10k training without treadmill

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I can comfortably run a 5k and have been running on and off for years. I'd like to train to run a 10k. The last time I did this (a few years ago!) I just ran a bit longer on each run until I hit the distance. I had a race time of roughly 70 minutes, this time I'd like to get it under 60.

I've found an 8 week 10k training plan but it has runs like:

2M easy, then 4 x 400m, with 400m or 3-min jog recoveries, then 2M easy

and

5M, first half at 70%, second at 85%

How do you do this without access to a treadmill or running track? I suppose I can map the 2M and 400m on google maps to get a reasonable estimate but how do you know what 70% and 85% is? And how do I know what should I run the 400m at?

Thanks!

Replies

  • DX2JX2
    DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921 Member
    edited July 2018
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    The easiest way to figure running distances and paces is to get a GPS capable watch or phone. The good news is that most phones are GPS capable now and tracking/fitness apps are either native to the OS or an easy download.

    Outside of that, google maps isn't a horrible choice to plan your routes. For interval work, you can actually just go back and forth the same stretch of road.

    Pacing is a little tougher, especially if you don't have a dedicated monitor. Likewise HR percentages (the 70% and 85% above). If you do have a HRM, then you can always assume your max HR as 220 minus your age to start and then adjust from there. That said, it will all come down to running by feel. You'll have to figure some out by trial and error.

    Generally, 70% of your max heart rate is considered an easy pace. Runs at this effort should be literally easy. You should be fully conversational and be able to speak in unbroken complete sentences. It's an effort you could continue pretty much indefinitely from a cardio standpoint.

    85% of your max HR is considered a threshold level. This is a comfortably hard pace...you shouldn't be able to speak in complete unbroken sentences but you should not be breathing so hard that you cannot talk at all. It should be an effort that you find challenging but could maintain for 40-60 minutes.

    Interval work is generally done at your 5K race pace. If you don't have a reference for that, then consider it a pace that's slightly faster than your 85% pace. Basically, you should be breathing pretty heavily by the end of the intervals such that the recovery time is barely enough to get you ready for the next interval by the time you hit the last one. It's not a full sprint though. Your first interval should leave you breathing heavy but still energetic...you should only really struggle at the end of the last or second to last interval or so if you're doing it right.

    Edited to add: check out Jack Daniel's online running calculator. Once you figure out one reference time (race pace over any distance or a pace that works for you as an easy pace, etc.), then it will provide some suggestions for paces you can use on your other runs.
  • Panini911
    Panini911 Posts: 2,325 Member
    edited July 2018
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    If you don't have a GPS watch, you can use a phone with an app like Track My Run (using your phone's GPS)

    I am doing a 10k program now with The Running Room.
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,237 Member
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    If you have a smartphone, you can use an app like runkeeper, strava, endomondo, mapmyrun, etc to track distance (or google maps or the ustfa site allows you to draw routes).

    400m is about 1/4 mile-you’ll want to find somewhere reasonably flat. Typically 400m reports are run at about 5k race pace. Jack Daniels and McMillan (and many others) have calculators online that can help you calculate these paces.

    The % could be lots of things. Could be heart rate, pace, VO2max, threshold, Etc. My guess would be % of a particular pace (meaning running slightly slower than an expected race pace). The plan should specify what % it’s talking about-and which pace (if it’s pace-use your handy calculators above).

    All that said, how many miles are you running a week and for how long have you been running that many miles? You may be better served (and have better results) just logging miles. Typically, speedwork (400m repeats and tempo runs and such) is really not all that effective (in building speed) unless you have a decent mileage base to begin with. Just something to consider.



  • L1zardQueen
    L1zardQueen Posts: 8,753 Member
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    Try the app MapMyRun. You can plot a course.
  • lporter229
    lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member
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    400m is a lap around a standard track. If you live anywhere close to a school, you can usually find a track to do this type of workout. It is usually permitted to use the track when school is not in session or it's not being used otherwise, but you might want to check if they have usage rules posted. Most places will keep them locked if they do not want the public to use them.
  • Panini911
    Panini911 Posts: 2,325 Member
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    Try the app MapMyRun. You can plot a course.

    oops yes Map my Run not Track my Run!
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 25,309 Member
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    How do you do this without access to a treadmill or running track? I suppose I can map the 2M and 400m on google maps to get a reasonable estimate but how do you know what 70% and 85% is? And how do I know what should I run the 400m at?

    Thanks!

    Strava and heart rate monitor.

    This is what a heart rate monitor is for!

  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    @DX2JX2 I have a Fitbit, I've not really paid much attention to heartrate when running though. The connected GPS is rubbish on my phone though, a 3.1 mile will show up as 2.85, I've been plotting them after the fact on mapmyrun and going to Parkruns. I thought the percentages were related to effort and I did wonder how you could measure that to a specific percentage! Thanks for all the info, that's really helpful.

    @Duck_Puddle I've been running on and off for years but since March this year I've kept a regular schedule, doing about 5-8 miles a week. You might be right, I might wait a few weeks and build my runs up to regular 4 mile runs before looking at speedwork.

    @lporter229 I think tracks at schools are more common in the US. I'm in the UK. I forgot to put the reason I can't use a treadmill or track in my original post, sorry. There are only two schools in my area (none near me) and they are only accessible by private membership outside of school hours. I don't have the budget to join anything unfortunately.
  • DawnEmbers
    DawnEmbers Posts: 2,451 Member
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    When I trained for both 5k and 10k I did the runs based on time. Short run was 20 minutes and the long run worked up to over an hour with it going up about 5 minutes each week when it was time to increase. By time of race I managed the 10k in just under an hour.