10K Progressive Training Runs

By Rick Morris

Your 10K is just slightly slower than your lactate turn point pace. The most efficient way to improve your lactate turn point (LT) or lactate threshold is to run at pace that flood your body with lactate acid. That makes 10K pace or faster the best running intensity to raise your lactate turn point and improve your running performance. One way to include LT pace running is by doing interval training on the track. A more fun type of LT workout that’s also more race specific are 10K progressive training runs. Here are some progressive workouts designed specifically for the 10K distance. Do a warm up before these workouts.

The 10K Classic Progression

Here is the classic 10K progression run that you can do year round.

  • Description: 4 to 12 miles at an increasing pace
  • Pace: Begin at an easy pace. After you feel fully warmed up and are in a good running rhythm gradually speed up throughout the remainder of your workout so that you are running the final 2 to 3 miles at 10K pace.
  • Recovery: None

Fast Finish 10K Progression

This is a fast finish 10K progressive workout that also improves your finishing kick.

  • Description: 8.5 miles at an increasing pace.
  • Pace: Run the first 2 miles at an easy pace. Speed up to marathon pace for the next three miles. Now speed up to 10K pace for miles 6 through 7. Run mile 8 at 5K pace. Finish this workout with 1/2 mile at 3K pace.
  • Recovery – None

10K Race Simulator Progressive Run

The best of all possible 10K workouts is an actual 10K race. You can’t do frequent 10K races or time trials during training because of the problems associated with over training. This 10K progression run is a race simulator that mimics race conditions while not subjecting you to over training problems.

Description: 10K at increasing pace with a fast finish.Pace: Run the first 3 miles at marathon pace. Speed up to 10K pace for the next 3 miles. Finish with .2 miles at mile pace.
Recovery: None

10K Compound Set Progression

Here is a high intensity track workout that will make your lactate turn point soar.

  • Description: 2 x 3200/1600/200 meter compound sets.
  • Pace: Run 3200 meters at 10K pace, 1600 meters at 5K pace and 200 meters at 800 meter pace. Take no recovery within the set. Rest and repeat.
  • Recovery: No recovery with each set. Recover with 3 minutes of passive rest between the two sets.

10K Long Run Progression

Some of your weekly long runs can also be progressive runs. These are high intensity runs only do these once every two or three weeks.

  • Description: 15 miles at increasing pace
  • Pace: Run the first 6 miles at an easy pace. Speed up to marathon pace for the next 5 miles. Then increase your pace to 10K speed for 3 miles and finish with 1 mile at 5K pace.
  • Recovery: None except for hydration breaks

10K Hill Progression

You need a long hill for this workout. If you don’t have an appropriate hill in your neighborhood you can do this one on your treadmill.

  • Description: 6.2 miles or 10K at increasing pace on a moderate to steep hill or a treadmill at 5% incline
  • Pace: Begin this run at an easy pace. Gradually increase your speed to 10K pace so that you are running the final 2 miles at 10K pace. Jog down the hill as a cool down.
  • Recovery: None except for the easy run down the hill