10K vs Marathon Training

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  MarkRunner 13 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #2084

    MarkRunner
    Member

    I was looking at the US rankings of runners published by a national running magazine and was surprised on how many of the top 10K times and marathon times were by the same runners. Dan Browne in particular had the top 5000m track time and was in the top 7 in the 10K and marathon. Meb has excelled in both the 10K and marathon and so has Deena Kastor.

    My question is how similar or different would your training be if you were focused on 10K vs. marathon? I would like to PR in the 10K next year and was planning focusing more on LT and intervals rather than mileage. This makes me wonder if I should include longer long runs (20+ mile range) rather than my current plan of 14-17 miles, keeping my overall weekly mileage the same.

    Mark

  • #17062

    Zeke
    Member

    Mark,

    If I were going to focus on the 10k, I would not run anything over 2.5 hours and most of my long runs would probably be in the 2 hour range which would be 15-16 miles for me. I think anything more than that and it takes too long to recover prior to your key workouts for the week.

    Keep in mind that you’re looking at National class runners. Those guys are running large volumes no matter if they’re training for a 10k or marathon. Then again, they’re also probably running their 20 milers in less than 2 hours. They’re not out there for 2.5+ hours trying to get in 20+ mile training runs.

  • #17063

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Well, before 2002, I always believed that most runners would be well served using their marathon training to train for a 10k because that is still far less than optimal 10k training. However, I felt that, once you are nearing that maximal training load, you are better off doing a little less volume and a little more intensity.

    Then, I had an interesting experience in 2002. I was definitely marathon training, doing more volume by far than I had ever done before. I averaged 120 miles per week for about 4 months and, while I backed off a bit on the amount of intensity I was doing, when it was time to run fast, I really made it count. Without even tapering, I ran an 8k PR (this is a distance I’m no stranger to) with a good but not great race and I seriously felt that I was in PR shape for all distances from 5k up.

    Not comparing myself to someone who is out of my league but you can notice the same trend in Paula Radcliffe’s running. When she started marathon training, her times on the track improved after being relatively consistent for some time before.

    If you look at what Lydiard has runners do, much of the training is the same whether your goal race is 800 meters or the marathon. Considering the fact that his first Olympic gold medalists were in the 800 meters and the 5k, this should tell us something about what marathon training can do for you.

    In case you can’t yet figure out what I’m trying to say, I believe well planned marathon training can bring a person to PR shape in everything from 5k up and possibly for even shorter distances.

  • #17064

    GTF
    Member
    MarkRunner wrote:
    I was looking at the US rankings of runners published by a national running magazine and was surprised on how many of the top 10K times and marathon times were by the same runners.

    Why did this come as a surprise?

  • #17065

    Double
    Member

    My memory tells me back in the 60’s – 80’s that Shorter, Salazar, Virgin, and a host of other guys were the cream of the crop in both venues. Also, most of these same guys were also pretty quick down to 2 miles. Rod Dixon and Dick Quax from NZ could compete at almost any range.

  • #17066

    Anonymous

    I appriciate everyone’s input.

    Ryan said wrote:
    I was definitely marathon training, doing more volume by far than I had ever done before. I averaged 120 miles per week for about 4 months …

    I will continue to build my mileage, but I won’t get near that level in the next few months. Assuming your mileage is at a lower level, what is the long run distance for 10K training? Is it 2 hr run or would it be better to reduce the running during the week a little bit and then go for a nice 3 hrs run on the weekend?

    Mark

  • #17067

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Well, I would say don’t put all your eggs in the long run basket. I say this for the marathon and I also say it for the 10k. If your weekly mileage doesn’t support it, there is no need to run for over 2 hours when training for the 10k. If your weekly mileage does support it, it might help some but your training has to be balanced and that means not doing too many of your weekly miles in one shot.

  • #17068

    Anonymous
    Ryan wrote:
    In case you can’t yet figure out what I’m trying to say, I believe well planned marathon training can bring a person to PR shape in everything from 5k up and possibly for even shorter distances.

    I agree. I trained exclusively for 2 November marathons and used smaller races for speedwork. Every race, with distances from 5K to the half, were PRs. As the season went on, I got faster, better, stronger. Kept resetting the PRs consistently.

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