Breaking 40min 10k

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13/12/2012 at 09:35

Your problems might be pacing issues on the day with race day adrenaline. For a 40 min 10K you need to keep your 1/4 miles close to the 1 min 36 mark. I'd start tracking them from the moment you start the race. Even pacing is the key to a PB. 

Also, don't get caught up in a group that you feel is at a similar competence to you. Run your own race and track your own progress on your Garmin.....every 1/4 mile if need be......I do

You may crack 40 mins next week with the right strategy!! Best of luck.....

13/12/2012 at 09:47

Darryll just as a guide, I ran 39:49 in September a week after doing 19:10 for the 5k.

If you can knock out a couple of 19 minute 5k's every week on a treadmill then you should have a sub 40 in you comfortably providing you pace yourself correctly.

If you start running 3:50/km for the first 3 or 4km as you have been doing, you are running 38:20 pace which is too quick.

When I did it I ran the first km in around 3:45 (adrenaline and the first km is always a bit quick!) and then settled into 3:57/km - 4:02/km all the way round.

Also, don't overdo it in the few days before the race.


13/12/2012 at 10:39

Guys, thanks again for your help. I really think that i am at the right level and a lot of it is getting my race plan right. will take  few days rest after a run tonight and  make sure i keep to an even pace. No doubt if i did crack the 40 min mark it would satisfy probably until christmas and the goalposts will just get shifted again.

16/12/2012 at 20:47

Did 39.47 today. thanks for the pacing advice etc, kept a fairly steady even pace which allowed me to hang in in the final quarter. 90 secs off my pb as well so very pleased.

16/12/2012 at 22:54

I couldn't be more delighted for you. Christmas came early!!!!!

18/12/2012 at 09:48

yes, well happy, and the best thing is, the schedule on mcmillan to kick onto the next level seems to still present a lighter training sch than i have been used to!!

18/12/2012 at 22:27

The training schedule you were used to would have sent you into tendonitis before too long!

Running really is one of those sports where the hardest workers don't always prosper. Sensible calculated training is the way to PBs.

You've done so well in that 10K. I bet 2013 is going to be a brilliant year for you, you've learnt alot in a week.

02/02/2014 at 16:14

Just another update, running about 30 miles per week now and been uninjured for 6 months, managed to run 35:46 today so very pleased, hopefully can bring the times down further this year

03/02/2014 at 11:09

Hope you don't mind me crashing your thread - I just didn't want to create another sub 40 minute thread.

Firstly - well done on the 35:46 - great effort!

I'm hoping to go sub 40 this year.  I wonder if some of the more experienced guys could pass on some advice.  I've been looking back through all the threads I looked at last year regarding LT workouts, VO2 workouts, etc. and wonder if I'll be doing myself justice with the current training plan.

I'm halfway through a 12 week plan - based on the Run Less, Run Faster book.  Same plan I followed last year and got great results, but that was from an almost standing start (not quite, but as structured training went it was).  I went from a previous PB of 46:51 to 42:52 and then a few months later (off the back of HM training) ran a 42:01 - that was in June last year.  Since then the training sort of stagnated as I didn't have any definite targets but I kept the running going and tried to keep the weekend long run going of about 15-20 miles.

Towards the end of last year I started trying to run more weekly miles - up to 5 or 6 runs per week but only really did that a few times as work and other things got in the way.  So, at the start of the year, I reverted to 3 runs per week, and trying to supplement with a couple of cycles per week and a core strength session).

Illness and work has scuppered some of my training, but just about back on track now.

Here's a paste of the training plan.  Just about to start week 6 tomorrow.

Any advice on how I could improve on the next 6 weeks of training would be much appreciated - I'm happy to run more runs per week, but I'm limited to my lunch hour Monday to Friday and can only justify one run at the weekend due to family commitments.


EDIT:  The formatting from my excel table didn't work.  I'll type it into a fresh post.

Edited: 03/02/2014 at 11:13
03/02/2014 at 11:27

Here's the plan (LT = "Long Tempo" by the way - the terminology used in the Run Less, Run Faster book)

w/c 30/12/2013

8 x 400m w/400m RI (400m @ 5:44/mile)

1 mile warmup, 3 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile cool down (ST: 6:40/mile)

6 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 06/01/2014

5 x 800m w/400m RI (800m @ 5:52/mile)

1 mile warmup, 2 miles @ ST pace,1 mile easy, 2 miles @ ST pace,1 mile cool down (ST 6:40/mile)

7 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 13/01/2014 

2 x 1600 w/400m RI, 1 x 800m (1600 @ 6:07/mile, 800m @ 5:52/mile)

1 mile warmup, 4 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile cool down (ST: 6:40/mile)

8 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 20/01/2014

200m (w/200m RI) (200m @ 5:40/mile)
400m (w/400m RI) (400m @ 5:44/mile)
600m (w/400m RI) (600m @ 5:49/mile)
800m (w/400m RI) (800m @ 5:52/mile)
800m (w/400m RI)
600m (w/400m RI)
400m (w/400m RI)

1 mile warmup, 2 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile easy, 1 mile @ ST pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile cool down (ST: 6:40/mile)

9 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 27/01/2014 

4 x 1000m w/400m RI (1000m @ 5:53/mile)

1 mile warmup, 4 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile cool down (ST: 6:40/mile)

10 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 03/02/2014

1600m (w/ 400m RI) (@6:07/mile)
1200m (w/400m RI) (@5:58/mile)
800m (w/400m RI) (@5:52/mile)
400m (@5:44/mile)

5 miles @ MT pace (MT: 6:55/mile)

8 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 10/02/2014

10 x 400m w/ 1:30 min RI (400m @ 5:44/mile)

1 mile warmup, 3 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile cool down (ST: 6:40/mile)

10 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 17/02/2014

6 x 800 w/1:30 min RI (800m @ 5:52/mile)

1 mile warmup, 1 mile @ ST pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile easy
1 mile @ ST pace, 1 mile cool down (ST: 6:40/mile)

8 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 24/02/2014

4 x 1200m w/ 400m RI (1200m @ 5:58/mile)

1 mile warmup, 3 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile cool down (ST: 6:40/mile)

10 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 03/03/2014

5 x 1000m w/ 400m RI (1000m @ 5:53/mile)

1 mile warmup, 6 miles @ MT pace, 1 mile cool down (MT: 6:55/mile)

8 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 10/03/2014

3 x 1600m w/1:00 min RI (1600m @ 6:07/mile)

1 mile warmup, 3 miles @ ST pace, 1 mile cool down (ST: 6:40/mile)

7 miles @ LT pace (LT: 7:10/mile)

w/c 17/03/2014 

6 x 400m w/ 1:00 min RI (400m @ 5:44/mile)

1 mile warmup, 3 miles easy, 1 mile cool down

Garioch 10k Race

Edited: 03/02/2014 at 11:28
03/02/2014 at 12:01

Calum- to me, whilst you only have three runs a week, you are trying to squeeze too much quality in and completely disregarding your aerobic system, which is the biggest contributor in a 10k.

Your steady pace appears to be faster than your current 10k pace and 30 secs a mile faster than Lt pace?? I also don't think 7 miles Lt run is necessary for 10k training.

On three runs a week I would look to do an Lt run, a run of circa 10miles at about at 8.15-8.30 mm pace and then another shorter run where you maybe throw in some strides. 

03/02/2014 at 12:08

DT19 - cheers.

I should have put a bit of commentary in there.

ST = "Short Tempo"

MT = "Mid Tempo"

LT = "Long Tempo"

It's the terminology from the Run Less, Run Faster book which served me well last time out, but I'm starting to doubt it.  The theory is that because you're only running 3 times per week, you do, purposely inject quality into each run.  So the 10 miles @ "Long Tempo" pace seems way faster than a normal "long run" but that's the point.

There is also the 3+2 part of this - on top of the 3 runs, there should be 2 cross-training sessions (non-weight bearing - so cycling or swimming).  That "replaces" the recovery run side of things effectively and works the aerobic system.

That's the theory anyway and it did work last year for me, but I'm not sure if there would be a better way to train over the next 6 weeks.

Do you reckon doing something like you suggest above for those 3 runs but add in another couple of easy runs perhaps?  Would I get the benefit from that in just 6 weeks in the lead up to the 10k race?

03/02/2014 at 12:11

Oh - and I should also have said, that due to missing a few sessions and the "build up" to my first 10 miler of the year, I'm not actually hitting the paces in that training plan at the moment.  On the shorter stuff (400m / 800m intervals) I am and I'm pretty close on the circa 3 mile tempo runs, but the 10 miler I went out on yesterday, I averaged 7:52 per mile.

That wasn't all out effort - nowhere near it actually.  It was relatively comfortable all things considered (off the back of a cold at the end of last week).

Also - my HM PB ran last summer was 97:33 - just in case that makes any difference!  (Average of 7:23 per mile)

03/02/2014 at 21:30

I don't see the actual purpose of the two main runs, it way too fast for your ability. Most of oit is even faster than 10k pace.

None of it is improving your lactate threshold or aerobic ability, the two main contributors to improve for a good 10k or half. Your long ten mile tempo is pretty much at 10k pace. Even though its only three a ssions a week it looks exhausting.

It kind of resembles a get rich quick scheme or 6 minute abs or something!

I really think you would do better following the more conventional wisdom of a running plan with sensible paces for each run. 

04/02/2014 at 07:02

Hi DT19 - thanks for the comments again.

I don't have the luxury of speaking to guys at a running club with more experience than me etc. as I simply can't fit that into my life at the moment.  So, I'm looking for some advice on here from some of the more experienced guys.

Thanks for the suggestions in your first response - what would you suggest as a good pace / distance for me for the LT run and similarly with the shorter run with strides?

My 10k PB is 42:01 which from memory equates to 6:46 miles.

I haven't raced 5k before, but maybe 4 weeks before that 10k PB last year, I did a 5k time trial on my own on a fairly hilly course in 20:11.  I think in a race on a flat course I could go sub 20 for 5k.  But, I haven't actually done that.

I'm also up for doing more than 3 runs per week - I can run most lunchtimes, so 4 or 5 runs during the week plus a longer run at the weekend (anything up to about 2 hours) - so do you reckon the above 3 runs plus 2 or 3 easy runs would be beneficial?  What would be a good pace for the easy runs?



(By the way, I'm not trying to defend my plan or anything (so don't think I'm not listening because I am!!) - just trying to put it into context.  The plan is lifted from the Runners World book, Run Less, Run Faster, written by the guys at the Furman Institute - I was alerted to that by reading about it on this site somewhere.  I read the book and the theory for the different workouts seems sound to me (but I'm not by any means an experienced runner) and the plan worked wonders for me last year.  It may sound like a "get rich quick" scheme - particularly with the "Run Less" title and it probably is marketed that way to be honest.  But the book still advocates at least 5 workouts per week, and if you add in a strength session, 6 workouts per week.  It's just that only 3 of them are running.

As I said, it's the only plan I've used as I only started training properly at the start of last year, and any structured plan would have probably saw me improve vastly on my previous PBs as I'd never really trained before.)

04/02/2014 at 09:56

The problem in assessing your lactate threshold is you dont have a current race time. If it were based on your 10k pb it would come out at 7.04 mm. The problem is that if you are not currently in that shape and train at that pace you will be training above the threshold and so missing the point of it.

I just think at your level and where you are trying to get, you dont need anything as radical as the above and following established logic should work for you. Its about being consistently consistent so building up to a schedule ie 35-40 miles a week that you do almost every week, not 18 miles one week then 50 the next etc. The sort of schedule above maybe the sort of thing someone might try when trying to move to sub 35 perhaps.

Im at the 39/40 min level and my easy runs/long runs will come out at anything from 7.50 - 8.20 mm. Its rare i am much quicker than 8mm. Prior to commencing marathon training my schedule was something like this-

Monday- 5 mile recovery run- 8.30 mm or slower

Tuesday- Track session of intervals usually between 800m and 1600m (normally covering 6 miles in total with warm up and cool down)

Wed- Rest

Thurs- mid week longish run circa 10 miles easy pace

Fri- Threshold session- say 2 x 15 minutes at LT pace- usually about 9 miles with warm up and cool down

Sat - Either a spin class or an easy 7/8 miles.

Sun- Long run up to 14 miles

I appreciate that structure wont fit for you, but it must give you an idea of how you might b making it tough for yourself with the paces?

04/02/2014 at 10:24
That's great - thanks DT19.

It's weird how I can read all sorts of running literature and examples of people tiring themselves out by doing too much but I still want to go and nail 10 mile runs at 7 minute miles...

I feel no ill effects of running 10 miles at 7:52 a couple of days ago but I need to tell myself that I could be hampering the quality midweek session if I don't back off the pace a bit . 7:52 isn't that quick though thankfully - I did a similar session last year during HM training at 7:30s...

Anyway - do you think it would be worth a 5k time trial given that I will struggle to get a race time? I could do that today and see how I get on.

I think I would be able to go at about 7:00 - 7:10 minute miles for an hour at the moment if pushed. I've ran 8 miles in about an hour (fairly recently) and not been knackered so I think I could (if going balls out) get close to 8.5 miles in an hour. In fact that 10 miler at the weekend I was at 8 miles in 1:00:41 and was still feeling good for another couple of miles at that intensity. Does that help with trying to work out LT Threshold?

Thanks again.
04/02/2014 at 16:56
Stephen Poole wrote (see)

Just another update, running about 30 miles per week now and been uninjured for 6 months, managed to run 35:46 today so very pleased, hopefully can bring the times down further this year


You bad boy!!! That's an amazing improvement. I told you 2013 would be a good year......

05/02/2014 at 07:29

So - got an updated training plan thanks to some great advice from johnas.  Yesterday's session was 6 x 1km @ 6:42-6:44 per mile with 1:30 recoveries.  Hit the target pace on all intervals, tomorrow's session will be a threshold session - 6 x 5 minutes @ 6:55 - 7:00 with 1:30 recoveries.

Cheers John!!

Cortina5    pirate
05/02/2014 at 08:57

FIRST works well, but does claim a lot of people on the way through injury. And you need to have a 'raced' 5km time to base things off; parkrun is a good opportunity.

Sounds like you're sorted either way.

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