Another Day, Another Training Plan

What does a blog runner do after completing their first 10K race? Why, sign up for another one, of course!

Now that I’ve got the first 10K under my belt, I’ve decided to sign up for not one but two more 10K races. The first is the Brighton Marathon 10K, which takes place before the main Marathon event on Sunday 6th April; and the second is the Race For Life 10K on Saturday 5th July. This gives me just under seven weeks to train for my next race and try to get myself moving a bit faster to beat my current 10K time of 1:08:00.

So, in order to get things moving, I’ve designed myself a new training plan with the aim of building on both my speed and endurance for the big day, and this evening’s run was the first session.

Although I have done some speed training over the last few months in the form of fartlek sessions, I felt that this time round I needed to do something a bit more structured to help with pacing and stamina. So, every other Tuesday, the plan is to practise tempo runs. According to Hal Higdon, a tempo run isΒ a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near race pace…and then easy towards the end.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get the concept right as I was trying to build up to around 6 mins per kilometre, my goal 5K pace. However, I still think that this approach could be useful in terms of improving pace and stamina as I still want to work on my 5K times while training for the 10K race in April.

So, my aim for this evening was to do a short 3K run, with the first kilometre building up from my 10K pace (6.45) to my 5K target pace (6.00) in the second kilometre and back down again for the final third kilometre.

3K Splits-2014-02-18

While the splits would indicate that this was fairly successful, the graph that shows my pace throughout the duration of the run tells a very different story.


Still, it is early days for me and the whole tempo run thing, so hopefully I’ll do better next time. For now though, I’m happy to be trying out some new workouts again and looking forward to seeing how they affect my overall time.

Do you use tempo runs in your training? What sort of pace and distance do you aim for? How have these workouts benefited your overall pace and endurance? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.


12 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Training Plan”

  1. Why, yes, I do apply tempo runs to my current training schedule! In training for half marathon #4, I have decided to move from a more novice schedule to intermediate. This level includes speedwork, tempo runs, pace runs, easy runs, and long runs. I have also recently learned of progression runs, which increasingly get faster with each mile or two, subsequently creating negative splits in the last half of your race. Good luck to you as you incorporate “another training plan”. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Kerrie. I found the fartlek training really useful when I did my race. I’m pretty sure it helps with overall pace, but it also gives you a feel for how much to pick up the pace (and back off again) when you want to overtake other runners. πŸ™‚

  2. I am in the same boat as you with the speed training – fartleks are fun, but I do better with some structure. I have trouble keeping a constant pace no matter what pace I’m running – you should see my pace graph!

  3. good for you & good luck training. I don’t do anything particularly special to train but I do make sure i incorporate some hills, with the promise to myself that I can walk at the top of the hill!

  4. Be careful on the short runs thou to include some warm up section otherwise your warming up during the main section. I would generally suggest a 1 mile warm up before you do your 3km and I would also suggest your better doing these as interval 1km runs 8/10 effort, 90 secs rest and trying to keep these the same. This sort of interval will really build your race pace endurance. Good luck and hope it goes well.

  5. I have at least 3 long fartleks during the week, 2 intervals sessions a week, 4 easy, 1 tempo and 1 really long.
    I’ve never been a fan of tempo runs, I like better intervals of fartleks.
    To start, throwing 2 speed workouts a week would do it, you’ll find what works better for you, so far it seems like you are doing great!

    1. Thank you! I still plan to do farleks and a 30 minute speed session on the weeks that I don’t do the tempo runs. I’m not sure that my body can cope with running more than 3 or 4 times a week yet, but it’s all progress. Thanks for the encouragement. πŸ™‚

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