Saturday, 21 June 2008

Sub 30 minute 10k training

A few observations about my training this year and how it impacted my race performance at Watford last week.

Last weeks 29:47 came at the end of a disrupted winter. After a good recovery from Toronto in September I was able to put together a good couple of months up to xmas culminating in a good run at Clevedon on Boxing Day. January was a bit of disaster with the eventful Kenya trip and as a result I wasn't able to do a lot of training. February was disrupted by illness which caused me to pull out of London but I was still able to keep a decent volume but without much quality running. From March I've been able to string together a consistent 3 months with plenty of weeks in the 100-110 range and good aerobic running down to about 5 minute miling plus plenty of strides and hill sprints.

2 days before the Bristol 10k at the beginning of May I did a Gigliotti Test which confirmed that I was aerobically fit and this proved to be so with a controlled 30.26 on the roads of Bristol. The data for the Gigliotti test is below. For me the key information are the lactate readings at slower than threshold pace, so the first 4 stages. This tells me how aerobically fit I am and I tend to do the test on the track every couple of months to monitor progress.

Lap Time (2k) HR La
80 06:40 160 1.3
79.5 06:38 160 1.4
78 06:30 163 2
77 06:24 166 2.7
75.5 06:18 168 4.4

So coming out of Bristol I knew that my aerobic shape was good and leg speed was also good so the task to prepare for the trials was simply to build the specific speed endurance required for the 10,000m. To do this I ran 5 workouts during the month before the trials and they were as follows:

  1. 10x90secs grass at about 3k effort
  2. 4x5mins grass with 2 at 10k effort and 2 at 5k effort
  3. 10x1km track at 2:57 km to simulate target race pace
  4. 14x400m track with 200m easy starting at 68 and finishing at 64
  5. 4 x (1km in 2:57 / 200 easy / 400 in 67/68) one week before the race to practice faster laps mixed with race pace
And for specific work that was it. I still kept the strides/hill sprints and a weekly tempo run while cutting the volume back to about 70 miles a week in the last 10 days to make sure I was able to freshen up. One of the things I have learnt over the years is that when I am fit it only takes a few weeks of anaerobic running to come into top shape.

Going into the race I knew that even if I had a bad day I was going to break 30 for the first time and I think this was key. By preparing to run 29:30 the mental doubts of will I / won't I around the 30 min barrier never really existed. Indeed during the 2 best sessions (no 3 &4) I was even visualising 29:22 and with some improvements to my build up this was achievable ...

So if I was going to look to improve on this build up I would have included one or two track races during May and probably done 1 more 10k pace session with longer reps at 29:30 pace. That said, the 10,000m trials were a secondary priority for me this season behind running a faster marathon in the autumn so a more focused 10k preparation may have compromised by main goal.

Overall, mission accomplished. 10,000m PB, good aerobic fitness, plenty of leg speed and great place to be starting a marathon build up from.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Adrian,

Good job. In your opinion is is possible / realisitic for a person with a 4:00 Marathon PR to train to 30:00 10K form?

Adrian Marriott said...

Who knows though I would say it is unlikely if that 4:00 was done by an adult after some sort of regular running.

That said its the journey that is most important in running, seeing how fit and fast you can get and having a load of fun along the way. After all, i'm never going to run 27:00 or even 28:00 but it doesnt stop me training hard. So lace em up and explore just what your potential truly is !

Michael Chan said...

Dear Adrian

Thank you very much for the information about sub 30 minutes
10K training.

I started my training programme when i was at school. My Personal Best for 800m is 2:12, 1500m 4:25 and 5000m 18:12 (in year 1994).

Due to unforseen circumstances, i gave up my running when i was 25. I am now 35 and start thinking to run again. My question is : is there any possibility for me to run sub 30 minutes in 10KM at this age ? (I am 5"4 (163cm), weight : 58KG). I recently took part in British London 10KM in London and my time for the 10KM is 44 minutes.

Thank you very much and it would be great if you can provide some pointer for the training program.

Best Regards
Chan

Adrian Marriott said...

Hi Michael,

Well congrats on getting back to running at age 35. I made my comeback at 30+ after 40 years getting fat and unfit and I was amazed at how quickly the fitness returned once I shed the excess kilos. I guess that for me I was always aiming at regaining what I gad before (14.14 5k) and extending my endurance to the marathon.

For you I would suggest that your next goal is sub 40 for 10km. Focus on that relentlessly and then when you have achieved it shoot for 37.30 and so on.

Stay healthy and stick at it.

Adrian

Adrian Marriott said...

40 should be 4 years !

ps I ran 2.11 as a 17 year old on a grass track

Michael Chan said...

Hi Adrian,
Thanks for the prompt response.
I will take part in 10KM run at Chasewater this Sunday. I aim to run between 40-44 minutes this time.
My training programmes are stated as below :
Monday : 70 minutes easy run, follow by 10 x 50m stride

Tuesday: Approx 50 minutes Cross Country

Wednesday : 30 Minutes easy run

Thursday: Same as Tuesday programe

Friday: Tempo Interval (2,3,4,4,3,2 minutes) run

Saturday : Rest

Sunday: Same as Tuesday & Thurday Program.

Thank you very much and will keep you update of my running progress.

Are you on facebook ? (Would like to add you as one of my facebook's friends)

Michael Chan

Sven said...

Adrian,
I just read your article whole looking for a training plan for "sub30". My current pb is 31:08, but from 1999. I didn't really train hard the last years, but never went above 35mins. Now I discovered that my basic speed (800m) has increased due to lots of resistance training and I want to give the 30mins another try.
Now my question about your 5 fast sessions: how long were the breaks?
Cheers, Sven

Adrian Marriott said...

Hi Sven, the recovery was about 90 seconds and this is not so important as the fact that I was concentrating on hitting race pace in the efforts and taking whatever recovery was needed.

What I posted is not really a plan at all. The point I was trying to make is that you can get yourself in close to top shape with just a mix of good aerobic training and shorter faster work. Then the hard interval sessions are the icing on the cake.

Hope this helps.

Adrian

Jonathan said...

Adrian,
great post ! Im a 23 y/o full time triathletel. now looking at braking 32mins for 10k (i have a 32:26PB). although Im i've been very consistent with my session for the past two years i have made a real braking through towards running sub31 for 10k. I tried everything. more hills, more endurance, more intensity and a variety of all but i think my main barrier is that Im not resting enough or running too hard on hard day. after reading your post i was wondering how did you engage those track sessions with recovery ? did they followed by a day off or an easy jog or a long run to gain more benefit of being tired ? or simply how do you engage your track session with your tempo, long and strength sessions and how do you feel you've recovered enough to gain the benefit from the session or the training week ?
thanks
Jonathan

Adrian Marriott said...

Hi Jonathan, I think you answered the question yourself ! The key here is running the workouts at a good pace but still relaxed and feeling like you could do more if you have to. If you are wiped out for a couple of days afterwards then you are pushing too hard - save that for races !

The duration/intensity of the day before and after in part depends on your overall fitness which is partly a function of how much aerobic training you have done over your career. In my experience many runners (and I know you triathletes are far more sensible) do their recovery runs too fast to really recover.

And you have the added challenge of three disciplines to train for and I honestly dont know about how optimally copmbine the three as i'm sure the cycling/swimming must have a training effect even for running.

Adrian

Jonathan said...

Adrian,
Thank you for your answer. The thing with triathlon is that they try to be good in three sports. i think that leave us, athletes with a bit of a felling that we didn't do enough in a certain sport. thats make it easy to not to let your body recover or to try and do too many hard sessions in one week (in three disciplines) .
I'll try to relax more on those easy days and stay controlled on the hard sessions. I think I need to learn better how to feel when it's time to relax... anyway thank you again for your interesting blog. i found it very useful and interesting.
cheers
Jonathan

Lebogang Molopo said...

thanks for the training programme. i have a question for you, when i was 17 years i used to run 10km in 31:24 (PB),15km in 50:48, and 21km in 1:12:17. i quitted athletics due to academics commitments. now i am 21 years old and want to return to athletics seriously with no turning back. my question is how should i start my training, when should i start with speed training, and how long should i train without competing?

Guillaume Belanger said...

Hi Adrian,

great job for the sub-30 10K! I'm sure it feels good doing it after all that training.

Like many other people, I also wonder if I could do it: run the 10K in 30 minutes. I just ran a 36 min 10 km this past weekend. But I know I can run faster.

My main thing was cycling for a long time, but since I lived in Canada for most of my life, I ran during the winter because it is too cold to cycle.

How can I really know if I can do it? How can I train to be as fast as I can be on the 10K? What should I do? Is it important to run 100 km per week or can such a pace of 20 km/h can be achieved on less mileage? What would you do if you were in my situation and wanted to know really how fast you can be?

Thanks and kind regards
Guillaume

josh said...

How fast/far were your weekly tempos session? i find them to be pne of the hardest sessions currently at 32 min 10km but interval work suggests should be running alot quicker

Anonymous said...

Hi Josh, those sustained runs at about your anaerobic threshold pace (50-60 minute race pace) are the best indicator of likely 10k pace so you are right to focus on them. Daniels would have a 32min 10k runner running at about 5.25 mile pace. You can run long intervals or continuous segments up to 20mins. If you are still out of line with your interval workouts you need more endurance ! Means more miles and some support for the tempos, say 5.45-6 min miling once a week. Adrian

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for the fast response, I will try that once a week in to my training, currently i am doing sessions such as grass intevals 4 x 5 mins, 4 x 2.5 mins 8 x 1min at around 4.30 to 5 min pace with 90 sec reovery on a thursday. and 8 x 1km avg 2.54 with 90 seconds - 2min recov on a tuesday. Along with long run of 17 - 18 miles at 6.30 pace. I tend to do other miles really easy.adding this sustained run in my training could make a big difference i think i may have been trying to force the tempos trying to do them at goal race pace. 5.20s sounds much more achievable in a hard week of training. Cheers josh

Adrian Marriott said...

Josh, those interval workouts are way out of line with a 32 minute 10k. I doubt I could have done the 8x1km session when I broke 30mins.

Looking at what you have told me suggests that you have nothing in your programme between 5.00 and 6.30 pace ? This is absolutely the zone where you need to be working to build your aerobic fitness. I would suggest dumping one of those interval sessions (you've got speed to burn) and slowing the other one down to closer to 10k pace + some short sprints. Use your energies to do some of that steady state work.

Give it 6-8 weeks, race and report back !

Adrian Marriott said...

Guillame, the journey is as important as the destination. To find out how fast you can be is a question of running and running and sticking at it. It takes years to reach ones full potential.

The principles are simple really. Increase the training a bit and let the bopdy adapt. When its adapted increase again. Keep going. Put no limits in your head. When I was running 50km a week I couldn't contemplate 110km let alone 220km which I have done.

There are lots of good books out there. Find some buddies, join a club and lace 'em up.

Adrian

Nikolaj Madsen said...

Hi Adrian,

Just wanted to thank you for a great post!

Anonymous said...

Hi Adrian, thanks for such a great blog.
I wonder if you could give me a few pointers please? I have been trying to improve my 10k pb of 35:10 but so far have had no luck. A typical week is,
M. 40 steady 6:45/7 pace.
T. Hills 8-10x 1min.
W. 60 easy 7/7:20 pace.
T. Track various, 5min pace.
F. Rest.
S. Grass session 5:45 pace.
S. 100min 7 pace.
Many thanks in advance. Graham.

Adrian Marriott said...

Hi Graham,

A few thoughts with all the usual caveats (Dont your training background, age, full program etc).

3 hard workouts plus a long run in a week is a lot. I wonder how well you are recovering and adapting ? Remember recovery is what makes you fitter. Perhaps try 2 workouts a week and see what happens ? I tend to use a 2 week cycle with athletes I coach to spreads things out.

Pacing - Looks like the 3 workouts are 10k pace or faster and the easy runs are significantly slower. We know that lots of aerobic development comes from running threshold pace (slower than 10k) and marathon pace (approx). Daniels would give you a VDOT of 60 and assign Easy pace of 7:20, Marathon Pace of 6:15 and Threshold pace of 5:55. I find this guidance very reliable with athletes of your level.

So more recovery runs at easier pace, less intensive running, much more running at threshold and MP.

Let me know how it goes...

Adrian

Anonymous said...

Hi Adrian, thanks for the reply.
I guess I really should of given you my details!!
I'm 31, have ran competitively for many years.
My schedule follows pretty much the same as described year round but I do train with 800/1500m guys.
I will hunt out Daniels running formula and get to work.
Thanks again for the reply, it's very kind of you.
Graham.

brian said...

Hi adrian,

I find this very interesting ..

I am a 37 year old runner and have a 28:20 for 5 , that's my best ever and I only done that last year at 36..

while marathon training i injured my calf and that kept me off the road , combined with illness , i am only getting back now again.

what are your thoughts on my training ..?

Sunday ... 10-12 miles 7 30 pace
Mon 6-8 miles starting easy and then around 6.45/50 pace for last 3-4 miles.
Tues 6x800 mts at 2mins 50
wed easy 6-8 at 8 pace
Thurs 10x400mts 77 - 84 secs
fri 6-8 at 7.30 pace or hill charges
Sat rest
Sunday start all over agin

regards and thanks ..
brian

brian said...

Hi adrian ,

I meant to add to my message that my goal is to get back to the level of running 28 mins for 5 and sub 60 for 10 which i could run last year but finding it very difficult to get going and just feel flat when im running .... my training plan above could be all wrong ....

thanks again brian ... shud have this in the original post sorry ...

Adrian Marriott said...

Hi Brian,

If you are feeling flat then I would take your body's advice and put in a few weeks of just easy running and some drills until you feel your mojo returning. Trying to force it ain't going to help !

Your program... With all the usual caveats of not knowing your training background, current fitness etc my intial reaction was not enough good aerobic running and too much intense running. The tuesday and friday workouts are at your 5k speed or faster I think ?

Based on a 60min 10 Miles Daniels would have you running at 6:20 pace for marathon and 6:00 for threshold. I would normally have my athletes work a range from slower than MP up to threshold, say 6:45 to 6:00. And you made need to run slower than this if you are not in 60min shape. Its about the effort rather than goal pace. Once a week of something faster should be enough until you sharpen for your goal race.

Hope this helps, Adrian

Dejen Gebreselassie said...

Hi Adrian,
Congrats on your 29:47 10k I'm very happy for you
You have achieved what you wanted to achieve I'm sure if you keep it up in that shape you can break sub 29 & 28 easy! I need your bro I'm 20 years old originally from Ethiopia but I live in Australia now I did my first half marathon ever 2 weeks ago in 1:06 and theme first 10k was 31:10 I was very imazed on how I ran that ? I thanked God for his strength in me! so I ran a pb of 31:10 and 1:06 half marathon now I have another 10k race in 3 weeks I definitely want to break sub 30? Do you think it's possible for me Adrian ?

My training this year has been very good I'm in good shape I'm hitting up 110km a week my training looks like this

Mon: 1hr 10 easy Afternoon 8x200m in 27/26 last one 25
Tues: 10 easy after noon 1hr moderate pace
Wed: 1 hour moderate after noon 10x200 hill reps
Thurs: 1 hour easy afternoon track 8x1km start with 2:52 finish 2:47
Friday rest day nothing at all
Sat: morning 1 hr easy afternoon 12x400m start with 62 last one 57

Sunday rest go to church :)
Thank you Adrian

Adrian Marriott said...

Salama Dejen, dena neh ? I have happy memories Ethiopia, running in Bahir Dar, Axum and Lalibella. I even did the first Great Ethiopian Run in 2001 - my slowest ever 10km road race !

Congratulations on your half marathon. I am sure this is just the start ofsomething special for you. With this train of course you are going to run under 30mins for 10k and really I would set no limits.

You are a young guy and the best advice I can offer you is to find a good coach who can help you for the next few years. Endurance running takes times and of course with 4 hard sessions a week you make big improvements quickly.

And to keep making more improvements and reach your full potential (28, 27, 26min, who knows) you will need more kilometres and a more balanced training program for a number of years to build your endurance.

Be patient, stay healthy and enjoy the journey !

Ciao, Adriano

Dejen Gebreselassie said...

Dena negne Adrian Anesegnalew thank you
Your Amharic is very good I thought you were Ethiopian for a second haha oh nice so you have visited Ethiopia ? That's very good yeah it's lovely country and very blessed nice people they love guests.

I really thank you very much for your wise advice my friend I will do that from now on
Yes I'm very focused and consistent with my training I need to be more patient I will be cheers for that bro
If you have Facebook can you please add me On this account

Dejen Gebreselasi




Anonymous said...

hi adrian, i'm 19 yo guy & i started running after 2012 olympics, watched mo farah win & i was inspired because i'm half somalian & half eritrean, at the moment living in the UK but grew up in eritrea.i have run for school one time but i mainly did football & cycling.when i started running 6 month ago i couldn't run for 5 minute but now i'm hooked, my pb are 3:24 1k, 5min 1.5k 19:21 5k.at the moment im training everyday, my milleage is around 150k, but im aiming to get up 165k.im currently following arthur lydiard training programme.im 5ft7 130lbs but im aiming to be 120lbs.i have got a race in 5 weeks time, first 10k but i want to get sub 40.can u please give me advice on how i can keep improving i want one day to be around 30min 10k,can u also give me advice on how long it will take me.im very commited to running & im willing to spend years training & have a dream of one day representing my country in athletics.

Ruslans S said...

Hey man! I am from LV. Iam 17years old and my PB at 10k is 35:00 , Half Marathon - 1:16:45 . I want to run 10k 31:30. And I need make that until June. I want go to world Junior championship. Maybe you can give me some advice . My e-mail is rusens@inbox.lv . Please help me !

Anonymous said...

Hi adrian,
my names jon i ran 30.50 10 years ago when i was 28.i am now 38 and only running 35 mins not sure if its an age thing but feel i should be doing better.any tips would be greatly appricated regards jon.