might go for a few runs and not seem to get any faster, but then suddenly you'll jump to a much faster level without realising it. A strange phenomenon, but you'll certainly experience it - I think it's just your body taking time to adjust to a new level.

Good luck with your 10k.
24/04/2003 at 10:42
There is an inbetween as well. I looked at the training schedule to get an idea of the variety of runs, and then fit them in when and how it suits me. I like the variety it gives, like go out for a short easy run some day, go for a longer run another day and gradually increase the speed during the run, or do a series of shorter faster runs another day.
But I feel free to do something completely different, because of the weather or my legs or whatever reason. Maybe I just want to run a long slow run to look at the seals :)
24/04/2003 at 14:24
Hiya -
Just posted these on another link but what the hell...
Hal Higdon 5k
Race For Life 5k
Hal Higdon 10k
24/04/2003 at 15:11
24/04/2003 at 16:12
I did the big whammy first the FLM and now I am filtering down 2 a 10k run on 18th May actually more worried about this than marathon as still very new to running and crap at speed work, think we is all in the same baot!
07/01/2004 at 13:46
Hi ran my first 5k run last year for race for life and did it in 21 minutes. I loved it and am now really keen to do more.

My next step is to train for my first 10k run any tips on training and race advice?

All help would be appreciated.

29/04/2005 at 14:46
Hello, I am a relative beginner and have recently started running again, wanting to acheive a 10 km race and perhaps a half marathon. I have been running 5 x 3miles a week for the last 3 weeks and have now upped this to 5 x 5miles for the last week, intending to carry this on for another few weeks before increasing the distance again. Is there a better / more efficient way to go about my training?

many thanks
29/04/2005 at 15:05
It's very encouraging to hear that you don't necessarily have to follow the training plans. I too find them rather too organised/confusing for my liking!
29/04/2005 at 20:46
What a great subject.. and one I wondered about myself recently!

I'm now running 5k's as my 'long run' but trying to add one short faster run during teh week.

All great comments above, but I love Plodding hippo's and Ian Dodds' thank you! Will take these on board, and scrap my printed schedule.. that I haven't gotten up the courage to start yet!

It takes me just under an hour to do 5k, so although I can do it, i'm slow... so speed would be something I'd love to look at for my forthcoming 5k on the 15th May and beyond.. maybe to a 10k in October, or next year - fitness depending!

Thanks again! And good luck everyone. :D
29/04/2005 at 21:49
Hi Purple! And everyone else! I've just been looking at the schedules as well, and want a simple one, so thanks everyone who's helped on here, it haas clarified things immensely! Am now off to devise my own based on this advice!!

Ta muchly!
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