Hal Higdon 10K Intermediate: This is the Intermediate 10K Training Program, for runners who want to improve their performances. What defines an Intermediate runner? You should be running five to six times a week, averaging 15-25 miles weekly training. You probably also should have run a half dozen or more races at distances between the 5K and the Half Marathon. With that as background, you now need a somewhat more sophisticated schedule to improve. Each day, I will send you an email telling you what to run and also offering tips about training. For more information and directions, visit my website: halhigdon.com.
Today is the start of your 10-K Intermediate Training Program. Most important in your training program is consistency. You can skip a few workouts, but not too many if you want to succeed eight weeks from today. This first week you'll run 18 miles total and 4 on the weekend. Regardless of the plan for the full week, this is your day for a 3-miler followed by stretching and strengthening. Check the screens on those disciplines in halhigdon.com for some good exercises.
Run 3 miles. Remember that big gains in fitness can be made with small increases. As we get further into the program, I'll be asking you to run up to 6 miles on this day. But now your program is just beginning. Please note that in estimating the length of time it takes you to run 3 miles, or other distances, I assume you average 9:00 per mile. If you run slower or faster, adjust the estimate accordingly.
This is the day for speed workouts in the Intermediate program. Over the next eight weeks, you will alternate between tempo runs in even weeks and interval workouts on odd weeks. If you're not sure of those terms, review the explanations on the introductory screen for Intermediate runners. Let's begin with a 35-minute tempo run. Start off with 5-10 minutes of easy running followed by 15-20 minutes where you gradually accelerate to near your 10-K race pace, then cruise home during he last 5-10 minutes. Let's see: Does that add up to 35 minutes? Well, it's close. A tempo run is an intuitive type of workout. Don't get hung up on the exact time--or the exact pace for that matter. You should also finish refreshed.
My schemata for Thursdays is to alternate between runs of 3 and 4 miles plus strength training. Why? Just to give your program some variation. This being an even week, run 3 miles today at an easy pace. Couple that with stretching and strengthening. Need more rest? Don't be afraid to run today's workout at a slower pace. Nobody is going to be standing by the side of the road timing you on these workouts. Experienced runners learn how to listen to their bodies when it comes to deciding how fast to run on any given day.
Sixty minutes of cross-training. Except for rest days before races, this will remain the same during the eight weeks of our program. Let's call it an hour. That's less exact, and the purpose of this workout is not exactness. It's to rest and get ready for a somewhat harder workout tomorrow. Keeping things simple on some days is not without purpose. It's easier to progress up in one area of your training while cutting back slightly or holding in the other areas. Don't push yourself too hard on this cross-training day. What to do? Bike. Swim, Walk. Although stay away from sidestepping or collision sports like tennis or softball. If you would rather run long on Saturdays and cross-train on Sundays, you have my permission to do so.
Four miles for today's long run. Not much, you say, being a seasoned runner. Nevertheless, when you get this far in the 10-K race, you will be two-thirds of the way home. Use today's workout to mentally rehearse how you are going to run those first 4 miles. That may include programming a water break midway through this and other long runs.
We move forward in distance and difficulty. Today's Monday workout of 3 miles running followed by stretching and strengthening remains the same, but this week I will ask you run a total of 22 miles with a long run on the weekend of 5 miles, just short of your 10-K distance. By the way, how is your stretching and strengthening program going? If you have any questions concerning what to do, see the Stretch & Strengthen screens on halhigdon.com.