Beginners Running Tips

How To Train for a 10k

After tackling a 5k or two, the next adventure is to train for a 10k.  To finish the race feeling good, small changes in training should be made to accommodate the doubled distance.  Listed below are a few training tips. 

Increase weekly distance
When planning to run or race a 10k, you should increase the total distance you run each week.  Although large increases are not necessary, slowly increasing your weekly run total by 20 – 25% is recommended.  For instance, if your previous running total was 20k per week, aim for 25k per week when training for the 10k.  The additional time spent on your feet will prepare your body for the longer race.

Go for a long run
When training for a 5k, long runs are not necessary.  However, a weekly long run can greatly improve your ability to finish a 10k while feeling strong.  Over the course 6 – 8 weeks, build up to a 13 – 14k run on the weekend.  Running longer than the distance you will be racing will improve your confidence going into the event.

Incorporate hills
Hilly runs are speed work in disguise.  Incorporating hills into your next run will improve your strength, speed, stamina, and running efficiency. 

Strength train
Lifting weights two to three times per week is beneficial for a number of reasons.  Strengthening weak areas, such as hips, hamstrings, and core will decrease the risk of injury, help you lose weight, improve bone density, and also make you faster.  Plan to lift on days that you run hard so that the following day can be total recovery. 

Do form drills
By the end of a 10k, runners often display poor form such as tight shoulders, low knee drive, flailing arms, and a hunched back.  Doing form drills once or twice a week such as A-Skip, B-Skip, C-skip, high knees, and butt kicks can help improve a runner’s form, leading to less chance of injury and faster finishing times. 

Gain speed
Increase your speed by incorporating a speed workout every one to two weeks.  Sample workouts include tempos and fartleks.  For the tempo, run a 2k warm up, then 4k at a slightly faster pace than normal.  Cool down for 1k.  For a fartlek, warm up for 2k and then alternate running 3:00 hard and 2:00 easy for 30:00.  Again, cool down for 1k.  Completing faster workouts such as these has numerous benefits, including better running efficiency, improved cardiovascular function, and increased metabolism.

Set a Goal
Before running or racing your 10k, set a goal for yourself.  Having three tiered goals is always a good idea, one for your best case scenario, one for an okay day, and one for a day where you just don’t feel that great.  For your “A” goal, choose something that may seem slightly out of reach, such as a time or place goal.  For your “B” goal, choose something that will keep you motivated to continue running, even if it appears you won’t reach your top goal, such as to finish in the top half of the race or to place in your age group.  Finally, for your “C” goal, make it something you know you can achieve, such as finishing the race.  This way, no matter what happens, you can say you have achieved your goals!

In addition to all of our running inspired articles we also have an excellent eBook (PDF) format for download available. Here is the link to our running eBook that is chock full of helpful running information for beginners. Enjoy!

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