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Discussion Starter #1
Any good advice out there (silly question really)!
I am planning to do a 10k race on Oct 29. Currently I run for fun, once or twice a week, anything up to 5 miles. I would like to give this 10k my best shot. I am restricted to running twice a week because of a whole range of other commitments. So, I am looking for a 8 week plan or so to maximise my prearation for the race. I can comfortably run 5 miles at 7min/mile. I would really like to be able to do the 10k in 50mins or less. What do you reckon?
 

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Welcome to the forum Jerry. If you're 7 minute miling you should be able to get under 50 mins with relative ease.

You may want to look at doing some speed work to improve your time. Try a session of 1 min jog, 1 min fast over a 30 minute period. That should give you a good work out.

Also, use the pace calculator on the homepage to give you an idea of what time to expect.
 

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Thanks Dan

Dan, I've never tried 'speed' training. I'll give it a go tomorrow night. Do you thiks I should try some runs in excess of 10k as well to make it easier on the day?
 

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Jerry G said:
Dan, I've never tried 'speed' training. I'll give it a go tomorrow night. Do you thiks I should try some runs in excess of 10k as well to make it easier on the day?
Personally, I would train over 10k occassionaly as well. Maybe try a 7-8 mile run once over couple of weeks.

Also, if you can only train twice a week it may be worth joining a club as they will vary your sessions.
 

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I've been wondering the same thing. I've been having real problems getting a good 10 km time this season. I seem to hit a wall at about halfway and if there are any hills they finish me off. Some people advise speed work and some say increase milage. At the moment I do 1 track session a week speedwork and aim for 1 60-90 min run a week. In between times its races or easy/pace runs. So what do people think? Speed or milage for a good 10k?
 

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I find I've been getting faster over a 10km by "going long" at weekends for a 10 mile run whilst doing 5km fartlek sessions during the week whilst also practicing the course.
 

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Unless you're running over 50 miles a week ( or under a very calculated program aimed at increasing both lactate threshold and VO2 max), I think the best way to improve performance over 10k is simply to run more miles. Up to 50 you'll experience significant vo2 max boosts. Weight should hopefully drop off if you're carrying any excess and your base endurance will also increase drastically.

If you're only doing 2 sessions a week with nothing else, then you need to hit them HARD if you want performance increases. You've got enough time to recover and should be fresh for each run so you really need to go for it.
 

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Nick B has got it pretty much right.

Basically, as it improves it lets you run at a faster pace more comfortably.

Horwill states it as.."It is a measure of fitness, and literally means the amount of oxygen we can breathe in during one minute of maximal work and is expressed as millimetres per kilogramme per minute."

http://www.serpentine.org.uk/advice/coach/fh49.php- explains about it well.

It is one of the key elements of running well. The other 3 are...endurance ( covering the distance), basic speed (how fast you can run flat out) and lactate threshold.

ASsuming you can cover the 10k distance comfortably ( which if you can't getting to 50 miles a week ENSURES you can and so can bring massive performance gains), then vo2 max and lactate threshold are more or less equally important.

vo2 max is about just how fast a pace you can run, your lactate threshold is the percentage of your vo2 max ( or pace), that you can keep up with without lactate starting to gather in the legs, if you're running above your lactate threshold, it accumulates and that's why you start to slow down.

For instance if you have two runners, both of whom have a vo2 max at say 6mm, the one who has a higher lactate threshold SHOULD win, say one has 70% the other 80%.

But unless you have a programme aimed at improving this, running 50 miles a week gives you substantial vo2 max gains, odds are as long as you do some bits faster you'll naturally improve your lactate threshold and your base endurance will increase substantially.

THis is all stuff you don't really need to know, but the truth is that just about every runner I've known has seen SUBSTANTIAL performance gains from moving up to 50 miles a week (slowly and progressively). I know that my own performance went from around 45 minutes to around 38. (debut was 61 minutes, now running 33 minutes, expecting a sub 32 clocking within a year, probably would have had already but have had injury for last 4-5 months, but managed to sustain some sort of performance so still just at sub 34 standard).
 

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Some interesting thoughts there Bryn, I'm currently hovering around 36 mins for a 10k and would really like to clock low 35s. I currently do around 35 miles a week, perhaps I should look at pushing to 50. How do you structure your sessions? Would that include a long weekend run?
 

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admin- generally not, but I know they're very beneficial to a training program. I've tried them a few times (including a 17 mile run at 6:20 pace, that was actually a lot of fun!) and they've definitely got their benefits, but my training wasn't that structured.

Essentially my training consisted of...2 x track sessions, one longer session of say 8 x 1k and one shorter pyramid session of say 1, 2, 4,6,6,4,2,1. Withroughly 2 minute recoveries for both. Those on Tuesday and Thursday, then a variety of runs in the week, most from 6-8 miles. then the weekend, normally I'd be racing, if not then I'd do either a long run or a tough session, such as 60 minutes ( 1 minute running hard, 1 easy), which done properly hurts much more than any race.

That was part of what took me from 36:28 down to 34:45, and then finished the season with 34;23 on a boiling hot day on a track. Then at the start of this year debuted with a 33:16 after a reasonable winter. Only measured race I did before I got injured, and the time still has me in the top ten under 20 road 10k runs this year nationally.

Whilst I think the long reps helped a lot, running 45+ miles a week definitely made a big difference. Mileage can get you under 35, but after that unless you run veyr high milaege you need to start looking at ways of improving vo2 max and your lactate threshold specifically.
 
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