Training Progressions for the 3k-10k

Ali Husain, MSed, MAT, CSCS, USATF Lv. 2 Endurance

 

The first thing to look at in any training progression is the peaking date. Once you establish the peak date, then you can look backward and see how much time you have to develop your athletes. It is my preference to train athletes in a four phase system. Look at table 1 for phase breakdown. This is the system I use and has worked well. Please remember this is a sample progression and can vary by each athlete. It is important to remember intensity increases throughout the training. The use of undulating training (up and downs in intensity and duration) is necessary and your body needs it to adapt. Look at table for breakdown of four phases.

Table 1


Phase
Purpose
Duration
Heart Rate Ranges
(on key workouts)
Foundation
Aerobic endurance
6-8 weeks
70-80%
Stamina
Lactate threshold development
4-6 weeks
80-85%
Aerobic Power
Vo2 max development
6-8 weeks
90-95%
Peaking
Anaerobic tolerance
4-6 weeks
Not applicable

Phase1
The primary goal of the foundation phase is to develop aerobic endurance. I don’t believe doing all long and slow as the best way to develop endurance. The use of steady state and fartlek runs are a necessary to develop endurance. I also prefer to use develop basic leg speed in all phases of training. See table 2 for breakdown of training and sample week below.

Table 2
Phase 1: Foundation

Type
Intensity (HR)
Duration
Frequency
Easy Run
60-70%
30-120 minutes
3-5 times week
Steady States
70-80%
20-90 minutes
1-2 times week
Fartlek
70-80%
15-30 minutes
1 times week
Strides
N/A
20-30 seconds
3 times week

Example Week
Sunday: long run of 90 minutes with 6 x 20 second strides after run
Monday: Easy run of 50-60 minutes
Tuesday: 10-15 minute warm up, 20 minutes of striding up to 80% heart rate and jogging down to 70%, 10 minute cool down, form drills (high knees, skipping, and bounding)
Wednesday: Easy run of 40-50 minutes with strides after
Thursday: 10-15 minute warm up, 5 mile steady state, 1 mile cool down with strides after
Friday: same as Monday or Wednesday
Saturday: 10 minute warm up, 20-25 minute steady state, 10 minute cool down, 8 x 30 second strides

Phase 2
After establishing a solid aerobic foundation a transition to higher intensity is necessary. Phase 2 is devoted to developing stamina and the ability to hang on. The major of hard runs consists of lactate threshold runs. See chart below:

Table 3

Type
Intensity (HR)
Duration
Frequency
Easy Run
60-70%
30-120 minutes
3-4 times week
Lactate threshold
80-85%
20-40 minutes
2 times week
Hilly Fartlek
70-85%
20-30 minutes
1 times week
Strides
N/A
30-40 second
3 times week

Sample Week
Sunday- Easy long run followed by strides
Monday- Easy run
Tuesday- Warm up, 6x 800@ LT pace with 1 minute jogs, cool down, followed by strides
Wednesday- Easy run
Thursday- Warm up, hilly fartlek, cool down
Friday- Easy run followed by strides
Saturday- warm up, continuous Lactate threshold run, cool down,

Phase 3:
Aerobic Power The purpose of this phase is to develop racing ability or other wise known as aerobic power. Be warned training can be very intense during this phase and it necessary to account for each individual limits. It is my belief to train through races and only allowing good racing once every 3rd or 4th week. This means most likely only two strong race performances can happen during phase 3, meaning all other races are train through.

The sample week provided is hard training week. It is vital to stick to your training cycles rather it be 14, 21 or 28 day cycles. Just remember you will see rapid improvement during each off load week.

Table 4

Type
Intensity (HR)
Duration
Frequency
Easy Run
60-70%
30-120 minutes
3-4 times week
Vo2 max
90-95%
3-5 minutes
1-2 times week
Lactate Threshold
83-88%
20-30 minutes
1 time week
Reps
N/A
30 sec-2 minutes
1-3 times week

Sample:
Sunday- Easy long run followed by strides
Monday- Warm up, 8x1000@ 10k-3k pace with equal recovery jogs, cool down, followed by strides
Tuesday- Warm up, Lactate Threshold, cool down,
Wednesday- Warm up, Repetitions (1600-800 pace), cool down
Thursday- Easy run
Friday- Easy run, strides
Saturday- Race, after cool down performs repetition session.The sample week provided is hard training week. It is vital to stick to your training cycles rather it be 14, 21 or 28 day cycles. Just remember you will see rapid improvement during each off load week.

Phase 4:
Peaking Racing faster and maintaining fitness is the only goals of this phase. This is the time to come into each race fresh if you wish. I don’t believe peaks last very long. Therefore I return athletes to very hard training after each peak race. When looking at the table you will notice intensity increases, this is essential to elicit a peak.

Table 5

Type
Intensity (HR)
Duration
Frequency
Easy Run
60-65%
30-120 minutes
3-4 times week
Vo2 max
95-98%
3-5 minutes
1-2 times week
Lactate Threshold
90%
20-30 minutes
1 time week
Reps
N/A
30 sec-2 minutes
Following each workout

Sample week:
Sunday- Easy run
Monday- Easy run
Tuesday- warm up, 4x200@ Repetition pace (1600), 2 mile threshold, 3x1000@ 3k pace, 4x150@ repetition pace (800), cool down
Wednesday- Easy run
Thursday- warm up, 4-6 x 200@ Repetition pace (1600-800) Full recovery, cool down
Friday- Easy run
Saturday- Race, followed by Lactate threshold and repetitions

Summary
Please remember this sample progression and can change by each individual. I don’t list mileage because I don’t believe there is a magic number. Training must be hard enough to stress the body and then optimal recovery will allow the body to adapt. Notice that training gets systematically harder and more frequent. It is essential to make the training cycles before the season and stick to it. The only thing I change is the workouts because of fatigue or injury. Pushing a workout back a day should be done if an athlete is fatigued. If a workout is pushed back then it might be vital to combine two workouts into one. An example is a combination of lactate threshold with repetitions. I am more than willing to answer questions on the message boards. I am also available for private coaching.

 

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