Adding sessions

Now then peoples as i'm making a bit of a comeback from injury i'm gonna have a few questions over the next few days. The more info the better.

I'll be working upto my normal/standard weekly schedule over the next few months, that bascily consists of...... Mon - 4 to 5 mile easy, Tue - Track speed session, Wed - 4 to 5 mile easy, Thur - Hill or sprint session, Fri - 4 to 5 mile easy, Sat - REST!!!, Sun - Long run 90 to 120 mins. That does me for a 36/37 avg. 10k but i'm really wanting to drop that down to 34's...maybe 33's on the right day/course.

Now it looks like there plenty room to stick more running in, maybe doubling up on a day but if i run in the morning i'll be doing circuit training in the evening, if i run in the evening i'm on the bike in the its failry packed with excercise in general. So my question is where do i put a tempo session and/or what do i sacrifice in order to get that tempo session in?  

The reason i ask is that i read a interesting few blogs by Bryn Reynolds about he trains and looking at his times it obvioulsy works. One thing he did say was about doing strides at the end of the session on tired legs and the gains or lack of from doing them at that time. So that got me to thinking will that apply to my tempo session and where would it be best placed in order to maximise the training effect. Will i be too tired after the long sunday run and tue/ thur session to get a proper work out the day after? If i do a tempo the day before will i get a decent tue/thur session?

Basicly how the hell do you fit it all in?


  • Hi Rob,

    You are very much where I was a couple of years ago, in terms of both the structure of weekly schedule and race performance, so I'd like to think I can give you the benefit of my experience.  In that time 10k pb has come down from 36:01 to 34:25, although I'm hoping for sub-34 in a few weeks' time.

    Here's what my typical week looks like at the moment:

    Mon - 7/8M easy
    Tue - track speed session
    Wed - 7/8M easy
    Thu - 13-15M - progressive or with some MP
    Fri - rest
    Sat - long intervals (e.g. 3x2M), tempo run or hilly fartlek (total 10-12M)
    Sun - LR 20-23M

    Obviously you don't want to go straight to 70-75mpw but I think you can see where you can build up quite a bit without having to worry about doubles, e.g. making Thursday's run more of an endurance effort (you can still get some quality in with hills, marathon pace effort, etc), a few more miles on your easy runs (which becomes easier once you've built up total mileage a bit more), and also I would consider switching your rest day to Friday if at all practical, and make that session (Sat) another quality effort rather than easy.  I find this leaves me fresh for a hard weekend's running, and even a hard tempo interval session leaves enough energy for the Sunday LR.  Also this way your speedy sessions are nicely spaced out (Tue/Sat) as are your volume efforts (Thu/Sun).

  • Thanks Phil thats kinda what i wanted to see......some real life shedules that are tried n tested. At first glance one thing thats kinda has me realling is the mid week 13-15, thats some long run mate......never mind the 20-23 LR. To be honest your shedule very much looks like an endurance type( well it does to me). Is this marathon specific training? Your sat run must make sun an absolute killer. Its a pretty impressive shedule mate, not quite sure if thats made me want to crack on or give up,lol.

    Personally i was hoping to get to the 34's for 10k on around 50mpw.......wishful thinking perhaps.

  • Must admit, if I wasn't mara training there's no way I'd bother going over about 2hrs (~17m) for a long run, but I'd still keep a mid-week run of decent length with some 'high-aerobic' effort (mara pace, progressive finish, etc). The good thing about a longish run midweek is that if you're used to running up to 2 hrs on a Sunday, building from say 10 to 12/13 isn't too difficult and if you push the pace a bit quicker than LR pace you can get 13m done in 90mins or so.

    There are some guys at my club (who are quicker than me) who never race beyond 10k and seem to get by on lower mileage (50-60mpw) with no looong runs but more speed work, so I guess there's more than one way to go about it.

    BTW that tempo interval session I suggested - 3 x 2M - is a good one to do periodically. Run at target 10k pace it's a tough session (w/u, 2 min recovery between reps, c/d) and a good one for tracking progress, and obviously for practising race pace (especially if done in a park, dodging dogs and children, to mimic race conditions!)

  • Ah thats a relief then as i'm not so keen on the big mileage single runs. I know what your saying though, at this moment in time its seems a very daunting shedule but once you get a bit fitness the mileage just passes easier. I'm only into my 2nd week of my comeback training but once ive got some basic fitness back i'll definatly try that tempo session, tbh thats something i have been lacking in previous years triaining.

    This may also sound a bit strange but i think ive been running too fast during a track session, i'm thinking about reigning the speed in a bit and adding a touch more distance inside the session. A basic 10 x 400m is done at 72's with 30 secs recovery. I'm leaning toward 76-78's and aiming for maybe 16 reps rather than 10. I think that may be more useful for me as i'd like to think i'm a 10k, 10mile and 1/2 Mara kinda runner, any thoughts?

    Thanks for your input.

  • Yeah, I think bigger volume/longer intervals will help. The last time I did anything like 10 x 400 would've been probably early summer as a sharpener, but you're not getting a huge stimulus to VO2 max / LT etc. which is most useful for 10k - HM fitness.  Your times make sense though, if you did want to do 400s then a higher volume at 76-78 would be good, or look to do mainly 800 - 1,600.  On the subject of pace, I rate McMillan for rep times as well as race time predictors - e.g. for 34:30 10k, he suggests 400 reps in 72.9 - 77.1, which you're all over.  Going up to 1,600 (mile reps), 5:20 - 5:30 is about right too.

    So I'd use club night for shorter reps but mix up some longer intervals with the 400s, then the other 'speed' session in the week for a mixture of longer tempo intervals and continuous tempo runs.  You'll typically run 3k - 10k pace on the track reps and 10k - HM pace on the other day, which should help cover all bases.

  • Excellent cheers mate.

    Ive also recently browsed through the Mcmillan calculator and that also helped to start the thought process of why my 10k's weren't upto spec. My track work was well into the calculated zones and even dipping under on my longer stuff like the 1600's but it just didnt equate to race a long way really, loosing 3 mins over a 10k is pretty bad i reckon.

    Looking forward to adapting a improved shedule though, i'm certain i can do the times i want and often feel like i have done them in trainging.....i should really start clocking the sessions more regular to see where i'm at. Thats another thing.... i feel like my strongest runs are often in training and i find it hard to catch my peak fitness on race day, thats something else i need to look at/work on.

    Anyhoo, 4 x 1600 with 400 jog rec. last night - 6.08's. Consitant but consistnatly slow,lol.

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