10K Training : Advanced

About the Advanced Program

This 10K Training Program is for Advanced runners, those individuals who compete regularly in races up to 10K or beyond and who want to improve their performances. You should be capable of running 30 to 60 minutes a day, five to seven days a week and have a basic understanding of how to do speedwork. If that sounds like too much training, and this is your first 10K race, you might be more comfortable using one of the 10K programs designed for Novice or Intermediate runners.

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At a glance

Author: Hal Higdon Length: 8 Weeks Typical Week: 7 Run Longest Workout: 10 miles

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  • Stay motivated for the 10K with daily tips from Hal in your inbox
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Hal on his Advanced Program

THIS SCHEDULE IS FOR ADVANCED RUNNERS ONLY: Individuals who compete regularly in races up to 10K or beyond and who want to improve their performances. You should be capable of running 30 to 60 minutes a day, five to seven days a week and have a basic understanding of how to do speedwork. If that sounds like too much training, you might be more comfortable using one of the programs designed for novice or intermediate runners.

The program utilizes a countdown from Week 1 to Week 8 (race week) for a 10K race. Let me explain the terms that follow. Further information and explanations are included in the daily emails received by those signed up for the interactive 10K programs on TrainingPeaks.

Runs: The runs of 3-6 miles on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays are designed to be done at a comfortable pace. For those who use heart monitors, you would be running between 65 to 75 percent of maximum.

Rest: Rest is an important part of your training. On Fridays you are offered the option of resting or taking an easy 3-mile run. Be realistic about your fatigue level, and don’t feel guilty if you decide to take a day off. Consider scheduling a rest day before and/or after you race.

Tempo Runs: A tempo run is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10K race pace. In this program, tempo runs are scheduled for Tuesdays. A Tempo Run of 30 to 40 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, then gradually accelerating, building to to peak pace for 3-5 minutes near the middle, then 5-10 minutes easy toward the end. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden. You can do tempo runs almost anywhere: on the road, on trails or even on a track.

Speedwork: If you want to race at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace. Interval training, where you alternate fast running with jogging or walking, is a very effective form of speedwork. The training schedule begins in Week 1 with a workout of 6 x 400 meters and peaks in Week 7 with 12 x 400 meters. Run the 400s at about the pace you would run in a mile or 1500 race. Walk or jog between each repeat. Interval training is best done on a track, but these workouts also can be done on a treadmill or on the road or on trails, by running hard approximately the length of time you would run a 400 on the track. For more information on speed training, see my book, Run Fast.

Warm-up:  Warming up is important, not only before the race itself, but before your speed workouts.  My usual warm-up is to jog a mile or two, sit down and stretch for 5-10 minutes, then run some easy strides (100 meters at near race pace). And I usually cool down afterwards by doing half of the warm up.

Strength: Consider adding some strength training two or three days a week. Best time is after an easy workout. I usualy recommend light weights and high reps, but you need to find a routine that works for you. Don’t forget stretching.

Pace: This is the pace at which you expect to run the 10K. Saturday workouts include some running at race pace. Start and finish easy, similar to the tempo runs. In the accompanying schedules, I prescribe the total distance of the run plus the approximate amount of that distance that should be run at race pace. Thus, “5 total/3 pace” means that in a 5-mile run, three of those miles should be done at your 10K race pace.

Race: As an advanced runner you can benefit from at least a few test races to fine-tune your fitness. Thus, I’ve scheduled a 5K race and an 8K race for Weeks 4 and 6. If you can’t find races at those exact distances in your area, use whatever convenient races are available. Juggle days and weeks if necessary. And if that doesn’t work, you can always do a time trial at the suggested distance.

Long Runs: The long run distance increases from 6 to 10 miles. Run at a comfortable, conversational pace, except on those days where a 3/1 workout is prescribed. A “3/1” workout is one in which you run the first three-fourths of the distance at a comfortable pace, then accelerate to near race pace over the last one quarter of the workout. If Sunday isn’t a convenient day for your long runs, feel free to do them on Saturday–or any other day of the week for that matter.

Week Mon Tue Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 3 mi run 30 min tempo run 6 x 400 mile pace 3 mi run Rest or 3 mi run 5 mi total, 2 mi pace 6 mi run
2 3 mi run 40 min tempo run 7 x 400 mile pace 4 mi run Rest or 3 mi run 5 mi total, 2 mi pace 7 mi run
3 3 mi run 50 min tempo run 8 x 400 mile pace 5 mi run Rest or 3 mi run 5 mi total, 3 mi pace 8 mi run (3/1)
4 3 mi run 30 min tempo run 9 x 400 mile pace 3 mi run Rest or 3 mi run Rest 5K Race
5 3 mi run 50 min tempo run 10 x 400 mile pace 6 mi run Rest or 3 mi run 6 mi total, 3 mi pace 8 mi run (3/1)
6 3 mi run 30 min tempo run 11 x 400 mile pace 3 mi run Rest or 3 mi run Rest 8K Race
7 3 mi run 60 min tempo run 12 x 400 mile pace 6 mi run Rest or 3 mi run 6 mi total, 3 mi pace 10 mi run (3/1)
8 3 mi run 30 min tempo run 6 x 400 mile pace 3 mi run Rest or 1-3 mi run Rest 10K Race
Week Mon Tue Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 4.8 km run 30 min tempo run 6 x 400 km pace 4.8 km run Rest or 4.8 km run 8.1 km total, 3.2 km pace 9.7 km run
2 4.8 km run 40 min tempo run 7 x 400 km pace 6.4 km run Rest or 4.8 km run 8.1 km total, 3.2 km pace 11.3 km run
3 4.8 km run 50 min tempo run 8 x 400 km pace 8.1 km run Rest or 4.8 km run 8.1 km total, 4.8 km pace 12.9 km run (3/1)
4 4.8 km run 30 min tempo run 9 x 400 km pace 4.8 km run Rest or 4.8 km run Rest 5K Race
5 4.8 km run 50 min tempo run 10 x 400 km pace 9.7 km run Rest or 4.8 km run 9.7 km total, 4.8 km pace 12.9 km run (3/1)
6 4.8 km run 30 min tempo run 11 x 400 km pace 4.8 km run Rest or 4.8 km run Rest 8K Race
7 4.8 km run 60 min tempo run 12 x 400 km pace 9.7 km run Rest or 4.8 km run 9.7 km total, 4.8 km pace 16.1 km run (3/1)
8 4.8 km run 30 min tempo run 6 x 400 km pace 4.8 km run Rest or 1.6-4.8 km run Rest 10K Race

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