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The Best 10k workouts - by Greg Mcmillan

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  • Sorry to hear about the injury elpadrino hope you make a speedy recovery! Congrats on the 5k PB that's great to hear.
    Cheers for the advice re the sessions. I'm due to do the 2 x 2miles and 2 x 1 mile reps next week so will aim to do these at the track. Although I know it prob will pay off having some tough sessions done on road At least if I do on track Ill be able to see what distance I've left as opposed to relying on the watch.




  • might be a stupid question but how many times a week should i be doing each weeks sets?




  • Murtinho wrote: »
    might be a stupid question but how many times a week should i be doing each weeks sets?

    It's my understanding that the session is only done once a week, it's only one aspect of your overall training regime. I hope I'm correct in saying this, this is what I'm doing anyways.




  • DOCO12 wrote: »
    It's my understanding that the session is only done once a week, it's only one aspect of your overall training regime. I hope I'm correct in saying this, this is what I'm doing anyways.

    oh right, might give it a shot so




  • For this session I opted to head to the track. Definitely easier to keep the pace steady but the wind was a real killer. Actually the wind wasn't the only killer I found the session itself so hard. Whatever way I set my watch I didn't get the individual mile splits for my 2 mile reps just the average over the two miles. So my averages were per 2 miles: 6.54(13.44 duration) / 7.00 (13.59 duration) / and for the single mile reps: 6.57 / 6.59.
    Overall a tough session but undoubtedly sessions like this must be of benefit. 2 weeks until the final session, I can feel the pain already :eek::):


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  • Welldone on the session. For sure you will find that race specific sessions like this will do you a huge amount of good.

    Now you've found the track, all you need is a training buddy who can work off teh same pace as you ;), or maybe a couple of sceonds faster per split!




  • Final session done. Reps were 13.50 (6.55/mile) , 13.44 (6.52/mile) , and 14.03 (7.02/mile). I found myself pulling myself back on first two miles felt good but wanted to save some energy for the later reps. Last 2 mile rep as ya can see didn't go too well, I just didn't have the legs to go under the 7min mile. Delighted that's over 😊 Hopefully the efforts will be seen race day:)




  • Excellent stuff, what time are you thinking? and when is the 10k?

    My own 2c
    If you were to take your final splits over the last few weeks it puts you at about 43:30ish add race day adrenaline and the body adapting to your final session, maybe sneaking under 43 if the course is a favourable one.




  • Just to chip in here.

    I did all of these sessions except the last one (minor setback 2 weeks before race) and made the time I was hoping for with I feel a little left in the tank.

    Granted I was only chasing 45:00 and managed a 44:32 over a lumpy (and extremely windy) route but I'll definitely be using these sessions again the next time I target a 10k, hopefully 40 mins next year.




  • Interesting reading. DOCO, I wouldn't worry too much about the drift on the last rep. Maybe you should have just taken it a bit easier on the 2nd but it's really tough to get the pace exact.

    Pointer got his (or her) target without the last session!!! That's cheating. The last one's the killer. Congrats on that and good luck to anyone else using this plan.

    I'd love to hear from someone who's done all the suggested workouts, not just the key ones. I missed all but one of the 'alternate' week sessions.


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  • I'm looking at using this training schedule to help me work on my speed for marathons.
    Therefore, I'm be aiming to do everything but the 10km race at the end.
    I did the first session last week and cheated somewhat but still got 6 x 1 miles completed. The pace drifted out but it was windy and the route was slightly hilly so there was always gonna be some variance.

    I aim to stick to a flatter route for the remaining sessions.
    I might try and race a 10km shortly after my marathon in June just to see what the numbers are like. (Obviously it'll be slower as a result of the marathon but I'd still expect a decent PB!).




  • I extended the McMillan workouts by 3 weeks and introduced 5x1k (wk1), 4x1 mile (wk2) and 5x1k (wk10) and that'll bring me right up to the Dunshaughlin 10k. I think jumping in at 6x1 miles off a lowish base is tough and I can remember 2 years ago myself and meno started on 4x1 mile before the 6x1 mile and it worked well.
    It'll also be interesting to see the difference in the 1k reps in wk 1 with wk 10.




  • Hi, firstly thanks to all the previous posters for sharing their progress and experience with the plan, good to hear others feedback! I will try to share my experience with it as well (33yr old male)

    I started running in early february just to get back in shape, without really knowing what I am doing or following a program. I started by trying to build up the miles, the first few weeks were tough. Now I am running four miles twice a week and 6.2 miles at the weekend, trying to do the 4 miles as fast as possible and then just getting through the 10km. my best time for 10Km is 47:31min, the four miles I was trying to do in less then 30 minutes which I managed for after my 9th attampt at the weekend in a time of 29:45.

    So that is where I am starting from, will report back where this program takes me, short term aim is sub 45min 10k, long term aim beat my brothers PB of 42min 10k




  • You're running way too fast and are going to either burn yourself out or injure yourself.

    70 - 80% of your running should be done at an easy pace.




  • pointer28 wrote: »
    You're running way too fast and are going to either burn yourself out or injure yourself.

    70 - 80% of your running should be done at an easy pace.

    Really? what paces or training plan would you advise? to be honest i think I am a bit fixated with times




  • belcarra wrote: »
    I'm looking at using this training schedule to help me work on my speed for marathons.
    Therefore, I'm be aiming to do everything but the 10km race at the end.
    I did the first session last week and cheated somewhat but still got 6 x 1 miles completed. The pace drifted out but it was windy and the route was slightly hilly so there was always gonna be some variance.

    I aim to stick to a flatter route for the remaining sessions.
    I might try and race a 10km shortly after my marathon in June just to see what the numbers are like. (Obviously it'll be slower as a result of the marathon but I'd still expect a decent PB!).

    Welcome to the wonderful world of speed, Belcarra.

    Ok, maybe speed isn't the exact term but, relative to your marathon and Ultra stuff, it is. They do say some faster training helps in the end as well for the 42k distance. I believe in the 3 step approach. 1 session faster than race pace, 1 session at and 1 session nice and shlow.

    I also thought the 6x1 mile to start with was too much and chose 6x1k instead. The next week I stepped up to the recommended imperial measure.

    Good luck to all trying this.




  • I followed this programme last year and was really pleased with the result. It's a tough programme no doubt, but that's why it's so effective. I've just started a new cycle of it, but without a clear goal race yet :confused:

    I think it makes perfect sense to start early with a 4X 1mile session.

    Just a question for those of you recently started: what kind of recoveries are you using?

    I think the recovery times will be a key determinant of the quality and ultimate benefit of these sessions. And if you don't have a clear strategy for your recoveries or don't follow them fairly strictly, you are missing part of the benefit.




  • wrstan wrote: »

    Just a question for those of you recently started: what kind of recoveries are you using?

    I think the recovery times will be a key determinant of the quality and ultimate benefit of these sessions. And if you don't have a clear strategy for your recoveries or don't follow them fairly strictly, you are missing part of the benefit.

    I think sticking to the jogged recovery ( 3mins for 1m and 5 mins for 2m) is very important because the reps should be done at an even pace.
    Example you run all your reps off a standing recovery and hit 7 mins for each but then do the same session off a recovery jog and you might start seeing sth like 7:00, 7:00, 7:06, 7:10, 7:15, 7:18.
    In my opinion the latter is telling you that you'll never hold 7 mins pace for the race. As you said the sessions are suppose to be hard and I think adding a first session of 4x1m lets you experiment with what pace you feel you can hit but definitely stick with the jog recovery and if it means you have to slow your reps down to have them all equal so be it.




  • LYSG, one thing I'd say. I thought 5 minutes recovery between the 2 milers was a bit generous and I took 4 instead. Earlier someone said he changed the rec time from 3 mins to 5.

    If anyone is feeling brave or reckless (Belcarra?) they could try the 2 milers with the 3 min recovery. Apologies to DOCO if I confused her on that issue btw.




  • Itziger wrote: »
    If anyone is feeling brave or reckless (Belcarra?) they could try the 2 milers with the 3 min recovery. Apologies to DOCO if I confused her on that issue btw.

    I was finding the 6 x 1 milers taxing enough even with my own cheating going on so not sure I'd have the energy to be reckless for the 3 x 2 milers!
    Having said that, bring it on!!:D


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  • Itziger wrote: »
    LYSG, one thing I'd say. I thought 5 minutes recovery between the 2 milers was a bit generous and I took 4 instead. Earlier someone said he changed the rec time from 3 mins to 5.

    If anyone is feeling brave or reckless (Belcarra?) they could try the 2 milers with the 3 min recovery. Apologies to DOCO if I confused her on that issue btw.
    Just on the subject, the Jack Daniels marathon plan has 3 x 2 miles at threshold pace, with 2 mins recovery (plan A) or 2 mins easy (elite plan). Now I know threshold pace isn't 10k pace, but the gap isn't that massive (for example, for me it'd be the difference between 5:32/mile and 5:45/mile). When I did the session twice recently, (2 mins easy recovery) it wasn't as bad as I had led myself to believe it would be.

    Just wondering: are we building up these sessions too much in our minds, to the point that it's almost detrimental, or does 13 seconds per mile really make that much of a difference? Or perhaps I should be looking at it from the other side: maybe Jack Daniels' marathon plan is just a really good 10k training plan. Any thoughts?




  • maybe Jack Daniels' marathon plan is just a really good 10k training plan. Any thoughts?

    I think based on recent results around here, I think you could safely conclude that JD's marathon plan is a really good marathon plan :D




  • My 10k is Sun week (May Bank hol) I've been told its not the easiest of courses plenty of hills but I've tried to change my mindset and not fear them anymore. Originally I'd just wanted to beat my current PB of 46, but my training has been going really well so I'd love to go sub 44 but don't want to be too disappointed if I don't perform well on the day. Ill have to keep thinking of my race report Ill be writing here to spur me on :)

    Just wondering: are we building up these sessions too much in our minds, to the point that it's almost detrimental?

    I have to say that when I saw this program first I thought no way would I be able for this and it would be a nightmare but the sessions honestly aren't as bad as they seem on paper. For my sessions starting with the 6 x 1mile reps I did 4min jog recovery between reps and found this way too long. So for every session since I've gone with 3min jog recovery between reps. I found this ample time to recover. Thanks Itziger ya didn't confuse me :)




  • Does anyone find doing LSRs very hard to do. what i mean is i can run 10k in bout 51 mins which is bout 5 mins per k but when i try and do 6 min plus per k i find it harder to do and stiffen up very easily.




  • Does anyone find doing LSRs very hard to do. what i mean is i can run 10k in bout 51 mins which is bout 5 mins per k but when i try and do 6 min plus per k i find it harder to do and stiffen up very easily.

    Yeah, I think lots of runners have to almost learn the discipline of slow running. Your stride is different as well as cadence I guess. I do find after a really tough day the recovery pace is quite easy to attain! But, yeah, if you're feeling fine and dandy, then recovery pace is a bit of a pain.




  • Just on the subject, the Jack Daniels marathon plan has 3 x 2 miles at threshold pace, with 2 mins recovery (plan A) or 2 mins easy (elite plan). Now I know threshold pace isn't 10k pace, but the gap isn't that massive (for example, for me it'd be the difference between 5:32/mile and 5:45/mile). When I did the session twice recently, (2 mins easy recovery) it wasn't as bad as I had led myself to believe it would be.

    Just wondering: are we building up these sessions too much in our minds, to the point that it's almost detrimental, or does 13 seconds per mile really make that much of a difference? Or perhaps I should be looking at it from the other side: maybe Jack Daniels' marathon plan is just a really good 10k training plan. Any thoughts?

    Krusty, I haven't followed your training log as well as I should (I bloody will when I'm in marathon training), but I did spy one or two of the sessions. Sounds to me like that is a plan that'd get a guy a great 10k, half and, obviously as you proved in London, full marathon times.

    I'd say you'd do a cracking Half in a couple of weeks time. You tempted??




  • Just on the subject, the Jack Daniels marathon plan has 3 x 2 miles at threshold pace, with 2 mins recovery (plan A) or 2 mins easy (elite plan). Now I know threshold pace isn't 10k pace, but the gap isn't that massive (for example, for me it'd be the difference between 5:32/mile and 5:45/mile). When I did the session twice recently, (2 mins easy recovery) it wasn't as bad as I had led myself to believe it would be.

    Just wondering: are we building up these sessions too much in our minds, to the point that it's almost detrimental, or does 13 seconds per mile really make that much of a difference? Or perhaps I should be looking at it from the other side: maybe Jack Daniels' marathon plan is just a really good 10k training plan. Any thoughts?

    I agree, I found huge improvements in my 10K time using a Hadd type training over the winter. 1 LSR, 1 60 min tempo @ LT effort and 1 75 min Tempo @ MP effort or a little shy of it. I only once ran at 10K pace the day of the race and chopped 2.5 minutes off my time.




  • Hi All

    Got my 10K PB of 43.43 :) Flew it for first few miles but second half of race was real tough, running against a very strong wind and I just couldn't keep the effort up. My splits for my sessions were just a few seconds faster than the race, so it's very accurate. Am very happy with the result and do believe a sub 43 is definitely in me this year.
    Hows everyone else getting on with the program? Anyone ever tweak it for a 5 miler?




  • DOCO12 wrote: »
    Hi All

    Got my 10K PB of 43.43 :) Flew it for first few miles but second half of race was real tough, running against a very strong wind and I just couldn't keep the effort up. My splits for my sessions were just a few seconds faster than the race, so it's very accurate. Am very happy with the result and do believe a sub 43 is definitely in me this year.
    Hows everyone else getting on with the program? Anyone ever tweak it for a 5 miler?

    Delighted for ya! I knew that sub46 was a bit conservative. (Don't ask me HOW I knew, I just did).


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  • Congrats and sounds like you might go quicker under better conditions.
    DOCO12 wrote: »
    Hows everyone else getting on with the program? Anyone ever tweak it for a 5 miler?

    I did the 6x1 mile last week and it felt tough. I did it over my long run course but won't do that again, too many hills.

    Just back from the 10x400m, I took a 1 minute standing recovery between each. On every rep I had an awful side wind but am happy with how it went.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/310093929

    I reckon for the 4x1 mile and 1x 2mile I'll try hit 7'15-7'20 and try keep it consistent.


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