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Sub 40 minute 10km - advice, recommendations, experience

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  • 05-10-2018 4:24pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭


    Hi all,

    I am running a 10k event in exactly 9 weeks from tomorrow. My goal is faster than 39:32 which I ran 6 years ago. I haven't beaten than time since but I haven't focused on trying. I think I am in better shape than I was 6 years ago. I like to think I am drinking less and I am a few kilos lighter also.

    Anyway I decided to roughly follow some sort of training plan. There are many (8 to 10 week plans) of them online but they are all fairly different ranging from easy to really hard. As an example one of the easier plans (Run Killarney) has very few training kilometers at race pace. Others suggest that I should be doing a lot of kilometers at target race pace. McMillan suggested running 6 * 1 mile repeats at race pace 8 weeks out from the event. Wow!

    I'd like to know what people think based on their experience.

    The one and only time I ran under 40 was not planned actually. I was aiming to get under 41 minutes just to beat a friend of mine - always my best motivator. I didn't have my GPS watch that day and just started as fast as possible. I was wearing a normal watch and could see at the 3km mark that I was under 12 mins (cant remember exactly). The 3km was the first km marked. I thought holy sh1t sub 40 is on. I wasn't sure if I could hold the pace though. I did the first 5km in 19:32 and just dug in and held on to get 39:32. I was delighted!! I honestly think that if I was wearing my GPS watch that day that I wouldn't have run under 40 as I would have forced myself to run slower.

    I did a lot of running that year but didn't follow any plan for that 10km. Therefore I really think that not knowing how fast I could run turned out to be a big help actually.
    I am a 42 year old male by the way.

    Thanks for the advice.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    a lot of discussion of that Macmillan plan, and 10ks in general, here
    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056231396


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    pac_man wrote: »
    You haven't really went into too much detail on your current shape. What kind of training have you been doing and have you done many races in the last 6 months?

    I would say I am fit and am cycling/running/gym 4 to 5 times per week. I havent run much this year as I was focused more on cycling. 448.5km run this year with 3 to 4 10 km runs per week for the last month. Gym once per week. I did a 10km yesterday with 2 of the kms under 4:00 (3:46 & 3:52) with a slow km between. Total time 49:50. That was full effort for those 2 kms and was pretty much at max heart rate. I feel like I will manage under 40 in 9 weeks but I feel far from comfortable running at that kind of pace now. Cheers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    RayCun wrote: »
    a lot of discussion of that Macmillan plan, and 10ks in general, here
    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056231396

    Funny thats exactly the email I got this week but I only just signed up. Seems like its still the best 10km workout and lots of people on here liked it : ) I still think its weird that many training plans are recommending doing a LOT less training at race pace.

    I forgot to mention above that I havent run in any events for a couple of years at least but still run for fitness and pleasure regularly. Most I ever ran was 1000km in one year. Last year it was more like 600km.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,016 ✭✭✭Itziger


    600km in a year............. Might want to look at upping the distance!
    So, as you may or may not have noticed, I tried that McMilan plan a few times and it got me fairly decent times (all relevant of course.) One thing I will say,  that first week in the plan calling for 6x1 mile, no way. I always started with an easier session the week before. I used to try 4x1 mile or 6x1 km. But to jump into 6x1 mile. Well, it wasn't for me anyway.
    As it happens I'm about to launch into my first serious crack at 10k training in a few years. I have 9 weeks or so to Valencia (or is it 8?!?!?!) I think I'll incorporate some of the key McMillan sessions but I won't follow it blindly. Funny thing is, on two occasions I screwed up on the last tough session (3x2 miles @ 10k pace) and ran under par in the race but one week later hit the target. Seems to me McMillan should build in a 10k prep race the week before. 
    Might log into the old thread and update. If I stay injury free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭Hedgehoggy


    Followed this plan earlier this year. Was looking for a sub 45 and it got me there with a bit of time to spare. I had 8 weeks to build up so repeated the 3x2 session, with only 2 min rest between I think.

    As itziger says above, more miles will help. In line with advice I got here I increased my mileage and added a long run which I built up to 12 miles at the time. Only realised how important that was in hindsight.

    Also added strides as well after an easy run (but could have been more consistent with these)

    It's a great plan to follow, will definitely follow it again in the build up to the next 10k. That first session was definitely very tough, might was to build up a bit to it alright.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭MY BAD


    Hi, for my first sub 40 10km a few years ago I had been out injured for around 9 weeks and had about 3 weeks of easy running before the following. The log is going backwards with key workouts and weekly distances. Before that 9 week lay off i had about 850km behind me for the year.

    Race week :
    Distance 58km

    Light fartleks

    10km race on a hilly course in 39:59


    1 weeks to go:
    Distance 60km.

    10,8,6mins + 1km fast at end off 90sec.

    6x1km @ 5km race pace off 2mins.

    2 weeks to go:
    Distance 62km.

    2km @ 5km target race pace then jog 3mins easy followed by 3x1km cruise off 60sec rest

    5km Race in 19:24

    3 weeks to:
    Distance 78km

    4x2km

    25min tempo followed by 10x30sec with 30sec shuffle recovery

    4 weeks to go:
    Distance 62km

    20 minutes steady

    5 weeks to go:
    Distance 45km

    2x1mile cruise with off 60sec recovery followed by 3x1km @ 5km pace off 2&1/2 - 3min

    10x20sec. Strides off 40sec

    5km race 19:36

    6 weeks to go:
    Distance 64km

    5x1mile off 3mins going 10km race pace.

    Hill tempo of 60/40/20x3 with 90sec off recovery followed by 12mins @10mile

    7 weeks to go:
    Distance 57km


    6x1km @10km race pace off 2&1/2mins

    Decreasing tempo - 12mins,10mins,8mins off 2mins

    8 weeks to go:
    Distance 54km

    Hill repeats 20/30/40 seconds of 90 seconds

    All the best in your goals:cool:


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    I think your target is unrealistic. You seem to want to go from a 49 to a 39 in the space of 8 weeks.
    If hte plan in hte post above is a guideline , you can see that person was taking  a sub20 5k  into thier 8 week program for a sub 40 10k.
    Are you anywhere near that point , anywhere near a sub 20 5k ? 
    If you get a sub-44 you would be doing well. 
    Sure have a go off it .
    5 days a week
    1 day a week - 45-50 min easy , with a few strides - 
    1 day a weeks short speed session with warm up and cool down , break into series of 5 or 6  with 2-3 mins rest  between series - 10x40s week 1, 12x40s, 14x40s, 15x20s, 15x40s, 18x40s,  12x45s, 10x200m
    1 day a week a tempo run, various time  ...45-50-1hr -1hr10 at 75-80% of your max pace
    1 day a week , longer sprint session , warm up and cool down , 6x800m, 4x1k, 5x1k, 6x500m, 1k-2k-1k, 3x2k, 2x3k, 30min easy race week
    1 day a week 1hr - 1hr10/15 plus long slow run.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,196 ✭✭✭MonkstownHoop


    I think 9 weeks might be too little timewise, but I've never trained specifically for short distance, my 5/10k pbs came in the later stages and after some intense half/full training plans so I was doing high mileage, but best of luck and hope you get what you're after!


  • Registered Users Posts: 117 ✭✭echat


    WMP wrote: »
    I would say I am fit and am cycling/running/gym 4 to 5 times per week. I havent run much this year as I was focused more on cycling. 448.5km run this year with 3 to 4 10 km runs per week for the last month. Gym once per week. I did a 10km yesterday with 2 of the kms under 4:00 (3:46 & 3:52) with a slow km between. Total time 49:50. That was full effort for those 2 kms and was pretty much at max heart rate. I feel like I will manage under 40 in 9 weeks but I feel far from comfortable running at that kind of pace now. Cheers.

    A 5 km park run in around five weeks would stop you from over-focusing on the 10 km and also give you a good idea of your progress.


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    Thanks for all the feedback and advice lads!

    I am left feeling I don't have enough long runs or kms in general in my legs. Its probably too late to do much about it now but I will fit in a long run each week between now and the event.

    I am not a pure runner and do a lot of long distance cycling events so I hope that has given me enough base endurance to somehow compensate.

    I will also focus on running more km's at race pace and build that up over the weeks.

    Looking back at my runs in 2012 the fastest 10km I did in training before the sub 40 was 46 mins. I had many more kms in my legs that yesr but no speed work.

    In response to RIGOLO above I am not trying to go from 49 to 39 mins. I can run 49 easily right now in training. I am confident that I'll get very close to 40 but not sure if I'll get under it.

    A 5km as suggested above at full pace in the next weeks will give me a good idea where I am.

    Thanks again all.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 149 ✭✭rm75


    Not sure what relevance a time in 2012 has to be honest. I'd suggest looking at medium to long term consistent training and would be pretty confident your time will drop accordingly. Bingeing on runnin for 9 weeks and then stopping might get you there or it might leave you injured.
    As above do a parkrun and you'll at least have a realistic idea of where you are. Use the result from that to try and establish a realistic target for the 10k and work out the training paces (using mcmillan calculator or similar ) you will need to be running at to achieve that target.


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    Has anyone ever run their PB in training? I never got even close in training to my PB times for 10km, 1/2 marathon and my one and only marathon.

    I could never maintain the same pace training (even over a fraction of the distance) that I managed during the events.

    Therefore I wondered this time if following a rigid plan makes sense at all (for me). Trying (e.g. running a few km at 4:00 min pace) only makes me think that I'll never maintain that pace over 10km.

    I just run how I feel on the day. Back in 2012 it was mostly 10km 3 times per week at 5:30 average per km. Some days when feeling it I might run 48 or 49 mins. Now I run about as regularly but at 5:15 per km average (generally always 10km). That makes me think I can run a sub 40 again 6 years later. Focusing on what I can do in training doesn't seem like it will work for me.

    I was wondering if that was the case for others but it doesn't seem so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    If you’re trying to do 10k at 10k pace as a training run, you’re doing it wrong. We train to achieve certain race goals. If you’re hitting those same goals in training, well then they are inappropriate goals because you have achieved them already.

    To train for any distance you do sessions at various paces, some faster than, some similar to, some slower or much slower than race pace.

    Have a look at that suggested thread, or a book like Pfitzinger & Douglas’s ‘Faster Road Running’. But before you start training, you need to establish a set of training paces, which you’ll get by say running a parkrun or other 5k at full effort and seeing what your starting standards is.

    Good luck!


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    The 10km is this Saturday. My training went reasonably well. I didnt strictly follow any plan other than I did one long run each week (5 at 15km, and 2 at 12.5km) and did some speed sessions - two 2 fast kilometers in each 10km at around 3:50 pace - that was flat out.

    So 3 runs per week (10, 10, 15) plus the gym once or twice per week and a few cycles (60 - 90km). So I had a fairly active couple of months and don't think I could have done much more.

    Two problems stand in front of me now. I got a head cold last weekend but its getting better each day and I think it will be gone by Saturday. I decided not to take a complete breakk this week anyway and did my last run last Saturday.

    A bigger problem is that there is near gale force winds forecast for Saturday (up to 71km/h). The course is 2 laps of a park so half of it is going to be tough and really slow. It looks like I dont have a hope. Get behind a big lad or a group running at the right pace? : )

    Anyway I'm going to give it my best shot and see what I can do. I was feeling reasonably confident up until this week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    WMP wrote:
    Anyway I'm going to give it my best shot and see what I can do. I was feeling reasonably confident up until this week.

    Best of luck with it. It's one of the downsides of picking one specific target race. You're literally at the mercy of a gust of wind. Target continuous improvement. Don't put all your hopes on one day. It's too much pressure on one race. Anyway hope it goes well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    Best of luck with it. It's one of the downsides of picking one specific target race. You're literally at the mercy of a gust of wind. Target continuous improvement. Don't put all your hopes on one day. It's too much pressure on one race. Anyway hope it goes well.

    Thanks Swashbuckler! I agree totally, it was a bit of a shot in the dark and I was depending on everything going right and the conditions being right on the day. There is a 20km in February and I think I'll aim for that, just the first 10km. I was really hoping to make it happen on Saturday so I could get the bike back out and to get back to running without any goals in mind.

    But I'll give it a go on Saturday anyway. Winds now forecast up to 88km/h which seems like ridiculous conditions. Maybe it wont be as bad. Lets see how it goes and thanks for the advice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    Well it didnt go as I hoped. 41:52. So here come the excuses. My cold hadnt disappeared completely as hoped so I wasnt feeling anywhere close to 100%. I was in two minds whether to run or not as I knew I wasnt at my best but I decided to give it a go. I started fast and ran the first km in 3:37 but I knew after the first few hundred meters that it wasnt going to happen. My whole body felt weak. I slowed down to my target pace of 3:50 - 3.55 but ended running the 2nd km in 3:57. I was feeling sh1t and knew there was no hope. The strong winds did play a factor but wind or no wind it wasnt happening yesterday. I simply wasnt at full strength.

    I started close to the front so I had people pass me the WHOLE way which made it worse. I dont think I passed one person. That included a female colleague who passed me with about 3km to go. She ended up finishing 21 seconds ahead of me. She is around the same age or slightly older and has kids so fair play to her.

    The fastest man ran 31:46 and the fastest woman 35:36. 4 out of 396 women ran under 40 mins. 118 men out of 732 ran under 40 mins.

    The next race I'm here for is the 10th Feb so I'll probably give it another go then. Better luck next time!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    Hard luck yesterday. Do you plan on doing anything differently for the next race/training block?


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    Hard luck yesterday. Do you plan on doing anything differently for the next race/training block?

    Cheers! Training wise I dont plan to do anything different. I dont think my preparation was too bad. I could be wrong though. My race day preparation was rubbish though and I need to make several changes there next time. I had a late breakfast at 11 but ate way too much. I didnt want to be hungry by 3 but definitely over ate and felt bloated and had got cramps in the second half of the race. I had planned to get there early and do a warm up but got there late and had to rush just to get to the start line on time. Next time less food, and a proper warm up.

    The only way I can compare myself to 6 years ago when I ran 39:32 is to look back at my training runs. Although I ran less in total this year, I am running faster now than I was then. So in theory I should be capable of running a better time now.

    I'll keep the running up over christmas but will scale back a bit to allow some time for cycling also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    WMP wrote:
    The only way I can compare myself to 6 years ago when I ran 39:32 is to look back at my training runs. Although I ran less in total this year, I am running faster now than I was then. So in theory I should be capable of running a better time now.

    How many days a week were you running back then? I wouldn't necessarily agree with your theory that because you're running faster now you should be capable of a better time. When you say faster do you mean you're running intervals in training quicker than 6 years ago?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    How many days a week were you running back then? I wouldn't necessarily agree with your theory that because you're running faster now you should be capable of a better time. When you say faster do you mean you're running intervals in training quicker than 6 years ago?

    2 - 3 times a week back then. By faster I mean my weekly runs at comfortable pace are faster than back then. Back then a weekly run/jog at easy pace was 5:30/km average. Now its more like 5:15/km pace so on average I think my running is better.

    Actual run yesdterday if interested.
    https://www.strava.com/activities/2006755785


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    WMP wrote:
    2 - 3 times a week back then. By faster I mean my weekly runs at comfortable pace are faster than back then. Back then a weekly run/jog at easy pace was 5:30/km average. Now its more like 5:15/km pace so on average I think my running is better.

    WMP wrote:
    Actual run yesdterday if interested.

    Always interested in this stuff! That's a fast first mile. Too fast! Your first km was at 36mim 10k pace. That would knock the stuffing out of most people. Different approaches work for different people but with a 10k I'd always be more inclined to try and grow into the race as opposed to trying to hit a hard pace and hang on. 10k is too long for hanging on.

    I think you'd benefit a lot from more volume in terms of mileage. If you're running less than 30 miles weekly then those miles really need to count. They need to be very high quality. So while your easy pace is a little faster than 6 years ago you might be lacking that bit of endurance


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭WMP


    Always interested in this stuff! That's a fast first mile. Too fast! Your first km was at 36mim 10k pace. That would knock the stuffing out of most people. Different approaches work for different people but with a 10k I'd always be more inclined to try and grow into the race as opposed to trying to hit a hard pace and hang on. 10k is too long for hanging on.

    I think you'd benefit a lot from more volume in terms of mileage. If you're running less than 30 miles weekly then those miles really need to count. They need to be very high quality. So while your easy pace is a little faster than 6 years ago you might be lacking that bit of endurance

    Yes I agree. I used the first km to see how I felt but started too fast. I was hope I could settle into a 3:5x pace but I knew after the first km that it wasn't going to happen.

    Agreed also that I am probably not doing enough mileage. I'll see if I can get a few long runs in over Xmas as soon as I get rid of this damn cold. Cheers.


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