Sub 35 Min 10K - Opinion's Wanted (Read 84 times)


    Hi everyone.


    To cut a reasonably long story short, 4 years ago I did a sub 40 10K, got "the running bug" and set myself the  target of an ambitious (for me) sub 35 10k. Take into account I was reasonably overweight at the time and was only running 3-4 times a week, I am also not in the slightest bit from an athletic background and I was early 30's at the time.


    Fast forward 3 years (Last year) and I managed 35:30 with a lot of effort. This was disheartening but I decided to buckle down and really get it nailed this year. Alas, after throwing the kitchen sink at it, I only managed a 35:09. This was after quite a phenomenally good year training wise, no injury, consistent mileage, managed to lose an extra few pounds, kept a good diet etc. I really feel like I could not do anymore. Mileage ended up around mid-high 70's and, with a shelf full of books on the subject I certainly don't think I did bad training, even though one could argue it could be improved upon.


    General campaign for the last 10 weeks:


    Monday - Recovery, 10K morning, 5 miles afternoon

    Tuesday - Interval's/reps for usually 8-9 miles

    Wed - as Monday

    Thursday - 8-10 mile threshold

    Friday - as Monday

    Saturday - 16 mile long run

    Sunday - 6/8 mile recovery.


    I am obviously a bit bummed about this, half of me wants to drive forwards and the other wants to take the achievement and not let 10 seconds ruin my life! The problem is (sorry to sound like I'm a Game of Thrones character here) winter is coming, I simply can't run double shifts anymore, and due to other commitments I cant run those kind of miles next year either.  This was my last shot.


    Anyway, main question are about mileage. One thing I find really confusing about running planning/training is correlating mileage and performance. Running seems to be a very talent based game, I have read in multiple forums about people achieving sub 35 10K on less than 40 PW, most training plans for the same achievement don't seem go above 60MPW, yet in forums with "normal" people in them then 70MPW+ seems to be relatively normal. My conclusion is that most people who write books or training plans are so talented compared to normal people that there work becomes not very accurate. I.E a talented person person (like them) may be able to bust out a sub 35 10K on 50 Miles per week but no chance for the rest of us. Another way to look at it though is maybe I have over trained, maybe 50MPW is optimal and me running myself into the ground 7 days a week has not done me any favours?


    Questions are:


    Have any not so talented people got experience of sub 35 running? Miles per week, training etc? I would be interested to hear of what other people had to do to get those kind of times.


    Has anyone got any theories on over training, i.e has anyone ever dropped their mileage and started running better? How do you know when enough is enough?


    My best chance to get this thing nailed is a race in about 5 weeks time, realistically I can put in 60MPW, and will hate every one of them. Do you think that will hinder my time? The upcoming race is a bit flatter than the one I have just run, so I am hoping this will be the key to success, but again half of me thinks I am just wasting my time and the ship has sailed.


    Thoughts welcome!


    Cheers everyone.


      To cut a reasonably long story short..


      Ha. Always good to open with a joke...


      Seriously though, if you've put in multiple solid years of training, including 12 months at a consistent 70, sounds like you're definitely doing good things. And 35:09 is 35:30 or 34:40 on another day...which is to say, you're basically there, you just need another race to tease it out. Get a good course, good weather, good competition, just feel a little better, a better feel for the distance having just raced it...10 mpw less isn't going to make you any less fit over 5 weeks, and might even help, so no use sweating that. Although if you "hate every minute of it"...well, not sure what to do for you there. Anyway, good luck, and with a good day you have a more than reasonable shot at your goal.

      Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
      We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

        Just to give you a sense of the difference that conditions and 'what side of bed you got out of that morning' can make, in Feb/Mar last year I ran the Albany Lakes Summer Series, which is a 10km course albeit a relatively hilly one.

        Race 1: warm, humid, wet course, 35:44 (PB)

        Race 2: mostly good, no wind, a touch warm, 34:44 (PB)

        Race 3: basically the same as race 2 at start but temps warmed up very fast, 35:11

        An entire minute is an absolute ton of time and the races were only two weeks apart so it had nothing to do with training!


        Mileage has less of an impact for 10km than it does for marathons or even half marathons.  You might find a bit of a drop in mileage helps just to refresh your body.  I had a holiday/injury enforced couple of light weeks in February this year.  I then beat my half marathon PR in mid-March on a really hilly course.


        A few thoughts:

        • I honestly don't think 16 mile LR's are gonna help your 10km times.  Good for HM or FM, sure, but I personally don't think it adds a lot for 10km.
        • Have you considered doing some speed work on the track?  400's or 800's might just help give your cadence a little extra boost.
        • There is a lot of slow/recovery mileage in there.  Around the time of that 10km series, my average weekly mileage was 40-45mpw.  Now, I am an annoying b*stard that can run quick times off low mileage, but I would seriously consider dropping your mileage and adding another workout in, maybe hill repeats or a track session because I think a bit less quantity and a bit more quality would help.
        • Another thing you could consider is having 1-2 days off running and cross-train or do weights or have a rest day.  I generally only run 5 days/week (the other 2 days I will do weights or have a day off).  I find that means I am nice and fresh for workouts and can (normally) hit them hard.
        • 9 seconds is really not much.  I ran exactly on my PB at Auckland Road Race Champs in August.  I was super-pissed because I know I've improved heaps versus early 2017 (my old PB).  Then a few weeks later at NZ Road Race champs I ran 34:08 in horrible wet conditions on a tougher course.  Like NTown Kevin said, you have given yourself a great shot at it and a few very small things might make all the difference.

        To be blunt, I think you're selling yourself short too.  To run a 35: xx you have to have at least some talent even if you don't have much of an athletic background.  I know serious runners from my club that are running those sorts of times right now.  You should take a lot of pride in what you've run so far and 34: xx would be the icing on the cake.

        5000m: 16:03 (Dec-18) | 5km: 16:24 (Nov-18) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) HM: 1:12:49 (Sep-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

        Last race: NZ Road Relays (Leg 2 / 10.2km), 5 Oct, 35:10

        Up next: The Agency Group 10,000m, 9 Nov



        Benevolent Leader

          I would listen to Mark as he has squeezed a lot of talent out of himself on relatively low mileage. I think the biggest takeaway is that you probably need more quality days. Before giving more advice, it would be helpful to know what your 5K and Half times are. That may indicate whether you are lacking the speed you need or the endurance.

          5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 


          Next Race: Suffolk County Half Marathon (10/27/19)


            What were your splits in the 35:09?  To run your best time you’ll need even splits with a kick at the end.  Even 5 seconds too fast in the opening mile could cost you 20-30 seconds by the end of the race.


            Experts say it takes 7-10 years of consistent progressive training to reach your potential.  You probably still have room for improvement if you stick with it.


            Agree that it would help to know your times from other distances.


            Finally, if you have more weight to lose that will make a difference.  If you are not wearing racing shoes that could make a difference of 10-20 seconds as well.

              Pretty much this:

              Seriously though, if you've put in multiple solid years of training, including 12 months at a consistent 70, sounds like you're definitely doing good things. And 35:09 is 35:30 or 34:40 on another day...which is to say, you're basically there, you just need another race to tease it out.



              Also, though, this:

              Because what this place needs most is another Goal of X time for Y distance thread.


              My story is that in the spring of 2004, after about 4 years of relatively consistent and progressive training and racing, I upped my mileage and had a breakthrough season. One day in May at a local yokel 5K I ran 17 flat. Officially, anyway. The last numbers I saw on the finish clock before I crossed under it were in the 16:5X's and my watch, which I stopped a few meters after the finish line, read 16:59.xx, but the official results said 17:00.00, so there it was. Seriously, point zero, zero. I wish I were kidding. But no worries, I figured. Surely I'd just break 17 at some other 5K that summer or sometime soon. It was a given at that point. A lock. Well, later that summer my running took a left turn and I wound up taking a hiatus from racing and any real training for almost 2 years. When I started back at in in 2006, I'd lost not one step but many, many steps. It took a while and a lot of miles but I'm almost back to where I was.


              There were two major pieces of unfinished business from that spring of 2004--a sub 2:50 marathon and a sub 17 5k. I checked off the marathon last October. So here we are. This may all end badly but I figure if I don't give it a serious go this year then I'll only be one year older when I do. Who's with me?


              And then ... a mere five years after the original post, and nearly 10 years after the original 17 flat, also this:


              This morning in Cambridge, MA I ran 16:59.44 (PR) in a USATF certified 5k. I am free.


              Don't stop. Don't ever stop.


              So, it is simple, but not easy.

              Runners run.


                Okay cheers everyone.


                The depression has turned to anger and I'm glad to say I'm back on the horse!


                To try and bring all the threads together, I don't think my Tuesday runs were made very clear, I am certainly not lacking in "quality" work, I have probably done every type rep imaginable from 200's up to 2 miles, with a lot of hill reps thrown in! I doubt I can't lose anymore weight, I have just dipped below 11st at just over 6" - I am not built like a typical runner I think this is about as low as I can go. Already have the racing shoes to boot as well...


                I think the main thing from this thread is to not worry too much about it, a bit less wind or a slightly flatter track and I will have it nailed. I have managed to find another 2 races before the end of the year. Hopefully the random "good day" effect will pick in, throw in some good weather and I should be okay - if you can't be great be lucky!


                Mileage wise I'l drop it down to mid-late 50's,  it's funny just doing one run seems like a day off at the moment. Maybe I'm just not built for 70+ miles. Time will tell....


                Anyway, thanks very much for the kind, encouraging words.


                  Good to hear and good luck for your races!


                  I don't want to come across as flippant, but, one other suggestion is just to try and relax!  It sounds silly, and can actually be easier said than done, but it does make a difference.  I used to get big nerves before every race but most of my best races have been when I tried not to overthink it, just turned up and ran.

                  5000m: 16:03 (Dec-18) | 5km: 16:24 (Nov-18) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) HM: 1:12:49 (Sep-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

                  Last race: NZ Road Relays (Leg 2 / 10.2km), 5 Oct, 35:10

                  Up next: The Agency Group 10,000m, 9 Nov

                  "CONSISTENCY IS KING"