Winter’s lost its grip on central Texas and spring break is upon us. That means one thing: The Statesman Capitol 10,000, the biggest 10K in Texas and one of the largest 10K races in the country, is not far off. That’s right, the race is set for April 16, barely a month from now. The big question is: are you ready? And what workouts can you do between now and then to ensure your best possible effort?
Former Austinite Greg McMillan, a nationally recognized running coach now based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has one 10K workout that he swears by: 3 X 2 miles at your 10K race pace. Okay, take a deep breath, because this is not an easy workout. It’s almost as taxing as running an actual 10K race. In fact, you will not be able to complete it unless you’ve been building up to it with regular speedwork/mile repeats.
Let’s look at the timing of the workout. Again, assuming you’ve built up to it, the 3 X 2 miles “ultimate 10K workout” should be performed about 12 days before the 10K race, so that would be April 4. McMillan suggests doing the workout at the same time of day that you will be running the race, and wearing the running shoes you’ll be using during the race. The workout allows a five-minute recovery jog in between each two-mile set.
Now, let’s back up a bit. The weeks-long build up for this workout calls for a mix of long repeats—all at 10K race pace—beginning eight weeks before the 10K race. Examples include 6 X 1 mile with 3-4 minute recovery jogs; and 1 X 2 miles + 4 X 1 mile with 3-4 minute recovery jogs. Due to the intensity of these workouts, you must go into them well recovered and well hydrated.
Four weeks before the race (which is where we are now) the workout is 2 X 2 miles + 2 X 1 mile with a 5 minute recovery jog after the 2 mile repeats and a 3 minute recovery jog after each mile repeat. McMillan notes that if you are struggling to do this workout four weeks out, then you need to adjust your target-goal race pace.
And finally, you run the crown jewel workout of 3 X 2 miles at your 10K goal pace 12 days before the race. Note that all of these workouts add up to six miles of high intensity running—your 10K pace. It’s extremely important to remember that it’s assumed that you’ve already been doing speedwork in the past several months—preferably mile repeats—before even attempting any of the aforementioned sessions.
Upcoming Races: Sunday, March 19 at 8:00 a.m., Time to Paddy 5K/10K and Lucky 13.1 Half Marathon at Brushy Creek Sports Park in Cedar Park. Sunday March 19 at 9:00 a.m. the Time to Paddy 5K/10K and Lucky 13.1 Half Marathon at Pfennig Park in Pflugerville.