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I've got a 10K coming up on the 4th of July and have been throwing in some speed interval training over the past several weeks. So far I've been doing 1mi warm up at 1min slower than my desired race speed, and then 1mi x 6 repeats either right at or just below race speed, followed by a 1mi cooldown at the same speed as my warm up.

I recently read that I should try 2mi x 3 repeats instead, and that if I can do all three at race speed then I should be good to go.

My question is, when specifically considering a 10K, is there an ideal distance for repeats, either broken up by 1mi x some number or 2mi x some number?

Should 6mi be good or should I try 8 miles of repeats?

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For speedwork (like intervals and repeats) you should run distances that are shorter than your race distance, but at a greater speed. Running short repeats (0.2 miles) and running long repeats (2 miles) should prompt different adaptations that enable you to run faster. There are many preferences for recipes. You should experiment, and see which you enjoy and which you feel bring the most benefit. As for how fast to run, or how many repeats, try various combinations. A couple of suggestions for starting points for a 10k race.

  • short intervals: 0.5 mile warm up, 0.2 miles hard (60 seconds/mile faster than race pace), 0.3 miles easy, (repeat), cool down. For the slower sections, you can run as slow as you like, but try to maintain good running technique (dont get sloppy from exhaustion). Aim for the total distance to be 3 or 4 miles. If the pace of the fast sections is suffering, then try a slightly slower pace for them next time.

  • long repeats: warm up, 2 miles at 20 seconds/mile faster than race pace, walk/stand to catch breath, (repeat), cool down. Try 3 or 4 repeats. If the pace is drifting down, then next time you try the session aim for a slightly slower pace.

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