Starting to run 100km/week - How fast can I go 10k?

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28/01/2013 at 10:25

Hi there,

I'm new to RW and this is my 1st post. First of all, I'm quite new to running - having started my 1st run about 8months ago. I've been reading about the Lydiard Training for awhile and have decided to improve my base utilising his Base Phase which strives towards achieving a 100m/pw. I've just peaked at 100km 2 weeks ago and continuing to add more mileage each week. Am planning to get 160km in 4-5 weeks time.

Question is - how fast can I run a 10K race if I ONLY do base work with no speed training? I'm planning to do my 1st race in July this year (about 5 months left)

Bearing in mind that I've never entered a race before. My best time in 10K (using a mapmyrun app) is 49mins - achieved that about 5months ago. It was 52mins 7 months ago. Have never timed anything since, since I know I need a lot of mileage (and speedwork) to improve my time.

FYI, i've been running between 25-45km per week for the past 7months. I've only recently started to ramp up my mileage. Any thoughts would be great! Thanks

28/01/2013 at 10:41

Sorry I should've titled this - Running 100km/w - How much can you improve on 10K

28/01/2013 at 13:19

The correct answer to this question is ...

... run a race before July and find out

Its impossible to tell how much you'll improve, but I'd expect you to be significantly quicker than when you ran 10k five months ago. Everyone makes significant progress when they first start running and part of the experience is finding where your natural plateau is, and then the hard work begins at pushing past that level.

You are increasing the volume to a high level for someone who has been running for a short period, so you need to be careful that you don't over-do it.  The jump from 100km to 160km seems to be too quick, as the general guiding rule is not to increase your training by more than 10% per week. But as you're at high training volumes the 10% increase is a significant jump and you want to include a week that stays at the previous week's quantity every four weeks or so (e.g. 100km, 110km, 121km, 121km, 133km, 146km).  

I've got no idea of your age or fitness levels - but this training volume would injure me, and I suspect I'm in the majority.  So if you are struggling or develop aches/pains, cut back the mileage or stop for a few weeks until you recover.    

You don't need to run this amount to get a good 10k time, so I'm not sure what your motivation is to train this hard.  With this level of commitment you would be best served by joining a local club and seeking the advice of the more experienced members.

Your post does have the hallmarks of an over-eager runner who ends up getting injured - so try not to do any long-term damage to your body for this short-term goal.

28/01/2013 at 14:32

Why on earth are you aiming to get up to 160km/week when you are targeting 10K races? I peak at 75mile/week for a marathon. I know top 10K athletes may do that mileage but you have a 49min 10K. You don't need that high a mileage, a little more quality rather than quantity should enable you to get a decent improvement and hopefully stop you spending the next year injured.
+1 what Stutyr says about a club, a lot of clubs even have 10k specific groups.

28/01/2013 at 15:00

It does seem like a very high mileage target.  If you have, by any chance, been reading specifically about the training regime of athletes being coached by Lydiard you may well have in mind mileage stats which don't translate directly from the elites down to normal people!  Let's say a 28 minute 10k runner is quite happily running @ 6:00m/m during base phase; this equates to 10 hours of training per week for 160k.  To cover the same distance at your easy pace might take up more like 15 hours, so you're effectively working much harder.  Just sounds like an awful lot bearing in mind your targets.

28/01/2013 at 16:09

it's madness to just be whacking up loads of mileage with no benchmark on your currwent level or targets.

get out there, do a race, see where you are, and take a wiser approach.

I reckon you'll possibly beat 49mins for 10k next time out

28/01/2013 at 16:29

I know I come on here from time to time and say I did that I did this, so just a little background - I ran competitvely from 83 to 1999 - from around 1988 I usually ran around 70 miles per week - that included quality as well as quantity -

My last marathon was London 1998 - i upped my mileage from 80 to 100+ for 8 weeks before hand - during which I almost jogged the Roding Valley Half Marathon in 79 minutes didn't feel I was pushing it at all - come marathon day I realised that I had totally over done it - one of my training partners did 2:33 - I was nearly 30 minutes outside my target. It must have taken me about 6 months to recover -

I suppose what I am trying to illustrate was even though I had run high mileage for many years. Just upping it to 100+ was to much - if Stevie G and Phil take thje time to advise you - I think they are both worth listening too.

28/01/2013 at 17:21

Personally I would cut the mileage down and up the speed if I were to run 10k.

I ran my first 5k in 18:30 just on natural speed which I had from mt teens without hardly any mileage beyond 4 mile runs


28/01/2013 at 17:26

Thanks for all the replies, its good to hear from you guys! as @stutyr mentioned I should provide a bit more details about myself. I'm a 30y.o. male, 5'8", 56kg (BMI of around 18.5). I was active in sports as a teenager but never competed in anything at any level. Used to play sports almost everyday back then until I reached 20. Having said that, I've never run (as a sport) apart from the almost daily basketball I've been doing for awhile. Started running about 8months ago because it gives me this tremendous feel good factor. Never realised how tiring/rewarding running is for a newbie. I've totally underestimated runners (sorry guys) and why they love doing what they do. Was hooked since!

Have been reading quite a bit from RW and various articles until 2 months ago I came across Lydiard and thought might give myself a go. Initially I thought of focusing on 5K, but after reading Lydiard decided to change to 10K. But then I thought If I were doing that many base miles I could also use this to run my 1st ever marathon (ultimate target - probably next year).

My PB are 10K - 49mins and 5K - 23.13. Both of these runs are recorded using an app and I'm quite sure I could push slightly more if I knew how to pace myself back then (always started too quick and half dead at the end).

I initially heel strike but changed to forefoot / midfoot strike after about 3months. Most of my mileage are at a jogging pace (anywhere between 5:10-7:00). So technically I do not run 100km, if that makes sense. I'm trying to hold on to 100km and increase my pace slowly depending how I feel. Ideally I'd like to reach 160 even though at a super slow pace and hold on to it before increasing my pace every week. I've read somewhere that it worked for an amateur runner when he 1st tried Lydiard base.


@Stutyr Yes I'm one of those over-eager newbies you'll find a lot on RW I do experience some really faint aches on my right knee and calves, but I've been doing simple strengthening exercise to address this. Having said that, it's the same faint ache I've had everytime (from months ago) I increase my mileage by at least 20km/w. But I've realised after doing some strenghtening, my knees and calves felt a lot better. Though I do realise its very important to listen to my body. If I feel like an injury is coming, I will back off and focus on core exercise instead. As you said, I would not sacrifice a long term injury for short term goals.

I've never thought about joining a club. Wouldn't have thought they would accept a newbie with my timing anyway? I'm also short on commitment. I ran a lot of mileage since I ran daily to work (about 80-85km/w). Sometimes I ran/jog back at 11pm from work, so you see I ran whenever I could. I ran because its a lot quicker than taking a London bus believe me or not!

@JeremyG - I guess I've totally misunderstood Lydiard. I thought it was meant for everyone. He did say the importance is to reach 160 at any pace you feel you're able to do asap, and gradually increasing the pace once you've reached 160. Will reduce mileage in May and do more 10K specific training.

@PhilPub yes I'm looking at Lydiard. Though never saw the way you see things, so you're right, I've must been working more than them! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Having said that, I do ran really slowly - either at aerobic phase or purely jogging at the moment.

Thanks again everyone for your input. I need to rethink my strategy!

28/01/2013 at 17:35

@Stevie G - Thanks for your input. Great to hear from someone of your experience here. I think the outcome from this thread is suggesting me to reduce my mileage and go for quality instead. My ultimate target is 44mins but am not sure whether that's too much of an increase for me

@Grendel3 - thanks for sharing your experience here! I wouldn't want to face any burnout when I'm so new to this (an eager aswell). So I guess I need to scale down and allow for a more gradual increase. I'm not thinking of doing this competitively, but I guess I'm one of those people who has too much of a burning desire to improve myself. I'll definitely slow down and allow for a lot more rest.

@Adam Pants - wow, I wished I had your talent and speed! 

28/01/2013 at 18:57

Don't set your self any limits, as to be honest there are'nt any to what you can achieve - I ran some ok times off 70 miles per week and plenty of quality - what you perhaps need is more structure to your runs, even of you feel you don't need a club (you would certainly benefit from that)  I used to make running part of my commute, and included fartlek and intervals so it can be done (I did belong to a club as well) You say that you are not doing it competitively but you already are!!! as you are competing with yourself!!! Good luck and enjoy.

28/01/2013 at 19:37

Msian, you've got some quality runners advising you on here in Grendel and PP. (chaps I know about their past and current abilities, no disrespect to the other posters I don't know 

Heed them.

I'd simply be interested in how you'd fare at a 10k straight away.

If that 49mins was casually recording yourself in training, and was 5months away, what could you do now I wonder?

At 30, you're ripe age to get on an improvement train for the next 10 years.

Edited: 28/01/2013 at 19:39
29/01/2013 at 09:58

msian most clubs are v inclusive and with your 10k time you won't be the slowest. At your age you have plenty of time to improve and don't want to burn out on mileage. I started running 3 years ago age 42 and times have gone from 55min 10k 4:43 marathon to 40 min (6 seconds grr!) and 3:15. I generally average 50 mpw  made up of intervals, tempo run, medium long run, long run and one or two recovery runs. So be sensible about it and you could see some great improvements over the next couple of years.

29/01/2013 at 20:12

@Grendel3 That was the whole point originally. I didn't want to put any limits and I thought I'd give Lydiard Base a try as long as there were no injuries. I do agree I need more structure and a lot more speedwork. Will look into one of those 10K programmes hanging around the web. Thanks for your advice!

@Stevie G I feel very lucky to get all of the inputs from you guys! Will definitely help a newbie like me

I too felt like doing a 10K to see how much I've improved (or not), but with the amount of base I've been doing, I'll save that for some other time. I don't want to rush anything. From my opinion, speedwork is way more tiring than doing these base runs.  But my target this year is to achieve 44mins. I know its not much but it'll mean a lot to me! Thanks again for your thoughts!

@JeremyG Maybe I should start finding a club. It does sound exciting! I'm very excited to hear about your improvements. Cutting 15mins of your 10K time is very inspiring. I do hope you'll dip below 40 soon! How much did you improve for your 10K after a year? 

cougie    pirate
29/01/2013 at 20:19
That distance just sounds like a recipe for injury.
Get a Parkrun in and get a measure of your performance there. Your 10k isn't a race and might not be precise. We've all heard of people getting amazing results in training...
29/01/2013 at 20:32
I started running last year after a 25year 'rest' from any exercise. My overwhelming feeling after a few weeks was to put a marker in the sand by running a proper race. I really can't understand why you don't crack on and get into a local 10k, then use this to help shape your training - there are plenty of experienced runners on this thread alone who provide advice and guidance to us excited new runners!

I really think at your weight, with a bit of focus and some quality sessions, a sub 40 will soon be broken. Fair enough, you may disagree - I'm at the other end of the spectrum, favouring quality over quantity
29/01/2013 at 20:37

I guess you don't want the thread to go down this route...

29/01/2013 at 21:03

Everyone can get faster, but the basic ability is a factor. I think from the information provided you'll be good for sub 42 mins.

12/02/2013 at 15:45

Greetings fellow runners.  msian, I am amazed by such high predictions for you first 10K for someone that runs so much, 100km is alot! dude you better get well in to the 30:00's like 37:45.. with your weight you're at a favourable position to do so...I started running about a year ago to lose weight,I'm 178cm @70kg today but i was like close to a hundres a tad over a year ago and I ran my first 10k last week of 39:54. My current BMI is 22,5, very far from your perfect 18,5 so if you can't add some speed work to you training and take a day off and run a fast 10k(well under 40:00), nobody can do a sub40... sounds like you've outgrown and no longer are in need of base-training need to put those miles to good use and concentrate on fartleks, tempo runs and interval training...

"no pain no gain"

16/02/2013 at 09:09

Hi All, I thought I'd like to give an update. 1st of all thanks again for dropping by this thread and contributing your thoughts. Have been really busy at work lately and my schedule has been largely work+run+sleep. I've just finished my 5th week of 100km week of only jogging/base. i've run 100, 115, 135, 115, 110km weeks. As you can see I'm nowhere near the targeted 160km. I have to say it's been really tiring and I'm only jogging/running slowly! I have to say I did push myself on many occassion but it seems like my body is still adapting.

Shortly after completing 135km I've had an ache (probably sprained) on my left ankle. I was practically hobbling and couldn't even jog. It was that bad so I resulted on walking 4km back home in the middle of the night! Only then I thought of taking a week's off running and do things more sensibly. FYI, I've peaked to 135km within only 5 weeks - 9, 45, 100, 115, 135 - so I was doomed for injury. However I only gave myself a day's recovery and I'm surprised that the sprained ankle was gone by then. My body also felt a lot better - it was only then I've realised how important recovery is! Everything was going fine again until this week when I started to incorporate a number of 1-2mins walk within some of my evening runs (10-19K runs). I'm not sure whether I'm facing a burnout on the huge mileage? But I thought I hit the wall on 1 occasion (and its not even the marathon). Having said that, jogging these huge mileage unbelievably doesnt affect my working life. I always feel good and sharp everyday. It's just in the middle of the evening runs when my mind says no to running. It could also be that I wasn't eating well on those 2-3 days. Anyway I'm taking a slightly more cautious approach to get to 160km. I might not get there at all but I'll definitely listen better to my body.

StevieG - I've just read the link you've posted me and I was really surprised at the ending! I can assure you this is a genuine attempt to share my experience as a new and over-eager runner.

Also-ran - congratulations and welcome back! I'll put more quality workout when I think I'm ready to do speed training (don't know when since I really enjoy putting these base miles at the moment).

RicF - thank you! I'll be happy with a sub 44 this year

bruce - for some reason I think I'm a long way from going under 40 - probably another year or 2! I might as you say hv a good BMI for running but I guess good timing doesn't depend on BMI alone..I need a lot more work on strengthening my body, core, flexibility and total have a lot of work to do

As for the good news - I've just registered for July's British10K - my first ever race. Though a long way to go, am very excited about the prospect of racing

As I'll continue doing base mile runs until April, i might not update as much as I'd like to on this thread unless there's something a lot more exciting to report to (like joining a club, a parkrun or a race). I mean who wants to know me jogging the same mileage and probably the same speed for the next 10weeks? 

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