Prepare for your best 10K
B.A.A. High Performance Coach Terrence Mahon has created three different 12-week training plans (beginning April 4, and concluding on race day, June 26) to prepare for the B.A.A. 10K.
Be willing to adjust and adapt to your individual circumstances: work, school and home life, illness and injury. The goal is to get to the starting line fit and ready to race your best. The B.A.A. 10K Training Plan material is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute any fitness and/or medical advice. You should always consult a qualified and licensed medical professional prior to beginning or modifying any exercise program. Please use personal judgment when participating in any training or exercise program. Information contained within the B.A.A. 10K Training Plan may not be reproduced or repurposed without approved written consent from the Boston Athletic Association.
Click the level below that best suits your current training level and needs:
There are three training plan levels for the B.A.A. 10K. Level One plan is intended for those new to the sport and primarily focused on completing a first 10K but without a specific time goal. Level Two plan is designed for runners with limited racing experience, and who currently maintain an average weekly mileage of 15-25 miles. The Level Three plan is for the competitive runner who has a solid base of running fitness, can handle a peak weekly mileage of 40 miles or more, and has raced successfully in previous 5K-10K races.
This is your typical daily run, which we suggest be two to five days per week depending on your training program. The length and pace of the distance run will vary from person to person and how you feel at the time. The distance runs in the schedule are the most flexible in terms of your training. If you're feeling tired, then cut back on the distance and pace of the run. The pace in general should be one that you could hold a conversation with another runner. A runner’s “base”, or general foundation of fitness, comes primarily through consistent distance runs over time.
A segment (or multiple segments) within a distance incorporating some faster paced running at ranging from half marathon pace down to 10K race pace. Do not run these training sessions any faster than 10K race pace. Instead, save the extra energy to be put toward the eventual race.
The long run is an extended distance run. While not as critical for one’s preparation compared to marathon or half marathon training, it is still important to become comfortable with covering a distance equal to (Beginner) or beyond (Intermediate/Advanced) the length of the 10K race. Most of the long run is done at 1-2 minutes per miler slower than projected 10k race pace. It may be run at a steady (even) relaxed pace throughout or else progress from a very easy pace down to a more brisk pace approaching Tempo Run effort, provided that the runner is feeling strong.
This is an important weekly or every-other week workout for the runners that have already established a foundation of distance runs and tempo work. Runners should get in 2-5 miles of fast paced-running with efforts generally ranging from 400-1600 meters in length and with easy jogging recovery between fast intervals. A common training flaw is that runners do interval workouts too fast and do not fully recover for other workouts during the week. The pace of the intervals should usually fall between current 5K and 10K race fitness. Timed interval efforts may substitute for measured interval distances (e.g. 5 x 3:00 fast / 2:00 easy instead of 5 x 800m).
All training programs must have planned recovery. How often this takes place is highly variable between athletes. Beginners should take two or three days off from training each week. Advanced athletes can usually take as little as one day off every week or every other week. For an advanced athlete, a short and easy run may be no more taxing that a full day off and serve as an “active rest” day. No matter what, everyone should have planned easy days with little or no training.
A good opportunity to get some exercise without the pounding of running. Options include elliptical trainer, biking, swimming, yoga, walking, or going to the gym for a variety of other aerobic or strength training options. A light cross training session may substitute for a short run to serve as a sort Rest Day for the week.
The Last Few Weeks of Training
Tapering for the race is an important final element to a successful training program. Unfortunately you can ruin weeks and months of training by not reducing your training enough or by reducing your training too much. The goal of the taper is to get you to the starting line in the best fitness and the most rested state possible. Total mileage comes down in the last two weeks, mostly in the distance runs and long runs. It is important to continue to do interval and tempo workouts during the taper, albeit at a slightly reduced volume.