It’s your last week. You heard that right — only seven more days of training until you’re ready to crush this race. Finish strong!
Just like clockwork, today you’ve got 35–50 minutes easy to start. Once you finish, do 6–8 x 20-second strides and get pumped for your last week of 10K prep.
Modification: If you’re lagging, do 6 strides of 15 seconds each instead of 20. If your legs are feeling poppy, increase your strides to 30 seconds.
Last hill session until race day! Do your warmup mile, and then, either outside on a big hill or on a treadmill set to 5 percent incline, run 2 sets of 5 1-minute hill charges, with 2 minutes of jogging/walking in between. Cool down 1 mile.
Modification: Cut the reps back to 45 seconds each, if needed. If you’re feeling good toward the end of the workout, tack on 1 hard 90-second hill at the end.
Another midweek recovery run of 30–40 minutes. If there’s a soft surface nearby (such as a dirt road, smooth trail, manicured grass, or turf field), use it! Your legs will appreciate the break from the pounding.
Modification: If you need it, treat today as an off-legs cross-training day, doing whatever feels good and allows you to recover. If you’re handling the load well, run for up to an hour.
Today is all about tuning up your legs in anticipation of a big effort next week. Once you’re warmed up, have fun with this fartlek (a Swedish concept that literally translates to “speed play”):
- 3 x 90 seconds hard (90 seconds easy jogging/walking)
- 4 x 60 seconds hard (60 seconds easy)
- 5 x 30 seconds hard (30 seconds easy)
Cool down for 1 mile, and your hard work is done.
Modification: Walk the recovery segments to make today’s session a little easier. Float the recoveries to make it harder.
This final run depends on when your 10K will be. If it’s planned for the next 1–4 days, treat today like a typical recovery day and go out for an easy 20–40 minutes. If you won’t race for another 5–7 days, consider this your last long run, going for 60–90 minutes (with periodic walk breaks, if needed) and then recovering hard until you race.
Modification: If you’re the type who benefits from a big taper, keep your runs to 30 minutes max between now and the race. If you thrive on consistency, raise that ceiling to 45 minutes. Either way, use the fitness and confidence you’ve built this last month to let it rip on race day!
Refer to this visual guide for all the strength training exercises and stretches below.
The night before race day, fill at least 50–60 percent of your plate with carbohydrates and top it off with protein (at least 25 percent of your plate) and vegetables.
Throughout your training, use the night before long run days to test out different dinner options to see what you prefer and what you tolerate best. Consider sprinkling a little extra salt on your pre-run dinner, too, for additional sodium! Here are some dinner recipes to try out this week!
Did you know runners have increased protein needs? It was previously thought that endurance athletes had significantly lower needs than strength and power athletes. However, research now indicates that prolonged or strenuous endurance exercise can result in muscle damage attributed to metabolic overload and/or mechanical strain, increasing our need for protein to aid in recovery.
While most people can absolutely meet their protein needs through food alone, you may also find a protein powder helpful — especially when making shakes and smoothies. Here’s a list featuring some of our top protein powder recs.
Aim to have a snack or meal containing 20–25 grams of protein post-workout. This helps your body repair and rebuild muscle. A few examples:
If you want to revisit any portion of this training plan, just head back to the calendar.