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Advice on my 10mile goal please (Read 863 times)

RunningHammer


    I've set myself a goal for 2007 to run a 10 mile race at the end of October in under 1h10m which means running at under 7:00 pace. Is this achievable? I started running about 7-8 months ago, starting off barely able to run a mile without walking breaks, to running a 10 mile race in 1h25m after 3months of training. I'm currently running approx 30miles per week, and recently ran 10km in 48:04. I think my current 10 mile race pace is around 8:00, maybe slightly under. So is it realistic for me to have a goal of knocking a minute off that pace in 9 months? Would i need to concentrate on building base mileage, or speedwork? If speed, 1 or 2 sessions per week (i currently train 5 days and have 2 rest days)? Leading up to that race i intend to do a few 10km races and probably a HM about a month before the 10 miler. Cheers D
    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      Knocking a minute per mile off in about 9 months / 36 weeks........ I won't say that it's impossible. It could be pretty tough to do, though. For the first few months, I would focus on building mileage, keeping the pace relatively easy. Get your aerobic base as high as possible. Let's start backwards, it'll be easier..... Start at the date of the race, then go three weeks back. That will be the taper period. Now, go about 8-12 weeks back from that point. That'll be speed training. Go about 8-12 weeks from that point, and that could be strength / power / hill training (different names, but the purpose is the same). Any time before that, focus on building aerobic base. I would work on getting my long runs up to around 15 miles, maybe (but that is a somewhat arbitrary #). Keep in mind, this is a general idea, and there's no guarantee you could shave a minute per off with this. That would depend on a lot of things I can't even begin to guess at (weather during race, the type of course, your commitment, etc.).
        Scout7's suggestions sound like good advice to me. To see that kind of improvement, you're going to need to work on all aspects of your running. As far as whether your goal is realistic, no one can say for sure. It depends on so many factors, including intangibles like your genetics and luck (avoiding injuries and real world interruptions). Since I like to be analytical about these things, I ran your recent race times and goal into Daniels VDOT formula. Your current VDOT -- a measure of your current running fitness and talent -- is about a 41. To run a 10m race under 1:10:00 you'll need a VDOT of around 50 (a nine point improvement). Daniels says that, in theory, a runner can improve his/her VDOT by one point for every 4-6 weeks of hard training. So, what Daniels' theory suggests is that you could hit your goal time in nine to 13 months of hard training. However, a few important caveats. Using Daniels predictions, to meet your goal everything would need to go perfectly. You would also need to be physically, mentally and genetically on the above-average side in terms of your capability for cardio adaptation and improvement. You would need to miss no training during those nine months. You would need to have no injuries, despite continuing hard training for nine consecutive months -- a longer time period than anyone would rationally recommend (even the longest marathon programs don't exceed 24 weeks of consecutive hard training). And, you would need perfect to near perfect conditions on race day. Shocked Also remember that improvement in running isn't linear. By way of illustration, it might take the same amount of training to go from a 9:00/m pace to an 8:00/m pace as it does to go from a 8:00/m pace to a 7:40/m pace. Unfortunately, the faster you get, the slower your incremental improvement. I'll be honest here ... my recommendation is that you hold on to your 1:10:00 goal, but don't impose a time limit on yourself to get that result by October. Set some interim goals for your races between now and then, and reassess depending on how your training is going. If your race results in September suggest that the 1:10:00 is still within striking distance, then you go for it!
        How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
        Scout7


        CPT Curmudgeon

          I'll be honest here ... my recommendation is that you hold on to your 1:10:00 goal, but don't impose a time limit on yourself to get that result by October. Set some interim goals for your races between now and then, and reassess depending on how your training is going. If your race results in September suggest that the 1:10:00 is still within striking distance, then you go for it!
          I think that right there is about the BEST advice you could get.
          RunningHammer


            By way of illustration, it might take the same amount of training to go from a 9:00/m pace to an 8:00/m pace as it does to go from a 8:00/m pace to a 7:40/m pace. Unfortunately, the faster you get, the slower your incremental improvement.
            Good point - i think i'm just beginning to notice that my progress is slowing a little. Thanks for the excellent advice so far Berner and Scout7 - you've made me realise how much work might be needed, which is what i was unsure of. Having made some progress to date and still being somewhat of a novice, it's difficult to know at what rate you can continue to improve on pace times. I'm certainly not daunted, but i think some careful planning might be needed. I'm 36, so not completely ancient but it sounds like there's probably a fine line between achieving this goal and overtraining to the point of injury!!! Cheers D
              I think that right there is about the BEST advice you could get.
              I agree. 100%. You and I seem to be at very similar fitness levels. I could probably max a 10-k at around 47:00, probably do 10 miles at 8:00 pace. So I applied your goal to myself ... could I run 10 miles at sub-7:00 pace in 10 months? My answer - for me - was about exactly what Berner/Mklieman (frickin' name change) said above. It might be possible, if every single thing went right, if I dedicated a great deal of time and effort to it, and if absolutely nothing went wrong. And frankly, I still don' t think it'd be very likely. Not for me, anyway. Of course, you may be younger or more gifted than me ... so who knows? But I'd guess that the odds of injury, or burnout, or of seriously derailing your running altogether, are much higher than hitting that goal that soon. What's your rush? You'll get there. Oh - and one way to guarantee you won't do it is injecting 2 hard speed workouts a week. That's too much, especially for a sustained period. My 2 cents.
              E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
              -----------------------------

              RunningHammer


                Oh - and one way to guarantee you won't do it is injecting 2 hard speed workouts a week. That's too much, especially for a sustained period.
                Really? I didn't know that. I thought it was okay, as long as you followed each hard session with an easy run or a rest day? Maybe i've misunderstood what i've read!! Roll eyes
                Scout7


                CPT Curmudgeon

                  Really? I didn't know that. I thought it was okay, as long as you followed each hard session with an easy run or a rest day? Maybe i've misunderstood what i've read!! Roll eyes
                  JK is mostly right. There are those who can handle 2 heavy speed sessions a week. But those are people who have been running for a while, and have adapted to a heavy training load. Also, some people might need more recovery time after a hard session than others. Keep in mind, I would call your long run, or anything like a tempo run, a harder session. With that, though, I could see a speed-specific session, a long run, and possibly a tempo run within a week. But that'll depend on what your body can handle, and how well it recovers / adapts to the training.
                    Really? I didn't know that. I thought it was okay, as long as you followed each hard session with an easy run or a rest day? Maybe i've misunderstood what i've read!! Roll eyes
                    Keep in mind that depending on what you've read, it may have been aimed at competitive runners rather than someone who was on the couch 8 months ago. And as far as I know, even world class athletes strictly limit the amount of time in any training cycle that they're doing hard speed work. If you're contemplating speedwork twice a week, for the next 8 months, I stand by the above - you'll get hurt. Of course, you never clarified what you meant by speedwork. What did you have in mind? For myself, I've realized that one tempo run a week, with one slightly faster sort of fun run/fartlek, and intervals a couple times a month, is about the most speedwork I can do, or at least should do.. Beyond that, it's counterproductive, at least for now. Toss in a long run each 1-2 weeks, and that's my schedule - everything else is easy, easier, or easiest. Smile More to the point, I'm trying to maximize efficiency (and you are, too, to meet that goal.) And I personally think if you're talking real speedwork, that much would be more counter-productive than anything else. And that's assuming you don't get injured. Plus, you're talking a 10 miler, not a 5-k. I'm not sure how much real speedwork you should even be doing for that. I'm sure some of the elites will chime in here, but I'd think tempos or really long intervals would be a lot more effective for your particular goal than shorter intervals. I'd be tempted if I were you to just experiment, to try speedwork twice a week if you think it would work - except for you the single most important thing is avoid injury. To meet your goal, like Berner said above, you'll have to be injury free for 9 months. And speedwork will risk that more than anything. Here's an interesting article on the basic components I was reading last night that might help you design your plan: http://www.runnersworld.co.za/calculator/training.php Here's the key passage that, for me at least, seems spot on as far as the number of hard days per week:
                    Hard days We recommend that most beginning and intermediate runners do just two hard days a week. More advanced runners can do three hard days if they're very careful. Each of the following is a hard day workout: tempo runs, maximum-oxygen runs, speed-form workouts, Yasso 800s, long runs.
                    Good luck in the fall!
                    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                    -----------------------------

                    RunningHammer


                      Keep in mind, I would call your long run, or anything like a tempo run, a harder session. With that, though, I could see a speed-specific session, a long run, and possibly a tempo run within a week. But that'll depend on what your body can handle, and how well it recovers / adapts to the training.
                      Right - i didn't realise that a long run is considered a hard session (i guess cos you run it at easy pace) but it makes sense now.
                      Of course, you never clarified what you meant by speedwork. What did you have in mind? For myself, I've realized that one tempo run a week, with one slightly faster sort of fun run/fartlek, and intervals a couple times a month, is about the most speedwork I can do, or at least should do.. Beyond that, it's counterproductive, at least for now. Toss in a long run each 1-2 weeks, and that's my schedule - everything else is easy, easier, or easiest. Smile
                      Well, in December i decided to introduce speedwork in my program for the first time. I was running 1 session per week of intervals (long intervals >800m), followed by 1 medium length easy run, followed by 1 tempo session, then 1 day's rest, an easy session, then the long run then 1 day's rest. I found it hard so i'm not sure i'd really want to do 2 speed sessions a week for any length of time anyway. It sounds like I should probably cut out one of the midweek hard sessions and turn it into an easy run. Thanks's for the link to that article - the pace calculator is handy too Wink