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A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - Palmer - 04-06-2015

Dear TheEd

Thanks for signing me up to this Forum. I have read some threads in this Forum where runners get valuable feedback regarding their training.

I would like to get under 40 min in 10K in a race that takes place in Reykjavik on August 22 or September 12. So I would appreciate if you could help me and build up a program for me.

Some info:
  • Male
  • 45 years old
  • 77 kg
  • Started to run regularly in 2009
  • Best 10K in November 2014: 41:27
  • Best half marathon in October 2014: 1:33:27
  • Better of two marathons in 2013: 3:51:00

I ran a 10K race this evening at 42:56 but did not run at 100% effort since this was my first race after calf injury that I got in the beginning of April. Deceided to run at an average pace of 4:15. I have had 10 running sessions after I got rid of my calf injury. During the race this evening I had no problem with the calf so now I am ready for quality training sessions.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - TheEd - 06-06-2015

Hi Arnie, and welcome to the forums

would be good to get a little feedback on the training you currently doing, so we can balance things to avoid injuries etc

so we can look at the sub 40 minute 10km program

but will need to tailor things more to suit you, and then hope we can get you going towards your goal

please find a 4k route, so we can refer back to the time-trial on that, maybe if you can get tester in we can work off that

will hand over to you and will await your reply


A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - Palmer - 07-06-2015

Thanks for the feedback.

I ran a 4K time-trial today on a track. These were the results:

Time C.Time Dist Av.Pace Av HR M HR

1 03:53 03:53 1 03:53 168 178
2 03:57 07:50 1 03:57 180 183
3 04:04 54:00 1 04:04 183 185
4 04:05 15:59 1 04:05 186 188
5 00:04 16:03 0,02 03:36 187 187

Sum 16:03 16:03 4,02 04:00 179 188

I did a 2K warm up. The 4K was a bit slower than I hoped, perhaps I was still tired after the 10K race last Thursday. But I gave everything and I was definitely running out of gas!

The training I have done for the past 4 weeks is the following:

Week 1: 5 easy runs (5, 8, 10, 13 and 10 km, total 49 km)
Week 2: 2 tempo runs (10 and 10 km, total 20 km)
Week 3: 1 tempo and 1 easy run (13 and 15 km, total 28 km)
Week 4: 1 sprint session, 1 10K race and the 4 km time-trial (total 30 km)

In addition I have done some cycling: On average 28 km a week.

These are my calculations of my training paces based on the 4K time-trial:
4K=16 minutes
5K= 20 minutes
Double= 40 minutes
Add 1 minute= 41 minute
Pace= 4:06
Round off to 4:10

4:10 for the 5*2K
4:00 for the 6*1K
3:50 for the 10*400m

Do you agree?

So would you recommend that I start the program on Tuesday?

There is a 5K race on June 23 that I would like to take part in. Would it be ok to incorporate that race in my program, (day 15 if I start the program on Tuesday)?

Any thoughts appcreciated.


A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - TheEd - 08-06-2015

you have it all under control Arnie, look forward to your 2k feedback. Keep the first few 2k's under control

and it should be fine for the 5k on the 23rd June

on we go


A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - Palmer - 12-06-2015


I have completed sessions 1-3 in the program. Today I ran the 5*2K session on the same track as the 4K time-trial. These were the splits, but I started with a 2K warm up:

Time; Avg Pace; Avg HR; Max/min HR

1: 8:20; 4:09 165; 173 max

2: 1:30; 7:09; 145; 132 min

3: 8:23; 4:12; 167; 174 max

4: 1:31; 10:39; 148; 123 min

5: 8:23; 4:12; 170; 179 max

6: 1:31; 13:17; 153; 127 min

7: 8:20; 4:10; 174; 182 max

8: 1:31; 11:18; 159; 133 min

9: 8:24; 4:12; 177; 186 max

This was a pretty tough session but I managed to finish it, 3 times a little bit over 4:10 pace. The breathing was really heavy in the last two 2K but my legs were ok. I think my strength is being able to keep up the pace under heavy breathing and high HR. I played 18 hole golf this evening and did not feel much fatigue in my legs.

I was wondering if playing a 18 hole golf on day 6 could substitute an easy day of 30 min running or do you recommend that I do the running as well?

One more question: When running the 2K I stopped when my garmin showed 2K but in fact I had a few meters left to finish the 2K on the track. Should I finish the 2K on the track (finish the last circle all the way) or stop running when my garmin shows 2K?


A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - TheEd - 12-06-2015

Arnie, measure out the route you want to use and then stick to that route, and dont go according to gps if it shows different on some days

If you use the same route, you can get to know where certain points of the route are, and then can learn more and more about pacing according to different marks on the course

this is very much related to the article: [URL=""]Race Your Best 10km

with experience, all the various elements will fall into place and the results will follow accordingly

do note, the 2k session will show you where you stand in your pursuit of achieving your goals, so stay focused and enjoy the development

have a great weekend, we hope everything mentioned is helpful


A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - Palmer - 12-06-2015

Thanks for a good advice. A really good article Race Your Best 10km regarding the strategy in a 10K race and how to run the 5*2K and 6*1K sessions to prepare for that strategy. I keep going with the program.

Two questions:

1) Should I run at a specific pace the 90 min run tomorrow (time on feet session), or just an easy pace where I am able to talk?

2) I was wondering if playing a 18 hole golf on day 6 could substitute for an easy day of 30 min running or do you recommend that I do the running as well?

I will give you a feedback after the 6*1K session.

Thanks again,

A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - TheEd - 13-06-2015

Hi Palmer, you have it right regarding 1.

re: Golf, I wouldn't recommend this currently, especially between Day 3 to Day 8

as you develop you can get away with it, however time of feet playing golf, will not 'currently' assist you in adapting to the workload between Day 3 to 8

on we go


A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - Palmer - 17-06-2015

Hi TheEd

This morning on day 9 I ran the 6*1K session on the same track as usual, actually I should have run it on day 8 according to the program. Since that day the wind was really blowing here in Iceland I deceided to move the session to day 9. Now I did not follow the Garmin to deceide to stop after each 1 km but stopped when I had reached 2,5 circles on the 400 meters track. The Garmin showed a bit longer distance than 1 km.

Nr; Dist; Time; Av Pace; Max HR/Min Rest HR
1; 1,00; 3:56; 3:56; 174/134
2; 1,05; 4:05; 3:54; 176/133
3; 1,02; 4:02; 3:58; 180/142
3; 1,02; 4:03; 3:57; 182/147
5; 1,03; 4:06; 3:58; 182/143
6; 1,04; 4:05; 3:56; 186

It was a really hard session and I had hoped it would be a little easier! But of course the first quality sessions are tough.

As I mentioned before I would like to take part in a 5K race on day 15. I was wondering if I should do any changes of the program in order to be more rested before the race?

Would you think that running just sub 20 min in that race would be a sensible goal?

Any thoughts appreciated.


A program to run sub 40 min in 10K - TheEd - 18-06-2015

work the last week of the program (week 3) backwards from the race

Mon 15 Race

Sun Rest

Sat 6 x 1 min fast / slow

Friday 30 minutes easy

Thur 30 - 40 minutes easy

for your 5k race . add the average time 1k's for your 6 x 1k session together x 5 and add 25 seconds

you should not run slower than that time

edit: not sure whether your race on Day 15 is a Monday? However, you should get an idea from working back from the race day