Running a 10K?

I had the good fortune to meet a running expert at the Las Vegas conference I recently attended. Many of you come to me with your running related questions and I prefer to direct them to someone with more experience in this area. I”m not a runner by any stretch and I want the best advice for you.

Jill Bruyere is your expert. I asked her to share some strategies for preparation for a 10K and this is what she has to say:

HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO TRAIN TO RUN YOUR FIRST 10-K RACE? If you possess a good level of fitness you probably could run a half dozen miles on minimal training.  However, if you’ve made the decision to run a 10-K race you might as well do it right.

Following is an eight-week training schedule to help get you to the finish line of your first 10-K. (For those metrically challenged,10-K is 6.2 miles.)

To participate in this 10-K program, you should have no major health problems, should be in reasonably good shape, and should have done at least some jogging or walking in the past few weeks.  The program consists of 4 days per week of running and at least two days per week of strength training.  Runners make the common mistake of not incorporating strength training to their running program.  A proper strength training program will help you avoid injury, improve your running economy and form, increase your speed and help you gain running power.

10K Training Program

This is an 8-week 10K training program and 10K training schedule that is designed to prepare a runner for a 10K race.  This program is easy to follow with specifically designed weekly workouts.  Feel free to make adjustments in order to accommodate scheduling conflicts or missed workouts.  For example, I put the long run on Sundays, but maybe Saturday is a better day for you to fit in a long run.  Your goal is to complete the four run workouts each week.

The four workouts consist of one interval run, 2 easy runs, and one long run per week.  Try to stack strength training days on the same days as an easy run and/or on your off days.  On rest days, do not do any running.  Rest is a very important part of any training program. Without proper rest, your muscles and connective tissues will not have an opportunity to recover and strengthen properly. On the days calling for complete rest, do no strenuous activity.

Easy Runs Easy runs should be run at a pace that feels fairly comfortable. You should be breathing hard, but should be able to carry on a conversation. If you are breathing so hard that you cannot talk, you are running too hard. If you can sing, you are running too easily.

Interval Workouts

The speed workouts in this program consist of short intervals that are performed at faster than your normal training speed. These are introductory level speed workouts and are designed to moderately improve your speed and performance in the 10K race. Run the speed workouts at a faster pace than your easy runs, but do not run at an all out pace. You should feel like you are working hard, but not maximal.

Long run

The key to this program is the long run on weekends, which builds from 3 miles in the first week to a maximum of 5.5 miles. Consistency is most important on the long run. Simply do your long runs at an easy and comfortable pace.

Week Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
1 Strength 3x2min hard 3 miles Off 2 miles + strength Off Long Run: 3mi
2 Strength 4x1min hard 3 miles Off 3 miles + strength Off Long Run: 3.5mi
3 Strength 3x2min hard 3 miles Off 2.5 miles + strength Off Long Run: 4mi
4 Strength 4x1min hard 3 miles Off 3 miles + strength Off Long Run: 4mi
5 Strength 4x2min hard 3 miles Off 3 miles + strength Off Long Run: 4.5mi
6 Strength 5x1min hard 3 miles Off 3 miles + strength Off Long Run: 5mi
7 Strength 4x2min hard 3 miles Off 3 miles + strength Off Long Run: 5.5mi
8 Strength 5x1min hard 3 miles Off 2.5 miles + strength Off 10K RACE!

*On Tuesdays: start with a 5 min warm-up jog before beginning the intervals.  End with 5 min easy jog cool-down*

Be consistent with the program and you are guaranteed success on race day!