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If you are one of the many triathletes who just go out and run with no specific goal or focus in mind, then this article is for you. Your pre-season running programme needs to be structured to improve your olympic distance 10k times, and ideally you should be running a minimum of 3 times a week to improve over this distance.
Over the past 12 weeks your focus will have been on building an aerobic base and strength endurance. To achieve this you should have included threshold intervals of between 800m-2km, at around 85/90% of your max heart rate (mhr) and tempo runs of up to 20 minutes, closer to 80% of mhr. Assuming your race season kicks off in May, you have 8 weeks to build on your aerobic base and sharpen up.
Interval sessions and tempo running are 2 of the most effective types of training and will improve your running if you practice them consistently.
|Winter (November-February)||Pre-Season (March-April)|
|Lactate threshold intervals of between 800m – 2km with a fairly short recovery of 60-90 secs. These should between 85-90% of max or comfortably hard.5 x 1.6km (85%), 90 secs jog recovery. 3k warm up, 3k warm down. Total 14km||Mixture of threshold and max effort intervals of between 800m – 1.5km with a full recovery of 2-3 mins. These should between 85-95% of max.4 sets of : 1 x1km (90%) 1 min jog recov, then 1 x 600m (95%) 5 min jog between sets 3k warm up, 3k warm down. Total 12.4km|
|Steady run with a tempo section.4 km (70%)4km (80%)
|Steady run with tempo section.4km (70%)3km (75%)2km (85%)
1km easy warm down.
|Aerobic development steady running around 70% of max.1 hour steady running from October, increasing by 5 mins every 4 weeks to 1hr 15 mins through February. Run off-road working up any hills.||Steady running around 75% of max.50 – 60 min run approximately 30/40 sec per km slower than 10k race pace.|
Your focus from May to September should be to remain race fit and injury free. This means allowing adequate rest after a race before embarking on your next interval session. If you are building up to an end of season Ironman or Half Ironman, do not increase your total weekly mileage or single runs by more than between 5-10% a week. This also applies to total volume of interval sets, allowing 3-4 weeks to get used to longer interval sets before adding extra reps. Remember, if you keep training through tiredness or a minor injury, you may end up having to take weeks off anyway, when the niggle turns into a serious injury.