The 10k could it be the core of a runner’s options? I think it’s my favourite distance to run in a race and I know a few other lifetime runner types that agree with me. My yoga teacher, a local plumber and the guy that works at the building supply store all love the 10k just as much as me? It’s sort of the first serious you’ve arrived as a runner distance. It’ll take you about an hour, it’s a legit distance to drive and you’ll likely need to actually train, at least a bit for it. And once you do it you halfway there to take on a half marathon!
Why it took so long
So why haven’t I written a plan about it yet well two reasons really, better make that three. The last one I seriously ran, trained for an pulled off a PR in was almost 2 years ago at bluenose and it was the LAST time I was going to do a chart type plan in the Nike app. They had changed it at that point and it wasn’t disciplined enough for me anymore. Not to say I haven’t run any since then, there was the trick or treat run in 2016, Bluenose 10k, the East Hants Tidal Run and Terry Fox Run in 2017. But last season was all about fun and taking it easy on a sore knee. None so far this year but I have one coming up sort of at the beginning of October but it’s not going to be a PR by a long shot. I’ve been focusing on half marathons and triathlons since then. I usually/ always write plans for me and other people that actually need them in my life.
So that brings us to this point. Someone bought the realistic 1/2 marathon training guide but needed up having to drop down a level because you know life, so I worked with her to customize the plan she bought for her new needs. That got me in mind of what I wanted to do for a realistic 10k plan but I didn’t have a lot of time to write it because you know, life. Now one of my new to running in March trainee runners is tackling his very first 10k! So it was time to write it up.
How it came to be
My realistic series of running plans are geared to be just that realistic and not crazy but also get you sure you’ll get over the line with confidence. I aim to gear them at beginner and intermediate runners by including two different distances for training runs in the last half or more of the plan. Not only that almost every section includes advice for both groups and specific considerations for first timers and those looking to improve on a previous time. And it’s colour coded so that’s fun! So my stepdad will do the beginner or lower option at each turn and I’ll do the higher option the next time I’m looking to seriously Improve on a previous 10k time.
Who is this plan for
With those two distance options built into the 22 page plan it’s suited to the first time 10k runner or one that has run a couple but never really trained for it using the lower distances. Opt for the higher distances and advice and it’s perfect for someone looking to PR after training for previous 10k s. It’s probably not well suited to an elite or near-elite runner but any fairly casual yet semi-serious runner as well will find it useful. Personally I’ll be using it for my next serious 10k for sure but that might not be until next year. Next time I do it I’ll be looking for a PR but that might be tough since I’m pretty proud of my current at 1:02, sub 1 hour that would be amazing!
If you’re a first time runner following this plan you’ll do the same number of runs a week as the more serious kids just your speed work and long runs will be a hair shorter. You’ll also be instructed to save your first 10k run for race day. You’ll still cover 9.5 km in training so you’ll definitely get over that line but starting with the 10 k I recommend saving your ‘real’ distance for race day. That way no matter what you’ll get a PR on your big day. For those looking to improve on a pervious time you’re longest long run will be 13 km. By running a good amount further than you will on race day, 30% in this case you’ll have the confidence to push hard through the whole 10k on race day. If you want to come first hire a run coach or use this and register for a really, really tiny race. Maybe just ask a slow running friend to race you 5k down the road and back. Though you might not be friends after you give yourself a gold medal at the end.
What to expect from this plan
First of all you can head on over to Etsy to read the full plan philosophy and what to expect (it’s basically the description there) and take a sneak peak at the table of contents. This plan is part of the realistic series of plans so that means it is designed to fit into your life. You’ll start with three runs a week of around 4k (and a bit less) and move up to four runs a week a few weeks into the plan. However this plan is not simply half of a half marathon plan that I already offer, that would be too much. Instead it’s really and truly a dedicated and specific 10k training plan. After all I was motivated to finally put it together for my step-dad and I might never hear the end of it if it was half-assed, joking. Since the 10k race is my favourite I also wrote it for me because I know I’ll be using it for years to come in the future. You’ll cover at least 215 km over 12 weeks which sounds like a lot but you’ll be totally ready on race day. I also followed some pretty common conventions sometimes reserved for longer more serious plans. Running is a journey often a lifetime journey and I know you might end up tackling a half next. Sometimes other plan writers can dismiss their shorter plans as not worthy of things like cross training or taper periods at the end. I doubt you’ll find others addressing things like fuelling at all. But I think topics like these deserve to be in a 10k plan because you ARE a serious runner and it’ll start familiarizing you with things you might need further on in your journey.
At 22 pages you’re getting a lot more than just a chart, actually that’s only 6 of the pages and that includes the three optional bonus weeks of base building and three bonus weeks of tapering back to normal at the end. These six weeks are specific to a 10k so don’t expect to take it too easy after training. You can also expect lists of running terms, paragraphs on the art of the long run, what to buy and what to skip, race day strategies and a whole lot more! I know there are lots of chart only plans available for free in a google image search but sometimes you get what you pay for. If you’re in the market for a plan even if it’s not mine make sure it has certain things like:
• It’s more than just a schedule in a chart
• You have some council on injury prevention
• If you’re not a runner you start with a couch to 5k plan first, THEY ARE AMAZING!
• Unless you are the picture of health and under 55 you check with your doctor first
• You don’t get sucked into spending a bunch of dough on fitness gear your don’t need. No matter what anyone says there are no magic bullets
• You talk to a few people who have run 10k s about your plans, we’re hiding in plain sight everywhere!
So that’s it, new plan available in my Etsy Shop now! What plan would you all like to see next? I’m almost done a couch to 5k companion guide with special attention to older runners or those with health issues and a get faster 5k plan.