OLYMPIAN marathon runner Derek Hawkins will be helping the Advertiser’s readers gear up for the Helensburgh 10k, providing a nine-week training programme so you can finish the distance for the first time or improve your personal best.

Hawkins is the first major name to sign up for the Helensburgh 10k, which will take place on Thursday, May 4.

The Kilbarchan AAC athletic, who battled through injury in Brazil last summer at the Rio Olympics, will help you achieve your goal, be it a 40 minute, 50 minute or 60 minute finish for the 10k.

And the 27-year-old is well equipped to coach our readers, with a degree in sport and exercise physiology from Glasgow University and a ninth place finish in Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games marathon in 2014.

The Elderslie runner also won the Helensburgh 10k in 2015.

If you would like a more personalised programme, Derek can help if you visit hawkinsrunning.com

For all the runs: Arrange the runs around your commitments and balance these with rest days to get the best from the plan balance training with good nutrition, hydration and quality sleep.

The plan includes different types of training (some are listed below) and progresses in volume and intensity before tapering for Race Day.

Make the plan personal to you. If you miss some of the plan as a result of injury, illness or other pressures, don’t try to make up for lost time by cramming the missed training in and doing more.

If you’re feeling tired, adjust the plan, reduce the intensity of the run or go for an ‘easy’ run instead of trying to force yourself to fit in the workout, something which can increase the risk of further fatigue, injury or illness.

On the day of the race, don’t try any food/drinks/gels that you haven’t tried before in training. Stick to what you’re used to.

Easy: In general, easy running is running at a comfortable, conversational pace, which certainly may vary daily, depending on how you are feeling.

If you use Heart Rate training, the effort should be around 65-79% of your Maximum HR Heart Rate (HRmax).

Tempo: The effort for these runs can be described as a “controlled discomfort”.

Paces for these are approximately 10secs/mile slower than 10k OR 88-92% of HRmax.

60 minutes

The training plan is for runners who:

May have already completed a 5k/10k Parkrun or one 10km

Are currently able to run for 30 minutes or more

Can train 2-3 times a week and realistically be able to increase it to four

Has had 4 weeks of some running before starting this plan

Are committed to giving the plan a good go.

Week 1:

Day 1: 20 minutes Walk / Rest

Day 2: 20 mins Easy

Day 3: REST

Day 4: 25 mins Easy

Day 5: 20 mins walk

Day 6: REST

Day 7: 30 mins Easy

50 minutes

This training plan is for runners who:

May have already completed a 50minute 10k or very close to

Are already able to run for 50 minutes or more

Can train five times a week

Has had 4 weeks of easy running before

starting this plan

Are committed to giving the plan a good go.

Week 1:

Day 1: 20 mins Walk / Rest

Day 2: 10 mins Easy + $ x 5 mins Tempo [1 min jog] + 10 mins Easy

Day 3: 35 mins Easy

Day 4: 30 Mins Easy

Day 5: REST

Day 6: 10 mins warm up and 8x3 mins at 8km pace (slightly faster than 10k pace) with 2 mins jog recovery

Day 7: 45 mins Easy

40 minutes

This training plan is for runners who:

May have already completed a 40minute 10k or very close to

Are already able to run for 60 minutes or more

Can train six times a week

Has had 4 weeks of easy running before starting this plan

Are committed to giving the plan a good go.

Week 1:

Day 1: 35 mins / Recovery

Day 2: 10 mins Easy + 4x5mins tempo [1 min jog] + 10 mins Easy

Day 3: 50 mins Easy

Day 4: 40 mins easy

Day 5: REST

Day 6: 110 mins warm up and 8x3 mins at 8km pace (slightly faster than 10k pace) with 2 mins jog recovery

Day 7: 60 mins Easy