10km Training Plan – Sub 50 minute run

marathon photo

This plan is aimed at all of you out there who have either completed a 10km already and want to improve your time or those who are coming back to running after a hiatus.  This plan will incorporate a range of the running terms you were introduced to in Chapter 7 including: interval runs, tempo runs, hill runs as well as the easy runs sprints you’ve seen in the other plans.

I would recommend doing the interval runs on a track if possible, otherwise you’ll be spending a great deal of time looking at your watch/Smartphone to figure out how far you’ve gone on each interval and that can be very distracting.

Make sure to warm up and also to cool down thoroughly before and after the training runs and to perform the stretches already outlined.  You’ll notice that this plan counts the long and fartlek runs in terms of distance as opposed to time as it’s concentrating more on the distance you’re covering rather than just time on your feet as you will have already achieved a base level of non-stop running of at least 30 minutes.

For a sub 50 minute 10km race you are looking at a pace of 4.59 minutes per km or under.  This is a quick pace and it is not easy to maintain this kind of speed throughout the race.  In order to do so you will need to have a base of long runs but also, some strength work including hills and speed work such as the tempo, fartlek and interval runs that are the staples of this plan. 

As with all training plans, you may find that you need to change things up a bit, perhaps swap around your rest days and long run days.  This is fine, just try to keep things balanced, so giving yourself a rest day after your long run is advisable, it will help with your recovery and knowing that you have an opportunity to put your feet up after you’ve completed some of the long runs will be a good motivator for you.

The plan is designed in a way that it doesn’t just focus on increasing distance again and again, there are some lighter/plateaued weeks worked into the plan to give your body time to recover and to adjust to the increased training.  If you find that on the lighter weeks (Weeks 1, 4 and 8 – the lead up to the race) you have bundles of energy I wouldn’t recommend extending your runs or increasing your speed sessions.  Your body needs time to make the changes that will convert you into a better and faster runner and this won’t happen if you’re continually over-loading it.

As with the 5km timed plan you will see that there are checks to make sure you’re running at the right pace.  In this plan, you will see that they’re based on time rather than distance.  You will also notice that there isn’t a huge taper built into this plan for the simple reason that it isn’t necessary.  When you’re running a 10km race the likelihood is that you won’t need more than a week to reduce your running as you’re not covering the extended distances that you would be if you were training for a half or a full marathon for example.

Remember, no matter what your fitness level or health-status, if you feel unwell then don’t run.  If you’re injured then it’s best to lay off the training, take a step back and recover fully before continuing.  It’s advisable to consult a doctor before starting any new exercise regime.

As you grow in experience you’ll have more of a feel of how to adapt the training plans to work best for you.  You will also discover your strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes when it comes to running.  Some runners love hills, some hate them, but wherever you get your enjoyment from on your run it’s important to remember that each component of your training is there for a reason.  It’s not advisable to skip out on your hill repeats because you’re not a big fan of chugging up the inclines and instead replacing it with speed work or vice versa.  You’re working different muscles during these two disciplines and you’re also conditioning your body to cope with different terrains and speeds. As with the 5km time specific training plan, it’s worth noting that most people do not achieve their PB (personal best) on their first race outing of a particular distance.  It can take quite a few races for you to break the magic time that you have in your head.  For marathoners that may be a sub 4 hour run, for half-marathoners it could be reaching the finishing line in 1hr 30 minutes and for 10km runners it may be the sub 50-minute time that the above plan should help you to nail.Sometimes our pre-race jitters and nerves can get the better of us, which is why it’s so important to plan your run in advance if you’re looking for a PB.  If you don’t know what pace you’re supposed to be running at then you’re running blind, just putting one foot in front of the other and hoping that you’ll arrive to the finish line in the time that you want.  Setting off too quickly or taking too long to reach your running stride are both common reasons behind not achieving your desired time. 

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Week 1

REST

30 minute Easy run

Cross Training 25 minutes / REST

35 minute Easy run

REST

4 miles Fartlek

5km race / (Time Check: sub 25 minutes)

Week 2

REST

25 mins:

2 x10 minute Tempo run, 5 minute recovery

Cross Training 30 minutes / REST

5 miles Fartlek

REST

Intervals: 4 x 1000m (400m recovery jog)

4 miles Easy run

Week 3

REST

40 minute Easy run

Cross Training 30 minutes / REST

Hill repeats: 90 seconds, 5 repeats, jog back down each time to recover

REST

5 miles Fartlek

5 miles race pace Run (Time Check: 40 minutes or less)

Week 4

REST

35 mins:

3 x10 minute Tempo run, 5 minute recovery

Cross Training 35 minutes / REST

5 miles Fartlek

REST

Intervals: 6 x 800m (500m recovery)

6 miles Easy run

Week 5

REST

Hill repeats: 60 seconds, 6 repeats, jog back down each time to recover

Cross Training 40 minutes / REST

Intervals: 8 x 50m (400m recovery)

REST

6 miles Fartlek

7 miles race pace run  (Time Check: 56 minutes or less)

Week 6

REST

35 mins:

3 x10 minute Tempo run, 5 minute recovery

Cross Training 45 minutes / REST

7 miles Fartlek

REST

Intervals: 8 x 600m (200m recovery)

8 miles Easy run (this is a good time to try out your race gear and make sure you’re happy with everything)

Week 7

REST

35 mins:

2 x 15 minute Tempo run, 5 minute recovery

Cross Training 50 minutes / REST

6 miles Fartlek

REST

Intervals: 5 x 1000m (200m recovery)

8 miles Easy run (another opportunity for you to test out your race gear and make any final tweaks)

Week 8

REST

Hill Repeats: 2 minutes, 5 repeats, jog back down each time to recover

REST

4 miles race pace Run (Time check: 32 minutes or less) 

REST

20 minute Easy run

RACE DAY!