In Praise of Asics Plans (or how I ran 10k without injury)

As i reported earlier this month, I have recently achieved my New Years resolution of running 10k. This is something I've wanted do to for ages but, each time I've tried, injury of some form or another has got in the way. So, in late September, with time running out for me to achieve my resolution, I decided that it was now or never.

Lots of people on here use either Samantha Murphy's B210k plan or one of the other B210k plans out there on the interweb. However, being a longtime member of this forum, I've seen an awful lot of reports of people picking up injuries using them and, given my ability to get injured at the drop of a hat, I knew that this route wasn't for me. So, I decided instead to follow poppypug and misswobble 's example and get myself a personalised 10k plan from Asics, and I have to say, it was one of my better decisions.

What I particularly liked is that it was tailored to my age, sex, how often I wanted to run each week, and how hard I wanted to train. I had the option of easy, intermediate or hard training and of running 2, 3 or 4 times a week. I also had to input my level of experience. Alarmingly, if I put in my 5k PB, even the easy plan racked up the distances really quickly, but by pretending I could only run for 20-30 minutes, the intermediate plan running 3times a week proved to be just perfect.

It started off with lots of short slow runs which I initially thought were a bit of a waste of time but actually they were really useful. Apparently these runs really build fitness, far better than always running flat out or at medium pace. Gradually the distances per week and the pace required increased, but never to the point where I was worried I might pick up an injury. And, before I knew it, I was running my first 10k. The plan actually had me running 10k twice, one week apart, the first time at a slow comfortable pace and the second at race pace. At the start of the plan, I had a projected finishing time of 1hr 11minutes but midway through I got a revised, quicker finish time that I decided not to accept. In the end, my time was just less than 1hr 9minutes (midway between the original and revised times) and I got a 5k PB for the first 5k of the run. The 5k PB was a total surprise and, more than anything else I can say, demonstrates quite how well this plan worked.

So, if you're contemplating moving up to 10k, I cannot recommend the Asics plans highly enough as a safe and enjoyable way to get there. I'm going to start another one now because I enjoyed it so much. Initially I had thought about a 10mile plan but I think I'll do another 10k first -if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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47 Replies

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  • Thanks AncientMum . The tip about saying I can run for 20-30 mins is also very helpful. I am set to use a similar plan in the new year πŸ˜ƒπŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

  • You won't regret it. Bring on the new year!

  • That's interesting thanks, as i think once I've don some more with the C25k+ podcasts I'll be looking at a 10k plan (back in the summer I'd never have believed I would be writing that!) I run 3 times a week but go to running club once a week - I find the run/walk group really good - so I guess that means I should say I want to run twice a week?

    Was the problem with your 5k PB that you were very fast or do you think it does that just because you have run 5k?

  • Sadly I'm not fast, so I definitely think it was the fact that I could already run 5k that was the problem. I think your idea of running twice a week is a brilliant one :)

  • When I had a try, I put I can run 5k, and it said now run 8k............for me that's too far too soon. So I put 20-30 mins instead πŸ‘πŸΌπŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

  • Yep, it did the same to me, hence the little white lie :)

  • Looks like I will need to do the same then. 8k would certainly be too far too soon - I can manage that far slowly with walk intervals but all run would be quite another matter!

  • Yes, i chose time rather than distance

  • This is brilliant. Although I have been doing fine since being injured I have always missed the plan a little bit so thanks you sharing, I think I'm actually going to start this plan to get me to 10k!

  • Oh gosh, just created a plan for myself and it looks pretty hardcore with big jumps - even on the mild setting saying I can run 20-30 minutes! But, then again, so did C25k when I started that! Never timed my miles/kms before but I know my watch can do it. Might just give it a go!! Eeek!!

  • The good thing is that it tells you that if the suggested pace is too quick, then just do whatever pace you can manage. Just give it your best shot and I'm sure you'll be fine :)

  • Great post AM. I looked at a plan once but thought it was too hardcore. I never considered plugging in a slower time.

  • When you decide to do your ultra training just make sure you tell it you can only run for 30 minutes and you'll be fine, lol ;) x

  • Totally agree Carrie !

    Well done on your 10k ( the first of many ! )

    I went with the mild option running 2 times a week and it got me through my Half Marathon in October , I even beat my predicted time by 8 minutes !

    I am now using it again for my HM next May, would definitely recommend them :-) xxx

  • You were my inspiration. Your HM plan worked so well for you that I just had to give it a go. Gotta love a plan xx

  • Aw I am so pleased it worked for you ! You did all the leg work though , it just pointed you in the right direction :-) xxx

  • Ha ha like that 'leg work' , πŸ˜‚ Set me up for the day! Ha ha!

    Mx

  • What a brilliant post AM! Fantastic for you! Really well done! I am going to have a go at the Bridge to 10k week 2 and onwards once I am injury free. When I look at the distance I ran on Saturday, without feeling tired, just had a dodgy knee at the end, I really was surprised. I love having a challenge, when you do something for the first time that you never thought yourself capable of, it's just the best feeling, isn't it! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»

  • Thanks Flossie. You're right, it's amazing!! :)

  • What I know is "run" or "walk".

    What do they mean with "comfortable" "pace" "jog" "Race pace" ?

    I assume it is relating to the speed. Meaning "jog" is my usual "run" , so what do they mean with the rest?

    Great plan though

  • Hi Monique

    Asics suggest a pace for each run, but they always state that if it feels too fast you can slow it down. I just did each run at a pace that I felt "comfortable " with. I concentrated more on completing the actual distances than attaining the suggested pace .

    " Race pace " is like a pratice of the pace that you are planning on doing your race in . I just went out on every run just with the intention of completing the distance given for that particular day and did whatever pace I was comfortable with at the time . Sometimes I was a lot slower than the guideline pace that was quoted , but I didnt worry too much about it to be honest.

  • Ah, Thanks Poppy, now I know what they mean. It more or less is in line with their suggestion of how many minutes per km. πŸ˜€

  • If you click on to the 'run at pace', or 'run comfortable' it gives you the definition.πŸ‘πŸΌ

  • Hi m'dear, I tried to follow the guideline paces suggested on the plan because Tomas had read that running slowly built cardiac fitness, but their jog pace was so slow that I just ignored it? However, in the end, as Pops says, it's all about doing the suggested distance. x

  • Ok AncientMum, I also can do better than their suggested time but then some days are worse so it balances.

  • Like, like, like, like, πŸ˜„! I did an Asics plan for my 10 miler, very, very happy with it. Like poppypug , I'm going to do another for my first HM in March, and I do two runs a week too. (Did my second 10 miler this weekend prep based on the Asics plan and smashed my previous time by 10 minutes, yee haa!)

    By the way, my best 10k time is 1hr 10, so we will be trotting together at WFL! πŸ˜„πŸ‘

    Mx

  • I was soooo tempted by a 10mile plan this time around but have decided on 10k again. Will definitely do a 10mile in the run up to WFL. Our paces do seem to be very well matched, I just need to increase the distance before May. Starting to get excited already!! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

  • Hmmm... that sounds interesting - thanks for posting in such detail. I've just had a look and it suggests I could run 10k by the end of January. It's a thought!

  • Go on, you know you want to......... ;)

  • I'm so pleased you posted this - thanks again. I did the first - verrry slow-mile on Thursday; in fact it was so slow that Asics gave it to me as a freebie because it was 10 secs outside of goal time! I hated it to start with,(I hadn't run that sow since the beginning of C25k) but once I got into I fell in love with running all over again. It was such a different experience and learning about the benefits of slow running in terms of buildig strength has been really helpful too. I was on the verge of panicking about how I'd get through winter as the cold was playing havoc with pre-exisiting injuries but this really helped and now I know I can go out for a slow, short run and still reap loads of benefits. I'll carry on with the plan but if I struggle with the faster/longer runs I know I've got slower/shorter to fall back on, and like we say in C25k: it doesn't matter if I need to repeat. Happy running!

  • Was just wondering how you're getting on with your plan, Polly?

  • Perfect, ancientmum, or so Asics tell me... enjoying it so far but looking forward to running further than a mile on Monday. I like having something to work towards again and I've developed a whole new appreciation for slow running. How goes it with you?

  • Sound really good. I'm less happy with my second plan tbh. I chose to run only twice a week, mainly because the weather can be an issue at this time of year, but I'm missing the discipline if 3 runs a week. Also, I've got a 3 week stint of fast (for me) 5k runs, so not a whole lot of variation. However, a plan is a plan, so I'll stick with it for the time being and maybe throw in the odd extra run when work and weather permit.

  • Essentially that's what I'm doing - I've only been able to run 2 x weekly for a few weeks but should be able to do 3 for next 2 weeks. I'm just going to edit the plan as I go - from what I've seen when I was messing around with it whether you do 2 or 3 runs a week makes little difference, but I'll see. I'm surprised by how much I've got back into 'Oo, a plan' mode! Happy days!

  • Just to add, you can adjust as you go along, like C25K, I concentrated on the time out actually 'running' rather than the distance and 'pace' (whatever that is) πŸ˜„, for example 10 mile and HM plans take you out for running 1and half and 2 hours + in my case, so I aimed to get the stamina rather than speed, and again rest is vital....

    Thanks for posting this AncientMum , nice to know there's lots of us out there with our own personal goals, encourages us all to keep going πŸ€—

    Mx

  • Good point Madge! :)

  • I'm currently doing a myAsics HM plan and its working great for me. I think that for the first few weeks it uses your age (and perhaps gender ?) to give average suggestions for pace. Then after a while it updates based on your real data. (In my case to slow everything down and give a more realistic target time.)

  • I suspect you're right. In my case I was offered a faster target time but there was no chance I was going to accept it, lol

  • Just signed up for a 5 mile goal.

  • Brilliant!

  • Did you listen to music or just run?

  • I started off just running Sue so I could hear the pace maker beeps on my watch. However I soon noticed that I'm faster listening to music, so for my 'race pace' 10k I ran with one headphone in and listened to my watch AND the w9 podcast, twice!! Gotta have Laura along for such a milestone run. :)

  • Thanks, I ran the first day today. just 3km (I actually did 3.24 because I stopped to speak to someone ! )

    My pace was supposed to be 9.34 but was actually 8.19, using the 5K+ podcast up to about 26 minutes.

    But I don't think I can actually run at 9.34. I looked back as far as my records go and I haven't done that pace at all. When I bought my Garmin, my test was on a walk, my pace varied from 11 to 14 over the 5km - it is uphill coming back!

    In fact, I don't even know how to jog :)

  • Haha I had exactly the same problem -physically unable to run so slowly. I just went as slowly as I physically could without walking.

    You're plan sounds like it starts the same as mine did. You're going to love it!!

  • I meant to say that I can't hear my watch anyway when I am outside and I don't want to be looking at my wrist as I run (I will probably trip over).

    So I plan to just keep an eye on the distance and the pace will be what it is.

    I bought a cheap watch from Decathlon a while ago and took it back because we couldn't hear it. The assistant tried it and couldn't believe that we couldn't hear. Then she kindly pointed out that she was only 17. We are 59 and 66, enough said :)

    I kept the watch because otherwise it was good enough at the time and the backlight is good when we are camping

  • Have to admit I sometimes struggle to hear mine if there's a lot of traffic. Looking at your suggested and jog paces, we must be quite closely matched. :)

  • Hi there AncientMum

    I found this post thanks to your response to "Slow down to run faster" by Paul46-ipswich. Thanks for replying. Asics looks like the one to go for. So you had to tell a fib about how fast you can really run!!! I WILL NOT HAVE THAT PROBLEM ha ha. thanks again john

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