Smashing my PB


I am in 3 weeks along with 40,000 others going to line the streets of Manchester for the Great Manchester run. I would really like to see me smash my PB of 40 minutes, and maybe get a Sub 35. I was just thinking if anyone thought this could be possible, or if they have any specific training that i should be doing. I know i should do some speed work etc, but should I just concentrate on this. 

My running background is that I started 3 years ago with the Manchester 10K and did it in 55 minutes. I have ran around 9 10K's now on hills, flat terrain. I have also ran several halfs and three marathons. I tend to do a speed session, hill session, long run and then other runs that are normally 5 - 10 miles in length. My speed and hill sessions tend to be 5 miles. 

I suppose my question is this... Being that I have the endurance, should I just focus on doing sprints and speed and if I do, what type of pace, distance should I do. 

I have also included my first and latest PBs

10K - 55 mins - 40 minutes

13.1 - 1:52 -  1:34

26.2 - 4:27 -  3:41

Any advice would be greatly recieved. I would love to smash another 5 minutes of my PB. 


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Unless you have been sandbagging your previous times I'd say you have no chance in wiping 5 mins off that time no matter what you do in 3 weeks.

    You would be lucky to take that much off in 3 yrs.

    Sorry to be pessimistic but there is a world of difference between sub 40 and sub 35.
  • Nope. And I think that course is too busy anyway.

    It certainly was when I ran it.

    A 35 minute 10k could win you a lot of races. If you could hit that in a few week we would all be doing it.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    If you find a way please tell me!!!

    You have done well to drop what you have, however most people spend a lifetime battling mere seconds off after going sub 40! You would need a very serious and dedicated training plan to sub 35 and an element of natural ability. Your 10k time already looks pretty good as well compared to the other 2 distances. Most guys i know who run 35 mins will expect to do a half in about 1hr 15. You would need essentially to drop a minute a mile off your current pb pace.

    Also, as Cougie said above, its a busy race. I did bristol 10k on weekend with 10,000 runners and waved starts and i started in the 35-40 min pen and i spent the first mile breaking stride and weaving in and out of people who would have been better placed in the 45 min pen. That gets tiring when you are trying to run beyond your pb pace!

    If you go out chasing a crazy pb you will be slaughtered by 5k. My ain would be simply to sub 40 for the first time.

    Good luck

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    What's your 5k PB Tom?
  • cheers everyone.

    I kind of knew I would be lucky to get an answer of how to do itimage . Just thought, that maybe (slim chance) that being I'd wipe double digits off my other times then it could have been possible. 

    as for my 5K PB its 19:33. 

    Oh well back to dreaming... and working on trying to wipe a minute off. 

    thanks all again for waking me up from my fairytale land. image

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    On the other hand, with those 5k and 10k times you should easily be able to knock 5 minutes off your half marathon time. That'd be satisfying...

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I would agree with literatin. Your 5k and 10k times are roughly the same as mine, however at hm i come in routinely around 1hr 27, though some might say i should just be running 5 and 10k quickerimage.

  • I do perfer the halfs. I have been working on getingt it to 90 minutes. Just been stuck on 40-41 minutes for the last several 10Ks and would love to drop this time. 

    The fact I can still drop my half is very encouraging. Maybe I should find a nice flat one for a change. 

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    how much do you want sub 35?


    enough to put a few years of 50-60miles a week in, running each run to the right zone?

  • I would love to be able to do Stevie. 

    I already do around 60 miles a week... But thats just running. 

    think i will leave it as a pipe dream.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    If you are already put the miles and time in, you just as well get a bit of structure to it to see some gains. Your in same boat as me and i am just putting my structure together to try and kick on.

    Be interesting to see if Stevie G, as someone that has been there, can give you some ideas/help with a plan.

  • This has recently been posted on the sub 3 forum, whcih you might find interesting.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Tom, something doesn't add up.

    If you're 18-40, injury free, consistently doing 60miles a week, being at 19.30 5k and 40:xx 10k doesn't make sense.

    Either you in line for a big gain at that 10k in 3 weeks or, there's something else going on.

    Which might be bad training.

    It's not entirely clear from your piece, but i'd recommend the below as a guarantee to smash those pbs

    • Work out your current fitness pace zones based on your most recent flat road race. McMillan will provide a guide on these.
    • Run easy most of the time
    • 3mile warm up with strides before any speedwork or tempo. 1/2mile minimum cool down after.
    • Run 1 tempo session a week, targetting the Marathon Pace zone to start with. 6miles at MP (after warm up) is a very beneficial work out. This can progress to longer MP, or incorporating HMP zone later.
    • Run 1 speedwork session a week, working out the paces, recoveries and quantity of reps, and having an idea of how they link to your race targets.
    • 1 long slow run a week. Progressively build the length upto 13-16miles, depending on phase of training and race targets.
    • one day a week rest
    • As you get closer to race day, the harder sessions are tailored towards the race itself. ie doing reps/miles at the pace of the next race.

    I could go on...but i'd only get carried away and take over your whole training and I need to stop doing that image

  • I'm not so sure you have the endurance nailed yet.

    If you have a 1:34 HM and run a 3:41 FM off that then you have a big drop off in the second half. I'm not suggesting they were at the same time and you may have run the Snowdon Mara for all I know, but I would have thought you should be shooting at FM of around 3:28 at worst.......

    So maybe your base level isn't quite there yet?

    If we look at the other end of the spectrum a 5k of 19:33 should translate into approximately 39:30 for 10k so again, I would look at what you are doing in your 50-60 mpw. I suspect you are not getting full value for those miles as you may be running them too hard.

    To put into context I too have been running about 3 yrs. My 5k is 20:09; my 10k is 40:43; my HM is 1:30:14 and my FM is 3:21:09 - all of about 40mpw. so you should be smashing me......and the fact that you are at the lower end but not for the long distance points perhaps to a lack of stamina/endurance.

    So to conclude: I would work on your base endurance first and your speed will come naturally 

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Interesting rationale Mike/Stevie G.

    Mike- My mileage and running years are the same as yours and so is my 10k time ( i did sneak a 39.47 in december but since then have dropped back to 40-41), however my 5k comes in about 19.20 and my halfs are in recent times 1hr 27 (last 3 months). I am constantly baffled by my complete lack of 10k ability.

    I have had a lot of help off the guys on the middle ground forum and about to start a more structured programme which will hopefully resolve my 10k frustration! I have the opposite to Tom in the further i run i seem to settle into my pace and speed up, particularly so in the last 5 miles of a half.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    My weekly plan is very similar to Stevie's guide.

    I'm only averaging 50 miles a week this year, less in previous years as only been running for 4 in total.

    Off this mileage im now 18 mins for 5 k , 1.25 for a half and 2.58 for a full 26.2

    If the OP trains smarter I'm sure he can smash those times, although I think sub 35 for 10k may take some time.
  • DT19 interesting

    Millsy1977 - looks as if OP is missing out on his high mileage conversion if you can do 2:58 FM off 50mpw!

    Just for a giggle:

    If I "cheat" and convert my times to Age Grade (this will wind SG up...) then I come in at 2:48 FM as I'm in my 64th year, which is why I said OP should be smashing my  times....

    BTW, all of my times truly are PB's as I didn't run a step from age 18 to age 60 so I am not sandbagging on "when I was a lad....I could run a FM on a packet of woodbine and a pint of ale stuff"

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Just for info the 50 mpw is my average from Jan 1st to VLM.

    Peak weeks were somewhere around 65.
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Mike, I'm sure i'll be all over WAVA in future years and probably telling off a few kids who think they know it all image


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