Running a 10 kilometre race is no joke and especially if you are not experienced in the art of long-distance running. Running a 10K and running everyday are two different things as one needs to take into account a lot of aspects for a race. This can include the time goal you’ve set for yourself, running in intervals, knowing when to pick up the pace and when to go slow and steady. All of this will come with practice, but it does help to keep in mind the very specific challenges that a 10K brings.
You’ve done the hard part and started running, but now it’s time to put your running into a training routine that will help you build endurance, stamina and learn how to conserve energy for the long-run. A good starting point is a 5K running program, such as the one you will find in FirstRun. This will get you up to speed with running regularly for a set amount of time, and you can always repeat the runs to go over the 5K barrier.
Cut down your training time and workload as you get closer to the race. This is called a taper and is an essential part of conserving your body for the race.
One of the first things any one will tell you about running a 10K is that forget about keeping a uniform speed throughout the run. Depending on your time target, you will need to slow down after the first few kilometres to conserve your energy and speed up in the final portion to achieve your goal. So get some interval training hours under your belt.
A lot of experienced runners will tell you to picture the course, your running form and the finish line when running. Not only does this paint an optimistic picture in your head, it helps you concentrate on your goal. Split the course up into several parts and have a goal for each section. You can even count down the metres in the final part of the race, to make your goal crystal clear.
Join a club
Running in a club or a group gives you a sense of belonging and will teach you neat tricks that other runners adopt to finish the course. For days when you are lacking encouragement having a group of like-minded runners with you can be that added boost that’s so crucial in a 10K run. And it also helps that you are likely to have the same runners alongside you during training and the race to help you get comfortable with the competitive atmosphere.
Train like it’s the race
It’s essential to at least have one training session with your race gear, especially your shoes. The wrong pair of shoes can even make running a 5K difficult, so try on that race pair before you actually step out with the bib. Another neat trick is to get used to running on what you think will be your race-day breakfast or meal. That should give you a better idea of what the actual race will feel like.
Main image: Runnersclub.dk