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The Best 10k workouts - by Greg Mcmillan

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  • Itziger wrote: »
    Interesting. I have no coaching experience whatsoever but I thought the pace would be what matters. I'm 37.4x for 10k and did the key sessions of the plan discussed here.

    If the poster is doing the reps at the correctly adapted pace, shouldn't he try the full 6??

    What about age and gender, would they matter as well?

    Genuine questions btw, not trying to start an argument.

    Of course you are right in saying that pace is the key.
    However in my experience 6 is to many for 43+ runner as may of them will be doing 20/30 ml per wk. OK some are doing more, lets say even 40 mpw. Even at the higher end its ball park 1/7 of weekly mileage, of course this maybe still OK if the other runs support this.

    I coach a no of athletes and for me 4/5 per ml is enough. Some of these athletes are running 33 min 10k.

    One athlete I work with runs 45 min 10k approx. They will typically run a session on 2 x( 8x 400) in 1min 7 of 75 sec 3 min between sets. Other sessions would be hill as earlier and if ml reps no more than 4.
    This will only be part of the training wk with other run of lsr approx 90 min easy runs at not faster then 9 mm. And steady runs included..
    This is only a snap shot as training progress but is a guide

    It has to be said this is my view and others will have there own opnion.




  • Of course though this thread is specific about McMillan's 10k workout so probably a few too many deviations in those plans for this thread?

    Also, probably would have been better off saying:
    "IMO someone who is running <40mpw does not have the aerobic capacity to sustain doing 6 x 1 ml reps, 4 would be enough"
    than
    "IMO someone who is running 43+ min for 10k does not have the aerobic capacity to sustain doing 6 x 1 ml reps, 4 would be enough"
    Personally speaking my PB is 42:22 and that's off 1,100 miles so far this year (granted I'm marathon training rather than specifically 10k training).




  • I can see ceepo's point and would probably agree based on my own experience.
    I started with a 5x1k and 4x1 mile before doing the 6x1 mile, this was in the hope that I'd have my mileage up a bit before the 6x1. That didn't happen and even though I've been able to do both 6x1 mile and 1x2 mile+4x1 mile, it has left me very tired and more importantly this has had an impact on the rest of the weeks training. Off a higher mileage base I have no doubt my body would have coped better with the sessions.




  • belcarra wrote: »
    Of course though this thread is specific about McMillan's 10k workout so probably a few too many deviations in those plans for this thread?

    Also, probably would have been better off saying:
    "IMO someone who is running <40mpw does not have the aerobic capacity to sustain doing 6 x 1 ml reps, 4 would be enough"
    than
    "IMO someone who is running 43+ min for 10k does not have the aerobic capacity to sustain doing 6 x 1 ml reps, 4 would be enough"
    Personally speaking my PB is 42:22 and that's off 1,100 miles so far this year (granted I'm marathon training rather than specifically 10k training).

    Yup you're probably right.

    But principal applys.
    And I was waiting for someone to come out of the high grass somewhere. Flipping marathon runners:D




  • Ceepo wrote: »
    IMO someone who is running 43+ min for 10k does not have the aerobic capacity to sustain doing 6 x 1 ml reps, 4 would be enough,

    just to report back, i managed the 6 x 1 miles although they averaged 7.03mins rather than the 6.55-7.00 i was hoping for. definitely tough work though, and i thought long and hard about your advice that 4 was enough when i was about to start the 5th mile! it'll be interesting to see if i have the same experience as Letyourselfgo in terms of feeling tired afterwards and having it effect the rest of the week, i'm doing 25ish miles per week at the moment so it is a low enough base. always interesting to read the different views though!


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  • I'll be interested to see what you average the next workout. I think for my 6x1 I was about 7'30ish on a windy hilly course and then for the 1x2m+4x1m I was down to 7'05 on the flat.
    Apart of me really wants to see the rest of the workouts out but it's a 5k time I really want not the 10.
    Well done today btw as it helps with mental strenght being able to get through a session like that.




  • I'll be interested to see what you average the next workout. I think for my 6x1 I was about 7'30ish on a windy hilly course and then for the 1x2m+4x1m I was down to 7'05 on the flat.
    Apart of me really wants to see the rest of the workouts out but it's a 5k time I really want not the 10.
    Well done today btw as it helps with mental strenght being able to get through a session like that.

    Thanks for that, and I think I'll definitely be more confident going into the next one after today.




  • drquirky wrote: »
    I'd bang a hill workout this week or next (8-10 reps 1:20/1:30 steep hill)

    This was absolute torture.
    When deciding on location for this I thought why not use the marlay parkrun hill that caused me all the grief last weekend.
    All I could manage was 6x1 minute. I'll have to work up to 8 or 10 x 90 seconds. Also maybe the hill was a bit too steep and I did run them a tad fast. The first 3 at an average of 6'05 but then the next 3 were 6'33. Current 5k pace is 7'00 :rolleyes:
    Having failed to do 8 reps I decided to finish with 1k at 5k pace and I got that spot on.




  • This was absolute torture.
    When deciding on location for this I thought why not use the marlay parkrun hill that caused me all the grief last weekend.
    All I could manage was 6x1 minute. I'll have to work up to 8 or 10 x 90 seconds. Also maybe the hill was a bit too steep and I did run them a tad fast. The first 3 at an average of 6'05 but then the next 3 were 6'33. Current 5k pace is 7'00 :rolleyes:
    Having failed to do 8 reps I decided to finish with 1k at 5k pace and I got that spot on.

    Sounds like a good hill workout! IMO you should feel like throwing up at the end...;)




  • drquirky wrote: »
    Sounds like a good hill workout! IMO you should feel like throwing up at the end...;)

    Yeah pretty close, before the 6th rep I was convincing myself 8 would be no probs but once at the top, I just thought fcuk that :D


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  • drquirky wrote: »
    Sounds like a good hill workout! IMO you should feel like throwing up at the end...;)

    Curious to know why you think this is a good workout. And why you should be sick after?




  • Original post stated that this was the worlds best workout and the ultimate session.

    I hate to break it it everyone but there is no such thing. There is no magic wand.
    They might be good sessions but would only be good done properly and with the rest of the training program.
    Consistant training is the key not any 1 session.
    3 x 2 ml is a good session but so is 24 x 400 of 45 sec rec or 10 x 1k off 75 sec, and I don't see to many queuing up to that. Even 20 x 400 is a hard session.

    @ letyourselfgo
    You should try to hold these consistant forget about pace of the Garmin. Pick a stetting point and a finishing point and run between them, trying to hit the same time for all for the perceived effort that you are doing. And make sure you are not doing them to hard. Start of with 6/8 x 70 sec. If you wear a hrm try to keep the same hr at the finish point. If hr is going up by more than 5 bpm and or the time is slipping to say 73/74 sec then stop you have enough done. You will find that after a few weeks you will be adding a few more reps on. You will get much more benefit from this in the long term.




  • Ceepo wrote: »
    @ letyourselfgo
    You should try to hold these consistant forget about pace of the Garmin. Pick a stetting point and a finishing point and run between them, trying to hit the same time for all for the perceived effort that you are doing. And make sure you are not doing them to hard. Start of with 6/8 x 70 sec. If you wear a hrm try to keep the same hr at the finish point. If hr is going up by more than 5 bpm and or the time is slipping to say 73/74 sec then stop you have enough done. You will find that after a few weeks you will be adding a few more reps on. You will get much more benefit from this in the long term.

    Thanks for the feedback, for once I actually wasn't looking at the pace of garmin, too nackered, I did get the splits though at the end, 61,62,61,64,65,64.
    I definitely did them a bit too hard for my current level, I've always avoided hill workouts (probably why I'm so bad on them) and definitely couldn't judge pace correctly.
    I'd definitely like to do this session again and as you said try add a few reps.

    The reason I've veered away from finishing McMillans 10k workouts is that I've decided I want to do a 5k on the 22nd of June instead of a 10k.




  • Ceepo wrote: »
    Original post stated that this was the worlds best workout and the ultimate session.

    I hate to break it it everyone but there is no such thing. There is no magic wand.
    They might be good sessions but would only be good done properly and with the rest of the training program.
    Consistant training is the key not any 1 session.
    3 x 2 ml is a good session but so is 24 x 400 of 45 sec rec or 10 x 1k off 75 sec, and I don't see to many queuing up to that. Even 20 x 400 is a hard session.

    @ letyourselfgo
    You should try to hold these consistant forget about pace of the Garmin. Pick a stetting point and a finishing point and run between them, trying to hit the same time for all for the perceived effort that you are doing. And make sure you are not doing them to hard. Start of with 6/8 x 70 sec. If you wear a hrm try to keep the same hr at the finish point. If hr is going up by more than 5 bpm and or the time is slipping to say 73/74 sec then stop you have enough done. You will find that after a few weeks you will be adding a few more reps on. You will get much more benefit from this in the long term.

    Ceepo, I don't think people really thought it was a magic wand/silver bullet. I was looking for a few sessions that were particularly aimed at 10k. I only usually do one or two a year and this plan worked fairly well. Cos of the weather (the race was early March here in Luxembourg), I wasn't able to do the shorter faster stuff in between the key sessions. Hopefully the next time round I will. I'd try it again - thought it toughened me up and kept the pace consistent in the race.




  • Thanks for the feedback, for once I actually wasn't looking at the pace of garmin, too nackered, I did get the splits though at the end, 61,62,61,64,65,64.
    I definitely did them a bit too hard for my current level, I've always avoided hill workouts (probably why I'm so bad on them) and definitely couldn't judge pace correctly.
    I'd definitely like to do this session again and as you said try add a few reps.

    The reason I've veered away from finishing McMillans 10k workouts is that I've decided I want to do a 5k on the 22nd of June instead of a 10k.

    +1 to that, did my first hill session yesterday and definitely think i overcooked them a bit -

    Rep 1 - 1.08 @6.01 Max HR 166
    Rep 2 - 1.05 @5.39 Max HR 171
    Rep 3 - 1.04 @5.36 Max HR 174
    Rep 4 - 1.08 @5.59 Max HR 173
    Rep 5 - 1.09 @6.07 Max HR 174
    Rep 6 - 1.07 @5.51 Max HR 174
    Rep 7 - 1.09 @6.07 Max HR 171
    Rep 8 - 1.07 @5.56 Max HR 175

    Fairly consistent from 4 onwards, but I'd say my current 5k pace is about 6.40 at best, so 5k effort uphill would presumably be 6.50+. I enjoyed it though, and I'll try to do them every couple of weeks or so, but slower and with more reps.




  • +1 to that, did my first hill session yesterday and definitely think i overcooked them a bit -

    Rep 1 - 1.08 @6.01 Max HR 166
    Rep 2 - 1.05 @5.39 Max HR 171
    Rep 3 - 1.04 @5.36 Max HR 174
    Rep 4 - 1.08 @5.59 Max HR 173
    Rep 5 - 1.09 @6.07 Max HR 174
    Rep 6 - 1.07 @5.51 Max HR 174
    Rep 7 - 1.09 @6.07 Max HR 171
    Rep 8 - 1.07 @5.56 Max HR 175

    Fairly consistent from 4 onwards, but I'd say my current 5k pace is about 6.40 at best, so 5k effort uphill would presumably be 6.50+. I enjoyed it though, and I'll try to do them every couple of weeks or so, but slower and with more reps.

    Looks about right to me- pretty hard to overcook hills imo. 8 reps is fine




  • great, thanks for the feedback




  • Just remembered I'd forgotten to feedback here on the second McMillan session (1*2 + 4*1 miles) which I did last week. A nice blustery Thursday afternoon down in the Fifteen Acres in the Phoenix Park, felt wrecked afterwards but was definitely happier than after the first interval session two weeks before -

    Interval 1 - 2 miles in 13.41.7 @6.51 (6.23, 6.51, 7.12, 6.57)
    Interval 2 - 1 mile @6.55 (6.45, 7.04)
    Interval 3 - 1 mile @6.51 (6.53, 6.48)
    Interval 4 - 1 mile @6.57 (7.02, 6.52)
    Interval 5 - 1 mile @6.53 (6.58, 6.49)

    Paces for each half-mile are in brackets. The overall average pace worked out at 6.53 per mile, which was just faster than my target of 6.55 so I was delighted to achieve that after having averaged 7.03 for the first 6*1 mile session. Doing the 2 mile interval first really takes the sting out of the subsequent 4 single miles, I'd say if you had to do the 2 mile interval last it'd be much tougher mentally.

    This week's "off week" session is going to be the Pride Run 5k in the Park tomorrow evening, I'm hoping for sub-21 to be on track for my sub-43 target for Swords.




  • Another late update on my McMillan sessions. Did the Pride Run the week before last in 20.42, so was happy to beat my target of 21 and hopefully it means I'm on track for sub-43 in Swords. Then last Thursday I did the third session, 2*2 miles and 2*1 miles, half-mile paces in brackets -

    Interval 1 - 2 miles in 13.37.5 @6.49 (6.44, 6.42, 7.11, 6.38)
    Interval 2 - 2 miles in 13.57.7 @6.59 (7.04, 7.04, 6.44, 7.04)
    Interval 3 - 1 mile @7.02 (7.05, 6.59)
    Interval 4 - 1 mile @6.48 (6.53, 6.42)

    Pretty happy with the overall average pace of 6.54.5, and very happy to have completed them as I was tired and hungover beforehand. So onwards and upwards, thinking of doing a 20*400 or 24*400 session this week as recommended by Ceepo before the final McMillan 3*2 mile session next week.




  • Another late update on my McMillan sessions. Did the Pride Run the week before last in 20.42, so was happy to beat my target of 21 and hopefully it means I'm on track for sub-43 in Swords. Then last Thursday I did the third session, 2*2 miles and 2*1 miles, half-mile paces in brackets -

    Interval 1 - 2 miles in 13.37.5 @6.49 (6.44, 6.42, 7.11, 6.38)
    Interval 2 - 2 miles in 13.57.7 @6.59 (7.04, 7.04, 6.44, 7.04)
    Interval 3 - 1 mile @7.02 (7.05, 6.59)
    Interval 4 - 1 mile @6.48 (6.53, 6.42)

    Pretty happy with the overall average pace of 6.54.5, and very happy to have completed them as I was tired and hungover beforehand. So onwards and upwards, thinking of doing a 20*400 or 24*400 session this week as recommended by Ceepo before the final McMillan 3*2 mile session next week.

    I would only start with 16 max and even at that i would break them up into 2 0r 3 set's,
    Say 2 x 8 x 400 of 45 sec with 3 min between sets or maybe 4 x 4 x 400 done the same way.

    As FR Ted says Careful now. Dont over do it


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  • Another late update on my McMillan sessions. Did the Pride Run the week before last in 20.42, so was happy to beat my target of 21 and hopefully it means I'm on track for sub-43 in Swords. Then last Thursday I did the third session, 2*2 miles and 2*1 miles, half-mile paces in brackets -

    Interval 1 - 2 miles in 13.37.5 @6.49 (6.44, 6.42, 7.11, 6.38)
    Interval 2 - 2 miles in 13.57.7 @6.59 (7.04, 7.04, 6.44, 7.04)
    Interval 3 - 1 mile @7.02 (7.05, 6.59)
    Interval 4 - 1 mile @6.48 (6.53, 6.42)

    Pretty happy with the overall average pace of 6.54.5, and very happy to have completed them as I was tired and hungover beforehand. So onwards and upwards, thinking of doing a 20*400 or 24*400 session this week as recommended by Ceepo before the final McMillan 3*2 mile session next week.

    Clint, well done, you're getting there! Is that a mistake above?? 24x400! I'm hoping you mean 24x200. If not.......... good luck.




  • Itziger wrote: »
    Clint, well done, you're getting there! Is that a mistake above?? 24x400! I'm hoping you mean 24x200. If not.......... good luck.

    Thanks. I wasn't a mistake in that I meant to type it but obviously it's overdoing it a bit, I'll go for 16*400 split into two sets I think. I'm presuming this is done at 3k/5k pace rather than race pace?




  • Itziger wrote: »
    Clint, well done, you're getting there! Is that a mistake above?? 24x400! I'm hoping you mean 24x200. If not.......... good luck.

    Just to clarify. I did not recommend to do 24 x 400.
    I was just saying I didn't see to many people doing this type if session but yet peoole were willing to do you 6 x 1 ml. Or any of the other sessions on here. Is that the same distance?

    I have said before that I don't recommend doing the session on here for the reasons I have out line previous.
    It doesn't really matter what session you do. But more the way its doneand Can only be seen in the context of the overall training plan and target.




  • Ceepo wrote: »
    Just to clarify. I did not recommend to do 24 x 400.
    I was just saying I didn't see to many people doing this type if session but yet peoole were willing to do you 6 x 1 ml. Or any of the other sessions on here. Is that the same distance?

    I have said before that I don't recommend doing the session on here for the reasons I have out line previous.
    It doesn't really matter what session you do. But more the way its doneand Can only be seen in the context of the overall training plan and target.

    Ceepo, as you are saying, and as we all know, it depends on the runner. I found the workouts here tough but doable and I think beneficial - which is the bottom line of training surely.

    If someone said to me, do 6x1 mile at 10k pace I'd say, fine.
    If they said do 24x400 at 3k pace (whatever that would be for me!) I'd say, No thanks!!! It's not just total distance, now is it?




  • Itziger wrote: »
    Ceepo, as you are saying, and as we. ll know, it depends on the runner. I found the workouts here tough but doable and I think beneficial - which is the bottom line of training surely.

    If someone said to me, do 6x1 mile at 10k pace I'd say, fine.
    If they said do 24x400 at 3k pace (whatever that would be for me!) I'd say, No thanks!!! It's not just total distance, now is it?

    Agree 100%
    And that's my point on this thread.

    If you look at the 400 session I stated earlier they were not at 3k pace.
    The sample i gave on 1 athlete I coach done 4's @ 107 sec off 45 they are running 44 ish 10k
    But I would not be asking them to do 24 of them nor 6 x 1ml.

    If them sessions benefited you then great. If you improved from them even better.
    Just to add that doesn't mean you might have improved more by doing different sessions.
    That's not to say and again I would repeat that I would not recommended them to some one running the volume that op is running.

    But as you quite rightly pointed out everyone is different.

    There is also some great information in the 10k by debate thread.

    Best of luck to yourself and indeed For Clint on his up coming race




  • Ceepo wrote: »
    Agree 100%
    And that's my point on this thread.

    If you look at the 400 session I stated earlier they were not at 3k pace.
    The sample i gave on 1 athlete I coach done 4's @ 107 sec off 45 they are running 44 ish 10k
    But I would not be asking them to do 24 of them nor 6 x 1ml.

    If them sessions benefited you then great. If you improved from them even better.
    Just to add that doesn't mean you might have improved more by doing different sessions.
    That's not to say and again I would repeat that I would not recommended them to some one running the volume that op is running.

    But as you quite rightly pointed out everyone is different.

    There is also some great information in the 10k by debate thread.

    Best of luck to yourself and indeed For Clint on his up coming race

    Thanks man. I've moved on from the 10k for this year. Last outing was a very hilly 27k Night trail on Saturday. Tough but good. I came home 4th of 32. Funnily enough I did 6x1k last Tuesday. They're a hell of a lot easier than the mile version!!




  • Ceepo wrote: »
    Agree 100%
    And that's my point on this thread.

    If you look at the 400 session I stated earlier they were not at 3k pace.
    The sample i gave on 1 athlete I coach done 4's @ 107 sec off 45 they are running 44 ish 10k
    But I would not be asking them to do 24 of them nor 6 x 1ml.

    If them sessions benefited you then great. If you improved from them even better.
    Just to add that doesn't mean you might have improved more by doing different sessions.
    That's not to say and again I would repeat that I would not recommended them to some one running the volume that op is running.

    But as you quite rightly pointed out everyone is different.

    There is also some great information in the 10k by debate thread.

    Best of luck to yourself and indeed For Clint on his up coming race

    Thanks for the info/advice again Ceepo.

    I had misinerpreted your earlier post by the way, when you mentioned 24*400. I might just do a small number of them this week, maybe 12, as your posts and stuff I've read elsewhere has made me more wary of overdoing it. I jumped into using the "Best 10k Workout" sessions because I had 8 weeks to prepare for Fingal and I'd read that thread recently. Having said that, I'll do the 3*2 mile session next week, having done 3 I have to do the 4th.

    And thanks for the tip on the 10k by debate thread, I found it last night and I'll be having a good read of it. After Fingal I'll be switching to prepare for the Dublin HM, but I'll probably look to do another 10k plan after that so it'll be very handy.




  • I realised reading another thread that I'd forgotten to report back here on how the final session went, as well as the race itself. On the final session, I'll just quote this from my log -
    The plan was for 3*2 miles at 6.55 pace and the times were as follows (again with half-mile paces in brackets) -

    Interval 1 - 2 miles in 13.46 @6.53 (6.44, 6.57, 7.04, 6.46)
    Interval 2 - 2 miles in 13.47 @6.53 (7.04, 6.56, 6.47, 6.48)
    Interval 3 - 2 miles in 13.42 @6.51 (6.50, 7.06, 6.57, 6.31)

    So job done, an average overall pace of 6.53, and very happy with both that and how consistent it was overall. The pace dropped a bit on each interval as I turned into the gale force wind gentle breeze which also coincided with the uphill part of the loop. That was particularly difficult for the second interval where I had to do that stretch twice. I had to dig deep to bring the overall average down on that one, especially knowing I had another two mile rep to go.

    That's the end of the McMillan 10k sessions for now anyway, and I'm glad I've done them. They provided a good bit of structure to build a 10k plan around over the last 6 weeks, even if they maybe haven't been ideal for me at this point. Tough but doable and I've no doubt they'll stand to me on the day. I'm still a bit daunted by the thought of stringing together 6 and a bit of those miles together but I can only hope that race-day adrenaline etc does the job. My respect for the sub-3 hour marathoners who put together 26+ of them has gone through the roof! My HR peaked at the end of the second rep at 177bpm, which is pretty close to my max, usually it as averaging in the low 170s during the pace miles, so hopefully I can sustain that on the day.

    As for the race itself, 8 weeks beforehand I set a goal of 43 minutes but come race day itself I was thinking more in terms of how far below 43 I could get and in the end I got 42.38. Even then, a couple of silly mistakes (not starting in the right wave, stopping (!) at a water station) probably cost me 20 seconds or so. So while I aimed for 6.55 in the sessions, the race was at 6.50 per mile.

    As quoted above, I'm glad I did the sessions - while they mightn't have been the ideal training for me for the 10k, I'm sure I benefitted from them physically and I certainly drew on them mentally during the race. With a mile and a bit to go I was able to tell myself "it's only a lap of the Fifteen Acres", which was a big help. However, I do think I wasn't physically well-prepared for them when I started out, 3 or 4 weeks before the race itself I had a lot of niggles and soreness in my legs which I think were just due to an intensity of running that I'd never done before. So lessons learned and I'll know better next time.




  • Ok, new year, new 10k race. Same plan! Have already done the 6x1mile and the 1x2 + 4x1 mile sessions. Had forgotten how tough they can be. This year I'm setting the Garmin at a more realistic 1.66k = 1 mile and 3.30k = 2 miles (I know, I know!). Last Tuesday was the latter and I was pleased with it. The last of the single miles was the slowest but no harm. Was quite happy with the 2 miler, 11.45 I believe compared with last year's 11.58 and with a little added distance too. I did one 200mt rep session and hopefully this coming week will do a 400 mt effort. Maybe a dozen of em at 5k pace. I haven't really run a 5k but I'll do em at 3.30 km pace and see how they go. Maybe 3.20. Will see on the day.

    This year's target 37:00 flat which would be 48 second improvement. Fairly big ask but wtf, you only live once!


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  • Have you a race in mind Itziger?


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