This post is associated to the question asked on the Running Feedback Forums, it shall deal with the progressive nature of the 10k training programs and where you start and why you start there.
This is the response to the question: how it works with the program is to have a starting point, what we utilise is a 4k time-trial. We use the 4k distance as it is not a traditional distance and will be used only for our programs, so that development and assessment is according to the 4k. You will see the significance of this later.
Starting Point – 4k time-trial
The 4k time-trial determines where the athlete stands at that point in their fitness and training. What can also be of importance to any athlete starting out, is a blood test to see where they are at that time, when healthy. What their iron status is etc etc. Also whether they have any niggles or injuries etc.
What training they have been doing before the program, so we are able to ascertain whether they can cope with the 10k program assigned to them or even whether they doing too much or too little according to their 4k time-trial test.
Less is often better, many athletes can run on memory, however when making a comeback that memory can often prove to be detrimental. What we do is to have the athlete improving according to their 4k time and not their past experiences, this we have found to be more simple, the athlete does not have the pressure of what things should be according to previous bests etc.
The line is then drawn as the starting point with this data.
The athlete starts according to their data and goes onto the 3 week cycle accordingly, with the 4k time having a significant influence.
The sub 35 minute 10k program (for example) may be the structure, though the times and pace the athlete has run for the 4k will determine their individual pace.
If an athlete has a heart rate monitor they are able to document heart rate according to pace. We use this data to assist and not to determine, at the start of training on the programs.
The intention is to achieve a rhythm for the body, I shall discuss this in further detail in a future post.
After a period of time, it is wise for the athlete to go off the 3 week cycles to avoid going stale and to regenerate. Breaking the monotony of the cycles and the pain of the 5 x 2k mind-set
The off period is planned for regeneration of the body and mind.
The Build up is to sync a process of return as well as to lay a foundation for the future training cycles. Will discuss the aspects of this in a future post.
After the Build up, the athlete runs a 4k time-trial and more often than not the runner will run a 4k time which will impress. I will also look to discuss this in a further post.
All these processes go according to how the athlete feels, how they coping with their routine and life which includes family, work and other commitments.
This is achieved by balance.
If there are any questions specific to this post that you would like to ask, then comment and I shall look to answer them
Author: Gavin Doyle