Ten week schedule to break 50 minutes for 10k

You need to be pretty fit to run 10km in 50 minutes. So how do you define fit? The 5 main components can be referred to as the 5 S's: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill, Suppleness. If  you were to imagine these as ingredients in a cake you would then need to know how much of each to put in the mix - in this case, for 10K. Most of your run will need to be done using the aerobic energy system and so the biggest percentage should be devoted to stamina - or endurance - with the others added to taste, or to personal need. Ideally you would work with a coach or a running group leader who can help you to identify the weak areas that you may need to work on more than the others.

This programme focuses on building a good aerobic base with a good sprinkling of speed work to help you change gear when necessary during the race.

R = Rest

AR = Active Rest (walk, bike or swim)

E = Easy pace

T = Threshold pace. Ideally you would use a Heart Rate Monitor. Depending on levels of fitness threshold pace is approximately 85 - 90% of maximum heart rate* or half marathon race pace.

F = Faster than race pace - approximatgely 95% of maximum heart rate. The recoveries should be as long as it takes for the heart rate to fall to 60% of maximum heart rate.

Any session that includes fast running should also include a 10 minute warm up with dynamic stretching and a 10 minute cool down with static stretching.

*to calculate percentage of maximum heart rate:

Maximum heart rate = approx 220 minus your age.

Subtract your resting heart rate (should be taken on waking up)

Calculate the percentage of this number and then add the resting heart rate back on.

Eg, Joe is 40 years old with a resting heart rate of 60.

His fast running should be done at 95% of maximum heart rate:

  • 220 - 40 = 180
  • 180 - 60 = 120
  • 95% of 120 = 114
  • 114 + 60 = 174
  • 174 - pace for speed sessions.
  • Recovery is until the heart rate drops to 60%
  • 60% of 120 = 76
  • 76 + 60 = 136
  • His next effort should be when his heart rate gets down to 136.

The sessions don't have to be done on the days suggested - they should fit in and around the rest of your life but try to keep to the formula of having an easy day or a day of rest after the faster sessions. Recovery is a very important part of training. Likewise, if you are feeling tired on a day where a fast session is scheduled, save it for another day and have a day off or an easy run. It is important to listen to your body. It will tell you when you need recovery. An elevated resting heart rate is also an indication that you need to rest as there is a possibility that you are fighting off a bug or virus. Don't run if you are ill or run down. You shouldn't try to make up for lost time either. If you have to miss sessions it is probably best to get back onto the schedule where you left off and change your target race.

By Jackie Newton. Level 3 UKA endurance coach.

Week one

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

45 mins E

10 X 45 secs F

AR

6 X 2 mins F

R

30 mins E

45 mins E

Week 2

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

45 mins E

10 X 45 secs F

AR

4 X 4 mins F

R

30 mins E

60 mins E

Week 3

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

45 mins E

10 X 60 secs F

AR

Alternate between 10 mins E and 10 mins T for 50 mins

R

 30 mins E

75 mins E

Week 4

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

45 mins E

4 X 5 mins F

AR

10 X 45 secs F

R

5km park run

75 mins E

Week 5

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

50 mins E

6 X 2 mins F & 4 X 1 min F

AR

 12 X 45 secs F

R

30 mins E

75 mins E

Week 6

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

50 mins E

 4 x 6 mins F

AR

 12 X 60 secs F

R

5km park run

60 mins E

Week 7

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

50 mins E

6 X 2 mins F & 4 X 1 min F

AR

Alternate between 10 mins E and 10 mins F for 50 mins

R

30 mins E

75 mins E

Week 8

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

50 mins E

4 X 6 mins F

AR

12 X 60 secs F

R

5km park run

60 mins E

Week 9

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

50 mins E

5 X 4 mins F

AR

16 mins E, 12 mins T, 2 mins F, 16 mins E, 12 mins T, 2 mins F, 10 mins E

R

40 mins E

60 mins E

Week 10

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

45 mins E

12 X 45 secs F

R

40 mins E

R

20 mins E

RACE DAY


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