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The Best 10k workouts - by Greg Mcmillan

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Comments

  • #2


    Any thoughts on adapting to this for a 6k race ie changing the interval lengths to 1k as opposed to 1.6k? Too simplistic an approach?


  • #2


    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread but have been loosely following this plan with the aim of hitting 41:xx in the K-Club next week. Have done the mile repeats but not the 200s (did 400/pyramid fartleks on the in between weeks). 
    Did the final 3x2 miles last night and kept pace at 6:42 fairly handily off 4 min rest - first rep was tough as slightly uphill, didn't know how I was going to do 3 of them! 2nd rep back down so easy peasy, 3rd rep was different route, only 1 short incline - thing is I felt pretty strong on the last rep and was wondering if my goal is too soft? Will head out at that pace at the start on pick up in the 2nd half if I'm feeling strong.
    What are people's thoughts on taper for next week? Thinking of
    Sun: Dunboyne 4 mile
    Mon: Easy 40-50 mins
    Tues: 400/800s ??
    Wed/Thur - away eating and drinking
    Fri: rest or 2 miles easy to loosen out the legss
    Sat: Race Day followed by K-Club food:)


  • #2


    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread but have been loosely following this plan with the aim of hitting 41:xx in the K-Club next week. Have done the mile repeats but not the 200s (did 400/pyramid fartleks on the in between weeks). 
    Did the final 3x2 miles last night and kept pace at 6:42 fairly handily off 4 min rest - first rep was tough as slightly uphill, didn't know how I was going to do 3 of them! 2nd rep back down so easy peasy, 3rd rep was different route, only 1 short incline - thing is I felt pretty strong on the last rep and was wondering if my goal is too soft? Will head out at that pace at the start on pick up in the 2nd half if I'm feeling strong.
    What are people's thoughts on taper for next week? Thinking of
    Sun: Dunboyne 4 mile
    Mon: Easy 40-50 mins
    Tues: 400/800s ??
    Wed/Thur - away eating and drinking
    Fri: rest or 2 miles easy to loosen out the legss
    Sat: Race Day followed by K-Club food:)
    So, just to give an update on how the plan went for me:
    Lead up was far from ideal, couldn't make Dunboyne on Sunday but did 7/5 mile Sat and 10 mile Sun for 2 MLR back to back, 
    Mon was S&C and Tue was heavy track session (6x400, 6300, 6x200) - felt strong doing this so confidence was high.
    Wed was away for a birthday party which involved fine dining and a lot off drinking ;)
    Fri was just 2 miles to loosen out the legs as planned. Felt okay on Friday but could still feel all the rich food and drink from midweek .
    Splits for the race on Sat was 6:39, 6:43, 6:49, 6:51, 6:45, 6:46, 1:51 to come in at 42:24 and a 3sec PB which I was slightly disappointed with as I felt I should have gone under 42 mins at least but a long way off the sub 41:30 the last 3x2 mile session had suggested.Talking to people afterwards everyone felt the course was long by 100-150m so this would have brought the time down to around the 42 minute mark but the reality is I didn't have enough confidence in the middle 1/3 to maintain the pace needed, need to trust the training more.
    Would I recommend the work outs - definitely, it made the pace seem less daunting - issue with this race is around my mental attitude and bad preparation in the lead up. Might try it again for the Dunshauglin 10k


  • #2


    Apologies if this has already been answered earlier in the thread, but how long after finishing a marathon should you leave it until starting this plan? I don't think 8 weeks between both races is overly long, but I wouldn't particularly like having to run three 2 mile repeats at 10k pace too soon after a marathon.


  • #2


    zico10 wrote: »
    Apologies if this has already been answered earlier in the thread, but how long after finishing a marathon should you leave it until starting this plan? I don't think 8 weeks between both races is overly long, but I wouldn't particularly like having to run three 2 mile repeats at 10k pace too soon after a marathon.

    Remember this is an 8 week plan, with the 3 x 2 coming in week 7.
    So if you felt sufficiently recovered and started 4 weeks post marathon, this session is approx 11 weeks after crossing the finish line.

    Finding a target race to suit that schedule may be a little more difficult.


  • #2


    zico10 wrote: »
    Apologies if this has already been answered earlier in the thread, but how long after finishing a marathon should you leave it until starting this plan? I don't think 8 weeks between both races is overly long, but I wouldn't particularly like having to run three 2 mile repeats at 10k pace too soon after a marathon.

    Not this plan in particular, but the general advice is no races for a month after the marathon, and a few weeks before you even do any sessions. I'm planning to take at least one week completely off, maybe two.

    If you start this around the beginning of May, you'll be finishing on time for Dunshaughlin...


  • #2


    BeepBeep67 wrote: »
    Remember this is an 8 week plan, with the 3 x 2 coming in week 7.
    So if you felt sufficiently recovered and started 4 weeks post marathon, this session is approx 11 weeks after crossing the finish line.

    Finding a target race to suit that schedule may be a little more difficult.

    I was aware of the order, I just didn't think before I posted. But I wouldn't fancy 6 x 1 mile repeats too soon after a marathon, anymore than I'd fancy 3 x 2 mile repeats.
    RayCun wrote: »
    Not this plan in particular, but the general advice is no races for a month after the marathon, and a few weeks before you even do any sessions. I'm planning to take at least one week completely off, maybe two.

    If you start this around the beginning of May, you'll be finishing on time for Dunshaughlin...

    That sounds like an alright plan, but I won't be making any definite decisions on any races until after Rotterdam is done and dusted on Sunday.


  • #2


    zico10 wrote: »
    Apologies if this has already been answered earlier in the thread, but how long after finishing a marathon should you leave it until starting this plan? I don't think 8 weeks between both races is overly long, but I wouldn't particularly like having to run three 2 mile repeats at 10k pace too soon after a marathon.
    Also need to remember you will have good fitness after the marathon so you could rest up and recover after Rotterdam (some easy runs) then do a 10k 4-5 weeks after the marathon (early May) and you should be strong, use this time to set your target pace for a 10k race late June/early July and use the Mcmillan plan for that


  • #2


    So, this was mentioned in another thread and as I'm going to run a 10k in 8 weeks' time, I thought, what the heck. I'll be honest and say I won't be following the plan as such but will use the basic idea of shorter/faster reps mixed with target pace workouts and/or speed endurance workouts.
    I have been out injured for a good few weeks so I'm not in the best of shape to be starting this but not in the worst either. Did my first little session this morning. 4k w/u and 4 c/d with 4x1k @ 'pace' in between. Took approx 2 mins walk/jog rest between the reps. As expected the times weren't great. More like HM than 10k pace really. Still, it's a start and I'm hopeful of getting into decent shape in the coming weeks. I'll build up to the tougher workouts although I might give the last one a miss. One variation I'm wondering about is doing a sandwich of 10k/5k/10k pace that might look something like this
    [email protected]+3 or [email protected] pace + [email protected] 10k to finish up. Ok, a bit of w/u and c/d either side. I've done something similar in HM prep and I always feel it benefits me that session. Does it sound like a good idea? I'll hopefully do a few series of 200 and 400s as well to try to get a bit of speed into the legs.


  • #2


    Picked this up after being directed here from Random questions thread. It looks pretty good, and the reviews seem pretty sharp on here..

    10km race in 6 weeks so I skipped into 1x 2M and 4 x 1M. Target paces were about 6:19 and 12:38. Did 12:58, 6:01, 6:19, 6:46, 6:30. So a little off the pace, but it was blustery and slightly undulating route. I'm not too concerned (should I be??), but it was a tough session!


  • #2


    crisco10 wrote: »
    10km race in 6 weeks so I skipped into 1x 2M and 4 x 1M. Target paces were about 6:19 and 12:38. Did 12:58, 6:01, 6:19, 6:46, 6:30. So a little off the pace, but it was blustery and slightly undulating route. I'm not too concerned (should I be??), but it was a tough session!

    I have done a few of these and you would want to be hitting close to the paces.
    1. You are doing these intervals on probably flat ground, something that may not be replicated in a race. A mile with an incline would have you losing 10 - 15 secs.
    2. You have to put them all together with no recoveries.

    Jumping in where you did is a big ask - a session like that could be a last key indicator, maybe 2 weeks out.

    Running mile intervals is a big ask. You could perhaps start with
    Week 6 400m x 10 with 400m recovery
    Week 5 800m x 10 with 400m recovery
    Week 4 1km x 10 with 400m recovery
    Week 3 1m x 6 with 400m recovery
    Week 2 1m, 2m, 2m, 1m with 400m recovery
    Week 1 2m x 3 with 400m recovery

    Those sessions would give you great confidence if you were hitting the race paces plus there is a nice build up from week to week.


  • #2


    I have done a few of these and you would want to be hitting close to the paces.
    1. You are doing these intervals on probably flat ground, something that may not be replicated in a race. A mile with an incline would have you losing 10 - 15 secs.
    2. You have to put them all together with no recoveries.

    Jumping in where you did is a big ask - a session like that could be a last key indicator, maybe 2 weeks out.

    Running mile intervals is a big ask. You could perhaps start with
    Week 6 400m x 10 with 400m recovery
    Week 5 800m x 10 with 400m recovery

    Week 4 1km x 10 with 400m recovery
    Week 3 1m x 6 with 400m recovery
    Week 2 1m, 2m, 2m, 1m with 400m recovery
    Week 1 2m x 3 with 400m recovery

    Those sessions would give you great confidence if you were hitting the race paces plus there is a nice build up from week to week.

    Is that not a big jump in 1 week from week 6 to week 5, it goes from 4,000m of work to 8,000m of work? Seems a bit more gradual after that but that just seems like a leap.


  • #2


    ariana` wrote: »
    Is that not a big jump from in 1 week from week 6 to week 5, it goes from 4,000m of work to 8,000m of work? Seems a bit more gradual after that but that just seems like a leap.

    Most people would be doing 400m/800m reps as part of their weekly routine.

    I wouldn't do those longer reps without 3 - 6 months of solid easy running behind you. Otherwise you risk injury.

    It is what works for me. You have to find what suits you best.


  • #2


    I have done a few of these and you would want to be hitting close to the paces.
    1. You are doing these intervals on probably flat ground, something that may not be replicated in a race. A mile with an incline would have you losing 10 - 15 secs.
    2. You have to put them all together with no recoveries.

    Jumping in where you did is a big ask - a session like that could be a last key indicator, maybe 2 weeks out.

    Running mile intervals is a big ask. You could perhaps start with
    Week 6 400m x 10 with 400m recovery
    Week 5 800m x 10 with 400m recovery
    Week 4 1km x 10 with 400m recovery
    Week 3 1m x 6 with 400m recovery
    Week 2 1m, 2m, 2m, 1m with 400m recovery
    Week 1 2m x 3 with 400m recovery

    Those sessions would give you great confidence if you were hitting the race paces plus there is a nice build up from week to week.

    thanks for the input, knew it was a hard spot to jump in. But was doing it off 5km PB a few weeks ago, and have been doing solid mileage (nice mix of LSR, Easy, Speed/Parkruns) all year up to now.

    Regarding your first point, the intervals were actually more hilly than the race course. The session was around Rathfarnham, and the race is the South Dublin 10km in Clondalkin. If I look at the GAP on Strava (or use the crude rule of thumb uphill adds 10 -15 seconds, downhill subtracts 10 -15 seconds) it's a lot closer to target. The 6:01 was a lot of downhill too. Bit i defo struggled to keep the pace up in the last 2 reps.

    second point; race day adrenaline?! :eek:

    I don't feel a million miles off, albeit with a bit of work to do. but maybe I'm deluded. lol

    Tbh, I really enjoyed it (most of the time). Tired now tho. :o:cool:


  • #2


    I used to be a big advocate of the McMillian 10k workout detailed in this thread but as time has gone on it just looks more and more on the much too aggressive side.


  • #2


    I used to be a big advocate of the McMillian 10k workout detailed in this thread but as time has gone on it just looks more and more on the much too aggressive side.

    Interesting comment...When you say over aggressive, do you mean it leads to overtraining/injury or something else??


  • #2


    crisco10 wrote: »
    Interesting comment...When you say over aggressive, do you mean it leads to overtraining/injury or something else??

    My 2c would be that these sessions are designed with a 30 min 10k runner in mind in terms of length of reps and recoveries

    For what they are designed for they are fine but for most they are working too hard for too long with inappropriate recoveries.

    Most people would simply survive these sessions rather than actually getting the best from the workouts


  • #2


    crisco10 wrote:
    Interesting comment...When you say over aggressive, do you mean it leads to overtraining/injury or something else??

    Much like what KSU said for an average person it's just too much 10k work for too much time. Even the base one of 6x1M is too much in my opinion. For someone like myself who's in or around 37min 10k it's telling me I need to run roughly 3x12mins of 10k effort. Thats more like a tempo session format. 3x12mins of 10k effort will have me absolutely flogged.


  • #2


    Much like what KSU said for an average person it's just too much 10k work for too much time. Even the base one of 6x1M is too much in my opinion. For someone like myself who's in or around 37min 10k it's telling me I need to run roughly 3x12mins of 10k effort. Thats more like a tempo session format. 3x12mins of 10k effort will have me absolutely flogged.

    I agree it's quite tough but I feel it's a good plan if you can handle it. When I tried it (3 occasions I think) I always had a week before the 6x1mile that was either 6x1k or 4x1mile because yeah 6x1mile is no joke for a 'first' session. And again I'd agree the 3x2 was always fairly brutal. I think I only ever really managed that once at target pace. One thing I did find was that if you ran two 10k races after completing the training, the second tended to be the one where you really got your time.


  • #2


    Itziger wrote:
    I agree it's quite tough but I feel it's a good plan if you can handle it..

    I would suspect that if you're an average runner like us, and you can handle 3x2M at 10k pace without being fairly flogged then you probably have a soft 10k target! I think there's much more to be gained with some blended shorter stuff..


  • #2


    I would suspect that if you're an average runner like us, and you can handle 3x2M at 10k pace without being fairly flogged then you probably have a soft 10k target! I think there's much more to be gained with some blended shorter stuff..

    Oiii, speak for yourself, m8. I'm borderline sub-elite in my age cat.

    If anyone can handle 3x2 mile @10k pace without being fairly flogged,, they have a soft target.


  • #2


    It is also something to remember that McMilan recommends proper rest/recovery before some of those key indicator intervals - the same taper that you would do for a target race.


  • #2


    thanks guys, must say I'm enjoying the discussion. I would have always been of the opinion (uneducated, inexperienced) that even if a session is "overly" hard, it is still valuable and will improve your performance in the long run. (Assuming that you dont overtrain etc)

    But the discussion here has certainly highlighted that it's not that simple.


  • #2


    It is also something to remember that McMilan recommends proper rest/recovery before some of those key indicator intervals - the same taper that you would do for a target race.

    Practically that doesn't make sense to me. In that case you're tapering every two weeks for those sessions.


  • #2


    crisco10 wrote:
    thanks guys, must say I'm enjoying the discussion. I would have always been of the opinion (uneducated, inexperienced) that even if a session is "overly" hard, it is still valuable and will improve your performance in the long run. (Assuming that you dont overtrain etc)

    Yes and no in my opinion. If you're hammering out sessions on a regular basis to a point where you're fairly obliterated after each one you very likely won't improve. Sessions are meant to build you up. With the McMillian progression you're essentially doing that four weeks out of eight.

    And hammering a session at the expense of form, turnover etc is counterproductive. Fine to hit a session hard every now and then but I just think the McMillian session set us normal runners up for failure.

    This goes completely against what I would have said two years ago by the way.


  • #2


    It is also something to remember that McMilan recommends proper rest/recovery before some of those key indicator intervals - the same taper that you would do for a target race.
    Practically that doesn't make sense to me. In that case you're tapering every two weeks for those sessions.

    I think this is where the issue is with this sort of plan (and one of the reasons I would not be a mad on the plan)

    This isn't designed as a training plan per say it is designed as a peaking plan. The efforts would be of sub maximal efforts designed to get you ready for a PB attempt after you have built up the fitness to do so. This is where the confusion may come from.

    If I was to do this sort of plan it would be off the back of a solid 8 weeks of build up prior to this (though I am not a huge fan of "indicator" workouts as a few races would work just as well


  • #2


    Practically that doesn't make sense to me. In that case you're tapering every two weeks for those sessions.

    No need to taper for anything except the 2 mile intervals. Personally I would have an easy week leading upto the 1 mile stuff.

    Ideally you would have a good base leading into these and be able to reduce your long run distance for the period leading upto the 10k race. That will allow recovery and allow you to concentrate your energy into the interval stuff.

    That is just my take on it.


  • #2


    Just reporting back, and going to put in a long winded post for the record (in case anybody else might stumble in like I did).

    In summary, I found this plan worked really well for me.

    Pre-Plan
    Since January had been doing 30 to 40km a week across 4 or 5 runs. roughly, 1 long, 1 "fast" and 2 or 3 easy.
    At end of May set my 5km PB of 18:50.

    "My" Macmillian Plan
    was the last 4 weeks of Macmillan ish. Shape of week was this:
    Monday: Macmillian Session
    Tuesday: 30 mins easy
    Weds/Thurs: Cycling/Tag rugby
    Friday: 15 - 20km LSR
    Saturday: Parkrun
    Sunday: Rest

    The 4 Macmillans sessions I did were (actual splits in brackets):
    Week 1: 1 x 2M (12.58), 4 x 1M (6.01, 6.19, 6.46, 6.30) - almost broke me, was bloody hard. Had to have a nap after!
    Week 2: 2 x 2M (12.45, 12.50), 2 x 1M (6.06, 6.07) - felt significantly easier than Week 1, but still a hard workout
    Week 3: 10 x 1km (Average: 3.51, quickest 3.42, slowest 3.58) - Rep 9 was hard and Rep 10 was a real character builder but generally felt ok. The large difference between quickest and slowest was an uphill/downhill thing.
    Week 4: 3 x 2M (12.24, 12.40, 12,21) - My best session by far. Was the easiest feeling of the 4 sessions, with the best times. Think I just was having a good day.

    This last session was 13 days before the race. The weekend before race I did a buggy Parkrun in 19:50 to keep sharp, as well as generally tipping away at easy runs.

    The Results

    In my target race, finished in 38.38 which was actually about 30 seconds quicker than my initial target. The race conditions were good, and the course very fair (read flat). If you look at the splits for the 3 x 2M session, they are pretty close to predicting my race pace (which equates to 12.25 or so for 2M).

    My thoughts
    Definitely agree with previous posters, it's certainly a "peaker" plan. There is no consideration given to base building really, but it definitely works hard on your threshold pace. As mentioned, the first session was pretty brutal and I had a solid-ish base.
    However, as a plan to sharpen your system to run faster at 10km, I think it's a pretty good plan. I really felt myself getting stronger over the month and enjoyed the punishment to a certain degree. It's also a very simple plan in that it isnt overly prescriptive, it focuses on 1 session a week and the rest you aren't tied down to, other than generally keeping the mileage up. To me, that was actually one of the biggest benefits. I've tried following complex plans before and failed.

    Anyway, would recommend, but it does need to seen for what it is.


  • #2


    Last week out from a 10k race for me, did 5 x 1 mile @10k pace last weekw 2 min recovery, any one have a good session for this week?


  • #2


    Last week out from a 10k race for me, did 5 x 1 mile @10k pace last weekw 2 min recovery, any one have a good session for this week?

    As I said above, I just did a parkrun at a reasonably hard effort to keep the legs spinning. Seemed to work for me..


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