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Gonzo 10K Workouts
By Rick Morris
You've probably done a lot of different 10K workouts from standard 400 meter repeats to 30 minute tempo runs. Those type of workouts are conventional, safe and effective. They are the plain vanilla flavor of 10K workouts. Do you ever feel like breaking out of the box and doing some unconventional, outrageous, over the top workouts that require just a bit of running madness. If so, then these gonzo 10K workouts may be for you. These very high intensity 10K workouts are difficult to perform both mentally and physically. While these gonzo 10K workouts can be superb at improving your mental and physical fitness they aren't without risk. The extreme intensity and difficulty of these 10K training runs place you at a higher risk of injury than the more tame standard running workouts, so do these at your own risk.
Here is a 5K workout that can be relatively easy or absurdly difficult depending upon how many repeats you do, how fast you run them and how much recovery you take between your repeats. This one is simple in theory. You just run a 5K at either your current or goal 10K pace. Of course, goal pace will be more difficult than current pace. One 5K repeat at current 10K pace is a fairly conventional workout, but you can take this to gonzo levels by doing 2, 3 or even more repeats with brief recovery intervals. A good starting point would be 2 x 5K at your current 10K pace with 5 minute of passive recovery (complete rest) between the 5K repeats. You can gradually increase the difficulty of this workout by doing more repeats, decreasing the recovery time or increasing the pace to goal 10K pace. Here is a progression that will take you from relative normalcy to nearly crazy levels of difficulty.
Week 1 - 2 x 5K repeats at current 10K pace with 5 minutes of passive recovery
Week 2 - 2 x 5K repeats at current 10K pace with 3 minutes of passive recovery
Week 3 - 2 x 5K repeats at current 10K pace with 5 minutes of active recovery (easy jogging)
Week 4 - 2 x 5K repeats at goal 10K pace with 3 minutes of passive recovery
Week 5 - 2 x 5K repeats at goal 10K pace with 3 minutes of active recovery
Week 6 - 3 x 5K repeats at current 10K pace with 5 minutes of passive recovery
Week 7 - 3 x 5K repeats at goal 10K pace with 3 minutes of active recovery
Week 8 - 4 x 5K repeats at current 10K pace with 5 minutes of passive recovery
4 x 200/400/1600/300 Meter Compound Sets
You've probably done compound sets before. Compound sets, which are sometimes called super sets are a combination of runs at various paces performed without recovery. This is a 10K specific compound set that will take you to extreme levels of intensity and difficulty but is also very race specific and great for preparing you for a new 10K PR. This workout begins with a blazing fast start, slows to 10K pace in the middle and ends with a sprint finish. Be sure you are thoroughly warmed up before you start this workout. Begin with 200 meters at 800 meter pace. Then slow to 5K pace for 400 meters before slowing again to 10K pace for 1600 meters. Finish this 2500 meter compound set with a 300 meter sprint. Repeat this 3 more times for a total of 4 compound sets. Recover between each compound set with 3 minutes of passive rest. Take no recovery within each compound set.
1600 Meter Repeats
At first glance this may not seem like a particularly daunting workout. 1600 meter or mile repeats are a very common workout for every distance from the 5K to a marathon. What makes this work out a gonzo training run is the increasing number of repeats and the decreasing recover time - a wicked but effective combination.
Week 1 - 6 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace with 3 minutes of passive recovery between each repeat
Week 2 - 7 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace with 3 minutes of passive recovery between each repeat
Week 3 - 8 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace with 3 minutes of passive recovery between each repeat
Week 4 - 9 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace with 3 minutes of passive recovery between each repeat
Week 5 - 10 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace with 3 minutes of passive recovery between each repeat
Week 6 - 10 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace with 2 minutes of passive recovery between each repeat
Week 7 - 10 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace with 1 minutes of passive recovery between each repeat
Week 8 - 10 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace with 30 seconds of passive recovery between each repeat
10K Combination Gonzo Run
This gonzo 10K run combines some tempo and lactate turn point training on the road with blazing fast track running.
Begin with 2 miles at tempo pace on the road. Then hit the track for 4 x 800 meters at 5K pace. Take no recovery between the tempo run and your first 800 repeat. Recover between each 800 meter repeat with 400 meters at tempo pace. Now hit the road again for 2 miles at 10K pace. Return to the track for 8 x 200 meters at 800 meter pace. Take no recovery before your first 200 meter repeat. Recover between each 200 meter repeat with 200 meters at tempo pace. Now return to the road for 1 more mile at 10K pace. Finish with 200 to 300 meters at sprint pace.
Gonzo 10K Hill Run
You will probably need to do this one on your treadmill. This hill run depends upon a hill that gradually but consistently increases in incline.
Run 10K or 6.2 on a hill of gradually increasing incline from about 2% to 12% or on a treadmill using the following sequence.
1 mile at 2% incline - Easy Pace
1 mile at 3% incline - 10K Pace
1 mile at 4% incline - Easy Pace
1 mile at 5% incline - 10K Pace
.5 miles at 6% incline - Easy Pace
.5 miles at 7% incline - 10K Pace
.25 miles at 8% incline - Easy Pace
.25 miles at 9% incline - 10K pace
.25 miles at 10% incline - Easy Pace
.25 miles at 11% incline - Easy Pace
.2 miles at 12% incline - 10K Pace
Progressive Gonzo Run
Most progressive run are enjoyable workouts in which you gradually increase your speed from an easy pace to a moderately hard pace. This gonzo progressive run increases the difficulty level significantly.
Run 10K or 6.2 miles at an increasing pace using the following sequence.
1 mile at easy endurance pace
2 miles at tempo pace
3 miles at 10K pace
.2 miles at full sprint pace
10K Gonzo Long Run
Long runs aren't just for marathon training. You should be doing a long run for every training distance. The trick is to make your long run goal specific. If you're training for a 10K your long run should be designed for the 10K. Here is a gonzo 10K long run that is not for the meek.
Run 18 miles or 29K. Begin with 1 mile at 10K pace. The slow to an easy endurance pace for 8 miles or 13K. Speed up to 10K pace for the next 1 mile. Slow to tempo pace ( not easy pace) for the following 3 miles or 5K. Then speed back up to 10K pace for 1 more mile. Now slow back to tempo pace for 3 miles or 5K and then finish with the final 1 mile at 10K pace.
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