Check out this 10K training plan, adapted from Jo Pavey’s own training methods, to get you to your new PB…
This eight-week training plan is adapted from Jo Pavey’s own training methods by Richard Brennan, a Human Race fitness expert and sports scientist (sportscienceconsultants.com). It’s designed for an intermediate 10km runner who wants to take 10% off their personal best. The schedule can be altered to suit your routine, but make sure you include the necessary rest and recovery days. You can read about Jo’s top tips to smash your 10K PB here.
Each week you will perform the following sessions:
VO2 Max Intervals
These intervals will improve your VO2 max – a measurement of your maximal aerobic capacity. They are very intense so you need good recovery periods, with a recommended work to recovery ratio of 1:1. A relevant session would be 5 x 4- minute intervals at 3km race pace. During the recovery you can jog and/or do dynamic stretches such as hip swings and speed, agility and quickness (SAQ) movements.
These will boost your lactate tolerance. Use a work to recovery ratio of 1:4. The intervals can be done on a track, with a 400m sprint followed by a walk around the oval; or by sprinting up a hill, followed by a slow walk down. Starting with two weeks of incline walking will help prepare the tibialis and peroneal muscles of the lower leg and reduce the intensity of any delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Recovery and Strength Training
An easy 5km run with a warm-up built in followed by a strength and conditioning programme that can include, lunges, step-ups, kettlebells or other bodyweight drills is a great example. This workout will reduce injury risk by addressing biomechanical issues and improve your running economy. Finish off by using a foam roller for selfmyofascial release (SMR), starting with the thoracic (mid) spine and moving onto the quads, adductors, ITB (iliotibial band – this runs down the outer portion of the thigh and can cause knee pain, if not loosened from time-to-time) and piriformis (which is situated in the glutes region and can lead to back and leg pain if not similarly loosened).
This is not a recovery day or an, ‘I’ll just do a gentle 5km’ day. Do absolutely nothing! Rest days are important if you want to avoid injury and protect your immune system.
These runs will also improve your lactate tolerance as they encourage the body to create an environment within the muscles in which lactate is created but reused as an energy source, so you can work harder at lower heart rates. Aim for a little panting and an elevated heart rate, but stay just under threshold. Usually a hard-ish 20-minute effort takes you to your threshold.
Longer runs will improve the performance of your slow-twitch muscle fibres and create more mitochondria – the powerhouses of your muscle fibres. You are also training your body to use fat as an energy source. For the first two weeks do Fartlek intervals (where you go faster or slower during a run according to how you feel) to vary your speed but after that don’t hit this run too hard or finish with a sprint. You should still have gas in the tank when you hit the shower. Go too fast and your body will use its carbohydrate stores for energy, as indicated the idea is to train your body to use fat and thus conserve carbohydrate.
Download Eight Weeks To A New 10K PB.