8 weeks till 10k - How to get the most from training

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05/04/2013 at 08:58

Matt which app did you use for the tempo runs, i think i missed it in the conversation. It will be worth me looking at it for the final 3 or 4 weeks of my training.

05/04/2013 at 09:30

It's called 'Run 10k - interval training coach + stretch program' its developed by Felt Tip Inc. I'm not sure how much it is now, but i'm sure it only cost me about £3.

When I did the 10k last year, I'd done no structured running in years. The app is a 13 week training plan, which takes you from intervals of 30 seconds walking and 4min 30 secs running all the way up to running a full 10k. Obviously if you're already running a bit then you may not need to start from scratch.

It includes a total distance read out and an average pace, which is invaluable when trying to ascertain your improvements. You get a 5 minute warm up period including a time to stretch, and then off you go.

05/04/2013 at 10:25
Matt Downes wrote (see)

Tried my first tempo session last night. Found it hard work, but that may be because I've had a bit of a lay off in the last week or so.

I did 5 minute warm up then 3 x 5 mins with 60 secs recovery in between ending with a 5 minute cool down. Did struggle a bit to maintain the pace for all 5 minute bursts.

Overall, including the warmup/cooldown and recovery parts I was running around a 9 minute mile according to my 10k app. The app's quite handy, as on week 8 of the plan it has 5 minute runs followed by 1 minute walks for between 8-10 repetitions. I just used this as an audio guide to indicate when to run and when to recover.

great to see you've had a stab at the tempo intervals. You're wise to start with 3 reps first but I would increase the recovery between to start with to at least 90 secs - 2 mins. Over time you can increase the amount of reps or the time of the interval whilst decreasing the recovery.

You will find it tough to start - your body is not used to it. But that's what causes the adaptations. The pace should be 'controlled discomfort' - where easy runs are 'conversational' in pace, threshold running should be 3 or 4 words max. Based on your 10k time, the average pace for your threshold should be around 8 - 8.30 min mile if that makes more sense to you with your app.

05/04/2013 at 12:38

Thanks Johnas, that's really helpful. i'll apply that to my next tempo run.


Edited: 05/04/2013 at 12:38
05/04/2013 at 12:39

I was doing a slow jog as recovery - is that the right approach?

05/04/2013 at 12:52

slow jog is ideal but don't be scared to walk around between as a recovery either.

Does the app recommend you stretch before or after your run out of interest?

05/04/2013 at 13:35

The app includes 5 minute warm up. The app states 4 minutes warm up (i.e. walk) folliowed by a minute of stretching). Then the cooldown is 4 minutes follwed by a minute of stretching again - it also includes stretch examples.

I've been led to believe (from various sources) that you shouldn't stretch cold muscles. Therefore, you should do something light that replicates running - i.e. walking, before you stretch out your muscles

05/04/2013 at 14:19

tempo running and intervals needs you to be warmed up properly and i don't think the current regime cuts it. a 4 min walk, followed by static stretching and then launching into such a session is a pretty sure fire route to injury.

if i were you i would jog for at least a mile to get the heart rate up, then do some dynamic stretching/drills (bum kicks, lunges, leg swings, see here), then another short jog before launching into the session.

The warm down part of your app sounds right and worth following.



14/04/2013 at 11:56
So, I've done 2 tempo runs this week with a rest day inbetween. The runs involved 10minute warm up jog followed by dynamic stretching. Then into 3x5 minute tempo runs with 2 minute resting period in between. Finished with 5 mins cool down a d stretches.

Went for my first full 10k in a while this morning. Warmed up with 1k jog, dynamic stretching. Set off on my 10k. Felt tough in places and 'hit' one or two walls which forced me to walk briefly. Got to 9.35km and felt I had nothing left. Time was 50.13, so if I had continued, I think I would have hopefully come in around 53.30ish. Still better than my last practice 10k run. My PB this year in training was 50.48. I think the tempo has had slight impact this week.

I had been doing a spinning class each week recently but have missed a few. As this was based on interval training I think this was helping with my running. May start that again.

Also, about an hour and a half before my run this morning I drank a smoothie I made from banana, peanut butter, protein powder, oats and milk. About 400ml. Did get the odd stitch during my run so wonder if this may have been a cause. I know there are mixed views on what and when to eat before running.
13/05/2013 at 10:54

After a few weeks of doing 2 tempo runs per week followed by a full 10k training session I have managed to get my PB to 49:48. Went for a training run on Saturday morning before breakfast and really suprised myself with the result.

I hadn't actually run in any shape or form for a few days, so I wonder if this helped me to feel fresher.

2 weeks until Manchester 10k, so I'm thinking I'll keep on with the 2 tempo sessions and finish with a 10k this week, then maybe a 5k in the week leading up to the race.

Any other advice for the final 2 weeks?

13/05/2013 at 16:23

I know this might sound silly, I've read up on all these speed training routines and tried them out but I find it hard to structure my training like that myself. I tend to listen to my body and push when I feel I can.

This might seem a daft question but can you increase your pace by just "running faster" keeping it simple.

I mean I generally go out and run at a comfortable pace at first then when I can I push along for a while, upping my pace. Then I back off and recover but not slowing my pace below my normal running pace if that makes sense.

Seems to be working as my times are coming down for both 5k and 10k and I always run between 7-12k every time.

I would say that the best way to improve your pace is to just push on when you feel comfortable, dont just plod. It's mostly in the mind.

Edited: 13/05/2013 at 16:24
28/05/2013 at 12:24

Well, I completed the Great Manchester Run on Sunday in a time of 50mins 17secs. My previous 10k in London last year was 55mins 10secs, so a vast improvement. It was a very hot day, so that really had an impact.

I had run 49mins 48secs in training 2 weeks prior to the Manchester run, over a more challenging course, so I thought I was on to an even better time. However, I struggked with aching legs a bit in the final week and the heat played its part as well. Still, the tempo runs really helped me get those minutes down.

Thanks for all the advice.

28/05/2013 at 12:28

Well done on getting a good time, I ran in the Bupa London 10K yesterday and it was quite hot as well so I know where your coming from.

Did a PB of 44:07 for the 10K so I'm happy with that, tried to keep up with Mo Farah but he was just slightly ahead of me, maybe next time.

28/05/2013 at 13:24

Hey Matt - well done on the PB. 5 min PB is not to be sniffed at! continue with tempo running and a speed work session once a week and that time will continue to topple.

Essex - whilst you may think you're not doing any speedwork, what you describe above is fartlek running, another form of speed work to intervals. Looks like it worked for you too - well done on your PB also

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