How many times a week minimally should I train for a 10k race.
March 4, 2020 9:11 PM   Subscribe

It’s in the first week of May and I run 5 or 10k each time I run. I also go 4 times a week to a 45 minute boot camp if that is relevant.
posted by Tziv to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I’ve never seen any plan—even for novices (and including Couch25K)—recommend fewer than 3x per week. Bare bones race training plans are usually 2 midweek runs and a longer run on the weekend; you might want to look at extending your longest run before the race to 7-8 miles. More advanced/goal oriented plans will have you doing 3-4 midweek runs, with at least one or more of them focused on speed like tempo, fartlek, race pace intervals, or hill repeats, etc.
posted by blue suede stockings at 12:33 AM on March 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

If your goal is just to finish comfortably, I’d suggest you are already there. A 10K at 10:00 miles is just over an hour; if you’re doing 45 training sessions several times a week that ought to be a piece of cake.
posted by AgentRocket at 3:45 AM on March 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It all depends on your goals. If you already can run 5-10k when you do run, then you can "race" a 10k. So minimally, whatever you're currently doing is fine as AgentRocket mentions.

If you want moderate improvement 3-4 times per week, with 1 run per week being longer (work up ~20km).

If you want great improvement, then you're looking at moving up 6-7 days per week with a few to many double run days, a weekly long run of 2.5-3 hours, and strength and mobility work thrown in. 1-2 specific speed workouts per week, and probably doing ~10 sets of strides on even your easy days pretty much every day.
posted by nobeagle at 6:43 AM on March 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yes, I would say it depends on your goals. Obviously you can finish a 10k race. So what are you trying to achieve? Sub 1 hour?

I personally find it really hard to get in more than two non-running workouts a week, and I run 4x per week. Usually I double up an orange theory day with a workout run and make that a REALLY hard day, because I like (and my body needs) two rest days a week where I don't do anything more strenuous than walking or yoga.

So, given you are already doing 4x boot camps, I'd run 3x per week. One longer run (try to get up to about 12-14 k... it will make the race feel like a breeze!), one shorter easier run and one run involving hills or intervals.
posted by gaspode at 6:46 AM on March 5, 2020

Best answer: Agree with the above.

But remember the 10 percent rule: In general, don't increase your weekly milage by more than about 10 percent. You might be able to increase a bit more if you reduce your other exercise (e.g., if you drop one day of boot camp you could try adding 20-30 minutes of running, but don't blame me if you do that and get injured.)

Plus, the single easiest and most useful thing you can do at this point is to taper your running and other exercise for a week or so before the race.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:59 AM on March 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm doing a 10K training program, working up from a 5K, and it has me going out three times a week, with one run focussed on overall tempo (usually a warmup of 1km, then running 1.5km at a set reasonable but slightly faster than my usual pace, slower for a minute to recover, then another 1.5km at the same set pace, followed by a cool down of 1km), one run focussed on building my lactate threshold with intervals (400m warmup, then intervals of a significantly faster speed than usual for 400 m followed by 400m recovery pace), and a long run once a week. The distances each week are shorter runs for tempo and intervals (about 5 or 6km) and a long run on the weekend, which has me doing 10km for a couple of weeks, then 11km for a couple of weeks and then 13km a couple of weeks before tapering in the couple of weeks before the end of the program.

I'd guess your bootcamp training probably covers the lactate threshold improvements and you can probably get away with skipping the work on pace, but for comfort on race day (particularly if you're looking to meet a certain pace or time) you could maybe look at increasing the distance you run by a km-ish every couple of weeks before tapering off in the week or so before your race.

All that said, I really didn't notice any improvement in running (particularly my enjoyment of it) unless I run twice a week or more (even though I bike a lot for transportation during any given week). Otherwise I was usually spending a lot of time fighting myself about it instead of just doing it. I actually like it now, much to my surprise. In thata vein, maybe look at converting one of your bootcamp days to a shorter run day
posted by urbanlenny at 9:32 AM on March 5, 2020

Best answer: Hal Higdon's training program, which is a very common, basic, "just finish" program, has you running 3 days a week and then cross-training.

Regardless of how good your cardio state is, I will say that running requires very specific muscles and mechanics that don't always translate from other sports/training. Additionally, it's often noted that "your muscles and lungs will write cheques that your joints and tendons can't cash" -- so even if you feel like you could run forever, the 10% rule (mentioned above) is extremely important when you're training to avoid overuse injuries.
posted by thebots at 12:28 PM on March 5, 2020

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