If you’ve recently completed your first 5K and caught the running bug in the process you are sure to be thinking about your next challenge! A 10K run is generally the next step up from a 5K, but it is also a great distance for beginners and experienced runners alike. 10K events are also a fantastic way to raise money for a good cause, keep active and lose weight too.
Despite a 10K being one of the shorter running event distances, it’s perfectly reasonable to be apprehensive about race day. To help you out we’ve put together our top 10 tips for training and running a 10k.
Use a training plan
A good training plan is always the best place to start your race! A structured training plan that focuses on building up your fitness and stamina gradually over a few weeks will prepare you to perform at your best on race day. The Couch to 5K plan is a great option for beginners, and you keep going beyond this programme to run your first 10K.
A few stretches can prevent you from having a really painful run! If you are unsure about doing stretches properly there are plenty of apps available that can give you ideas for warm up exercises and show you how to do them.
Sign up for an event
Signing up for a 10K event, whether it’s a local fun run or a bigger charity event, will give you a goal and help keep you motivated!
Fitness trackers and apps are fantastic tools for training, helping you monitor everything from your heart rate to your running speed and more. You can get a really good insight into how you are pacing yourself and performing.
If you are trying to improve your 10K speed, alternating between running hard and walking/jogging will help to build up your stamina for running at a faster pace for longer.
If you use all your energy in the first 3 miles of your 10K, you’ll be running the rest on empty! It’s much better to pace yourself over the course and save bit of energy to finish strong (this makes for more impressive finish line photos too by the way!).
Research your course
Find out a little more about your course pre-event if you can. Knowing about a steep hill 6km into the course will help you to better manage how you pace yourself, and to incorporate hills into your training.
Run with friends
Running with friends, or even joining a local running club, can add an element of fun to your training and help keep you motivated on reaching your 10K goals. What better way to celebrate crossing the finish line than regrouping post-race for a victory meal?
Vary your workout
So, you’re already running as part of your 10K training, but incorporating other types of exercise into your plan, such as strength training or yoga will help you to build up your core muscles and improve your overall strength and efficiency when running.
The most important thing is to enjoy yourself! Enjoy the excitement and atmosphere of your 10K event and, regardless of your time, give yourself a well deserved pat on the back for your accomplishment!