Simple Training Forumla, would it work?

In order to improve my 10km time i first of all still need to improve my base fitness.

If i run 10km once a week in around a time currently at 61-66 minutes, then try to run 2 lots of 5km at a time of say 30 minutes will that ultimately improve my 10km time for september?

I know i should be doing interval training and hills etc, but in all honest it all seems a little complicated and i want a simple forumula.

My aim would be to improve the 5km time to say 28 mins and my 10km time to under 60 minutes.

All I want to achieve is 10km in under 60 mins by September.



  • So you would do three runs a week. All flat out ?

    I think you'd improve for a bit - and then burn out.

    Running flat out everywhere is not the way forward.
  • formula for disater i'd say JJ

  • JJ, actually it doesn't need to be that complicated, but answering your question re what you are proposing - no - that's not best use of your time.  Assuming you are still running currently at 60min+ for 10k and only want to run 3 x per week

    Slow down your 10k to between 7 - 7.5 mins per k.  Start extending the 10k run approx 10% per week until you are running your LSR 13 - 15k @ 90mins+

    Take one of your 5k runs and slow it down to 6.5 - 7mins per k and start extending that until it is 8 - 9k.

    Take the 3rd run and start running some sprints.  Use the 1st 1.5 - 2k as a warm up (7mins per k)  for 2ks alternate running at 75 - 80% of 'flat out' for a minute or so at a time and jog easy until you feel ok to do it again.  Pay attention to your posture and gait. Use the last k to cool off.

    That would be a better combination.

    Once you've done that for 6 weeks or so you'll be bored and ready to look at how to step it up again, I'd guess image.  Why not kick the whole thing off with a personal time trial.  warm up 2k, fast as you can timed for 1k, then cool off.  Do that again at the end of 6 weeks and see how you've done.  Or do a Park Run hard as you can as your 5k trial. 


  • Thanks Louise, as helpful as always image

    So on the basis i did 10k on Saturday night, I could attempt the a slower 5k tonight and then the interval running you suggest on say thursday and then the 10k again on Saturday.

    I will try that and see how it goes image

  • Last night I attempted this and would welcome feedback to see if i am doing it right.

    I did 5km run and ran at a pace of 7.30 mins per km. After 2km I put in a sprint of around 150 metres (pace of around 4mins per km) then slowed back to 7.30 mins pace for around 200 metre, then sprint etc and did 4 repetitions.

    I found that going slow my legs were burning more than normal.

    Overall i completed the 5km in 34 mins with the final slow being pretty slow as the sprints took alot out of me.

    Probably i did it all wrong, so help would be welcomed.


  • JJ8, that sounds perfect.  You could extend the reps each week, which will push the distance up a bit, but keep the paces at around that level for the moment.  Your target would be to get up to around 12 reps.  Try to keep the 'sprint' pace consistent.  No problem if the final cool off is very slow.

  • just by the way - it's a good illustration of why the next session needs to be done at 'easy' pace - too much flat out work leads to fatigue and injury.

  • Thanks. I will do an Easy 5km on Thursday or Friday, then  do another easy 10km on Sunday,

    I will then try to build up the reps to 12, the 5km run to 8km and the 10km run to 15km.

    Thanks again.

  • My pleasure - let me know how you get on image

  • "In order to improve my 10km time i first of all still need to improve my base fitness"

    you start off with an assumption...

    anyway, if your immediate goal is to get a better base then you need to do long runs...that's a simple enough plan surely? progressively longer until you can do 90 minutes.

    if you want to complicate it I would personally figure out your heart rate zones and then ensure that the faster components of your long runs go under and over your aerobic threshold.

    if you then want to get fast; you need to train fast doing intervals/hills etc.

    http://the5krunner has lots of plans on it (mostly from other people) and yes people do complicate things quite a lot. my site has a straightforward 5k plan (which is pretty much the same as reqd for 10k) however it is for runners who are currently sub23 and better over 5k


  • Thanks 5k Runner,

    My assumption is based on the fact that after 10km i am shattered and i am running 63 minutes for it. That clearly doent show good base fitness. But it is a HUGE improvement from January when I couldnt run for 100m (seriously i couldnt).

    Also your link doesnt seem to work. Perhaps you can check this and i can review your site.

  • s/be   dot com doh!

    anyway, you CAN already run for 63 minutes which to be frank is more than most people so that is an achievement in itself.

    it depends on how much time you have.

    if you have more time then consider running a tad slower but further

    consider running at your 10k pace for 30 minutes then resting 5-10 minutes then repeating that 2 more times ie running approx. 15k


    consider running 2x 20 minutes (with a 5 minute breather) at a slightly FASTER pace that what you are doing at present.


    VARIETY is what we should ALL be looking at in our training.



  • So have now done the following :-

    10km LSR

    5km interval

    5km slow

    11km LSR

    next is interval again.

    Quesiton though. i ran my 11km today at a pace of 7.03 and was pretty good at the end. Should i keep 10% rule or go for 12km next weekend?

  • JJ, the 10% rule is not about pace, it is about allowing physical adaptation of muscles / tendons et cetera to take place, keeping yourself fresh for the next session, and avoiding injury.  As a rule of thumb, 10% increase in individual run / total weekly distance - keeps you on a good safe curve.  Every 3 - 4 weeks, dropping your distance back down a little is also recommended; so the sequence might be something like 11 - 12 - 13 - 11 - 13 - 14 - 15 for the LSR.  The elusive (?) point is that after doing the 6/8 weeks of steady training, you have built a solid physical infrastructure that is equipped to take you further and faster. 

    If you are feeling good, you should find yourself able to push the intervals session better than last week.  You might also add to the 5k slow rather than the LSR at this stage if you feel underchallenged, and take that up to 6k.  You want the midweek run to be around 66% of LSR distance.


  • cheers, will look to up the interval with more intervals and run 6km on the slow one,

  • include a hill session. Running up and own a few hills will improve you with no complicated timings or pacings. 

  • fair point that Kev, there is a nice park near me with a good hill to run up and down.

  • Already feeling good after a couple of weeks and just did my PB at 5km of 28:48. Not super fast i know but smashed my PB by nearly a minute. Damn those intervals hurt though.

    Next up 12km run - not looking forward to that lol.


  • That's great JJ.  Persist with the low pace on the LSRs though, they pay off remarkably quickly.  How many intervals are you managing in a session now?

  • HI LouiseG, just back to this thread now. I am doing 5km of which 2km is warm up and then the next 2km is two lamp posts sprinting, two jogging and so on. The last 1km is cool down as I am dead. Not sure I am doing this right.

    My LSR was tonight and i am now up to 13km and did it at 7.27 pace (the last 1/2km was hard work). My other shorter run is also at 7km, but sometimes i go for a quick run hence my PB above.

    Should I continue in the same manner or am I going wrong anywhere?


  • JJ, that sounds about right.  It has been less than three weeks; you need to allow 6-8 weeks for each stage of physical adaptation to bed down.  You may be due for a step back week, where you shorten the distance of the long run a little to ensure enough recovery happens.  Then back up again the next long slow session.

  • Yes, I was planning doing 11km for my LSR next in line with your advice, then 12,13,14, then back to 12,13,14 then 12,13,14,15 and then stay at 13 to 15km. By which time my other short run will be at 10km and my interval runs hopefully a more constant fast middle 2km speed all the way.

    6-8 weeks to see the benefit...,mmmm......ok well that is just in time for my Salford 10km run which is beginning of September, giving me a couple of weeks spare.

  • JJ I'd give it a couple more weeks and then do a new time trial to see how your paces need to be adjusted; sounds as though progress is good so far.

  • legs are out of energy now lol. Will try a time trial next week i think.

  • 12km in 24 degrees of heat even running at 10.00pm is not good lol.

  • JJ don't worry about it; run to 'perceived effort' rather than pace in the heat.  If you have a heart monitor you can use that - in particular you'll see that whereas in milder weather your heart rate climbs / levels off, in the heat at the same pace it carries on climbing as your body tries to cool itself.  Take a bit more water on too.

  • I am still running every other day. Did an 8km tonight and was on for a PB over 10km if i kept it up, but the thought of another 2km in that heat did me in. I stopped and will return to fight another day.

    I do feel stronger but the attempt at a timed run will probably wait until it has cooled down a little to see the full effect, no point i dont think in this heat. BUT continued training in this heat must sure be very beneficial. It will be interesting to see where i am at right now.

    Current runs are now at 13km LSR (7.30pace), 9km normal run (6.30pace) and 5km intervals (as fast as I can go). A good increase from the initial 10km, 5km , 5km. And my interval run allowed me to set a PB on my 5km time.

  • JJ, quite agree that the steady running in the heat pays off when it cools down again.  What and when is your next target / event? 

  • I just got back from doing 15km LSR at a steady 7.30 pace. I dont want to run further than that now, i am happy at that distance.

    My goal is 59:59 in the Salford 10km in September. So I need to ensure I can maintain a good pace.

    I can run every other day.

    Any ideas on ensuring i maintain stamina and up my pace over a 10km distance? ,...........oh and if i can beat my sister who runs at 56 mins all the better hehehe.

  • JJ if you are managing your two reasonably long runs a week regularly and steadily, I would tweak the interval session slightly, and start doing 'mile' (you seem to work in kilometres - 1500m is good enough image) repeats; after your warm up, run at your current target 10k pace for 1500m then take a break 90 - 120 seconds.  Start out with 3 - 4 reps of this.  When you first start - the first couple of weeks - you may need to stop for the recoveries.  In the longer term, you'd aim to run continuously and build up to 6 reps.  That will see you meet your target comfortably. 

    How does that sound?

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