The Broad Street Paradigm

Broad Street Run at Philadelphia City HallI remember when running was a huge challenge, always greeting me with much pain. In that period I was fortunate to have a coach that guided me through the trials and tests in the sport of running. The goal set before me was to achieve longer distances and train to win races. His advice was to start scheduling more races that motivate one to train from race to race improving on performance. The system of training from race to race secured the foundation of true running economy.

The longest run that I have performed at this point was a five-mile. I remember the encounter at the YMCA when my coach approached me with the taxing suggestion that took me out of the comfort zone.  The suggestion presented, “John the Broad Street run is this May and I think you are ready to advance to the next level of racing.” He continued the assault by saying, “I would like for you to sign up to run Broad Street.” He also mentioned that anyone who is a true competitor runs Broad Street. I was nervous at the idea of engaging in a distance that I never ran before. The ending conclusion is that I made the stretch to run Broad Street, and finished with confidence. The Broad Street Run was my first 10-mile distance!

The Broad Street Run is the largest and in my opinion the best 10-mile race in the world. The course is flat and fast with wide streets to hold many competitors. A fitting manner to describe the Broad Street race is a long distance 5k. This description holds true by virtue of whoever is serious in doing well their pace should reflect a weak 5k pace holding this strength for ten-miles. This mixture of a long run with 5k race pace yields a strenuous and extreme endurance run. Athletes from all around the globe show up to BS to challenge their running economy. The ten-mile world record is held at BS as well as some of the best athlete’s race this event.


The greatest 10-mile race deserves a huge respect of sharp focus on training. The key to the 10-mile race is the specific training element called the long run. Obviously, the goal is to hold your race pace the entire distance. In order to accomplish this, we must make sure we are comfortable with the distance. If we can run 10-miles with ease then we can sharpen our pace to run it faster. It is not until we can run this distance comfortably that we can eventually run it faster.

The purpose of the long run is to increase aerobic base while improving our running economy. The fringe benefit is that it increases our confidence. The long run is the primary building block of the training plan and the most important ingredient. Olympic 5-K racers utilize the long-run as a key foundational ingredient in the training curriculum. The bottom line is that the long run improves our comfort in any race distance. During the broad Street race, we want to be fresh as a daisy at the five-mile mark in order to continue the goal pace to the finish.


Folks our main goal is to get comfortable with the distance. Let’s blitz this distance in the next three weeks. Transform to the obedience of the run leading to disciplining the body for distance training. Incorporate two long runs during these important weeks, which include the weekend long-run, and the mid-week long run. The mid-week is a shorter distance than the weekend. For example, Saturday’s long run can be a 12-mile easy run. The mid-week on Wednesday could be a 10-mile tempo run. The tempo run should be at least 10-miles with four miles in the middle at your BS race pace. Together these two distances yield a good training method perfectly designed for a 10-mile race, which will generate a comfortable base to run the distance.


One-Mile Repeats are one-mile distances at predicted race pace minus 5-10 seconds.  The one-mile repeat is an advance speed work session that WILL (if performed correctly) get you ready for a successful race. I call this the magic speed work because this workout performs wonders by accomplishing your race goals. A track is preferred, but a measured one-mile stretch is great. Begin with a one-mile warm-up then four to six one-mile repeats with a two to three-minute slow jog or walk recovery in between, then ending with a half mile cool down. The end goal in mind is to run 4-6 repeats at or below (preferably below) your race pace. Warning this speed work will put you to bed early!

There you go folks, two important specific endurance training measures to focus on. Please talk up the Broad Street paradigm doctrine of mental verbalization to self that this is the most exciting and excellent premier race in the world. The Broad Street is in truth and heart the most wonderful run that transfers great joy to the athletes who participate. The runner’s epic race day to celebrate starts and ends at the world famous Broad Street Run!


Happy Running!


John K Carlson
Coach RRCW

2 Comments on The Broad Street Paradigm

  1. Thanks for the advice, John. Although I don’t see you much anymore, I still remember the weekly training regiments that you would set up for me when I first started running with RRCW and how much they helped me be able to run faster and farther than I ever could have imagined at the time. I hope to see you on the bus for the BSR.


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