Speed Endurance for 10k?

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25/03/2014 at 08:53
RoadWarrior wrote (see)

2 or 3 days per week intervals (400s, 800s, 1km or mile repeats) or paced runs 3 to 5 miles.

1 day per week long run between 6 to 10 miles or run Park Run.

1 or 2 days per week of easy recovery running days 30 seconds slower than targeted 10k pace or cycle for up to an hour.


So up to 4 hard days per week, with 1 or 2 'recovery' runs at between HMP and MP? 

At best, you're giving your body little chance to make the necessary adaptations and you won't get the full benefit of the hard work, at worst injury and burn out await.

25/03/2014 at 09:01

Echo what Bob says above.

I'm not particularly experienced yet, but have tried a few different things and read a lot.  The collective wisdom of the experienced runners and coaches and what I'm now doing and seems to be working very well is:

2 "sessions" per week - i.e. 1 intervals session - depending on the length of the interval, 10k pace or quicker (started out doing 1k intervals at 10k PB pace, then worked towards 10k target pace, 400s obviously a good bit quicker than 10k pace) and one threshold session (threshold pace being about the pace you can hold for an hour in race conditions - slower than 10k pace, but quicker than HM pace for me) - breaking that up into something like 6x 5 minutes, 4 x 8 minutes, 3 x 10 minutes, and working towards the main one of 3 x 20 minutes.

That plus one long run at the weekend - 60 - 90 minutes at easy pace (couple of minutes per mile slower than 10k pace for me) and a few runs at easy pace / recovery pace, depending on how I'm feeling / what I've done on the previous day.  So - 30 minutes easy/recovery a couple of times, plus working up to 45-60 minutes on one day.  Total of 6 runs per week, 4 of them done at easy pace.

Smashing yourself 4 times a week won't get you faster any quicker.  It will get you to the physio table quicker though.

The easy runs build your aerobic base which is the most important thing for 10k.  Working on speed is really important too, but there's no point being able to smash out 40 minute 10k pace if you can't hold it for a full 40 minutes in a race - that's where the aerobic engine comes in.

25/03/2014 at 09:40

as CC82 nd BBB say, less is more. I know its counter intuitive and it took me a while to get my head on it.

You simply dont need to put yourself through that every week to improve. There was a quote on the mcmillan facebook update the other day 'the hard in running is consistency'. Follow something like that posted above but do it consistently.

21/04/2014 at 11:43

This is such a brilliant thread, it deserves rescuing from p3.  

But seriously folks.  Looking for advice on a 10k goal, and hoping Jamie Newton, Cliff or some of the other gurus on this thread are still around to provide it.

46 years old.  Did VLM last week off P&D 18/55 plan, 3.11.49 (PB by a minute but not quite my A goal of


Edited: 21/04/2014 at 11:45
21/04/2014 at 11:45


21/04/2014 at 11:56

ffs, the second part of my post keeps disappearing.  Possibly because it's too long and boring.  Anyway:

VM was 3.11.49, PB by a minute but not quite my A goal of


Edited: 21/04/2014 at 11:57
21/04/2014 at 11:57

don't use a 'less than' symbol, GK.

21/04/2014 at 12:01

Thank you!  Trying again without the offending symbol: 

VLM was 3.11.49, PB by a minute but not quite my A goal of sub 3.10.  During the mara training, I ran my first ever proper 10k race as a tune-up.  41.20, which I was pleasantly surprised by, as I had run 17m the day before, and the course was slightly hilly.  (Though possibly a tad short, Garmin had it as 9.89k.)  

So I started thinking that a sub-40 10k would be a noble goal for the summer.  There is a local 10k in mid-June on a pancake flat course which seems like a good opportunity.   29 July is my cut-off as I then move abroad to a place where they don't have organised 10ks!

Have already got loads of good ideas from this thread, but would appreciate any further advice, and specific thoughts on the following:

- does this sound realistic, or is the difference between (a fatigued) 41.20 and 39.59 a Grand Canyon which it will take me years of dedicated training to bridge?

- is this do-able on 4 runs a week (1 MLR/LR; 1 recovery; 1 tempo session; 1 interval session)?  Or is that just taking the piss?  My wife has, ahem, made it clear that a reduction in my training schedule would be welcome so she can spend more time on her triathlon goals...

- how long should I leave for marathon recovery before getting into the harder sessions?  Not feeling too beat up post-VLM, but I don't think the legs will welcome any speed work for at least another week or so.

- what is a good pace for LT sessions, in view of the goal time?  (PBs, if it helps: HM 1.29, though that is several years old and probably a bit soft; 10m 66.30).

- are hills useful for flat 10k training?  Didn't bother with them during VLM training but have an excellent 5 mile, 4 or 5 hill interval route within easy reach of the house.

21/04/2014 at 12:29

battersea park, GK? good choice. keen to see how you get on - my 10K and marathon times are similar to yours. (41:23, 3:09)

21/04/2014 at 12:57

GK - I got from 41:25 (only just recovered from marathon; no specific training) to 39:45 in around 3 months last year. But I ran 6 times a week. Might be easier for you if you're better at shorter stuff though.

21/04/2014 at 12:58

Correct.  You are in S W London too, right?  

Judging by our VLM experiences, perhaps the single best thing I can do is to hire you as a pacer.  How much for the first 7k at 3.58/km?

21/04/2014 at 13:06

Lit - I truly have no idea whether I'm better at shorter stuff!  I've always focused on the longer distances because 1 I like the challenge 2 I've always been convinced that endurance was my forte, rather than speed (slow kid in the 100m at school, but bloody good at 3 day hikes in the mountains).  As a result I have no 5k race time (just a 19.20 from a club time trial about 7 years ago), and only one 10k race time.  On the other hand I am a bit big for maras - 6'3" and look totally emaciated even at 77 kilos.  

So perhaps it's time to find out whether I have been working off a false assumption for all these years. 

21/04/2014 at 15:18
Genghis if you are dropping to 4 days a week and I'm right in this would be the plan-

Long run
Mid steady run

I'd be tempted to the tempo run every other week doing two speedwork sessions that way... And slightly increase the speed on the mid steady run slightly too -

My old coach said if you don't do lots of miles the steady stuff can be run slightly quicker - but still keep it steady
21/04/2014 at 18:00

Thanks.  If more experienced folk tell me it's do-able on 5 runs a week but that I'm taking the piss trying to do it on 4, then I may reconsider, but it will take some sensitive domestic negotiations!

21/04/2014 at 18:02

My 5th run each week on top of that is a recovery run of about 5 miles so not sure you'd be missing much?? I assume the other three days are complete rest?

21/04/2014 at 18:10

More or less.  Possibly a bit of cycling, but nothing heavy.  And core exercises.

21/04/2014 at 18:12
Genghis Khan wrote (see)

Thanks.  If more experienced folk tell me it's do-able on 5 runs a week but that I'm taking the piss trying to do it on 4, then I may reconsider, but it will take some sensitive domestic negotiations!

Some people can just run sub 40 10ks with very little training at all. Life's not fair, GK.

21/04/2014 at 18:21

Lit - I have never thought or claimed it was!

You're clearly faster and/or more talented than me.  So if cracking 40 minutes took you 3 months of dedicated training at 6 times a week off the back of marathon training, that strongly inclines me to think I need at least 5 runs a week and that 4 would be cutting too many corners.  Thank you, that is the sort of reality check I was looking for.

Perhaps the fact that Sunday LRs will no longer be well over 2 hours long will help to placate Mrs Khan.

21/04/2014 at 18:28
Genghis Khan wrote (see)

Lit - I have never thought or claimed it was!

You're clearly faster and/or more talented than me.

Or have done loads of training? Don't forget you are starting off with the huge physiological advantage of being male.

All I meant was that lots of people can come along and claim you don't need to run anywhere near as much as 4 or 5 or 6 times a week because they didn't and that won't tell you what you can or can't do.

21/04/2014 at 20:51

Fair point.  But one of the reasons I like these forums is because those sort of people are relatively rare.  Mostly it's those such as yourself who may not be world-class genetic outliers, but are pretty damn good at running and have done enough training and racing to be able to offer real world advice on what it takes to get from level A to level B - which is exactly what I'm looking for.  

It might turn out that I was in fact born for the 10k and have been wasting my time at the longer distances.  But I doubt it, somehow.  Yes, you are better in your gender category than I am in mine.  But I'm not sure how relevant that is.  At the end of the day you were a marathon-trained 41.25 10k-er who now knows what it takes to get that down by 100 seconds.  So am I - the first part at least.  So would be interested to hear what your 6 days a week consisted of.  


Edited: 21/04/2014 at 20:54
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