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

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02/04/2013 at 12:25

Hi guys,

 

I'm running in the Manchester 10k on 26th May and up until the last few weeks my training was going well. I ran my first 10k in London last year and completed it in 55mins 10secs. Since continuing my training I have managed a PB of 50.48 which was about a month ago.

Unfortunately due to weather (icy pavements rather than the cold itself) and slight injury issues, my trianing has been very minimal of the past weeks. The last 10k training run I did about 2 weeks ago ended with a time of 54.07 - which was a struggle and I felt really disappointed.

With just under 8 weeks to go I really want to try and get the best out of my training. I was considering doing some interval type training to improve my running.

Can anyone recommend any plans to stay on track? I've maninly been running a 10k once or twice a week, but feel I need to do more high intensity training to make improvements.

02/04/2013 at 12:42

You absolutely need to be doing interval training to get faster. Sets and repetitions of 200s, 400s, 800s, even 1000s with varying recoveries @ various paces from 3K - 10k over the next 8 weeks will definitely reap results.

 

 

02/04/2013 at 14:31

Yeah I'll give that a go. I generally run on footpaths, so are there any recommended timing intervals rather than distance I could work to?

02/04/2013 at 14:37

You can get a couple of 4 week cycles into that time - 3 weeks building +10% / week, then a week where you only do half the previous total. Then repeat starting from the week 2 total milage. The week 4 rest is critical, don't go all out thinking it'll help.

Eg (rough idea - and the starting milage would depend on where you are now...):

Week 1: 15m / Week 2: 17m / Week 3: 19m / Week 4: 10m

Week 5: 17m / Week 6: 19m / Week 7: 21m / Week 8: 4m+race

 

During the week do one session with intervals, one long slow run (something like 1hr-1:30), and one other shortish run at near race pace. If you have to sacrifice one run for whatever reason, make it this last one. 

But yeah, if you train to plod you'll end up a plodder, you need to do some speed work to get faster. Intervals or fartlek are the best way (IMO) to get this. They need to be hard: the day after you should be able to feel it. (As in tired, no injured!) If you don't have a GPS or track nearby you can always use time based intervals, for example 8 x (1 min hard / 1 min jog). Do a couple of km slow to warm up and cool down.

02/04/2013 at 14:38

Another possibility I forgot to mention would be hill repeats: run up a hill, then jog back down. Repeat

 

You'll need a hill at least 1-2min long.

02/04/2013 at 15:09

I would have to disagree with a few posts on this thread.

The key session to improve 10k pace is a tempo session. The bare minimum you should be doing session wise in a week is a tempo session and a long run padded out with other stuff.

A 10k race is mostly, not 100% but not TOO far off, aerobic. You can improve your 400s all you want but if you can't maintain pace they're no use.

Build in one tempo session a week of 20-30 minutes. The pace of a tempo is in heart rate terms 80-85% of your max heart rate which SHOULD equate to 10ish seconds per mile slower than your 10k race pace.

Speedwork is important too but not as important for a 10k. The key time to do the real sharpening stuff is 3-4 weeks leading up to a race. 400s should be done at 5k pace and not flat out. Before that longer intervals of maybe a k or so.

-------------------------------------------

The key to improving 10k times is to improve your strength / endurance. Long running and tempo running are the key sessions. Anything other than that is bonus territory. Sessions should be done at appropriate effort levels too.

02/04/2013 at 15:13

Tempo or intervals, I guess we can both agree that the key thing is doing some faster runs, rather than just going long and slow. 

02/04/2013 at 15:34

Well it's targetting your lactate threshold via tempos I would have said Jim. It's what our coach would preach to us and it's worked well.

02/04/2013 at 15:43

fair point Tommy and tempo running has been a major contributor to my recent improvements, although I do both a tempo and interval sessions per week.

Matt - a staple of my training is the timed interval tempo:

5x 5mins @ threhold pace off 60 second recovery;

4x 6 mins @ threshold off 90 sec recovery;

i even have a 8x 5mins @ threshold off 60 secs planned for tomorrow myself

Easily doable on a long straight road or footpath. (threshold being in line with tommy's slightly slower than 10k pace)

02/04/2013 at 15:47

All really helpful guys. I just needed to visualise how I was going to go about so I can crack on with it. Unfortuantely I'm suffering from a bad neck at the moment so I really need to up my game in the coming weeks once I'm ready to run again.

02/04/2013 at 15:50

Yep there is definitely room for intervals in there. The "theory" is you need about 4 weeks of them to sharpen.

I have found my improvements of the last 3 months have mainly come from tempos / long runs and a bit of fartlek thrown in.

Key session to me is the tempo and shouldn't be missed in a week. Intervals are very useful but tempo is where your key improvements will come from. They'll increase efficiency so will get you some gains.

Our tempos are on a track so end up 2x15 minutes with 2 minute break in between. I wouldn't recommend a tempo on a track...

03/04/2013 at 09:22
All good advice, thanks. I had been using a 10k iPhone app which was using intervals of running followed by recovery. It wasn't specifying a tempo, but I found that during the running sections which were between 5-7 minutes I was pushing my tempo and work rate that bit harder. In an avergae week recently I've only been doing one or two 10k runs at steady pace.

So, what should my weeks look like in terms of training sessions. I gather I should do some tempo runs and longer steady runs.
03/04/2013 at 11:25

3 sessions a week- intervals, tempo and long run(at least 75 minutes). If you can only do 2 sessions do your tempo and a long run. (A 7 minute interval is almost sufficiently long that it is a tempo if you do a few repeats)

Anything else should be easy running and cross training or core work really.

N.B. I would classify intervals as shorter bursts - e.g. 400s / ks/ hill reps. 7 minutes x however many would be more like a tempo.

03/04/2013 at 12:52

I am also running the 10k in Manchester Matt, so see you on the start line. I am only up to week 11 of the 10k plan with now 7 1/2  weeks to go. So I am running 8.2 km at the moment of which about 1k is walking. Not done exercise for 20 years though so I am happy with my progress.

I am way off your pace and i will be happy to finish, but secretly wanting sub 60 mins (not sure i will manage that, think more like 70 mins for me).

Some good points above that i will work on once I have completed week 14.

This will give me 4 weeks to do some quicker runs mentioned above if indeed my legs will hold out.

Would I follow the same advice as above, or perhaps something a little less strenuous for me as I am clearly not at the same level as Matt.

Comments would be welcomed.

03/04/2013 at 13:08
John Jenkins 8 wrote (see)

I am also running the 10k in Manchester Matt, so see you on the start line. I am only up to week 11 of the 10k plan with now 7 1/2  weeks to go. So I am running 8.2 km at the moment of which about 1k is walking. Not done exercise for 20 years though so I am happy with my progress.

I am way off your pace and i will be happy to finish, but secretly wanting sub 60 mins (not sure i will manage that, think more like 70 mins for me).

Some good points above that i will work on once I have completed week 14.

This will give me 4 weeks to do some quicker runs mentioned above if indeed my legs will hold out.

Would I follow the same advice as above, or perhaps something a little less strenuous for me as I am clearly not at the same level as Matt.

Comments would be welcomed.

All the best with it John. I did the British 10k in London last year having used the 10k iPhone app. hadn't really done any structured running for years before that. I was really happy with my 55mins 10secs.

Tempo running has to go into my training regime now.

03/04/2013 at 13:18

John the main thing if you're moving up to 10k from less of a fitness level is to get the fitness level up.

The best way to get the fitness up, in my view, is slow miles. I would concentrate on getting slow miles done to build up the fitness until you're over 10k(doesn't need to be much).

After you've done that then maybe once a week in a run(though the slower runs are more important) do a mile faster(as in at a pace that can be maintained for a while but is reasonably hard to run) and build up to a couple. Keep the effort level not too high on these mind you as they're not a race.

03/04/2013 at 13:20

All this talk of training makes me want to get running again ASAP. This bad neck of mine is driving me crazy!

03/04/2013 at 13:40
Johnas wrote (see)

fair point Tommy and tempo running has been a major contributor to my recent improvements, although I do both a tempo and interval sessions per week.

Matt - a staple of my training is the timed interval tempo:

5x 5mins @ threhold pace off 60 second recovery;

4x 6 mins @ threshold off 90 sec recovery;

i even have a 8x 5mins @ threshold off 60 secs planned for tomorrow myself

Easily doable on a long straight road or footpath. (threshold being in line with tommy's slightly slower than 10k pace)

So if I did 5 x 5mins with 60 seconds recovery, would doing this twice a week and a longer run help me achieve improvements?

I guess I'm trying to get a plan in the simplest terms, so I can get training. 

I want to be able to write out a plan Mon - Sunday (including rest days) to know exactly what I have to work to. 

04/04/2013 at 12:12

Hi Matt... To give you an example, I have a mate who over the years had never broken 1.43 for the half marathon - he'd run 2 or 3 HMs a year and was always  between 1.45 - 1.43. Mr consistent but was dead keen to set a PB in Amsterdam HM last October.

We looked at his weekly training (like you, a few runs per week - same distance, same pace) and changed it as follows;

Mon - recovery run to work (about 40mins)

Tues - tempo intervals such as 5x 5mins off 60 secs recovery

Weds - rest

Thurs - tempo such as his run home from work (40mins) with 2x 10mins @ threshold with 3 min recoveries or fartleks of 5mins, 4mins, 3 mins, 2mins, 1min with 90 sec recoveries between each

Fri - rest

Sat - rest or a cheeky 30mins easy if he felt like it

Sun - easy long run (we started at 60 mins and built up to 90 mins). As he was training for half marathon we injected some Half Marthon Pace into these long runs in the final weeks as race day came close.

How did he do? In 8 weeks of training he finished in 1.38.

05/04/2013 at 08:28

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.

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