10K Intermediate

If you have already done a 10km race and would like to improve on your time and performance, this is the training programme to use. It incorporates intervaltraining and speed work to build up your speed and endurance, and calls on a commitment of running on 4 days a week over 2 months.

The aim of this programme is to make 10km (6 miles) an easily achievable distance for you to run, and to enable you to improve your technique and speed over this distance whilst maintaining the ability to run further at a slower pace.

The Programme

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 Rest 2 miles easy run 30 mins interval run Rest 30 mins easy run Rest 3 miles steady run
Week 2 Rest 2 miles easy run 30 mins interval run Rest 30 mins easy run Rest 5 miles steady run
Week 3 Rest 3 miles easy run 30 mins interval run Rest 30 mins easy run Rest 6 miles steady run
Week 4 Rest 3 miles easy run 40 mins interval run Rest 30 mins speed run Rest 7 miles steady run
Week 5 Rest 2 miles easy run 40 min interval run Rest 30 mins speed run Rest 8 miles steady run
Week 6 Rest 2 miles easy run 50 mins interval run Rest 30 mins speed run Rest 8 miles steady run
Week 7 Rest 3 miles easy run 50 mins interval run Rest 30 mins speed run Rest 6 miles steady run
Week 8 Rest 3 miles easy run 5kms at race pace Rest 3 miles easy run Rest RACE DAY!

Hints

Timing your runs and your mile speeds is an excellent way of monitoring your improvement, and a good motivation to improve. Don’t be afraid to set yourself challenges.

Use the speed sessions on a Friday to improve your aerobic fitness and strength, and to test your own effort and endurance levels.For the longer runs and steady runs you should train at about 75% effort (a run not a sprint!), but can put a little more effort in on the shorter, faster runs and interval training. Once you are comfortable with 6-mile runs you can try increasing your speed a little, but do so gradually and only after your body has warmed up.

From week 4 your intervaltraining can be adapted to shorten the recovery periods if possible, but try different lengths of interval runs to find the level that suits your ability. You want to avoid having to walk at any point, so make sure you have enough energy between interval runs to maintain a gentle recovery jog. You may want to shorten the interval run but also reduce the recovery run before the next bout offaster running. Alternatively  you may wish to increase the duration of the interval runs but have slightly longer recovery runs in between as a result. Ultimately the aim is to increase the duration of the interval runs and get your body  used to faster running.

In the final 3 weeks see if you can slightly increase your effort and speed gradually on the longer runs as your body warms up after each mile. On the final Wednesday in week 8 set off at a gently pace to warm up and then see if you can do 5kms at your predicted race speed. Finish with a gently jog to warm down. Take it easy on the final Friday run.

On race-day, don’t start too quickly. Allow the body to warm up for the first half mile or so before you aim for your race pace, and try not to get caught into a faster runner’s pace. Try to run with other people aiming for a similar finishing time to avoid burn-out.

A few things to remember from the start:

  • Respect your Rest-Days as these are necessary to allow your body to recover and adapt.
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat a week if you are feel unprepared for the next part, or to drop back a week if you find the next stage too demanding at first. Everyone is different and bodies adapt at different rates.
  • Avoid wearing cotton clothing on your longer or faster runs, as cotton absorbs sweat and moisture and can chafe the skin. Use synthetic “wicking” fabrics instead, and decent running socks that won’t wrinkle, rub or trap moisture. It is important for women to wear a properly fitting sports bra to reduce vertical and horizontal movement. A flat-seamed, wide strapped, non-underwired, maximum support variety is recommended.
  • Wear proper running shoes at all times (usually in at least half a size larger than your normal footwear) as these will provide shock-absorption, support, protection, comfort and the most efficient exchange of energy from the ground. Seek advice from a specialist running shop for shoe advice and information, and to find out if you “over-pronate” (see our separate section on this) and may need shoes with additional arch support built in.

To maintain this new level of fitness, try to do at least three 30-40 minute runs every week and keep experimenting with interval and speed running.