Mar 16, 2014

Run your fastest 10k Ever

Two Interval Workouts for Your Fastest 10k

Whether you are a novice miler or an Olympic Champion, we are all looking to improve. Improving your 10k time is easier than you think. Regardless of your age or ability, in just 8 weeks you too can run your fastest 10k ever.

Know what makes up a training plan

Let's go over what you already know: to achieve maximum performance, you need to improve both endurance and speed. You can do this by running more miles, running faster, or some combination of both.

To prepare for the 10k distance, you must train your aerobic capacity and lactate threshold to their maximum capabilities. This means solid foundation work, a strong emphasis on interval training, and spending enough time on repetitions and threshold runs. In addition you’ll also want to practice running at race pace so your ready for the big day.

Learn to run a fast mile!

Before embarking on your training regime to run your fastest 10k, consider focusing your attention on improvements in your mile time. The mile is the perfect blend of leg speed, endurance, stamina, mental and emotional toughness required to run a personal best in the 10k. The mile also proves what your oxygen transport carrying potential is and how quickly you can clean out lactic acid. According to the World’s best running coaches, Jack Daniels and Greg McMillan, the mile is critical for middle distance runners.

The mile is a critical for middle distance runners.

Based on your mile time you can accurately predict all other distances. For example, Joe has been training for several weeks and wants to run a 10k in 2 weeks time. Joe wants to predict his race time so he goes and runs 1 mile at his local track. Joe runs as fast as he can and finishes in 7:27. This gives Joe a predicted time of 52:17 for 10k. Based on this assessment Joe can spend more time training or sign up for the race. These tables and calculators, which are easily found online, are based on years of research and statistics and are highly accurate. These predictions hold true for recreational runners and Olympic marathoners.

Vary your training properly

The secret to a good training program for medium-distance events is knowing when to do the various types of training and how much of them to do. Below I have outlined 2 critical workouts for running your fastest 10k. Aim to run at least 5 days per week, 2 of which are hard efforts. These hard efforts are described below. The other 3 days should be easy running. By the end of these two workouts you should be exhausted. If not, increase the intensity of each workout or add a third workout session to your training schedule by simply repeating Workout 1.

Workout 1

  • 400 m repeats X 12 repetitions
  • 45 seconds rest between each 400 m effort

Workout 2

  • 800 m repeats X 6
  • No more then 60 seconds rest between each 800 m effort

Be sure to include a long run into your training program, this should constitute 25% of week’s total mileage or 1.5 hours, whichever is less. This is the perfect opportunity to utilize our new Training Load feature explained in detail here!


Would this approach be suitable for a 5k too?

The 400m are fine but the 6 times 800 are probably too much for a 5K. 4 repetions are sufficient.

At what pace should these be run?