Conquering your first 10K can feel like a daunting task. However, while taking the leap from a 3K or 5K to running double the distance may sound challenging, with the correct training, you’ll be able to handle it with no problem.
Whether building up your distance slowly, incorporating shorter speed runs, and building your body strength, there are a number of techniques you can employ to make sure your training is safe and enjoyable.
*If you haven’t run at least 5K in one go yet, we recommend following our 5K in 6 weeks training programme before attempting to run a 10K. *
Training tips for a 10K run
Start slowly and build up
The most important thing you can do is make sure you build up your distance slowly and surely. This will ensure you don’t suffer from injuries caused by placing too much stress on your body, too soon. Running is a high-impact exercise and it’s common for runners to experience issues such as shin splints or runner’s knee if they don’t allow their bodies adequate time to adjust.
Aim to go on one longer run a week, and slowly build up the distance every week. For example, adding one kilometre to your distance.
It isn’t all about the distance
Incorporating shorter, speedier interval runs into your training will help to boost your fitness and make you a stronger runner. Try to go for one or two shorter, faster runs a week, where instead of focusing on distance you focus on time/speed.
A good idea is to try interval training; this where you alternate periods of sprinting, fast running, slow running and walking. For example, you could try one minute of jogging, one minute of running at a challenging pace, and one minute of sprinting. Repeat 4-6 times.
Cross train once a week
As already mentioned, running can be harsh on your joints. Give your body a break and aim to cross train on a bike or elliptical machine once a week. These machines will help to improve your aerobic capacity and build your fitness without stressing the joints.
Incorporate strength training into your routine
Building and strengthening your muscles with a strength training session once a week can have a huge impact on your running. Strong, powerful and supple muscles will make your running faster and more efficient, as well as lowering your risk of injury. They will help you to maintain good form and posture on your runs.
Try our workout for runners once or twice a week and it’ll help you towards that first 10K.
Warm up and cool down
Always make sure to warm up and cool down before and after your runs to reduce risk of injury. You can warm up with just a few minutes of dynamic exercises such as lunges, squat jumps, or gentle skipping. End each run by stretching out the main muscles used, such as the glutes, calves, ankles and hips.
Give yourself adequate rest
One of the most common mistakes people make in training for a 10K is failing to give themselves adequate rest days. Rest days allow your body to recover and get stronger. You should aim to run/cross train a maximum of three days a week, with one or two strength training sessions– the remaining days should be rest days.