Race 178, 10-miler – Key Components to a PR Training Plan

By Julie Young, Director, Silver Sage Fitness and Sports Lab

As the official training partner of the Race 178 running series in Reno, we have provided a series of training articles on how best to prepare for the demands of the specific events within the series. Each article also specifies the targeted runner – beginner, intermediate or advanced. The following article offers advice for advanced runners pursuing a PR in the upcoming Race 178, 10-miler. Enjoy the read…

The key to improving running performance is first and foremost staying injury-free. In our experience, runners can insure against injury by investing in consistent purposeful hip and trunk stability exercises, global mobility (joints, muscle length, soft tissues), quality work and quality rest, and a gradually progressed training program.


There should be a clear objective to each and every training session, as well as an understanding of how that relates to the goal, in this case a 10-miler. Empowered with this understanding, you can train more purposefully, which equates to more effective training and successful results.

Here are a few key components to a 10-mile training program, assuming you already have a solid endurance training base in place.

  1. Consistent, trunk-hip stability work (training the ability to hold a stable neutral pelvis and spine and efficiently generate the power from the hips in to the lower extremities) x two-three days/week and hip activation (to improve hip recruitment in the running stride) x three days/week as a warm-up protocol.
  2. Speed and power sessions for example a track workout with 3(5×200 meter on/200m easy). The “on” is performed at 80% ramping toward 100%. The objective is to institute solid, efficient mechanics, as well as gain running specific strength and power. We need to get fit to run, not run to get fit. We start these at a more moderate intensity to ensure that purposeful, controlled mechanics are in place. Once established, increase the speed, power and intensity. The goal is not how fast we can run at the expense of technique, but how well can we maintain solid, controlled movement under higher intensity. Also, this workout, by controlling recovery time, helps improve recovery rates.
  3. Interval sessions for the 10-miler may start with lactate/anaerobic threshold intervals and progress to V02 type intervals, depending on each individual’s race goals. Lactate threshold intervals train the body to more efficiently process the lactic build-up. Lactic acid is a by-product of burning carbohydrates. This easily metabolized fuel source is the energy of choice at higher intensities. As the intensity levels transitions along a spectrum from aerobic (with oxygen) to anaerobic (without oxygen) so does the fuel source from fats to carbohydrates. By consistently incorporating these intervals (and we suggest alternating them on flat terrain and as hill repeats), at the appropriate time during the week, you will run, with more metabolic efficiency at higher speeds.
  4. Supplement running with cross-endurance activities, such as swimming, cycling (road and mountain) and hiking. While we want to perform specific structured workouts while running to gain the greatest specific muscular and metabolic adaptations, using other forms of exercise to continue to develop and maintain a wide endurance base provides active recovery, mental and physical variety to avoid feeling obligated to running, and injury prevention.

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Ultimately the key to successful training is individualizing the plan to efficiently and consistently fit all the training components in to life’s priorities of family and work. Individually developed plans also consider how each individual adapts to the training load, to ensure adequate rest to counter-balance the work resulting in a progressively upward, performance trajectory. Whether you’re looking to complete the Reno 10-Miler injury-free or you want to set your own personal record, Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab helps people at all levels of ability. If you have questions about any of these workouts or are just looking for advice, email us at jyoung@o2fitness.net.