10 reasons to train for 10 miles

by coach Chris McClung

So, I am coaching a program to train for the Run for the Water 10-miler on October 28. The program starts on May 5th – THIS Saturday. For those counting at home, that gives us 25 weeks or just under 6 full months to prepare…. for a 10-miler. Now, that is no typo. Some of you will ask, why? Why do I need 25 weeks to train for a 10-miler, or maybe why do I want to train for a 10-miler at all? After all, half marathons and marathons are all the rage, right? I am writing this to answer those questions, and not because I need more people in the class. As of this moment, we have 13 people already signed up, 3 more verbally committed, and more on the way. No, I am writing this because I think many of you actually NEED this program and here are 10 reasons why…

#10: Because you need a PR. Has it been a while since you PR’d? Have you been frustrated recently by a lack of results? Well, I ask… when was the last time you raced a 10-miler?!? Exactly! Sometimes you just need a “win,” and why not stack the deck a little bit in your favor by racing a little-raced distance. šŸ˜‰

#9: Because, even if you mess it up, you can always race again in a week or two. You have put all of your eggs in one race basket before, and you have dropped that basket or had it smashed out of your hands by ugly weather. With this program, you will have a mulligan, not necessarily to use but to take the pressure off when you do race.

#8: Because you can’t stand the heat anymore. My group calls itself The Early Birds. We do our quality workouts at 5:30 am on Wednesdays. In the summertime, that can mean doing your workouts in 80 degrees vs.100 degrees. I am not a morning person, but will take 80 degrees every time. Last summer may have driven you crazy, so much so that you are contemplating another hobby this summer. Don’t do it… just suck it up and switch to the morning group!

#7: Because it is time to actually train for the first two races in the Distance Challenge. The Distance Challenge is already a challenge. There is no need to make it more so by rolling into the IBM 10k and 10-miler under-trained after a summer of vacations and debauchery. Let’s do this thing right. We will do both races as a part of this program and then tee you up to roll over into an Austin Marathon or Half Marathon program to close the deal.

#6: Because you don’t HAVE to do a marathon or even half marathon right away. Some of you have never done a marathon and are feeling guilty about it. You see all of your friends doing it. Part of you is jealous and the other part of you is telling the jealous part that it doesn’t matter… that those people are just crazy or have more time on the hands to train or whatever. I am here to tell you that you don’t have to run a marathon now or even ever. There is plenty of glory and pain in shorter races. I promise to show you that, and you may or may not like me for it.

#5: Because some of you are in a marathon rut, and it is making you slower. Marathons don’t have to make you slower. But, for some of you, racing 2, 3, 4 or more marathons a year has become disruptive to your improvement as a runner. I am here to tell you that you can’t get faster at the marathon until you get faster at shorter distances. Training for the 10-mile or half marathon distance is the perfect way to keep your mileage and consistency up, while working on speed that will translate to the longer distances. Which leads me too…

#4: Because you can train for a marathon without doing one. What’s the difference between training for a 10-miler and training for the marathon? Nothing… at least for the first 4 months. Whether you have done a marathon or not, this program will prepare you to be a better marathoner in the future by building your consistent mileage, without the training disruption of the big race at the end. Our long runs won’t be quite as long, and the speed phase will be different, but all of the same training principles still apply.

#3: Because you really, really need the longer base period… no really. At Rogue, we believe in periodized or phased training, starting with a “base” period of easy running to build aerobic strength and capacity. In this phase, we are building your aerobic engine, and the longer the base, the bigger and more powerful your aerobic engine. Some of you are so busy racing or rolling from one program to the next, that you short-circuit the base phase every time. You are running races with a 4-cyclinder engine at max RPMs vs. blowing by people with your souped-up V8. In this program, we will take our time in the base phase, while keeping it interesting with an early focus on strength and form. We are making fine wine, not moonshine.

#2: Because it’s time to break bad habits or at least start good, new ones. At Rogue, we like to say that all of the “one percents” add up to matter, and sometimes they matter more than the running itself. The “one percents” are the strength, the drills, the stretching, the strides, the recovery runs, etc. Some of you have been so consumed by the running part of your training including the long runs, that you are slacking on the one percents. In this program, we will do the one percents like they are the 51 percents.

#1: Because I care. No, I am not implying that other Rogue coaches don’t care or that I care more than they do. I want to convey that I am doing THIS program in THIS way because I care. I care that all of you have long, happy, and (if you want) continually faster lives as runners. And, I think that some of you need this program to continue to develop optimally to achieve that end. I will invest tirelessly to help you achieve your goals. We will do it together. Who is with me?!?

Want in on this? Get it here.


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