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Derek Hawkins - 2016 Olympian Sub 50minutes 10k Plan


Derek Hawkins

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10 Weeks

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Plan Description

This training plan is for runners who:

• may have already completed a 50minute 10k or very close to
• are already able to run for 50 minutes or more
• can train five times a week
• has had 4 weeks of easy running before starting this plan
• are committed to giving the plan their best shot.

Arrange the runs around your commitments and balance these with rest days. To get the best from the plan balance training with good nutrition, hydration and quality sleep.

Before setting out on an exercise regime you are well advised to visit your doctor for a check-up. A good doctor will be pleased to see you and should give you some advice on setting out – particularly if you have had a health problem like asthma or suffer from carrying excess weight.

It is also advised you consult a physiotherapist prior to starting a regime.

The plan includes different types of training ( some are listed below) and progresses in volume and intensity before tapering for Race Day. Make the plan personal to you. If you miss some of the plan as a result of injury, illness or other pressures, don’t try to make up for lost time by cramming the missed training in and doing more. If you’re feeling tired, adjust the plan, reduce the intensity of the run or go for an ‘easy’ run instead of trying to force yourself to fit in the workout. This can increase the risk of further fatigue, injury or illness. Also try to get a massage a couple of times during the 10-week programme to help recovery and reduce the risk of injury.

On the day of the race, don’t try any food/drinks/gels that you haven’t tried before in training. Stick to what you’re used to.

65-79% of your HRmax. In general, Easy running is running at a comfortable, conversational pace, which certainly may vary daily, depending on how you are feeling. If you use Heart Rate training, the effort should be around 65-79% of your Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax).

These runs are performed at current marathon pace. If you haven’t run a marathon recently but have done so previously, be realistic in as to what pace you can run at this effort. If you don’t have a pb then add 43-45secs/mile to your 10km race pace OR it can be roughly worked out as 75-84% VO2Max/80-90% of your HRmax.

The effort for these runs can be described as a “controlled discomfort”. Paces for these are approximately 10secs/mile SLOWER than 10k OR 83-88% of VO2Max/88-92% of HRmax.
Hilly Run
These runs should be run at easy run effort. After 5minutes Easy flat running, the run should be undulating until 5minutes before the end which again should be on flat terrain.

Continuous run alternating Paces (Week 8)
After 15minutes easy running the main session is 30minutes alternating the pace every 3minutes between marathon pace and tempo pace. So for the first 3minutes, the athlete runs at marathon pace and for the next 3minutes runs at tempo pace. The athlete repeats this 9 more times to make 30minutes total (15minutes @ marathon, 15minutes @ tempo).

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Run x5
3:53 hrs 1:15 hrs
Day Off x2
0:20 hrs 0:20 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
3:53 hrs 1:15 hrs
Day Off
0:20 hrs 0:20 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices

Derek Hawkins

Hawkins Running

I’ve competed in running for 20 years going from local primary school races to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Marathon.

In my view the coach/athlete relationship is at the heart of any successful performance no matter what level the athlete is competing at whether it be full on coaching or just being the sounding board to make sure everything is going to plan. Over the years my coaches have played a vital role in my development and I most certainly wouldn’t have achieved what I have without them.

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