Sub 40min 10k

About six months ago I rediscovered running after a break of 20 years having run at county standard in my teens.  On average I've been going out for just one slow/steady run of 4-6 miles a week but recently increased that to around 7-9 miles a couple of times and added a treadmill sesssion of around 5K fast or 3x1 mile fast repeats.  10k races times have been 47:33 (May), 46:09 (July) and 44:47 (October).  I'd like to work towards a sub 40min 10k.  I realise I'll have to increase the training but want to know if it's realistic to expect to achieve my aim off the back of three sessions a week.  I am thinking of retaining the long run and treadmil session but not sure what other session would be best.  Perhaps a tempo run of about 5 miles?  Any thoughts or advice would be most welcome.

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Comments

  • The harder you work and the better you train then the faster you will go. By upping the mileage and the quality you will run faster. Quite possible to run sub 40 off three runs a week but your schedule does seem a bit weak. I'd probably bet against it unless you up your game a bit.

  • Thanks.  No pain no gain!  I'm hoping I've pitched the weekly long run about right. For the speed session, I'm currently able to run 3 x 1 mile repeats at 6:25 per mile on the treadmill with about 2 mins jog recovery. Just need to cut out the recovery and string 6 together! Can anyone point me in the right direction in terms of the weekly mileage and sessions I should perhaps aim to do, if I go for three sessions a week.

  • That's a good start - but you need to be able to do the speedwork faster than your race pace. As the weeks go on I'd look to increase the speed by 0.1mph or so every time you do it and work your way up to being able to do 6 of them.
  • CM, by trying to do speedwork off such tiny mileage you're massively limiting your potential.

    Why not lower the intensity, build in more mileage, then re-add the faster stuff when you have some kind of base?

    Much much easier that way.

  • Hi CM I'd back up what Stevie has said. Also try to add in a tempo run - start at 2 miles at around 6.30-6.50 pace and build up to 4.5-5 miles in length over time. I went sub 40 for the first time this year and the tempo runs really helped

  • Thanks to everyone for the advice.  I will aim to build the mileage over the next three months or so as Stevie G and LSH suggest.  It makes sense.  Any thoughts on what total weekly mileage I should aim for off three sessions a week?  I was thinking maybe 20 miles a week - perhaps two easy runs, 9 miles and 6 miles and then the tempo run/faster session on the treadmill of 5 miles?  If that's insufficient then perhaps the three sessions won't be enough!

  • off 20miles a week it's tricky to get much substantial quality in....

    ideal position is to have 1 long run a week, 1 tempo and 1 speed session, supported with as much easy work as possible.

    In your position, i'd try and get the mileage up with easy work for now, and then add harder sessions in later. Otherwise you're massively limiting your development.

  • Thanks for the further advice.  I am going to try to get the mileage up over the winter and see how things go from there.  Will report back in due course for the benefit of anyone else who may be in the same position.

  • CM100,

    I regularly ran sub-40mins 10k as a V45 off only 20 miles a week training, 3 times a week, very similar to your schedule.

    The trick was running each session at very close to race pace, no easy work, no tempo, no fartlek. This is possible because running only 3 times a week you have at least a day's recovery between each run.

  • No aerobic work? Interesting -as tends to go against the grain of all established training norms. What did you get your 10k down to? 

  • ID, you should probably confirm what you did in the years before/your background  before you adopted that strategy...

  • DT19 - got 10k down to 38 and a bit as a V45.

    Stevie G. - been running since age 21 using same training as described, basically because I didn't know about anything more sophisticated. As it seemed to work for me, and I enjoyed running each training session as if it were a race (trying to better my time etc.) I just kept going with it - and still do now aged 52.

  • what time did you peak at?

  • And yet Power of 10 has no record of an Ian Dodds.........Sniff, sniff. what can I smell?

  • Perhaps he doesn't race and the PB's quoted are in training??

  • Interesting post, and one that is close to my heart as I'm hoping to tick under 40 mins for a 10K at some point in the next 12 months. I ran 40:06 earlier this year.

    For me, it seems unreasonable to be able to do it off 3 sessions. I currently do 1-2 quality sessions a week, plus 2-3 steady sessions as well as gym work/boot camp and cross training.

    I average at 100 miles a month, have a 5K PB of 18:59 and a Magic Mile of 5:21.

  • OK so there is an ian Dodds but based on what he has said that can't be him. 

    Anthony- 25 miles a week though over 5 sessions is probably whast a lot would do comfortably over three. My long run and tempo alone normally come in between 20-25. 

  • I think it will be very difficult to be sub 40 on 3 days a week , I ran 41 mins in July this year being 45 mins last year on the same hilly course and hope to go an "easy" sub 40 next year  , im trying to get back up to 50 mile a week at the minute after a recent half last month.

  • Lot's of lunchtime runs for me. 4-7 milers and a 1 hour run on a Sunday pushing for 8. Not by design, but as a father of two I run in pockets of free or organised time.

    Guess this is the missing link to be better over 10K and HM,

  • Your mile and 5k times are in line with about a 39.30 10k I would say without flicking on to McMillan. So yes you need to get more miles in to string it together for 10k. Depends how important a goal it is to you, but you clearly have more running time available. You just choose to do other formed of training. I have two young children and used to do circuits, spin, pump etc and enjoyed it but made the decision to swap them for extra runs.

  • Sussex Runner NLR wrote (see)

    The harder you work and the better you train then the faster you will go. By upping the mileage and the quality you will run faster. Quite possible to run sub 40 off three runs a week but your schedule does seem a bit weak. I'd probably bet against it unless you up your game a bit.

     

    Sussex Runner NLR wrote (see)

    And yet Power of 10 has no record of an Ian Dodds.........Sniff, sniff. what can I smell?

    Thank God, you are God!  I'd have no idea with out you.  Thank you Nlr.

     

  • DT19 wrote (see)

    OK so there is an ian Dodds but based on what he has said that can't be him. 

    Anthony- 25 miles a week though over 5 sessions is probably whast a lot would do comfortably over three. My long run and tempo alone normally come in between 20-25. 


     

    How so? He said he's now 52, and that matches his PO10. (listed as a V50)

    No mention of the sub 40s? Well he said he got those as a V45, so it might have been as far as 7 years ago, and PO10 used to require a 36min 10k to even get on there until they loosened the entry requirements, so that doesn't rule it out either.

    Not the best investigator are you son image

  • Well, he said he ran 38.xx as a v45  and he is 52 now. The times on po10 are 49 in 2010 when he was almost certainmly a v45 and 44 in 2011 when just a v50. So if it is same guy then there must have been an injury or something to explain that drop off.

    Perhaps that flat out training caught up with himimage

  • A week ago he ran a 42 minute 10k and in 2004 a sprightly younger version ran 10k in ...42 minutes!!!. He's unnattached which would explain the lack of results on Power of 10. 

  • Okay so I found a couple of times he dipped under 40 minutes. But like Stevie said earlier it all depends on what else you do to compliment that low mileage. You need to offer the full story and not the bare facts. Stevie asked some time ago for an explanation and so far Ian hasn't offered one. His choice and his right not to respond of course.

  • I managed to run sub 40 in 2010 on only 1 run a week!
  • Sussex- he did respond and say that that has been his training since 21. 

    That's good going Millay. Obviously some decent natural ability.... Or had you been cycling 200 miles a week for the ten years prior or something similar? 

  • The full story makes it a lot less impressive. I had 2 marathons under my belt in the previous year but had been doing triathlon all year so was cycling 4 times a week and swimming twice.

    There is usually some kind of back story on these " I did a half decent time off little or no training" threads.
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