10k Training


I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me?

I am relatively new to running, having done my first race for life in June non stop in 35 minutes (albeit with a slightly slower friend!).  It was such a fantastic experience that I am determined to complete a 10k next year, and am still running on the road about 2 or 3 times a week for 25-30 minutes, as much as my time as a busy mum (of four!) allows!

I am thinking about joining my local gym throughout the winter to keep up the running on the treadmill, but am concerned that the treadmill training won't be as beneficial as the road running, having read in the magazine and experiened first hand that treadmill running is not as challenging as road running.

How can I make the most out of my treadmill running throughout winter so that I can emerge in the spring more competent to run a 10K on the road??

 Any suggestions??


Steph x


  • I do 10k with a combination of both.

    At the weekend its a long slow run outdoors during the day.  Say up to 8 miles.

    Tuesday say do a tempo run on the treddie of about 3 or 4 miles.

    Thursday do intervals work on the treddie say 6 x 800m at race pace with the equivalent time doing recovery in between.

    In order to equate to outdoor effort the incline on a treadmill should be increase from flat to next setting up.

  • In my view providing you do at least one or two runs a week outside you can pretty much treat treadmill running equal to outdoor running (except you'll have to use your imagination to visualise that car pulling out on you from a side street and the rabid dog from the estate chasing you). 

    There is a slight difference in action between the two but it is so small that it hardly matters, and this can be ironed out by doing at least one run a week outside.

    People really dis' the treadmill but it can be your friend [sic].  You could even try running backwards to strengthen the opposing muscles.  No don't do that;  cos then you'll be facing all the other muppets.


  • Running backwards on a treadmill!!!? Reckon I'd be the only one looking like a muppet!!!

    Thanks Becky Boo for the advice. However, although I subscribe to the magazine, and love it as it makes me want to get out there, I have to say I am at a total loss when I see the phrases 'tempo runs', '6x800m race pace', I just don't understand what it's about I'm afraid.  image

     I have been reading about increasing my fitness with bursts of 80-90% effort sprinting, and I understand that concept. I did try this a couple of weeks ago, and on my third 10 second sprint my hip went and I had to hobble back home! I haven't done it since. My training consists of steady jogging (today i did 3 miles) with a slight increase in pace when my fave song comes on (The Killers Mr Brightside!).

    The incline tip is a good one, I'll do that.

    Thanks JRM for advice too, you put my mind at rest re the treadmill!

  • The old chestnut that treadmill running isn't as challenging as road running is a myth. I consider a 6 mile run on a treadmill as being just as good as a 6 mile run outdoors. My last 3 10ks were all around the 39 minute mark, 2 indoors, 1 on the treadmill and the treadmill one was definitely the hardest of the three.
  • Agree with JDN21 especially with incline, the treadmill really is just as challenging.
  • I would say that in a schedule of 4 runs a week, there's room for one of them to be on the treadmill... and on a schedule of 6-7 runs a week, maybe 2-3 runs on a treadmill.

    It's good for doing speedwork/fast repeats and stuff. Bit tedious for anything that lasts any period of time though.
  • Thanks everyone for the advice!!

     Think I'm a way off doing 10k in 39 minutes though!!!  More like 60.

     Can anyone be a bit more specific about this tempo stuff?? I am currently doing 3 miles three times a week, and it takes me 30 minutes. (I also do 30 mins on cross trainer if I can't get out on the road and swim if I can fit it in.)  I start off quite slow, and my route currently takes me up a big hill for half a mile at the start, then it's on a level (ish) for the next mile and then I turn around and go back, and lurrve the hill on the way back!!!! I do speed up a bit on the way back. 

    Also my breathing is fine, and I'm recovering when I get back home, really well. I wasn't even sweating today when I got back!! But my legs are really tired and I start to get niggling pains in my hip and calfs on the way back.  I do stretch when i get back and have a five minute routine for that. So the thought of doing any more than my 30 minutes is a bit frightening. 

      How can I improve my time? and Stamina?


    Steph  image

  • Nothing wrong with 60mins, you will do better though once you get into it. 39 minutes will become a feasible target rather than a deterrent. Sounds from what you're saying that you're already making progress, so keep it up image

    I'm sure more experienced runners than me will be able to advise on a strategy but in my humble experience, balancing 1 speed session a week and an interval session on the bike in the gym, with easy and moderate runs on alternating days, got my natural pace up something rotten.

    For stamina though you really ought to go above 30 minutes with even just an easy run, I always stick some nice tunes on my ipod and pick a route through the countryside for this, it's good for the soul!
  • Stephanie, if you go to www.mcmillanrunning.com you will find a calculator where you can enter your 5k race time and it will then calculate for you your tempo run pace, easy run pace, long run pace etc.  It's not definitive by any means but it's somewhere to start.  I hope that helps.

  • Ryan B, what would you classify as a speed session though?

     Thanks jelly bean for the website - i will check it out!

  • Try the old adage. Sprint (run very fast) between two lamp posts then jog to thnext one or twoand repeat for 6 tmes when you feel good delete the number of jogging lamp posts you pass. If you have a sports field near you try sprinting down to long side(or half to begin with ) of a football/rugby pitch and jogging along the sort side or reverse.
  • Totally agree with Gatton's method. Sports field is good, as is the track which I used (have a sports centre near me with a 400m track).

    As for what speed session to try, well for me I used this guy's website (Olympic 5k runner), but others might be able to help more specifically:


    Hope it helps!
  • Ok great, thanks Gatton, will try the lamp post thing!!!

     And thanks Ryan for website, will check it out. 

    Love the magazine and the website, it's really helpful and inspiring!


  • No worries, I'm no expert but glad to pass on the stuff I've picked up , good luck with the training let us know how you get on! image
  • Good luck Steph.. Once you get into this running thingy you will be hooked but you will enjoy it.... most days that is. image
  • One thing not mentioned Steph - when you run on a treadmill have the angle set to 1.5 - 2 degrees. The 2 main reasons for this that I know are that it mimicks a flat road and will help to prevent treadmill specific back injuries.

    I find running on a treadmill far tougher than the actual road.

    I can barely do a 5k in 25min on the treadmill (last week) but set a new pb today of 21m 01s in a race. That difference seems extreme to me but says to me that treadmill work is harder.

    Maybe the treadnill hasn't been set up properly at our works gym, but what I am doing is using the treadmill times as an indicator - so if I get to 24m 30s on the treadmill I should be sub 21 on the road.

    Good luck with the running - remember that it's regular training that will give you improvments - and not always flat out.image

  • Hi steph and others , i been reading that you want to do some speed sessions, i am an "ok" runner, been training for abotu one year now on and off and only since the summer started ti take things seriously with diet and stuff, if you wanna ask anything about speed sessions or anytihng i maybe able to help?

    wb scott 

    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • I find treadmills hard work and read they increase your heart rate by 10beats/min for the same speed.

    Much prefer running outside.

    Also a treadmill will never mimic outside running as you are purely exercising running muscles. Your stabilising leg muscles are not being worked as they would be if you had to negotiate various pavement camber, forest tracks and general uneven surfaces. This sort of running will help prevent injury, especially to knees which need these muscles to work in balance.

Sign In or Register to comment.