10 Week Minimalist Intermediate 10K Training Plan


This is a 10 week intermediate 10K competitive program that uses a minimalist approach to training. The minimalist approach focuses on high quality workouts and eliminates easy/recovery workouts and junk miles. This minimalist program includes three workouts per week and is intended for intermediate level competitive runners with some competitive experience. This program includes high intensity workouts, weekly long training runs and high intensity strength training.  The 10 week program begins with a long run base of 6 miles.


Is This Program For You?


Minimalist training programs are a relatively new type of training. There are both advantages and disadvantages with this type of training, especially for competitive runners. The additional rest or cross training days will assist you if you have problems with frequent over use injuries, are performing concurrent training for other sports or have limited training time. The downfall of minimalist training is related to performance. While some runner’s are able to perform at very high levels with minimalist training most runners will struggle to reach their peak performance levels with minimal training.


Running Workouts


There are eight specific types of running workouts in your program:


Endurance Runs - This type of run is also known as aerobic conditioning. Endurance runs make up the highest percentage of overall mileage for a distance runner. Endurance runs build your overall endurance, increase your blood volume, improve your ability to store energy supplying fuel, and improves the ability of your system to deliver oxygen to your muscles. These workouts are performed at about 55 to 75 percent of your VO2 max (your body’s ability to process oxygen). This pace should feel easy and “conversational” in nature.


Lactate Turnpoint Runs - These workouts, which are also called anaerobic conditioning, are intended to improve your body’s ability to process accumulating lactic acid to produce energy. They also improve your ability to continue to run with rising potassium levels (a cause of running fatigue). LT runs are typically performed at between 75 percent and 90 percent of your VO2 max. Your LT pace is about 2 to 4 percent slower than 10K pace. These workouts are performed at or near 10K race pace because you are flooding your system with lactic acid and potassium at that pace, which makes 10K pace very efficient at improving your LT.


Tempo Runs - Tempo runs are moderate to long distance run that are performed at between marathon pace and about 15 seconds per mile slower than 10K pace. Tempo training intensity is slightly less than lactate turn point intensity. The purpose of tempo running is to improve your ability to run long distances at paces that produce a significant amount of metabolites without the limiting factor of reaching your lactate turn point.


Speed Runs - These workouts are also known as aerobic capacity training. Speed runs are performed at between 90% and 100% of your VO2 max which is between your 5K race pace and your 3K race pace. Improving this pace will increase your fitness, speed, endurance and speed endurance.

Sprint Training - This workout is not the same type of high intensity running that a sprinter would do. Sprint training for a distance runner involves running at very high intensities of between 100 and 125 percent of VO2 max. These workouts should be performed at a nearly “all out’ but relaxed pace. You should concentrate on maintaining good form and a smooth, fluid stride. The purpose of these types of workouts are to improve your top running speed, running strength, running economy and neuromuscular conditioning or the ability of your brain to communicate with your muscles.


Long Runs - These runs improve your endurance, goal pace endurance and mental toughness. They also improve your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel and conserve carbohydrates. Long runs are performed at an easy pace, goal pace or a combination of the two paces.


Goal Pace Training - One of the most important and often forgotten competitive training paces is goal pace running. Goal pace training will improve your goal specific neuromuscular function and make you a more efficient runner at goal pace.

Strides - Strides are a form of sprint training that is often done just before a post training cool down. In this program, strides are 100 meter runs in which you start your stride at a moderate pace and smoothly accelerate to full sprint pace at about 80 meters. You then use your forward momentum to “coast” the final 20 meters.


Strength Workouts

The second category of workouts in your training program are strength workouts. Strength training is important for runners because it helps prevent injury, improve your impact resistance, improve your running economy and build your speed and power. Strength training workouts fall into one of three types:


General Strength - General strength workouts build your overall body strength and provide a base for the more specific types of strength training.


Running Specific Strength - These are strength building exercises that target your running specific motions and muscles


Plyometrics - Plyometrics are high intensity strength exercises and drills that are explosive in nature and are great for improving running economy and power.


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