Some people love it, and others hate it, but for me, the 10k distance is my favourite. I like the fact that it’s a slower burning pain that progressively gets worse, but it is also short enough to allow you to get your legs turning quickly. It is also a great race distance that you can battle with your opponents over. With a 10k focus, you can have speed in your training plan as well as tempos and get immense benefits from covering that range. So, here are my 3 favourite 10k sessions.
E.g. 4-8 miles tempo.
This is my ALL TIME favourite session. As soon as I see a continuous tempo on the plan, I know it’s going to be a fun week. Tempo pace tends to be a comfortably hard effort that you can sustain for an extended period of time, such as an hour if you had to. They can also range from 4 to 8 miles in length, or even further.
If you are new to continuous tempo work, I would recommend starting with something like 3x10 minutes with 90-120 seconds jog recovery. You could then try 2x15 minutes with the same recovery before progressing into a continuous effort. I would then recommend doing 20-25 minutes continuous and slowly building it up from there.
Tempos are great as they are a bread and butter session. They allow you to build up a strong base and be confident in the fact that you are able to maintain a decent pace for an extended period of time.
Interval Session at 10k pace.
E.g. 5-7 x1200m @10k pace with 90 seconds recovery.
This session is especially great if you are looking to do a 10k on the track. If you are not, you can change the 1200m reps for something like 4 minute reps. It is great because it allows you to lock in to your 10k pace and tick off lots of consistent laps. It may initially feel faster than expected, but this is normal, don’t let it scare you, because come race day when you are rested and have others around you, the pace will initially feel easy. This session helps teach you that even when you’re tired, your 10k pace can still flow.
Working through the paces.
E.g. 2 mile tempo, 2 miles @ 10k pace, 6-8 400’s @ 5k pace.
This session bites. Starting off at tempo means that the 10k pace 2 miles hits harder than you expect. When you then pick it up further to 5k pace, you really feel the speed on tired legs. This is however great for replicating a race that may start conservatively and slowly wind up. It gets your legs used to running fast on tired legs and prepares you for the final 3k when your legs are not thanking you for what you are putting them through. It hurts, but you will so much satisfaction once it is done.
These are just a few examples of some 10k training sessions, but you can vary the length of each session depending on where you are at.
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I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!