Training for a faster 10K – First week of training

After finally running my first half marathon two weeks ago I had many plans to continue training and racing after that. I wanted to share those plans with you, but since all races in my area have been cancelled or postponed I’m not seeing much point in that. Instead, I present you: plan B! 

Plan B is a Garmin Coach plan with Coach Greg to run a 10K in 70 minutes. I ran my current fastest 10K time on January 5 in 1:14:19. That race went far from ideal and I’m sure I can do better, though 70 minutes might be stretching it a little. We’ll see! The current end date of my training plan is June 6. Maybe races will be allowed by then again. I also want to run a 5K somewhere in the next weeks. If not as a race, then just on my own. 

For more information on Garmin Coach, what it is and how it works, check out my articles on Garmin Coach

Benchmark run

Every Garmin Coach plan starts with a benchmark run which consists of a 2 minute warming up, 5 minutes to run as fast as you can and a 2 minute cooling down. 

It’s my first run since my half marathon a week ago. My ankle needed a little rest after that race. During the race I had turned on Livetracking and when I started the workout on my watch I saw it was still active. Great, it’s Sunday morning, 8:00 and everyone who followed my race just got a message that I started a run. That doesn’t sound like I’m bragging at all. 

I started my run without starting my watch, because I wanted a little more warming up as 2 minutes and that would also give me time to start running in a relaxed way. I took some pictures with my new tripod after destroying the previous one a few weeks ago and ran through the trails in the woods. The trails made me uncomfortably aware of my still a little unstable ankle so I quickly went back to the cycling path. Time to start the workout. I ran and I ran hard. It’s just 5 minutes!

January 15, 2019
May 2, 2019
May 31. 2019
September 25, 2019
October 28, 2019
March 15, 2020

7:15 min/km, 0,69 km
6:37 min/km, 0,76 km
6:38 min/km, 0,75 km
6:31 min/km, 0,77 km
6:17 min/km. 0,80 km
5:59 min/km, 0,84 km

This is the sixth Garmin Coach plan I’ve started and I am loving my progress. I ran my first benchmark run over a year ago at an average pace of 7:15 min/km and today I ran it at 5:59 min/km. 

I extended the run to 4K which I ran at an average pace of 7:33 min/km. 

Easy run

As of this week I will be working from home for at least some weeks and with the current global situation I’m just trying to see the positivity in that. I’ve thought about the benefits of running during a work day for a while already, increased productivity, stress relief, etc. However given the absence of a shower at work and the fact that my lunch break is just 30 minutes this was never a real option for me. Now it is. 
So, after starting work early and working for a few hours I head out for my very first lunch run at 12:00. My pace is all over the place and I move towards the trails in an attempt to force myself to slow down. It doesn’t work. With all the goal pace runs at the end of my half marathon plan and then the half marathon race I seem to be going back towards that goal pace while I should be running at a slower, easier pace. 

I ran 5.4K at an average pace of 7:59 min/km. 

Stride repeats

The first speed session of the year is another lunch break run. Spring has arrived and as I set out to leave it’s already 14°C, a lot warmer as any of my runs for the last six months. This will be my first shorts and t-shirt run! I put on my short tights, a tanktop and a shirt and gather my stuff. Off we go!

Today’s session is a 10 minute warming up, 8 repeats of 20 seconds focusing on improving cadence with 45 second recoveries followed by a 10 minute cooling down. I’m 5 minutes into my warming up when I realize I’m too warm. Normally I can hide from the sun in the woods here, but the sun is up higher as in summer (because it’s not 7:00 in the morning) and the trees are not covered in leaves yet. I regret not bringing my visor and think of ways too cool myself down. I decide to take off my tanktop and as I take off my shirt I figure that’s good too. Tanktop and shorts it is! 

March 19, 2020

1. 5:44 min/km, 167 spm
2. 4:54 min/km, 173 spm
3. 4:43 min/km, 173 spm
4. 4:42 min/km, 173 spm
5. 5:27 min/km, 169 spm
6. 4:57 min/km, 170 spm
7. 4:16 min/km, 156 spm
8. 4:34 min/km, 172 spm

January 24, 2020

1. ?:?? min/km, 173
2. 5:09 min/km, 177
3. 4:53 min/km, 179
4. 4:33 min/km, 186
5. 4:08 min/km, 183
6. 4:15 min/km, 181
7. 4:10 min/km, 182
8. 4:12 min/km, 174
9. 4:34 min/km, 177
10. 4:13 min/km, 178

Long easy run

This wasn’t supposed to be a long run, I just wanted to do 6K. But, the route I outlined quickly on Garmin Courses was not the route I actually ran. It’s Saturday morning, almost 9:00 and parts of the route are busier as usual. Mostly people walking, mostly alone. I decided to be cheerful and give a happy good morning to anyone who looks in my general direction. This could be their only outing of the day. Maybe they live alone and don’t see anyone else for the rest of the day. Some people ignore me, but most people give me a cheery good morning back. Even if I didn’t make anyone else smile, it made me smile. 

I’m still struggling with finding my easy pace and keep going too fast. I always see people complaining about this, about the recommended easy pace being too slow for them, that it doesn’t feel natural, but I never really understood it until now. 

I ran 7,5K at an average pace of 8:02 min/km. 

Easy run

Another easy run and today I really want to force myself to go slow so I head to the trails. My ankle seems to handle it pretty well, but I keep passing groups of mountainbikers for which I need to move out of the way. People with unleashed dogs are also not my friends today as two dogs try to jump me. And here I am trying to keep my heart rate low. 

I ran 40 minutes at an average pace of 8:32 min/km.


I’m still getting used to my new running schedule, but I’m happy with my general fitness so far. My ankle behaves well and I have no other pains. The training plan helps me stay focused and motivated to keep running even without race goals. Stay fit and healthy!

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