5km v 10km

Today’s coaches corner is brought to you by Julian Marsh who want to know whether there’s any difference in training for 5km vs 10km AND the right balance of sessions throughout the year.

5km vs. 10km training
The simple answer is there is very little – in terms of intensity and structure of the sessions. The goal for both is to run as fast as possible, so as a coach I would devise sessions to improve the following:
1) muscle endurance
2) improve the strength of those working muscles
3) increase contractional speed of those muscles – speed work
4) Improve the ability to sustain long periods of speed – tempo running

However what I would manipulate would be the number of repetitions and rest periods throughout those session. Naturally 10km would have more reps & set and 5km would look to have a fewer rest periods.

Session across the year
During the winter, the focus would be on endurance, strength and tempo running. Looking to build a strong base to enable the individual to push harder in the next phase. Think of an equilateral triangle. The bigger the base then the tall the triangle. Poor base = small base and therefore the inability to push higher & harder in the next phase.
Moving out of winter, the focus moves more towards tempo running and reducing some volume for higher intensity sessions. Speed takes time so the body needs time to adapt. Too much too quickly increases the risk of injury such as calfs or Achilles.
Approaching the season, more speed is add and rest periods are now being reduced.
Season, speed speed speed. the base & strength are there so increasing the speed & ability to hold that speed is key.