Running keeps you fit and happy, and is a great form of free exercise. Whether you’re a casual runner or a beginner, it’s never too late to train for your first 10k race.
We share some tips and resources to help you make the most of running a 10k.
Get The Right Equipment
The first thing you should do when you’re training for a 10k is to invest in good trainers and running clothes. Not only can they help to enhance your performance, they can keep you cool and dry when you’re out.
Proper running shoes are especially important. Always try them on in advance, and if you’re offered the chance to test them on a running machine, take it. You might feel a little silly running on a treadmill in a shop, but it’s a great way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your footwear.
If you’re going to train in winter then ensure you have warm outerwear and a high visibility vest in case you’re going to run when it’s dark outside.
It’s also important to run in your equipment before the race – there’s nothing worse than discovering that you have ill-fitting shoes or chafing trousers on the day.
Make A Training Plan
It’s important to follow a training schedule to prepare your body and mind for a 10k. Training plans for runners will encourage you to gradually build on the distance you run, so that by the end you are comfortably running a 10k.
There are lots of excellent training plans available online, like this course from Bupa.
Ideally you should start training at least ten weeks in advance so you can build up your stamina and pace. You need to make a realistic plan that fits in with your lifestyle, and be prepared to run when you don’t feel like it, or when the weather isn’t great outside.
Runners who train indoors should make sure they incorporate some outdoors runs into their training schedule, so they get used to running on different terrain and in the fresh air.
If you’re starting from scratch and have months to prepare, then you should consider the NHS Couch to 5k podcast, which is aimed at people who haven’t exercised in a while and gives you tips on running techniques and nutrition.
When you’re training you might sometimes find it hard to stay motivated. Here are a few tips to keep you going and on track for the race day.
Run a 5k race. Not only will it give you experience of running in a group, but you’ll feel great when you cross that finish line and it will help inspire you for your longer run. Parkrun organise weekly 5k races around the UK, which are safe, free and open to everyone.
Remember your goal. If you’re struggling to get outside, then think about why you are running. Are you raising money for charity? Want to get fitter? Challenging yourself? Remember what you wanted to achieve in the first place and get your shoes on.
Keep a running diary. If you can look back and see how far you’ve come since you started you’ll feel motivated to keep on going. You can use a paper diary to note your time, mood and distance, or if you have a smart phone try the Nike+ app, which tracks your route, speed, distance and progress.
Vary your route. When you train for a 10k it’s tempting to run the same course over and over, but that might make you feel bored. Mix up your route to keep things interesting.
Run with other people. If you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself to run or want safety in numbers, then either join a group or run with a friend. If you join a running club you’ll also get to know good routes in your area to use when you’re training alone.
Have you ever thought about running a 10k race?