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The Best 10k workouts - by Greg Mcmillan

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  • Cheers, completely forgot about this. I tried this out on the run up to a 10k last year, didnt do all the speed sessions, think I only did the first 3, but I set a big pb nevertheless. Looking forward to trying this out again (and doing it properly this time:D)

    Thanks DSS, it would be great to hear the experiences of anyone else who also tried out this programme last year.




  • wrstan wrote: »
    Thanks DSS, it would be great to hear the experiences of anyone else who also tried out this programme last year.

    I followed it pretty closely for my first 10K of last year and knocked a minute off my time to get 39mins. I modified it a bit through the summer, using a hilly route to target a few bumpy 10Ks and longer. It was a key part of building strength for me and helped me finish the summer with a 36.5 min 10K.




  • wrstan wrote: »
    Thanks DSS, it would be great to hear the experiences of anyone else who also tried out this programme last year.

    The trick is to know what you're capable of. Pick a pace that's achievable for you over the 10k distance, but hard during the intervals. Everyone is different but my intervals were run at 6 minute/mile pace and I ran a 6:13 minute/mile average in my goal 10k last year, but like I said I didnt complete the entire 8 weeks of intervals. So I'll be looking to complete the entire set of intervals this time around.




  • Did this plan (kind of) late last year, before getting stuck into marathon training. Felt it really put me in a position to push for a challenging marathon PB, and my Boston time is clear demonstration of this. :rolleyes:

    Will be kicking off something similar in a few weeks time to have a lash at the Race Series Fingal 10k (probably), using it as a springboard to take a shot at sub-60 in the Frank Duffy 10 miler in August.




  • BUILDUP WORKOUT NO. 1: 6 X 1 MILE
    Eight weeks out from your 10K, run six 1-mile repeats at your goal 10K pace, taking 3 to 4 minutes recovery jog between each. Don't be surprised if you struggle in this workout. Many athletes become worried that their goal is out of reach, but trust me: You just need to complete the workout sequence and you'll be ready. One thing I find helps is to just focus on goal 10K pace, not faster. Some runners try to "beat the workout" by running faster but that isn't the goal. Start at goal pace and simply hang on.

    So lets say you bash out a 39min 10k.
    How do you decided what the next step is?
    Do people just say, ok the next marker is 35mins. So I'll do all my goal pace training at 3:30min/k?
    Or does it just come down slowly anyways.....?


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  • ocnoc wrote: »
    So lets say you bash out a 39min 10k.
    How do you decided what the next step is?
    Do people just say, ok the next marker is 35mins. So I'll do all my goal pace training at 3:30min/k?
    Or does it just come down slowly anyways.....?
    If you set a target like 35 mins for 10k, by following this plan, you'll have a pretty good idea whether it's an achievable goal. If you can't do the key session (3 x 2 miles @target pace) then it's damn unlikely you'll hit your goal.

    Again, you need peripheral information to establish a suitable goal pace (i.e. times for other distances). If you don't have that kind of info, run a 5k time trial.




  • ocnoc wrote: »
    So lets say you bash out a 39min 10k.
    How do you decided what the next step is?
    Do people just say, ok the next marker is 35mins. So I'll do all my goal pace training at 3:30min/k?
    Or does it just come down slowly anyways.....?

    Depends on your progression I would expect, is the 39min a PB,if so who much faster - 3%? Would a 2% progression makes sense this time - it's probably only a question you can answer.




  • ocnoc wrote: »
    So lets say you bash out a 39min 10k.
    How do you decided what the next step is?
    Do people just say, ok the next marker is 35mins. So I'll do all my goal pace training at 3:30min/k?
    Or does it just come down slowly anyways.....?

    In that situation, I set a 38 min goal but getting closer to the time I could feel the sessions were not as tough as the first time around. I am sure the converse could be the case and he does say by workout no.3 :
    If, however, you're struggling to hit your goal pace even on the first 2 mile repeat, then your proposed goal pace is too aggressive and you should re-evaluate.
    Likewise you could re-evaluate to a faster pace. He also recommends doing a 5K mid-way through to see if you are on track. I don't think the precise training pace matters all that much anyway but doing the final 3x2M does give a confidence boost that you can achieve your goal and very often that's more important. Often it's getting used to the race pace pain that you need most of all.
    I would also say do the 200m & 400m repeats at slightly faster than 10K so that target pace feels a bit easier.




  • 5k TT would probably put a lot in perspective of what you could hit for the 10.




  • ocnoc wrote: »
    So lets say you bash out a 39min 10k.
    How do you decided what the next step is?
    Do people just say, ok the next marker is 35mins. So I'll do all my goal pace training at 3:30min/k?
    Or does it just come down slowly anyways.....?

    When i was doing these last summer I was trying to hit 6.25 a mile to go sub 40. I didn't do all the workouts but when i did the final one (3 x 2 miles) I averaged 6.32/mile.
    When i did my 10k race I still tried to go for sub 40 but managed on 40.44 which freakily enough is 6.32/mile. I have to say the workouts as a predictor of a 10k time are freakishly accurate.


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  • dna_leri wrote: »
    I followed it pretty closely for my first 10K of last year and knocked a minute off my time to get 39mins. I modified it a bit through the summer, using a hilly route to target a few bumpy 10Ks and longer. It was a key part of building strength for me and helped me finish the summer with a 36.5 min 10K.

    39mins -> 36.5mins wow! that's a mighty impressive improvement in a season :eek:, well done dna! Do you put it down mainly to the McMillan programme or were there other significant factors?

    Thanks




  • wrstan wrote: »
    dna_leri wrote: »
    I followed it pretty closely for my first 10K of last year and knocked a minute off my time to get 39mins. I modified it a bit through the summer, using a hilly route to target a few bumpy 10Ks and longer. It was a key part of building strength for me and helped me finish the summer with a 36.5 min 10K.

    39mins -> 36.5mins wow! that's a mighty impressive improvement in a season :eek:, well done dna! Do you put it down mainly to the McMillan programme or were there other significant factors?

    Thanks
    It was only my 2nd year of running 10k so increasing mileage was always going to give me improvements but this was big part, particularly early season. The other key ingredient for me was lots of hills. And don't set limits,10% improvement is possible for most in the first few years.




  • so you reckon the first thing to do is a time trial 5k to assess what you could possibly perform in a 10k and going on from there adjust he pace to suit

    in regards to the training plan,is the key workout done once a week along with hill work and a lsr??

    appreciate any advice




  • testikle wrote: »
    so you reckon the first thing to do is a time trial 5k to assess what you could possibly perform in a 10k and going on from there adjust he pace to suit

    in regards to the training plan,is the key workout done once a week along with hill work and a lsr??

    appreciate any advice

    Do a 5K time trial if you need to set a goal but you should really be able to base your target on a previous 10K, which you can adjust as you go through the sessions. This is really an improvers program not a beginners one.

    If you read to the end of the article you will see the below paragraph, followed by a simple 8-wk workout sequence. Unless you are targetting a hilly 10K, I would not be doing much hill-work in the run-up to a race. An LSR of c10 miles would be typical, supplemented by easy running on other days.

    SUPPLEMENTARY WORKOUTS
    While the 10K buildup workouts occur every other week, the in-between weeks provide a great opportunity to perform other important 5K and 10K workouts. I like 200m and 400m repeats performed at 5K effort. I find that running slightly faster repeats on the in-between weeks makes 10K race pace feel easier. You may even perform a 5K race in preparation for your 10K. I also recommend at least one tempo run during this buildup. The pace will be slightly slower than 10K pace but will build your stamina for the goal event.





  • Bif of a philosophical question here rather than a technical training query.

    After a couple of summers of frustration, I finally got around to nailing a sub-40 on Friday evening.

    Really want to push on now in terms of times and was wondering if you guys found it easier after getting the 'Sub-40 Minute Monkey' off your backs??

    eg. was it easier going from 39 mins to 36 than from 41 mins to 39??

    Anyway, will be looking to incorporate these workouts into my training diary in the coming weeks. I think my main target race will be the Dundrum 10k on 4th July




  • Cartman78 wrote: »
    Bif of a philosophical question here rather than a technical training query.

    After a couple of summers of frustration, I finally got around to nailing a sub-40 on Friday evening.

    Really want to push on now in terms of times and was wondering if you guys found it easier after getting the 'Sub-40 Minute Monkey' off your backs??

    eg. was it easier going from 39 mins to 36 than from 41 mins to 39??

    Anyway, will be looking to incorporate these workouts into my training diary in the coming weeks. I think my main target race will be the Dundrum 10k on 4th July

    I think that you need to be aware that improvement is never linear and there are always times where you struggle to beat a time and then all of a sudden you can do no wrong. My 10k PB was a few years old and couldnt break it depsite being stronger for a good while then all of a sudden when I least expected it I took a min and 15 secs off

    Similarly I had monkey on my back for 5 miles in a time that I had run exactly 27.41 on three seperate occasions on two seperate courses and finally beat it this year by 20 secs

    The main thing is to stay consistent with your training. If you start to get disheartened change the focus of your training and work on your times at shorter and longer distances to keep you motivated while training away and as long as you keep up the training you will start working down to the range you are looking to be at

    Keep it up




  • Yep...I can definitely identify with that, I ran 4 sub 40.30 10ks last year :eek: :eek: Got into a real rut.

    It was partially down to my training (I couldn't run more than 10k due to nerve pain in my toes for about 6 months) but I think it was more of a mental thing at the end than anything else




  • i felt the odd session in cratloe did wonders for my improvement, your around that neck of the woods?
    I was the same as you, trying to get sub 40, after a few months of consistency, got 38:30, never hit 39:..




  • Found this thread and decided to try the workout in preparation for a 10K in September. Mapped out a mile loop (undulating, but so is the race in Sept.). I'm targetting a 45:00 10k which is ambitious for me but my times for other distances have been coming down so I'll never know unless I try! Target pace for the 6 x 1mile repeats was 7:15 and I hit the first 4 ok in an average of 7:16 but really really really wanted to die during the last two and was way off target (7:35, 7:39). Just interested to know from those who've done it before, did you find the workouts tough at first too or should I give myself a softer target this time and aim for another 10K later in the year ? I'm doing a LSR at the weekend of 8 - 10 miles and 3 other easy runs 3 - 6 miles and/or the odd shorter race. Any advice would be very welcome. Thanks.




  • Bungy Girl wrote: »
    Found this thread and decided to try the workout in preparation for a 10K in September. Mapped out a mile loop (undulating, but so is the race in Sept.). I'm targetting a 45:00 10k which is ambitious for me but my times for other distances have been coming down so I'll never know unless I try! Target pace for the 6 x 1mile repeats was 7:15 and I hit the first 4 ok in an average of 7:16 but really really really wanted to die during the last two and was way off target (7:35, 7:39). Just interested to know from those who've done it before, did you find the workouts tough at first too or should I give myself a softer target this time and aim for another 10K later in the year ? I'm doing a LSR at the weekend of 8 - 10 miles and 3 other easy runs 3 - 6 miles and/or the odd shorter race. Any advice would be very welcome. Thanks.

    What's your current 10k PB?
    I find the sessions really tough, if I have someone running with me it's easier and from experience race always feels tougher in training.


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  • BeepBeep67 wrote: »
    What's your current 10k PB?
    Thanks BeepBeep. It's 48:30 :o but it's 2 years old and I think I could beat it if I went out and raced a 10K tomorrow. I haven't actually raced the distance since. So I know 45:00 is a big stretch but I do think it's in me....somewhere :rolleyes:. I suppose I think if I can do these workouts by myself and not give up half way through (which I wanted to do) then it might make it easier to achieve the target when I'm in a race situation. I do find races much easier than training and also hoping the racing flats will be worth a few seconds too! TBH I'll be happy with any PB but 45:00 is the magic number and it looks like lots of people on here found these workouts helpful.




  • Bungy Girl wrote: »
    Found this thread and decided to try the workout in preparation for a 10K in September. Mapped out a mile loop (undulating, but so is the race in Sept.). I'm targetting a 45:00 10k which is ambitious for me but my times for other distances have been coming down so I'll never know unless I try! Target pace for the 6 x 1mile repeats was 7:15 and I hit the first 4 ok in an average of 7:16 but really really really wanted to die during the last two and was way off target (7:35, 7:39). Just interested to know from those who've done it before, did you find the workouts tough at first too or should I give myself a softer target this time and aim for another 10K later in the year ? I'm doing a LSR at the weekend of 8 - 10 miles and 3 other easy runs 3 - 6 miles and/or the odd shorter race. Any advice would be very welcome. Thanks.

    There's no doubt these are tough sessions, but that's why they're good sessions. My advice would be to stick at it. The first of the McMillan sessions I did was 1x2 mile followed by 2X1 mile all at race pace. That last 1 mile interval was definitely the hardest of the entire programme. (I was suffering from a little alcohol in the petrol tank that day which probably didn't help :o)
    I combined them with 400's for my other key session during the week.




  • wrstan wrote: »
    I combined them with 400's for my other key session during the week.

    I think that's an interesting point and something that Bungy Girl could be missing out on. If all of her runs are either easy or an LSR you will see some improvement due to better fitness, but after a while that will start to level off and you'll need something extra to keep improving. 400's are mentioned above, but my vote would be for something like a pace run. Find a pace that's slower than your 10k pace, but faster than your HM pace and run that for maybe 20-30 minutes. After that try to gradually increase the time (not the speed, never go faster than your 10k pace) up towards 40 minutes. If you do this right it will feel very easy at the start and very hard at the end. Also, make sure to include a warm-up!




  • Bungy Girl wrote: »
    Found this thread and decided to try the workout in preparation for a 10K in September. Mapped out a mile loop (undulating, but so is the race in Sept.). I'm targetting a 45:00 10k which is ambitious for me but my times for other distances have been coming down so I'll never know unless I try! Target pace for the 6 x 1mile repeats was 7:15 and I hit the first 4 ok in an average of 7:16 but really really really wanted to die during the last two and was way off target (7:35, 7:39). Just interested to know from those who've done it before, did you find the workouts tough at first too or should I give myself a softer target this time and aim for another 10K later in the year ? I'm doing a LSR at the weekend of 8 - 10 miles and 3 other easy runs 3 - 6 miles and/or the odd shorter race. Any advice would be very welcome. Thanks.

    If your talking about the 10K I think your talking about, there is a right sh*t of a hill on the back leg.

    Should these sessions be limited to the track while throwing in hill work on your other runs. For example if on a short, 6-10 mile run, should you pick a route with one or two hills and up the pace when climbing?




  • antomagoo wrote: »
    If your talking about the 10K I think your talking about, there is a right sh*t of a hill on the back leg.

    Should these sessions be limited to the track while throwing in hill work on your other runs. For example if on a short, 6-10 mile run, should you pick a route with one or two hills and up the pace when climbing?

    I try to do my sessions on grass (your working a little harder, with less impact) on a loop that's relatively flat, so you can just concentrate on pace. You can put your hill work into a different session, option could be hill repeats or 4 mile tempo ending with a hilly last mile.




  • Thanks folks for all the helpful advice. I'm going to swap one of my easy runs for something a bit tougher as suggested here, maybe alternate on a weekly basis between hill reps and the pace run. Next up is the 1 x 2 mile and 4 x 1 mile :eek:. Will definitely try to find a grass loop for this - if anyone spots a purple-faced :(, wheezing runner running around a northside GAA pitch at 6am say hi !




  • shels4ever wrote: »
    Got this in an email today thoguh someone might find it useful.

    Full article here

    Would this be good for 5 mile training or are is there a better 5 mile plan? Ill be targetting the Raheny 5 on 27th Jan.




  • If you completed it it would leave you in great shape for the five miler, theres no real difference in training for a 5 miler or a 10k




  • Kissy Lips wrote: »

    Would this be good for 5 mile training or are is there a better 5 mile plan? Ill be targetting the Raheny 5 on 27th Jan.
    Amend the workOuts to go with pace. I would rather you get used to running at your goal pace. Rem 10k pace will be a little slower. Instead of 6 x 1 mile do 5 and so on. But focus on your goal pace. It's mentally to get used to running at that pace


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  • We've just been discussing this in the club actually, and are planning to go with
    5 x 1 mile at 5 mile pace (November)
    1 x 2 mile, 3 x 1 mile at pace (December)
    2 x 2 mile, 1 x 1 mile at pace (January)
    as prep for Raheny


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