10k & half marathons

Just an idea because I have seen a few people round looking for focussed training on these two distances, with a view to increasing to marathon at some point.....

Don't really have much to say at the moment but as a starter, my 10k PB is 52:30 and half is 1:54:42. I want to work on increasing mileage and get the benefits from that, and hopefully improve my times for the two distances over the next year.

My current training is along the lines of:

Mon: 6-8 mile run
Tues: Probably a yoga session
Weds: Speed interval training over 6 miles
Thurs: Strength training or 6 mile run
Fri: Cross training & pilates
Sat: Long run 12 miles
Sun: rest or 5 mile recovery run

So around 30 mile weeks at the moment. I am giong to add in a 10 mile run on Tuesday nights and possibly an 5 mile recovery run on Weds mornings.

At the moment I am thinking about stride length... bloke in my gym used to do a lot of running and he says my hamstrings are very tight and that will effect my stride length. Does this bother other people?


  • Sam.Sam. ✭✭✭
    Hi Jen

    Can I join in? :0)

    I did my first 10k in September '04 in 46:44. I haven't done a half yet but I have entered Reading in March.


    Mon: Circuits (lots of running as well as strength)
    Tues: Circuits (lots of running as well as strength)
    Wed: Circuits (lots of running as well as strength)
    Thurs: Circuits (lots of running, especially intervals of
    Fri: Rest
    Sat: Long run, at moment 8 - 10 miles
    Sun: Either speedwork or hillwork

    According to most of the schedules I've looked at I should be doing less circuits and more running.

    Can anyone advise me as to what changes I should make to my weekly plan?

    No probs with hamstrings. Do you stretch them enough Jen?
  • StylishStylish ✭✭✭
    Hi Sam,

    "Can anyone advise me as to what changes I should make to my weekly plan?"

    I agree that you should cut down on the circuits by either one or two sessions. Although you do do lots of running in those sessions it's not the same as continious running. Normally after a long run which you do on a Saturday, one should go for a very slow recovery run.I imagine that you do your hill / speed work on Sunday because of daylight?
    My Suggestion would be, if you can't change the Sat/Sun workouts,to do a very slow run on Monday say 5/6 miles and then maybe a tempo run on Wednesday.
  • Sam.Sam. ✭✭✭
    Hi Stylish

    Thax for your reply. Yes, it was the lack of continuous running at circuits that I was worried about. So I will definitly swap one or two circuits sessions for more running.
    I do the hill/speed work on Sunday 'cos I'm at circuits during the week. But now I will do it maybe wednesday instead. Then I can do a recovery run on Sunday.

    Is a tempo run where you start slow then buid up to race pace?
  • Hi Jen - those are good times, well done!

    This is a nice idea but I'm alot slower than you or Sam - does that matter? Am a 10k-er (current training target to knock 5 mins off my pb early in New Year) who's recently done first half (which I messed up in run-up preparation & insufficient tapering - putting that down to first-time experience so treating it more as a practice run!) with the aim of training up for a marathon possibly the year after next.

    I think on increasing your weekly mileage, the general thing is to increase by 10% a week in either distance or time to allow your body to keep up with the training injury-free, with occasional plateau or step-back weeks.

    On stride length, the only thing I've come across in my own training so far on this is when a harridan at the gym was trying to get my to increase stride length in speed sessions (have since changed gym!) whereas the advice I got on here was to increase leg speed turnover and the stride length will take care of itself, less risk of injury.

    Sam - a handy tool that I use for pacing is on the McMillanRunning.com website where they have a running calculator for endurance, stamina, speed and spring workouts for recovery jogs, long runs, easy runs, steadies, tempos, intervals etc - I use that alot as a rough guideline for pacing runs (just input your current race pace for a distance & it churns it all out for you.)
  • StylishStylish ✭✭✭
    Hi Sam, this is my understanding of interval and tempo training.

    Interval training is when you run hard (sprint) for short periods of time or distance ie say 30 seconds to a minute and over a distance of say 100m to 400m. So you may do say 100m sprints or 200m sprints etc. Running at harder than race pace for short periods improves speed. Recovery periods can be kept short or equal distance to the reps.

    My suggestion would be 100m sprints and then walk back to start.

    Tempo intervals are longer than ordinary intervals in that they are run over a longer distance usually 400m or more and obviously take longer. They are run slower than your sprint speed say (75-80%) but faster than race pace and the idea is that they raise the point at which lactic acid builds up in the muscles.

    My suggestion would be either:

    400m or 800m (tempo intervals) with say 100m recovery jogs in between.

    Hope that helps.

  • Sam.Sam. ✭✭✭
    Erratic and Stylish

    Sorry I haven't replied to your last posts but my gerbil, Frodo, died today and I'm very upset. Thanks for you're advice tho' which I will read when I'm a bit happier

  • Aw, sorry to hear that Sam - hope you're soon feeling a bit better.
  • StylishStylish ✭✭✭
    Aaawwh, (((((SAM))))) hope your happier soon.
  • Sam.Sam. ✭✭✭
    Thanx guys xx
  • Pammie*Pammie* ✭✭✭
    Sam sorry to hear that

    Jen good idea for a thread.
    Though i plan to run a marathon one day!!! i want to concentrate on the shorter distances and want to get my times for 5k-10k down, before increasing to longer races.
    I will probably do longer races ie. ½marathon-15 miles (done one of each this year) as overdistance work.

    Then when i increase the racing distances i should be stronger
  • What's your current training Pammie? (out of interest)
  • Pammie*Pammie* ✭✭✭

    I try and run everyday, but if i can't its usually 5 or 6 days a week

    Starting to increase my long run on a Sunday again (just over 8 miles last sunday) will increase by a mile each week.

    Monday is recovery 5 miles on average
    Tuesday - Saturday is much more the same, usually 5-6 miles

    At least once a week one of the runs is at a faster pace. ie. fartlek, tempo, today i did a Time trial (10k). I try to vary it each week try not to be monotonous in my training.

    Been thinking about increasing one of the midweek runs but not as long as the long run.

    Main focus for the winter, build up the mileage a bit (i've been advised that if i can increase my mileage to 50 mpw, this should help me get under 50 minutes for 10k) but slowly, so not to get injured

    I have done 40 miles earlier this year, and got back up there last week.

  • Wow - sounds good! That's my main focus for winter too - gradual mileage building & more nasty hilly things. I've been toying with base training over winter but not sure I've the discipline or consistency for it.

    I'm a little bit similar but haven't reached your weekly mileage yet: base it round key sessions of weekend long slow (currently building from 8 miles); 1 or 2 x steady (5-6 miles, should probably make this 2); 1 or 2 x hard (intervals or hills 3-4 miles including warm-up/cool down, should probably keep this at one only) &/or one of whatever I fancy (fartlek, tempo, recovery, whatever) but keep it quite fluid, between 4-6 runs per week & double up with gym classes which I think help injury prevention (circuits, spinning, core stab work etc). Always have a weekly rest day (hillwalking) & throw in the occasional non-running cross-training day (eg cardio or resistance work in gym). Think I need to structure my training better tho' - maybe dropping some of the non-running stuff bit by bit to make way for mileage (mulling this over at mo').
  • StylishStylish ✭✭✭
    Pammie just my opinion, but I don't reckon you need to be doing as much as 50 odd mpw to get under 50 mins for 10K. I think one of your training days should be speed work where you are running 100m sprints, 400m or 800m intervals. As they say, to run fast you have to run fast.The longer runs will obviously give you the endurance but not the speed.
  • can i join?.i don't train for any type of distance in particular but my fav race distance is 10k.i've applied for flm(1st time).i've got a best 10k tyime of 47.49 and a best half time of 2hrs 15min although that was very early in my running career.i've now been running a yeart and in that time i've knocked 5 minutes off my 10k time.i run at my local club twice a week.
  • Ooo! I am so pleased to see lots of people!!! Obviously everyone is welcome - but I must warn youall, I waffle and keep re-thinking my training so you might see endless pages of training plans (but I think they are really interesting and everyone should have on and put it on here....!!!!)

    My weekly mileage reached around 25-35mpw prior to my half marathon so I am confident in being able to keep that up. I had also done a couple of weeks with 2 10 mile runs and felt surprisingly good so I am confident that I can get to 40mpw soon.

    Sam - sorry about your gerbil. Hope you aren't feeling too blue. I am sure s/he was very loved and as a result had lots of fun being your pet!
    I would definately cut down on circuits. I read somewhere that running is a sport where the more youdo it the better you get at it so if you want to run, the best thing you could do is run. That said I personally think there is a lot to be said for a variety in a routine and I don't know many people who all they ever do is run.

    I am going to work on my stride length by adding some high knees/butt kicks and fast feet reps into my strenght session. But I think it is a long process - I just want to feel like I am doing something for it! I am also doing more stretching. I thought I paid enough attention to hamstrings, but obviously not. Perhaps I just have naturally short ones....???

    Pammie - I want to do a marathon at somepoint too! I have posted FLM application but on the basis that I won't get a place this year. Perhaps 2006/7 for my first marathon, and FLM sometime in the next 6 years (probably the 6th year!) by which time hopefully I will be able to get a pretty good time.

    fez - your first 10k was the same as mine then.... and I would be pretty pleased to knock 5 minutes off that in a year! It doesn't sound like much, but seeing 47minutes sounds so hard! What did you do in the last year then? Just run with the club? You could knock spots off your half time I would have thought!

    Very interested in the interval training bit. I haven't really got my head around all the different 'levels' of running like tempo/easy/recovery..... See I would say a recovery run was a run done just to losen up and avoid feeling still so probably would be relatively slow. But if that is recovery, what is easy? From the discussion above it seems tempo is the pace you are aiming for...?
    The interval session I did last night was 6x700m@12kph. I did it on the treadmill with 1.5% incline with just over 2k warm up and about the same cool down.
    12kph would give me a 50min 10k which is about what I am aiming for. But I think the session is really (for me at least) giving me the confidence to run quicker than I would normally. When I am doing the intervals I can feel how my body is reacting and I have been out on training runs when suddenly I realise that I am feeling really strong and upping the speed a bit I feel like I do in the interval session and I just keep going. And that has given me a real buzz!

    Oh goodness, sorry. I told you I waffle!
  • This is interesting and has made me question my running.

    I run home from work (7 miles) two or three times a week and try to run both days on a weekend, but usually only achieve one or the other (anywhere from 4 to 8 miles depending, but usually a much slower pace than during the week), and yet when racing 10kms I am regularly achieving 45:00 with a PB of 43:45. My aim is to break 40:00

    I don't understand how I am able to achieve this if people who run a lot more, much further and fartlek/interval etc. aren't breaking the 50 mins barrier - Can anyone explain?
  • how long have you been running for fatso?

    could be that you have built a good aerobic base, which would mean that you are able to run faster at a lower heart rate, or it could be that you have been running for longer and have more milage whih kind of equates to the same thing.

    Someone on these forums talked about squeezing toothpaste from the bottom of the tube rather than the top. If you have a good base you will be squeezing from the bottom and have more in reserve.

    there is a theory that speed training too soon does not allow a good base to build, but i am not an expert on such matters.

  • Thanks for the reply Scooby - I have been running for about three years, my first couple of years were spent on a treadmill at the gym. I then ventured outside, and find it quite hard (and less interesting) to train on a treadmill now.
  • there you are then fatso, i would say that your 3 years of running has put you in good stead and you have a good base, but i am most certainly no expert!

  • Hmmm sorry to crash in...

    I started running in March, and ran a 48'30'' 10K in August (my second) and my first half in 1hr 50 in September.

    I've never gone above ~25miles per week, although I previously did quite a lot of cycling, and climb regularly as well.

    Do you think that building aerobic fitness in other sports transfers to running?
  • Hooray a thread about my favourite distance.
    As has been said before everyone responds differently to training but 30-40 miles a weeek is about right.
    Ive recently started hitting the track once a week hopefully the benefits will outweigh the pain
    EB definately think base fitness and strength is transferable I did a lot weight training and circuits and found core strength a real bonus.
  • Jen - that sounds a good session you did last night <<makes a note of it>>.

    That's one thing I love about these threads - I know everyone's training/performances etc are individual, but it's great picking up new ideas from other peeps' training (lurk occasionally on daily training thread & the hard training ones for very same reason & do the same thing with suggested sessions in the RW mag.)

    Fatso - I wonder what time you'd achieve if you did incorporate some speed sessions? Sounds like you've got a good base from your regular good length runs.
  • I guess there is a certain element of natural ability as well and genetic make up and stuff.

    I asked on another thread a while ago about the differences between all round fitness and contributing to running fitness and vice versa, when someone suggested doing one of those commando challenge type things. I didn't think I was fit enough.

    Certainly I think cycling is recommended as a running alternative if you are injured and I would imagine that general fitness would build aerobic base.

    Scoobs - I have heard this thing about speed training being pointless until you have been running for a long time too. I would say I have been 'running' since April, but since I would do it in the gym regularly for the 18 months before that but only two or three times a week and probably not even reaching 10 miles a week does this count or not? Over the 18 months I built up from only being able to go for about 20 minutes to being able to run confidently for an hour. But it was unfocussed so in my mind it doesn't count and I certainly didn't think of myself as a runner back then.

    I have also heard people say that if you enjoy a session then do it. I really enjoy the interval sessions I do and am looking forward to doing hill sessions too when I find a time I can fit them in! I would be interested to know more of the background to some of the training guidance. Any one know of any good research sites in this area?
  • Hi Jen
    In answer to your question, i will try my best but please note I am no expert and have only been running for 18 months myself!

    My theory is I am in this for the long haul hopefully, so am giving my body time to adjust to what i want it to do. In other words i would like to get a really good aerobic base before i start concentrating on anerobic (faster) stuff. This is because I want to avoid any really serious injury and having talked to people on here and a physio friend it seems that trying to do too much too soon could lead me down this road. on top of this i have extremely thin and not very strong ankles. this is genetic my brother has this too and therefore i have to be careful or i end up with shin splints.

    So for me speed training is (although enjoyable when i have tried it) not good at the moment due to increased intensity.

    Acording to experienced runners on here a half marathon or longer run is mainly run aerobically rather than anerobically, but to build a strong aerobic base takes time and patience. By running slower you are allowing your heart and lungs to build up strength and are also giving your muscles and tendons a chance to adjust to the hard impact of running. On top of this my physio freind tells me it takes about a year for the skeletal frame to build up strength to the impact of running.

    The reason i have decided to avoid speed training at the moment, is
    1. By experienced runners standards i have not been running very long at all
    2. I am prone to shin splints as have pathetic thin ankles and intensity just aggrivates the problem
    3. I want to run a marathon next spring and this will be aerobic in any case

    Have a chat with runners that have been running longer, although i will say every one is different, so you must find what is best for you.

    Also you are looking at 10k's, so i don't know whether this makes a difference.

  • Anyone here know of any good pre and post half marathon foods? I'm getting fed up of pasta and pots! I need my high carb foods for Swindon half, and Stroud half the week after. Didn't feel too bad after the Cardiff half as those high5 gels seem to be ok. Finished that in 1hr 34, so I suggest you all try them!!!!!
    Thanks guy and gals!
  • Pammie*Pammie* ✭✭✭
    WWW sorry can't help myself
    But amazing time. Love to run in that time

    Do definitely agree you need to build a good base before adding the speed work. Also each year to go back to bases so to speak. As you can't do speedwork all year round as your body will break down, and bodies need rest as well.
    Even the top athletes take a break at least once a year.

    Enjoyment is definitely a factor because if you don't enjoy it you won't get much out of it IMHO.

    Do think though there is no schedule that fits everyone we are all different and we have to do what suits us. But until we find what that is it is a case of trial and error.

    I know that as my main focus is on the 10k will have to do some speedwork sooner, compared to marathoners. Sometimes i think i am too cautious, and maybe this counts against me

    I've been told by a few people that they think i could do a 10k in 45 minutes.
    I would like to do such a thing there i've said it now, which is about 7:14 miling. Would need to take 64 seconds of each mile on current pb.
  • i've been running for a couple of years now and i'm trying to up my pace a bit. i've had a look at numerous training scheduled posted in various places but i'm a bit confused. most of them tell you 'run for 30 minutes fast (os steady or easy). what does fast mean in terms of your target race pace, twice as fast a bit faster? does anyone out there know?
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