Intermediate 10k Routine

 Introduction

This program contains speed workouts. A few quick notes on how speedwork is described here:

The distance in parentheses below fartlek runs includes a mile each of warm-up and warm down, in addition to your fartlek sessions. It's true: fartlek is almost as fun to do as it is to say. "Fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play" and consists of bursts of speed in the middle of a training run.

Essentially, it's an unstructured interval session, the track without the rules. Fartlek gets your legs used to a variety of paces and in the process gives you an enhanced awareness of your ability to keep up those paces at various distances.

After warming up, run at an easy training pace, throwing in bursts of speed for various distances throughout the run. Vary the speed and times of the speed sections, from as short as 15 seconds to as long as two or three minutes. Between these bursts, allow yourself enough recovery time to match roughly 2/3 of the effort time. The recovery pace, though, should be faster than the recovery jog you might do during intervals on the track; keep it moving at an easy training pace.

It's a good idea to pick out a landmark -- a tree or a fire hydrant or a bend in the path -- where a speed section will end before you start picking up the pace. In other words, you have to know how far you are running for each section. Because the idea is to keep up a constant pace until you reach that landmark, it is important to pace yourself at the beginning. Don't tear off so fast that you can't keep up the pace through the end of each speed section.

A fartlek session can be as easy or as difficult as you wish to make it. Use fartlek for anything from a light recovery run to a gruelling workout. As always, however, start out easy. Your first fartlek sessions should contain distances and paces that you feel comfortable with and that you feel you can gradually increase in future sessions. A twenty to thirty-minute fartlek session should be adequate for most runners. There is very little reason for them to go as long as an hour.


Whenever you see a pace denoted as 5K pace or 10K pace, this refers to the speed at which you estimate you could run a 5K or 10K on that given day. When you read "4-5 hills," that means you should do 4-5 repeats at 5K pace on a hill about 150 or 200 yards long. Long hills should be 400-600 yards long. If you find it too tedious to run repeats on a single hill, you can also find a route that incorporates the same number of hills, as long as the route is not very long.

When you read the notation "4 x 880s," that means you should run four repeats of 880 yards each (two laps on the track). The pace below tells you how fast you should run them. For 880s, give yourself 2 minutes of rest between intervals; for 440s, give yourself 1-2 minutes.


All other workouts (including the long runs) should be run at an easy training pace -- emphasis on "easy." Hold yourself back to a pace about 90 seconds or 2 minutes per mile slower than your current 10K pace. Finally, the pre-training schedule. You should be able to run this schedule for four to five weeks without much discomfort before starting the 10K program. If not, give yourself some time to build up to that level gradually, or you may risk injury.

Running Programme

The schedule peaks at about 35 miles per week.

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
1 Off 3M Fartlek
5M
3M 6M 3M 6M
2 Off 4M Fartlek
(5M)
4M 5M 4M 7M
3 Off 4M 5-6 Hills
5K-10K pace
4M 6M 3M 8M
4 Off 5M 6 x 440s
5K pace
4M 6M 3M 9M
5 Off 5M 4-5 long hills
5K-10K pace
4M 6M 3M 5K race
( Or 7M)
6 Off 5M 5 x 880s
5K-10K pace
5M 7M 3M 8M
7 Off 5M 5-6 long hills
5K-10K pace
4M 7M 4M 10M
8 Off 5M 8 x 440s
5K pace
4M 7M 4M 10K Race
(Or 8M)
9 Off 5M 7 x 880s
5K-10K pace
4M 7M 4M 8M
10 Off 4 x Mile
5K-10K pace
5M 5M 5 x Fast 440s
5K minus 10 secs
4M 8M
11 Off 8 x 440s
5K pace
5M 5M 4 x Fast 880s
5K minus 10 secs
3M 5M
12 Off 6 x 440s
5K pace
5M 3M Off 4M Race Day