Training for Your 10K Personal Best

Training for Your 10K Personal Best

10 kilometers is the distance most often run in competition. But setting a PR for 10K is a delicate task.

It’s a complex balance between starting fast enough and conserving your energy. Many runners tend to start a 10K too slowly, but it’s safe to say that if you can still accelerate after 6 kilometers, you’ve gone out too easy.

Running by power offers a solution. With your power meter, you won’t start too fast or too slow.

Using Stryd for the first time, Koen set a new 10 kilometer PR. That’s when he realized: Running by power is fascinating, more people should know about this!

Koen: My heart rate threshold is 192.

Normally, I based my training by heart rate, and in competitions, I ran at the heart rate that matched that distance. I can run 10 kilometers at my heart rate threshold, so normally, I would start strong, go to my threshold and check occasionally to be sure it was below 192.

This time, however, I didn’t run by heart rate, but by power. My Critical Power is 270 watts. So, I have to run the whole 10K at or slightly above 270 watts.

At 7 kilometers, Stryd began to make the difference for a new PR. Running at my Critical Power, I started to struggle and checked my watch. On my watch (which was paired with Stryd), I saw my power: 262 watts.

And I thought: I have to stay above 270 watts. It was tough to do, but it worked.

At that moment, if I had not run with power, and had only seen my heart rate, I certainly would not have been motivated to go a little faster. My heart rate was 193 at a pace of 3:58 min / km (5:45 min / mi). Normally, I would never accelerate. I would have thought: ouch, I’m going too fast.

But Stryd knew exactly how fast I could really go. That surprised me.

The first kilometers also offered Stryd an advantage over my heart rate. After 2 kilometers, I checked my watch, and I was running at 295 watts: 25 watts above Critical Power. I knew that this was a bit too enthusiastic.

In the overview on Strava, however, I could see that my heart rate was still at 178, which was 14 beats below my threshold. So, the advantage of running by power is especially valuable on race days: heart rate responds a bit slower, and it matters.

The day after my PR, I spoke with an enthusiastic running coach.

“Aren’t you over 40?” he asks a bit suspiciously.

“Yes, I’m turning 41 this month, why?” I ask.

“How can you still run PRs?” He sounds a little jealous.

But yes, that’s the advantage for many runners who start running later in life. I’ve only been running seriously for five years, and with the accumulated running history and the knowledge of my body, I can improve for years to come.

Want to try for yourself?

In the Stryd app, you can go to Events in the main menu. In the PowerCenter on Stryd’s website, you will find Events under Tools. There, you can enter 10 kilometers. Next, enter the date of your event and how many training sessions you want to do per week. Stryd also asks which day you would like to do your longest run in the scheduled plan.

Choose high volume or low volume, and your workouts are automatically added to your training calendar.

These two workouts are always a lot of fun to do:

  1. Monthly Critical Power Maintenance Workout

This workout targets a 3 to 5 kilometer all out effort to help calibrate your Stryd Au- to-Calculated Critical Power. This way, you can test if your Critical Power is improving.

2. Interval Training Workout

This workout starts with a 15 minute warm up, then is 5 x 4:00 starting below your Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power and progressing to or slightly above your Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power (95%-102% of your CP). Your recovery in between each repeat is 2:00 at an easy effort (50-70% of your CP). After your last repeat, run an easy cool down.

Want to learn more about Running Power?

Download The Fastest Way To Your Next Personal Best: Running Power eBook (with over 65+ pages of content) for free to learn simple ways you can use power to improve your running performance.

Click here to download. Enjoy the book!