New training plan.

Hi guys, new to the forum but have been lurking for a couple of weeks now.


History – I started running just to get fit and loose weight in Jan. Achieved both goals as I have lost 2 stone this and would consider myself to be in reasonable all-round shape. However, I have caught the running bug, and would like to step up to the next level and get more competitive.

I have run a few races as part of a local race league; they were mostly about 5 miles and off road. I was running 5 miles in about 36 minutes earlier this year but have definitely made improvements since then.

The biggest contributor to my improvement in an increase in miles run, the purchase of a Garmin Forerunner and I have joined my local running club.

Recently I ran a 2 mile time trail at the club in 12 minutes 56 seconds. Though such is the rate of my recent improvement I recon I could beat that by maybe as much as 10 seconds now. I have also stepped up to a training group at the club containing guys who run 10Ks between 38 and 42 minutes (though I am hanging on a bit at the moment and feel like I have to go almost all out to keep up). We train each Wednesday and run interval sessions. Typical session would 8*800meters at a bit faster than 10k pace (a lot faster for me!) with 2 minutes rest between reps. But they do vary a bit.


I haven’t actually run a 10k race yet so but I am booked in for one a week on Sunday. It is on road and pretty flat so am going to aim at running around 43 minutes. Though as this is my first 10k I will have to see how I go. I may blow up at that paces after 4 miles.


What I am looking for is advice on putting together a more structured training plan post race to bring my 10k plan more in line with the group I am running with at the club.  This is assuming I can run my 10k in 43 minutes I can always adjust it to suit depending on my performance.


Reading the forum, my understanding is that I need to make sure my weekly training revolves around the following; long steady run between 8-11 miles; an interval session (I get that at club training) and tempo run with some additional easy/steady miles.


I was thinking of putting this plan into place -


Mon – Tempo – 10 min warm up jog – 30 mins at 7 – 7.10 m/mi – 10 min warm down


Tuesday – Rest


Wed – Club interval training as described above.


Thurs – Rest or Steady recovery run 4 or 5 miles.


Fri – Tempo runs or longer intervals – 4*5min tempo with 90 sec recovery at 6:50 m/mi or 4 * 1 mile 2 min recovery at 6.55 m/mi.


Sat – Steady 5 miles at 8 – 8:15 m/mi


Sun – Long run – starting at 8 miles and increasing by half or a full mile each week until up to 11 miles keeping at 8:15 – 8:30 m/mi pace.


Please feel free to rip it to pieces, any advice would be appreciated.






  • One thing I forgot to mention, it is pan flat where I live and as a result I can find it hard when on hills in races.

    However the North Yorkshire Moors start about 4 or 5 miles from my house.  This is ok on longer runs as I run out that way do a bit and run back.  Though would you suggest I get on my bike and find some courses in the hills for interval or tempo work?

  • >> ✭✭✭
    Looking good Dan. I think you have a great plan there. Most people would be doing two speed sessions with a long run plus some easy miles in between. Doing this regularly is what you need for a firm foundation.

    For your 10k training you need endurance so it is great to focus on this. To run it competitively my own belief is that you also need a firm background in short distances. There is no escape from racing short distances so I'm pleased to see you doing a 2 mile race. You could also try a 3k on the track which is essentially the same distance.

    I still recommend you carry on with the distance work all winter and in the spring but come march when you will have a very strong aerobic background. This is when I think you should be doing shorter track sessions and particularly targeting short races.

    To illustrate the difference my winter + spring intervals are normally your 8x800m intervals. They are done @ 5k pace - 5.30 min miles pace for me. Summer intervals short but are @ 800m/1500m pace, which 4.20-4.45 min miles.

    I know this is not what most runners do but in the clubs it is common and it does give a huge advantage over the majority of distance runners who only dream about training at these paces. Just something for you to think about later mate. You seem to know what you are doing. Best of luck.
  • MoraghanMoraghan ✭✭✭


    3 quality sessions in a week (tempo / long intervals + tempo + club session) is far, far too much for a runner in your position.  

    Some light faster work (even if just strides a couple of times) would be of benefit.

    A dedicated hill repeat session alternating weekly with another quality session would be a good use of your time.

  • >> ✭✭✭
    3 speed sessions a week, so it is. After a long run I would always have an easy day so might be an idea to make monday a recovery day.
  • > I have taken your advice and have put in a steady session in on a Monday as a recovery after the long weekend run. The 2 mile time trials organised by my club happen each month in place of the usual Wednesday training session so they will offer a good indication of speed improvement.
    Come spring next year I can look to increase the quality and quantity of speed work if necessary.

    Moraghan thanks for the advice, if I have understood you correctly I should alternate a hill session with the club session one week and the tempo session the other. So I get in two of the three above plus a long endurance run on a weekend + some steady stuff in between.

    Adjusted plan -

    Mon – Steady 6 miles at 8 – 8:15 m/mi

    Tuesday – Rest

     Wed – Quality - Club interval training as described above / or hill repeat.

     Thurs – Rest or Steady recovery run 4 or 5 miles at 8 – 8.15m/mi.

     Fri – Quality – If I do a hill session on Wednesday do a Tempo session or do hill session if intervals done on Wed.

    Sat – Steady recovery run 4 or 5 miles at 8 – 8.15m/mi.

    Sun – Quality Long run – starting at 8 miles and increasing by half or a full mile each week until up to 11 miles keeping at 8:15 – 8:30 m/mi pace.

    One question, you mention lighter fast work. Do mean introducing some fartleck into steady runs? Or place of or addition to one of the quality sessions?

    Also would appreciate some tips on makes up a good quality hill repeat session.

    Once again thanks for the tips guys.

  • The quality work should be seen as the icing on the cake. Your core endurance is the cake it's self so concentrate on getting your miles in but hitting them too hard. 3 quality sessions a week can be a lot for someone of your experience in terms of recovery. Depending on your target distance that will determine what quality sessions will be of best use of your time.For the hill sessions I run 2 miles steady warm up followed by some dynamic warm ups/drills. Then I'll target 3 hills and rep them 4 to 6 times depending on incline/length. Mix your hills up and don't smash them aim for consistency of time. Use the jog back down as recovery. Alternatively find a long slope and run 15, 20, 25 and 30 second efforts (x2) with recovery being a short 30 second walk back where you've run.  Then obviously a couple of miles warm down.

    And I really would encourage a rest day after your long run. It might drain the engery from your legs early in the week meaining you won't be hitting the qaulity sessions properly. In my opinion image

  • >> ✭✭✭
    If there is one thing that keeps you running is being part of a club or group. Missing your wednesday club training (to do a hill session?) would be a mistake.
  • > I agree, and I do enjoy the club sessions.

    I think I will pear it down for the first few weeks and do more steady miles incorporating hills and then look to add quality if I feel I can handle it.

  • Ran a 10k yesterday, finished in 43:10 which I am very pleased with. Based on what I have written above I am going to kick off my training plan on Monday. I have a 2 mile club time trial on Wednesday so I might post how I do on here. Would appreciate any comments on my training structure I have laid out. As for the race yesterday I set my Garmin to run 6:55 per mile. I was able to maintain very near that pace for all but 2 of the mile splits. It was a two lap course with one long stretch of road that was like running a wind tunnel. I found it really hard work running into that strong wind. Both of my slow splits (the ones that dragged me above my target 43min time) were when running into this wind. 1st slow split was mile 3 then 2nd slow split was mile 6. The other parts of the course were reasonably sheltered (one part of the course the wind was blowing across me from left to right but that didn’t affect the splits I was able to maintain pace there). I had enough in the tank to pick up the pace to 6:25 min per mile pace for the last 0.2 of the race to drag my time back closer to my target. So I don’t feel like the pace I set was too ambitious more that conditions hampered me. I am thinking of entering another 10k towards the back end of September and if I select the right type of course I am sure I can dip below 43 minutes. I feel I am improving fast and would love to run under 40 mins for a 10k but that is some way off at the moment. My question is how do people on here go about setting reasonable goal times? Pick a figure out of the air, look to reduce race times by a certain percent each 6 months? Would love to hear your opinions.
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