Some Running Tips for tackling your next 10k run.
1. Remember a 10k is a different kind of race to the others
Where a 5k is largely about speed, and the half marathon is much more about just endurance, when training for a 10k you should think of it (somewhat unsurprisingly) as a mixture of both. So following a running training plan that reflects that is key.
2. Do a mixture of longer-distance runs and interval training fitness sessions
Running uphill and at a pace are both good for core body strength and general fitness training. Even if you don’t plan on sprinting in your 10k (except for perhaps at the very, very end) often sprint training leads to the quickest and most noticeable results. And then you can justify the 70% rest of the time of low intensity running.
3. Run with others to push yourself
Not only does it give you someone to chat to when running at lower intensities, but it will also hopefully give training a bit of a competitive edge. It is the hardest race to pace yourself for — not too fast and not too slow. As a result, it is easy to relax a little and not push yourself quite as hard as you might so it might be good to have a bit of running motivation alongside you.
4. Finish at pace
If you aim to finish faster than the rest of your run you will hopefully avoid burning out half-way through by accident. An hour is always a long time to be running for, but short enough that you might tempt yourself into a speedy start. Try and avoid the classic slip-up.
5. Be careful what running music you listen to
Listening to music while running doesn’t just bring up conversations about road safety. It can also muck up your run. If you aren’t careful with what beats you are choosing, you might find yourself running at a different pace to the one you are used to. Your body will automatically try and mirror its tempo, which might not be the right one for you.
6. Kit matters
You may not get the famous marathon nipple rash, but you certainly could get some thigh chafing if you aren’t careful. You could also run right into the trap of Runner’s Knee or Shin Splints if you don’t buy the right trainers (and of course stretch properly). Don’t ever think that your race is too short to warrant the right care. Running is pretty cheap as sports go, so hopefully you can make one investment into running gear.
7. Train as you will race
If you’re planning on running with a water bottle, then train with one too. If you think you’ll need snacks on the course (which hopefully you won’t) then try out your pockets beforehand. Don’t save your synthetic socks for race day, because otherwise by the time you get there your feet will be covered in blisters. Train as you plan to run the race and it’ll stand you in good stead.
8. Don’t just think about hydration on the day
Downing two litres of water twenty minutes before the race is not going to hydrate you. It’ll probably make you feel unwell and call for a portaloo stop on the way. Drink lots of water the day before so that you be sure that your body has absorbed it.
9. Consider running nutrition
Running nutrition is not as scary as it sounds. When training for a 10k, it pretty much means that you should take care of what you’re putting into your body and how much of it. You may have managed running 5ks without thinking about food, but you’ll dip in energy in the middle if you haven’t eaten before a 10k. It doesn’t need to be really expensive. You can’t go too wrong with a couple of bananas and bit of pasta.
10. Be careful about running injuries
The main rule of running events and training plans is that you should listen to your body. If you are in pain, you should probably stop running until the pain has gone and look up some running recovery tips. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on your race — you can always think about low impact fitness training (like cycling, swimming and cross training). But taking pain killers and carrying on the run will risk putting you out of the game for good.