Looking for a Sub-40 10k Training Plan

by Stephen
(Oldham England)




sub-40 10k training plan

Hi there,
I would like to eventually achieve a sub-40 10k.

Last time I tried I was running 3 to 4 times a week with one run a week doing intervals over the course of a 10k.

I picked up a niggle in my foot which meant I stopped running for six weeks prior to the race so I could at least run it.

I ran my first mile at 6.20 min miles; my second at 6.45 and the rest at 7.03 mile pace, finishing in 43:15.

My longest run was also 10k in my weekly training.

Have you got any tips for a sub-40 10k training plan please?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Stephen,
Thanks for your question about your quest for sub-40.

It is a great goal to have. When I was 20 years younger I was able to do this; now, it's become harder. I haven't put it completely out of my head yet, but I'd have to put in a lot of effort to do it again.

And, to be honest, the 10k kind of scares me now. I like 5k races because the suffering is over soon. I like 15k and beyond because you run at a mostly comfortable pace. But the 10k is a tough race, requiring you to run uncomfortably hard for a long time. Not saying I will never do one again. But I am happy that I don't have one planned in my near future... :)

Anyways, on to you... It looks like you have done well, despite the injury problem. 43:15 is a respectable time. Clearly without the injury and without the six weeks off, you could have been a bit faster. So the gap to a sub-40 10k is not too big.

And with some of the tips I am about to give you, I hope you will be able to put together a great sub-40 10k training plan! So here we go:

1. Way more running
2. Way more variability
3. Diagnose your injury susceptibility


Way More Running




sub-40 10k training plan
You have done really well, on quite limited running. And with an injury. You were still able to run that first mile in the required pace for a sub-40. But then, you ran out of gas. Because you need more endurance. You are able to get to the right speed. But you need to be able to maintain it for 40 minutes (well 39:xx minutes), not for 7.

So, let's first work on tip #1: way more running. Let's split this in two parts:

1. More running days
Running 3-4 times per week is good. But, you could be running more. 4-5 times per week is better. 5-6 times per week better again.
I don't know anything about your life. Life is busy. So, maybe 3-4 times per week is all you can do at this stage in life.

But, undeniably, more is better. When you add days of running to your schedule, be mindful to do it sensibly. Add short runs first, e.g. 30 minutes. Then slowly build up.

2. Longer runs
Your longest run of 10k is a good start. But, I guarantee you, increase that longest run to 20-25k and that sub-40 may already be yours! A longer long run will make you so much more powerful.

Of course, don't increase that long run from 10k to 25k in one go. Build it up gradually. A good sensible guide is available on my Increasing Mileage Safely page.

Way More Variability




sub-40 10k training plan
You wrote that you do intervals once a week. Nothing wrong with intervals. They help make you a more economical runner and give you speed. Check out my page on Interval Running for some ideas.

However, at least as important as interval speed is running at tempo pace. Tempo pace is that "comfortably hard" pace in between easy pace and interval pace. For you it would be about 4:25-4:35 min/km pace, about 7:00 min/mile pace. Fun test, check if my estimate is right by going to the Running Pace Calculator page and plugging in your recent 10k time... I should be in the ballpark....

Tempo running pace is just that little slower than 10k pace. At this pace you improve your body's ability to handle lactic acid. I like to start off my tempo running with shorter "cruise intervals" of say 4-6 x 6 minutes, then build up to 3 x 10 min, 2 x 15 min etc.

Check out the Tempo Running page for more information.

Diagnose Your Injury Susceptibility




sub-40 10k training plan
The long time off running due to injury at a relatively low mileage level concerns me. Clearly my answer to you focuses on increasing your mileage and increasing the length of your runs.

That's not without its risks. So, before you commence that journey, you need to understand why you got injured in the first place. And what you can do to avoid it going forward.

For many of us the answer lies in strengthening our bodies. Just the simple act of doing strength training will make your body more resilient. You can get a lot of the benefits of strength training by two short gym sessions per week. Most weeks that's all I do.

Check out the Strength Training for Runners page which tells you all about the benefits of strength running and also about the strength training routine I follow.

I hope this helps. Want more help trying to put a sub-40 10k training plan together? Then check out my running coaching service.

All the best with trying to achieve sub-40.
Kind regards,
Dom


10k running tips






Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 10k Running Questions.



Like this page:


Share this page:


Like this site:


[?] Subscribe To This Site

XML RSS
follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!

Helpful
Resources

  • Beginner Running Tips

    Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

  • Running for Weight Loss

    Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

  • Running Training

    The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

  • 5k Running Tips

    The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

  • 10k Running Tips

    The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

  • Marathon Running Tips

    The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!




What's New?

  1. Pyramid Training - What's the Deal?

    Could you please explain pyramid training for different zones? I have seen it in running programs before and I actually didn't understand the method described

    Read more

  2. Best Tips to Start Running - Six Beginner Running Tips That Will Help You Get Started With Running

    Want to start running but wonder how? Check out these six best tips to start running and get off with a running start!

    Read more

  3. Running in the Morning and Bike in the Afternoon

    I am currently trying to work-up to running a 5k but also lose weight. I run 3 times a week and bike 3 times a week. I want to increase that so I do

    Read more

  4. Improve Running When Over 50 Years Old

    Hello, My name is Roger age 56, I have been running for over 25 years and before this I played local footbal Saturday and Sundays in the season. 20

    Read more

  5. How Many Kilometers Can I Run With My Running Shoes?

    Hello, there is one question I'd like to know. I run three to four times a week and my actual shoes are Nike Vomero which I really like. Is there any

    Read more