Remember how we said we love 5k workouts? Well, 10k workouts are right up there. They just require a bit more time.
You might be thinking that 10k is unattainable or that you have no idea how to approach it. Maybe this has been a goal of yours and you’ve been putting it off. We’ve gathered up some of our favorite ways to bring some focus and structure to the 10k distance.
We recommend these workouts as ways to keep you interested, pushed and preoccupied so the time working out flies by.
- 2 x 5k (with 2-3 minutes rest between intervals): Intervals divide the total distance into manageable distances with a bit more focus. If the 10k distance is new to you, add even more rest. Use the rest time to stretch out, stand up and shake out your legs, or continue rowing (or skiing) lightly.
- Pyramid 1k/2k/3k/2k/1k (with 2 minutes of light rowing/skiing between intervals): In pyramid workouts, try to row a bit more intensely on the shorter 1k intervals. This will be most challenging in the last 1k! The light rowing/skiing in between each interval will help make this workout add up in metres to 10k total; alternatively, you can add 500m at the beginning and end of the pyramid. If you add more intervals, the rest can be shortened to one minute.
- 10k with intensity goals (65%/70%/75%/80%/85% each 2k): Set your Performance Monitor to a Single Distance Workout. Whether you use heart rate zones or perceived effort, start the first 2k at 65% of maximum heart rate (or at about 65% effort which is a conversational pace). Each 2k, aim to increase your effort by 5%. End the 10k with a hard last 2000 metres that keeps you breathless (but is not a sprint).
- 10 minutes on/10 minutes easy (4-5 reps): Set up your Performance Monitor for an Intervals: Time workout. Time workouts can be especially helpful if you’re exercising with someone who is at a different pace than you are, since you’ll both be working out the same amount of time regardless of how much distance you cover.
- 3 minutes on/7 minutes off (5 reps): Three minute intervals coincide nicely with many songs (cue your favorite playlist!) or television commercial breaks. Short intervals give this workout focus where you can increase the intensity. (Three minutes is not a sprint but gives you a chance to speed up a bit!) The longer seven minute “easy” intervals should stay comfortable and relaxed at a steady state.
- 10 x 400m (:40 rest between intervals), 10 x 300m (:30 rest between intervals), 10 x 200m (:20 rest between intervals), 10 x 100m (:10 rest between intervals): Short frequent intervals keep your heart rate up! We recommend taking the rest intervals as true rests (very light or no rowing or skiing) to allow your heart rate to go down. In between the sets of ten, you can also give yourself 3-5 minutes break.
- Up ladder: 1000m, 2000m, 3000m, 4000m (with 3 minute rest between intervals). Aim for consistency from the first interval to the last. This means the first interval will feel easier; maintain the same pace for the final 4000 metres.
- Down ladder (time): 10 minutes/8 minutes/6 minutes/4 minutes/2 minutes (with 2:30 minutes rest between Intervals): This 40-minute workout includes structure to keep you focused. If you need extra metres at the end, repeat 1 minute of work with a rest interval.
- Stroke variance: 5 x 2000m (with no rest). Change stroke rate every interval. (Rowing 22 / 24 / 26 / 28 / 30 spm, Skiing 32 / 34 / 36 / 38 / 40): At lower stroke rates, there is longer “recovery” between each stroke/pull. As the stroke rate increases, use your best technique to use the same stroke sequence. The pace per 500m at higher stroke rates will be a bit quicker if you’re applying the same strong strokes.
- 8k easy, 2k “test” (open rate): This is a compact workout when you’re short on time! Set up your monitor for an Intervals: Variable workout. “Interval 1” will be 8000m (with zero rest time) and “Interval 2” will be 2000m (again, with zero rest time). Use the first 8000m to warm up and find a comfortable pace. For the last 2000m, race! You can increase your strokes per minute. This workout builds endurance as you build upon the first part of the workout by challenging your body to work harder to push to the “finish line”.
- 100m/200m/300m/400m/500m... up to 1000m and back down... 500m/400m/300m/200m/100m: This is a workout that can be lengthy to program in the Performance Monitor (or you can save it as a favorite once you do to make it easy to go back to!). We recommend using no rest between intervals. This workout gives you opportunities to change it up throughout the entire 10k. Each interval can be a separate focus: vary stroke rate, intensity or both. Every other interval can switch back-and-forth (100m hard/200m easy/300m hard, etc) or you can build over intervals (100m easy, 200m moderate, 300m harder then back to 400m easy). Pick a strategy that motivates you best.
- Descending Metres: Row/ski at a conversational pace to 8888 metres. Note your elapsed time and row/ski the next two minutes at a moderately-hard pace. Then settle to easy (conversational pace) until you reach 7777 metres; then, repeat the two minutes at a moderate pace. Continue to 6666m, 5555m, etc. with two minutes harder at each of these milestones. See if you can push each two minute section just a little faster! Continue easily to the end. This workout will keep you distracted and the metres will fly by!
In all workouts, your warm-up, rest metres and cooldown all count towards your daily activity. Be sure to record your results since every metre counts.