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The 10k Training Plan That Will Improve Your 10k Run


Why a 10k training plan? 10k is a popular distance in the running community. From beginner runners, intermediate runners through to experienced runners. Because of this, we are often asked “How can I improve my 10k run?

Why 10K?

The standard progression from a 5k run is a 10k run. Many runners will then generally look at improving their times in 10k races or use it as a steppingstone distance to Half Marathons and beyond. Due to its popularity there are a plethora of 10k race events out there to choose from.

Online running coaches AW Running Fitness have devised this 10k training plan, to answer that question,” How can I improve my 10k run?”

The Training Plan

The aim of this Training plan is to improve speed and stamina to enable the runner to improve a 10k time. It is designed with the assumption that the runner can make the time to run 3 or 4 times per week and are at a level of fitness they are able to run 10K already. 

This 10k Training Program is based on two basic principles: 

• You need implement a gradual increase to allow your body to adapt to the step up in training

• For success at the distance, you need to train for the demands of the individual race 

This will result in: 

• An improvement in your fitness so that you can increase your pace and make it more comfortable

• Simulating the fatigue experienced in training, without getting hurt or becoming too tired.

The Theory

By spreading the mileage throughout the week with a long run at the weekend, the runner will stay healthy and have enough training under their belt to finish the race with a smile at the finish line! 

Focus on the 4 training runs outlined below with an addition of at least one or two cross training session to compliment the plan. Adapt the order of the runs to fit the sessions in to your week based on the time frames outlined. The slow runs should be at a conversational pace that is very easy and doesn’t feel like you’re straining.

Flexibility is perfectly acceptable, so do not worry if you don’t follow the plan exactly. We are all individuals and our running should reflect this. Listen to your body. 

Week 1 Of The Plan

Below is the first week of a 10 week 10k Training Plan.

The aim for this week is to get used to reading the body and how it feels at a ‘steady’ pace.

Try to run comfortably, relax the shoulders and drive the knees.

Run 1

45 Minutes

Start easy and build to a comfortable economic pace (natural effort). You should be able to talk in short phrases and single sentences.

Run 2

10 minutes EASY.  3 x 8 TEMPO (comfortably hard) With 2 minutes easy jog between. 10 minutes EASY

Run 3

35 minutes EASY

4 x 10 seconds strides – These should be a short blast at 95% effort with a full recovery between.

Run 4

5 minutes VERY EASY

EASY for 5 Miles – Keep this run easy, there is no reason to push.

5 minutes VERY EASY

Other Factors To Consider – It’s Not All About The Running

CROSS TRAINING: Try to cross train once or twice a week. This will supplement your running training. Cross Training helps build strength and flexibility in the muscles that running does not utilize. This will reduce the chance of injury during the 10k training program.

Activities such as swimming, cycling, spinning, fitness classes and strength training are all great ways to improve overall strength. 

WARMING UP: Each run outlined above, begins with a brief period of easy paced running. This is to ease your body into the session. It is important to use dynamic stretches to prepare your body before you run, to increase circulation and blood flow to the muscles you are about to use. Warming up the muscles will drastically reduce the chance of injury. 

COOLING DOWN: Each session ends with a reduced pace to lower your heart rate. We advise you reduce this down to a gentle walk before finishing. Cooling down is just as important as warming up. It aids recovery and ensures your body is ready to perform on your next run. Static stretches improve the motion range and can reduce natural damage to muscular tissue. Focus on the main leg and back muscle groups. 

REST: Downtime and recovery are equally as important as the exercise and runs themselves. The stress that the 10k training plan puts on your body causes changes, which means the body needs time to adapt and repair. Muscular tissue regenerates during rest and sleep and reduces the chance of stress fractures. Soreness and aches are to be expected, however continued discomfort or pain should be viewed with caution.

This article was kindly supplied by TrueSapien partners and Online running coaches AW Running Fitness.

To contact them and learn more about their Online Running Coaching, please visit the partner pages.

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