Run your 10K PR

Run your 10K PR

Easily increase your running speed & strength with our 10K distance training plan by pro ironman triathlete Ian Dempsey.

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INTRODUCTION

This 10k program has 16 guided run sessions structured over a 5 week schedule. Utilizing a variety of training methods to help build multiple components of your fitness, by using a progressive format that will allow you to develop your fitness gradually over the 5 weeks.

EQUIPMENT

Comfortable running sneakers Lightweight clothing
Music to motivate you
Running app e.g. STRAVA / NIKE RUN

PREPARATION

Fuel your body correctly before each session
Simple Carbohydrates e.g toast with peanut butter & jelly Ensure you warm up correctly
Hydrate - drink plenty of water
Plan your sessions accordingly

RECOVERY

Refuel your body correctly after each session High carbohydrate & protein meals
Ensure you cool down correctly
Rehydrate - drink plenty of water

TRAINING PROGRAMME FORMAT

Below is a schedule we encourage you to follow during this programme. Understandably everyone's daily schedules are different and it may be hard to complete the sessions as instructed. Follow the schedule to the best of your ability and ensure you give yourself rest days to allow you to recover.

WEEK 1

MONDAY - SESSION 1
TUESDAY - REST DAY
WEDNESDAY - SESSION 2
THURSDAY - REST DAY
FRIDAY - REST DAY
SATURDAY OR SUNDAY - SESSION 3
SATURDAY OR SUNDAY - REST DAY

WEEK 2

MONDAY - SESSION 4
TUESDAY - REST DAY
WEDNESDAY - SESSION 5
THURSDAY - REST DAY
FRIDAY - REST DAY
SATURDAY OR SUNDAY - SESSION 6
SATURDAY OR SUNDAY - REST DAY

WEEK 3

MONDAY - SESSION 7
TUESDAY - REST DAY
WEDNESDAY - SESSION 8
THURSDAY - REST DAY
FRIDAY - SESSION 9
SATURDAY - REST DAY
SUNDAY - SESSION 10

WEEK 4

MONDAY - SESSION 11
TUESDAY - REST DAY
WEDNESDAY - SESSION 12
THURSDAY - REST DAY
FRIDAY - SESSION 13
SATURDAY - REST DAY
SUNDAY - SESSION 14

WEEK 5

MONDAY - REST DAY
TUESDAY - SESSION 15
WEDNESDAY - REST DAY
THURSDAY - SESSION 16
FRIDAY - REST DAY
SATURDAY OR SUNDAY - 'TAKE ON 10K'


WEEK 1 SESSION 1

ENDURANCE SESSION
Steady Run

DURATION
30 minutes

MAIN SESSION
The session aim is to complete a steady 30 minute run without stopping. Control your pace from the start to the finish. Start out easy, this will gradually build your heart rate and allow you to complete the full 30 minutes.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads. It's important to drink plenty of water and eat good quality nutrition within 30 minutes of finishing your session.

TRAINING TIP
Stretch before & after, let's form good habits early. Make a note of the distance covered in 30mins. This is easy to do on a fitness watch or running app on a phone. This will come in handy further down the program to monitor your progress.

REST DAY
For the first couple of weeks your body will be trying to adapt to your new regime, this could mean that you may suffer with sore legs. It’s important therefore, to stay on top of stretching on your rest days. It can be a simple 15 minutes while you are watching the TV! Stretch out your hips, calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes. If you're unsure on stretches, get on YouTube and type in 'stretches for runners' and plenty of videos will.


WEEK 1 SESSION 2

INTERVAL SESSION
Hill Runs

DURATION
15 minutes

WARM UP
10 minutes warm up, steady jogging / running to warm up, stretch all your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
Today we attack some hill runs! It doesn't need to be a massive hill just one that will make your legs work hard. The aim isn't to sprint up, just run for 30secs turn around and jog back down x 10. By the time you get to rep number 7 you'll know about it, but stay strong; you‘ll benefit massively in the coming weeks.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 10 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
Your leg muscles need to be really well warmed up for this session. Stretch out your calves, hips, quads & hamstrings well during your warm up.

REST DAY
Do you own a foam roller? If not, invest in one. It can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase your joint range of movement. Foam rolling can be an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cool down, before and after exercise. Just spending 10 mins rolling out your calves, hamstrings, glutes & quads at the end of a run will help you recover more effectively and benefit your performance in your next session. Again, YouTube has plenty of videos to demonstrate good foam rolling techniques.


WEEK 1 SESSION 3

INTERVAL SESSION
3 x 2 Minute Runs

DURATION
15 minutes

WARM UP
5 minutes easy jog to warm up, stretch your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
Today we focus on controlling your pace. We want to get you used to controlling the pace as we start to build for a longer run. This can also be known as a negative split session. Start with a super steady 15 minute run, nothing more than light jogging / easy running. Transverse into a 10 minute window increasing the pace to 7/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion).

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
Prior to this session make sure you fuel well. Aim to get 50/60 grams of good carbohydrates in at least 30mins before this run. You’ll need a fuel source on that 10min section, I suggest some dried fruit or a glucose gel or tablet. Once again, stretch well before & after.


WEEK 1 COMPLETED! - Keep up the hard work

Complete the sessions one by one, don't look ahead as you may feel daunted. Attack each session head on and follow the structured programme.

In week 2 it might seem like a lot of running but the thought of it will actually be worse than it is. A massive part of running is mindset and domination of your thoughts. It's vital we train our mind mentally just as much as we do our bodies physically. Below is a great video that gives you an insight of how to control your mind when running.


WEEK 2 SESSION 4

ENDURANCE SESSION
Steady Run

DURATION
30 minutes

WARM UP
10 minutes very easy jog to warm up, stretch your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
Today, aim to complete another steady 30 minute run without stopping. Control your pace from the start, taking it out easy will allow you to complete up to 30 minutes. Make sure you track the distance on your watch / running app.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
See if you can do this session fasted (before breakfast). This will encourage your body to use fat as its fuel source. When you finish the run make sure you get a healthy breakfast within 30 minutes of finishing your session.

REST DAY
Complete a 20 minute stretch & foam rolling session today, your legs will thank you for it! Foam rolling improves circulation, which gets the body ready for a workout and helps it recover afterwards. Roll slowly and when you find a tender spot, focus on it by rolling back and forth until you feel it soften or release. Stretching keeps the muscles in the body flexible, so that the muscles and joints are at their fullest range of motion. Focus on your quads, hamstrings,calves, IT band, piriformis, glutes and groins.


WEEK 2 SESSION 5

ENDURANCE SESSION
10 x 30 Second Hill Runs

DURATION
30 minutes

WARM UP
10 minutes very easy jog to warm up, stretch your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
It doesn't need to be a massive hill just one that will make your legs work hard. The aim isn't to sprint up, just run for 30 seconds turn around and jog back down x 10. By the time you get to rep number 7 you'll know about it, but stay strong and you will benefit massively in the coming weeks.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 10 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
At this stage the hill doesn't need to be very steep. Just enough to get your heart rate up.

REST DAY
Complete a 20 minute stretch & foam rolling session today, your legs will thank you for it! Foam rolling improves circulation, which gets the body ready for a workout and helps it recover afterwards. Roll slowly and when you find a tender spot, focus in on it by rolling back and forth until you feel it soften or release. Stretching keeps the muscles in the body flexible, so that the muscles and joints are at their fullest range of motion. Focus on your quads, hamstrings, calves, IT band, piriformis, glutes and groins. One session to go and then you have completed week 2! Tomorrow's session is a hard one, you will complete a 40 minute run but at specific speeds using RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion). Make sure you eat well today and fuel your body correctly for tomorrow's session!


WEEK 2 SESSION 6

ENDURANCE SESSION
Structured Run

DURATION
40 minutes

MAIN SESSION
15 minutes very easy walk / Jog warm up (stretch) 5 minutes 5/10 RPE. 5 minutes 6/10 RPE 5 minutes 7/10 RPE. 10 minutes really easy cool down

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 10 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
Don't be tempted to run the first 5 minute block too hard, it's learning to control the pace that will allow you to build the effort throughout the session.

REST DAY
Enjoy your rest day but stay focused! Complete the sessions one by one. It might seem like a lot of running this week but the thought of it will actually be worse than it is. Make sure you stretch for 5/10 minutes after every session, drink plenty of water and eat well balanced meals!


WEEK 3 SESSION 7

ENDURANCE SESSION
Steady Run

DURATION
35 minutes

WARM UP
5 minutes very easy jog to warm up, stretch your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
Adding an additional 5 minutes this week! To complete a steady 35 minute run without stopping. Control your pace from the start, taking it easy will allow you to complete to 35 minutes.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute Cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
Don't pick a flat route, try to mix it up a bit but the challenge is when you run up any hills don't increase your pace, remain steady and aim to keep the heart rate as controlled as possible.

REST DAY
Think about lowering your carb intake today. 100g or less is the aim. By checking the quantity of carbs in everything you eat during a day, you'll be shocked by how many carbs you average each day. On the days when you are not training this is the optimum time to lower your intake of carbohydrates. This is also known as 'carb cycling' which involves eating more carbohydrates on days when you exercise - and fewer on days of rest. When you take in carbs, your pancreas releases insulin which is a storage hormone that encourages extra calories to be put down as fat. But if you’ve created demand for carbs (by exercising) they'll be stored in the muscles. If you’re not exercising, they’ll be stored in the body as fat. So alternating days of high carb and low carb allows people to get all the benefits from carbohydrates and none of the drawbacks as exercising means they won't be stored as a paunch.


WEEK 3 SESSION 8

ENDURANCE SESSION
5 x 1 Minute Efforts

DURATION
20 minutes

WARM UP
10 minutes very easy jog to warm up, stretch well!

MAIN SESSION
Aim to work in a zone you might not be used to, it's time to start challenging yourself. The key is to run faster than you normally would run for the entire 1 minute, rest for 1 minute to get your breathing back to normal. It may take slightly longer but if you need it, take that time. 5 x 1 minute efforts. During the 1 minute recovery periods, either stand still or jog very slowly.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs and stretch.

TRAINING TIP
Warm up really well! You don't want to get injured on these higher paced efforts, so be sure to stretch your leg muscles. Also, if you're new to these efforts, do them on grass, your joints & muscles will thank you for it.

REST DAY
I believe that sleep is the most important part of your life. This is the time where our bodies repair and regenerate. Sleep well and you'll make better lifestyle choices, you'll be more motivated and generally feel far better about yourself. So, do yourself a favour and get off to bed early tonight and create a positive new habit. It takes 21 days to form a new habit and an additional 45 days for it to become autonomous.

TOP TIP!
Purchase an alarm clock and leave your phone in another room.


WEEK 3 SESSION 9

ENDURANCE SESSION
3 x 5 Minute Efforts

DURATION
30 minutes

WARM UP
5 minutes very easy jog to warm up, stretch your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
Again, I want you to move slightly outside your comfort zone, running at one pace all the time won't lead to improvements in fitness. Focus on 3 x 5 minute efforts ran at level 7 out of 10 RPE with 2 minute rest between each effort. 3 x 5 minute - effort run 2 minute - rest. During the 2 minute recovery periods, either stand still or jog very slowly.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
The 3 x 5 minutes are best performed around a flat loop. Maybe think of a block near where you live or a park?

REST DAY
Complete a 20 minute stretch & foam rolling session today, your legs will thank you for it! Foam rolling improves circulation, which gets the body ready for a workout and helps it recover afterwards. Roll slowly and when you find a tender spot, focus in on it by rolling back and forth until you feel it soften or release. Stretching keeps the muscles in the body flexible, so that the muscles and joints are at their fullest range of motion. Focus on your quads, hamstrings, calves, IT band, piriformis, glutes and groins.


WEEK 3 SESSION 10

ENDURANCE SESSION
Distance Run

DURATION
40 minutes

WARM UP
5 minutes very easy jog to warm up, stretch your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
Don't panic!! Head out and run a 40 minute duration let's just see how far you get. Track this on either your fitness watch or the many apps you can download for free on your phone, I recommend Strava. Once you've completed this session, it's really important to get some high quality nutrition into your body within 20 minutes.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
Don't worry if this has to be a run/walk or even run, stop, run, stop. Whatever happens, don't pause your watch and see how far you can go in 40 minutes.

REST DAY
Complete a 20 minute stretch & foam rolling session today, your legs will thank you for it! Foam rolling improves circulation, which gets the body ready for a workout and helps it recover afterwards. Roll slowly and when you find a tender spot, focus in on it by rolling back and forth until you feel it soften or release. Stretching keeps the muscles in the body flexible, so that the muscles and joints are at their fullest range of motion. Focus on your quads, hamstrings, calves, IT band, piriformis, glutes and groins.


WEEK 4 SESSION 12

ENDURANCE SESSION
7 x 1 Minute Hard Efforts

DURATION
40 minutes

WARM UP
15 minutes very easy jog to warm up and stretch!

MAIN SESSION
Adding 2 reps onto last week to keep the progression going. The key is to run faster than you normally would run for the entire 1 minute and then rest for 1 minute. To get your breathing back to normal, take slightly longer if you need it. 7 x 1 minute efforts. Try to hold your best pace for the entire 1 min, on the 1 min recovery either stand still or jog very slowly.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog and then a good stretch.

TRAINING TIP
Warm up really well! You don't want to get injured on these higher pace efforts, so be sure to stretch all your leg muscles. Also, if you're new to these efforts, do them on grass, your joints & muscles will thank you for it.

REST DAY
Today, complete a 15/20 minute walk first thing in the morning. This will help flush out the toxins and loosen up your legs. Follow this up with an ice cold shower, after hard sessions, it works for me! Cold water can improve circulation by encouraging blood to surround our organs, which can then help combat some problems of the skin and heart. As cold water hits the body, it's ability to get blood circulating leads the arteries to more efficiently pump blood, therefore boosting our overall heart health.


WEEK 4 SESSION 13

ENDURANCE SESSION
3 x 6 Minute Efforts

DURATION
30 minutes

WARM UP
5 minutes very easy jog to warm up, stretch your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
Again, I want you to move slightly outside your comfort zone, running at one pace all the time won't lead to improvements in fitness. Focus on 3 x 5 minute efforts ran at level 7 out of 10 RPE with 2 minute rest between each effort. 3 x 6 minute - effort run 2 minute - rest. During the 2 minute recovery periods, either stand still or jog very slowly.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
Think about how you're going to fuel this run, you'll need enough energy to get you through so I'd advise 50/60g of quality carbohydrates 1 hour before the session. Take an energy gel with you so if you're feeling low on energy after the 2nd effort you can take on the gel.

REST DAY
Massive congratulations for getting to this point! You're creating new habits in your life, you should be very proud of yourself. Now it's time to stay focused, remember ‘nothing worthwhile doing is easy, but it will always be worth it’. Keep up the great work!


WEEK 4 SESSION 14

ENDURANCE SESSION
Distance Run

DURATION
50 minutes

WARM UP
5 minutes very easy jog to warm up, stretch your legs focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

MAIN SESSION
Your aim today is to try and run for the duration. Keep the pace steady from the start, running the entire 50 minutes will give you the confidence to go and complete your 10k next weekend.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog or walk to help flush your legs. Make sure you stretch properly focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.

TRAINING TIP
Controlling the pace is everything in this run, go out too hard and you'll blow up, take it out nice and easy. Gradually build yourself into the run. Be sure to have a good stretch after you finish and refuel well!

REST DAY
The end is near but it's vital to stay focused and really use your rest days effectively. Fuel your body well with good food, hydrate with plenty of water and always take time to stretch! Start visualising your final 10K, how you're going to start the run, how you'll stay focused mentally and finish strong.


WEEK 5 SESSION 15

ENDURANCE SESSION
8 x 1 Minute Hard Efforts

DURATION
40 minutes

WARM UP
15 minutes very easy jog to warm up and stretch!

MAIN SESSION
Adding 2 reps onto last week to keep the progression going. The key is to run faster than you normally would run for the entire 1 minute and then rest for 1 minute. To get your breathing back to normal, take slightly longer if you need it. 8 x 1 minute efforts 1 minute - effort run 1 minute - Rest. Try to hold your best pace for the entire 1 minute, on the 1 minute recovery either stand still or jog very slowly.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog and then a good stretch.

TRAINING TIP
What have you learnt from the last few weeks? Go out too hard on the first few and you'll blow up for the rest? So let's make sure these are hard but hard all the way through. This process is all about learning and adapting. Keep up the good work.

REST DAY
You have one more session to complete before you embark on your 10K run! You have done amazing and we are proud of you! Tomorrow's session will help keep those legs engaged, primed and ready for the big day!


WEEK 5 SESSION 16

ENDURANCE SESSION
6 x 15 Second Activations

DURATION
42 minutes

WARM UP
5 minutes very easy jog to warm up and stretch!

MAIN SESSION
Massive well done, you've done the training to get you through your 10k! Now it's time to loosen the legs up to be ready for this session and your final 10K. Run 30 minutes very steady. Afterwards, start your 6 x 15 second fast activations, these will get the leg muscles firing. Take 45 seconds standing still between the 15 second efforts. 30 minute run followed by... 6 x 15 second activations.

COOL DOWN
Finish with a 5 minute cool down with a really steady jog and then a good stretch.

TRAINING TIP
I think you can now see the benefit of following a structured plan! I cant wait to hear about your 10k. If you could leave us a review on facebook I’d be grateful, the page is below. All that is left for me to say is remember to fuel and hydrate well and enjoy the 10K this weekend.

REST DAY
MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS! You have completed your training sessions and all that remains is for you to go out and crush your 10K! Get an early night's sleep and ensure before your head hits that pillow that you've fuelled and hydrated your body well. One last thing, you've guessed it, STRETCH!


TAKE ON 10K

The run won't be much more than what you did last week, plan the run route well if you're not taking part in an organised 10K race. Pacing & fuelling will be the key to completing this. Don't start off too fast and use an energy gel if it helps (stick to one you've tried before) If you do decide to use a gel, take one at 3K & another at 7K this will give you the confidence you've got enough fuel on board.

MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS YOU SMASHED IT!