Are you tired of running the same old 5K? Or do you simply want to push harder for a new P.B? Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced runner, here are 10 tips to kick start your training plan to complete a 10K run.
#1 Assess your current level of fitness:
Upon starting a new fitness regime, it is crucial that you don't overdo things. Ensure you have the base fitness level required, for example, start with a 5K before diving straight into a 10K. If in doubt, seek advice from your Doctor; this is imperative if you have any health issues you are currently dealing with.
#2 Find a training plan tailored to you:
It is important to be realistic with your training plan, otherwise, you may fall behind and before you know it, your enthusiasm has rapidly declined, race day will arrive and all you've achieved during training is a measly mile or 2!
Remain calm – if you are new to running you will need longer to prepare than someone who has been running a while, it really will depend on your base fitness level.
Training should commence 12 to 16 weeks before race day. Your training should be tailored to your specific needs and the number of sessions per week should take into account injury prevention. If you are prone to injuries, 3 sessions per week should be fine to start with. Elite athletes can and will train up to 14 times per week, so it really does depend on you.
There are plenty of programmes available online, in running books and magazines, so do your homework to find the plan that is most suited to you!
#3 Run like the wind:
Mixing up your running routine is the most effective way to raise your endurance and keep your training interesting.
Easy Runs: The feeling that you could go faster if you wanted to, but you chose to stay at a steady pace. HIIT Training: Includes alternative periods of high and low intensity running. Long Distance: Increase the duration of your runs throughout your training program to improve your endurance.
As well as varying your running styles, combine the training of two or more disciplines that are different from running to strengthen your other muscle groups in a way that running on its own cannot. There is something for everyone, from strength training to yoga to swimming – depending on what you enjoy. This cross training will also help you increase endurance, strength and fitness. We have a great article from our brand athlete and personal trainer on cross training for you to find out more.
#4 Check your Gait cycle:
Gait analysis uses video recordings to determine pronation; the inward movement of the foot as it hits the ground. However, some runners can either over pronate (the foot rolls inwards too much) or under pronate (when the foot does not roll inwards enough after landing). Both under or over pronatation can increase the risk of injury, but these types of injuries can be minimised by selecting a supportive running shoe. You can get your gait cycle assessed in most specialist running shops where you will receive helpful advice about the best shoes for your running style.
Once you've got the right shoes, you'll need the right socks.
#5 Sort your Socks:
We all know those fleshy, angry and sweaty bulges lingering in the most awkward places... Blisters are an inconvenience for any runner and therefore it is essential to wear the correct socks. The KYMIRA Sport Ankle Socks are made from cutting-edge KYnergy Infrared fabrics designed to improve your performance. The thermoregulatory properties keep your feet at the optimum temperature and the raised tabs eliminate any rubbing to alleviate the slightest discomfort during those long runs.
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#6 The Loneliness of the Long - Distance Runner:
If you get hooked by the running bug, and this is likely, you may want to join a running club. It is the ideal place to meet other running enthusiasts and receive valuable advice from coaches (this is dependent on what club you choose, as not all running clubs have coaches). More importantly, the company and encouragement from other like-minded runners will keep you motivated to get you through those long, draining runs. The fact that others will notice your absenteeism is another (tiresome) motivation.
Some running clubs do have specific dates where they welcome new runners, so the sooner you enquire, the better!
#7 Mind and Body:
It is very easy to give too much, too soon. To avoid over-committing all your energy to the first few miles and hitting the mental wall somewhere around 3K, try a negative split. Run the first 5K at slower pace and then gradually increase your speed after passing the half way point. This will enable you to conserve your energy and maintain to a steady pace throughout the route without any regret.
#8 Take it easy in the last few weeks:
In the last few weeks leading up to race day, it's important for runners to reduce their mileage. Beginners should be decreasing their mileage by 30%, more advanced runners are likely to reduce their mileage by 50%. Although you are tapering your mileage, it's important to maintain the intensity to give you the most efficient training and recovery.
#9 Dress Rehearsal:
A few weeks prior to the big day, replicate the race as closely as possible, from the clothes you will wear to the food you will eat to the time at which you will race. This will help calm any nerves, particularly if it is your first 10K, and build your confidence with the knowledge that you have already completed a replica.
#10 Warm Up and Cool Down:
It is critical that you warm up and cool down on every occasion; this could include a brisk walk, followed by a brief jog and some static stretching. Not only will warming up help to increase breathing and circulation but reduce the risk of injury too. On race day in particular, begin the day with a hot shower to pre-warm your muscles to assist the warming-up process.
These 10 tips will help you begin your 10K training, however, the most important training tip…Enjoy it! We have all heard about the ‘feel good' factor from running – it may not feel that way at first, but with plenty of perseverance, you could be on the brink of a lifetime of running!
We would love to hear from you; Are you considering a 10K? How is your training going? Comment down below!