Is it all going wrong, or am I just para?!

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16/09/2013 at 12:00

Hi all,

This is my first post on the forum but I have been following for a long time. I've found it a great source of information and was just now looking for some personal advice. I am running the Great Scottish 10km on the 6th of October (3 weeks training away). I have an 'A' goal of running a sub40, but this is probably unrealistic and would only happen if absolutely everything went right on the day. After todays training session, it seems even further away. So I have a 'B' goal of just seeing 40 on the watch, and a 'C' goal of running a pb. For the next few weeks I have planned this training

M (completed): 4km Warm Up; 5km at tempo (came out at 4:00, 4:01, 4:06, 4:11, 4:04) - 500 jog recovery; 2km at tempo (4:06, 4:11) - 500m jog recovery - 1km at tempo (4:04) - 4km Cool Down.
T: 12km fasted slow run @ ~5min/km
W: 8 x 400m in 1:24 - 1:29 with 400m jog recs (+ wu/cd)
T: 18km LSR @ between 5 and 5:24 min/km
F: 12km fasted slow run @ ~5min/km
S: Park Run
S: Off

Similar for week 2 but the W session will be 5 x 1.5km at 10k pace with 500m jog recoveries

Week 3:

M: 12km @ 5min/km
T: 3 x 1km at 10k Race Pace
W: 12km @ 5min/km
T: 12km @ 5min/km
F: Rest Day
S: ~8km with strides
S: Race


So, firstly, does anyone have any opinions on that training in the lead up to the Great Scottish Run? Secondly, todays session was slow. I ran a similar session last Monday and all my splits came out at sub4min kms. It was significantly windier (maybe I'm just kidding myself here!) than last week, and my HR was similar during the tempos to last week (~1bmp difference). Was this just a rubbish one off session? Or is my goal slipping out of grasp even further?

Thanks for any help. It's massively appreciated if anyone more experienced manages to take time out their day to help!


Thanks, NR.


P.S bit of history:
July 2012 10km PB: 52min 58s
April 2012 Marathon: 3h 31min 34sec
July 2013 10km: 41min 42s
July 2013 5mile: 34m 36s
September 2013 parkrun: 19:37

16/09/2013 at 20:41

Not going to comment too much on your training session details as I am woefully ignorant of 10k stuff (to short and sore for me).


However - it was bloody windy here today - much windier than last monday.


I think perhaps you are being a bit hard on yourself and I also think that with 3 weeks to go you should not worry about a one-off session. 

Also, why the fasted session the day after a LSR - if you are trying to bump fat burning at a 'fast' pace - are you not in danger of cortisol release - are you taking BCAA before the fasted run?


I thought fasted runs were better for longer distance runners rather than middle distance -but I guess you have a specific objective here -but it seems like a risky/horribly uncomfortable thing to do for a 10k race where you are unlikely to have glycogen shortage issues.


Or is it for a fat loss goal.



However I am a big hater of fasted runs anyway, as a woman - they are BAD for me...    I realise it's not quite the same for blokes. *(assuming you are a bloke of course)

16/09/2013 at 20:52

I am not one to help with planning. there are great plans and mcmillan running calculator is brilliant. 

What I do know is that you have a heavy schedule there and you will find that your pace will slow due to fatigue. I wouldn't worry too much if your splits are a little slower. except that if you feel really tired take an extra rest day. Don't want to end up with an injury

With 3 weeks to go i'm not sure how much more improving you can do. Your park run suggests that you should be able to do a sub 41 minutes.

Looking at your last week I would calm down on the speedwork. You wont gain much in the last week. Keep the mileage but don't pressure your times for that last week. maybe go without a watch or don't look at it till the end of your run. 

Also I would personally take 2 days rest before a race. I certainly wouldn't do 8km on the saturday. 

But this is my own opinion. Your plan seems very well thought out and I dont want to knock the thought that has gone But resting is as good for improving your time as working hard.


16/09/2013 at 21:04

Based on your Monday run I'd say you have a shot. On the unscientific basis that I could likely run 40:xx, but that Monday session looks just too much for me. The 8k the day before seems a bad idea, I'm going the GSR half, and plan just to stroll round parkrun the day before. 5 miles seems too much.

Where was your parkrun time set? If it was one of the pancake courses you might just fall short of 39:xx. I've ran 19:27, but wouldn't expect that to quite break 40 minutes.

17/09/2013 at 09:10

Hi everyone,


Thanks for the responses.

Gymaddict: I'm trying to train fasted for just under 50% of my training. This is partially to maintain body comp (currently sitting at 54kg, 16% BF, so keen to keep it there). I'm lucky enough to work in exercise metabolism so I can get access to all sorts of testing.. when I was training for my marathon I was very effective at burning fat, which is obviously optimal for longer distances! However, with my summer training at a higher intensity, my metabolism has shifted quite dramatically favouring CHO - obviously optimal for middle distance! However, I'm trying to keep a finger in both pies, if you will! As I may go back to marathon training this winter and I want to make sure that my metabolism is still capable of adapting in that way. And I'm a women, by the way haha.


KC: I will reconsider the 8km.. maybe drop it to 6 or so, and like you say more of a gentle jog. I have found I've been a little fatigued going into other runs.

SM6: Parkrun time was set in Edinburgh.. so yes, absolute pancake course. I'd imagine I will probably fall just short of 39:xx, I think it's a bit of a long shot but will give it my best shot!


Has anyone run the 10km course before?


Thanks again for your replies!

seren nos    pirate
17/09/2013 at 09:46

I have no advice on this but I am intrigued by the title.what is para

17/09/2013 at 10:23

Seren - I assumed he meant paranoid?

Scottish Runner - I think you know anyway that sub 40 is a bit of a stretch target with your other recent race times, but I can see why you want to go for it anyway. My advice would be to keep the splits as close as possible to 3:59, course profile allowing, rather than letting yourself go off too fast and kidding yourself that it's spare time in the bank for when you fade later.

As far as the training is concerned, the last week looks fine to me - and I always do 5 miles at easy pace with strides the day before a race and find it helps. But this week and next look pretty hardcore. You have two quality sessions within two days of each other (Mon & Weds) with no real recovery in between, and then you're doing your LSR the day after (Thurs). Then the parkrun on Sat is the the equivalent of a third quality session. If it was me I'd skip the parkrun and shift the other sessions around so your rest day is somewhere in between the other quality sessions.

(Background - I know very little about this stuff, but recently got a sub-40 10k time on the third attempt and do at least know what would be too much training for me.)

18/09/2013 at 16:06

Ha yes I did mean paranoid.. but less of this 'He' - I'm a women!


Literatin - yes I think you are right... bit of a long shot, but hopefully not a million miles away in the future. I will just try and maintain my pace as best as possible.


I've taken on board the bits of advise and yesterday just did a very easy recovery run to give myself a bit of rec before todays session. I actually changed this session (took some inspiration from the Scottish athletics website) and did a session they're running on Saturday of 6 -10 mins at tempo, 10 x 60s (60s recovery) , 6 - 10min tempo.


So my splits came in as 10 minutes Av. Pace 03:59, avHR 180, MaxHR 189.
My pace was all over the place for the 10 x 60s (paces were 03:50; 04:09; 03:43; 03:54; 03:58; 03:42; 04:06; 03:51; 04:26 (!); 03:40) Should these have been all out efforts or should I have been trying to just hold the 4min/km pace?
Then 8 minutes with an Av. Pace of 04:15, avHR 180, MaxHR, 185 - so this was quite slow but I was still working hard.. doesn't bode well for a sub40, does it!


Thanks again for help guys.

18/09/2013 at 16:12

Oops, sorry! Must have skipped that bit. But less of the 'thanks guys', please, cos I'm a woman too.

18/09/2013 at 16:12

To come down from 52 to 41 something is excellent. I am stuck on 42:01, which I've managed twice. Like someone said, don't be too hard on yourself. Sub-40 will probably come when you least expect it, and you seem to be putting the work in.

Edited: 18/09/2013 at 16:13
18/09/2013 at 16:14
literatin wrote (see)

Oops, sorry! Must have skipped that bit. But less of the 'thanks guys', please, cos I'm a woman too.

I find the worst offenders for saying 'girls' for women and 'guys' for everyone are often other women...

18/09/2013 at 16:20

Oh, and re. training, I can't really comment on the sessions you're doing/planning because I just do what my coach tells me, but my biggest (and most indicative) peak quality session was 8x 1k at race pace the Friday of the week before, average 3:56.

21/09/2013 at 20:29
lit-What were you recoveries?
21/09/2013 at 21:23

60 secs (had previously done 5x 1k off 60 secs and 7x 1k off 90 secs in earlier weeks)

24/09/2013 at 11:26

Hi all.

I ended up shifting some sessions around and ran Parkrun on Saturday in a PB of 19:25 (splits were 3:42, 3:51, 3:51, 3:59, 4:02). It was pretty hard though!

This week I've had to shift some sessions around because of work (how inconsiderate!!) so had a day off on Sunday. On Monday it was 18.25km before breakfast, av pace of 4:59/km. Today's session was then 6 x 1km off 60sec recoveries as recommended by Lit (I didn't make it to 8 though ) + WU and CD so 17km in total, 1h 20 of running. Splits were 3:54, 3:52, 3:54, 3:59, 3:58, 4:00. Tomorrow will be an easy 6 miles, Thursday probably a fartlek session and then Friday/Saturday 6-8M easy.

Just going to keep training hard, then take an easier week, then race my heart out and do the best I can! Thanks again for the help.

24/09/2013 at 11:47

Hi SR, well done on the parkrun PB and the reps. It does look like you want to try and stick with 3:58 right from the start for the race if possible though (easier said than done) to give yourself the best chance of maintaining it. Good luck!

24/09/2013 at 12:14

Flob, doesn't it depend how much mileage she's already doing? i.e. if she's running more per week than you would be, she can run more than you would in the final week while still reducing distance. Also she's not doing race pace reps that many times in a normal week, let alone in a taper week. And 8km is not an especially long run.

26/09/2013 at 19:27

SR10, for quite a low total mileage, you cram your week with quality! Track reps, tempo and parkrun?!

I'd probably suggest upping the overall mileage and losing one of those 3 sessions going forward.

If you can handle a session like that first Monday you mention, which looks more like 10k pace than tempo you aren't doing badly. But I wouldn't stack the session like you did. 5k at 10k pace is heavy going. Why not along the lines Lit mentions of eventually an 8x1k session. I'd probably start at 6 or 7 reps with 90sec recoveries though, and peak at the 8x1k off 60s


Don't agree with Flob. Why would you do speedwork 4/5 days in a row! That's madness.

Whereas doing an easy short run the day before a run, especially one involving strides, is actually optimal. Rest 2 days before a race.


Finally, I've seen 2 mentions of Middle Distance on here.....we're talking 10k, which isn't middle distance at I missing something?

26/09/2013 at 21:46

Hi SG thanks for the feedback. When I include my warm up (~5km) and cool downs (~4km) my weekly mileage for the last few months has been as below (each row represents a week!) I'm not completely sure I've got the energy to up the mileage anymore.. it makes me feel disheartened/overwhelmed thinking about it!! Thanks again for the help

78.35 82.65 84.78 102.15 106.04 82.28 85.92 99.16 87.55


26/09/2013 at 21:55

KMs are always that harder to work out, would you mind using miles Scotty?


Edited: 26/09/2013 at 21:55
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