Ready for the Race?
10K Training Tips for Dedicated Runners
You may not be the fastest runner on the trail or the smoothest runner on the track, but you are a dedicated runner interested in improvement.
If you believe there is always room for more knowledge when it comes to training your body and pushing yourself to meet goals, the following ten tips will help you gear up for successful 10K training.
1. Invest in a good pair of running shoes.
The longer your race training becomes, the more important your shoes will become.
It is very important to learn about your gait and find a pair of running shoes that support your feet.
This includes making sure you have enough room for your feet to move without rubbing against the ends or backs of the shoe.
Make sure to wear your running socks to try on shoes, so their thickness can be accounted for during fitting.
You want to break your shoes in during training, so they are not brand new on race day.
2. Assess your 10K training readiness.
If you haven't been running very long and have never trained for a race, it may be better to back off and train for a 5K before tackling a 10K.
The 10K is a lot more demanding and requires more endurance and desire. You have to be honest about your current level of physical fitness and determine what length of race is best for you.
The worst thing you can do is jump into a 10K training schedule only to realize it is more than you can handle at this time.
3. Learn how to stretch while warming up your muscles.
You do not want to stretch your muscles while they are cold, which means before you have done some moving around to warm them up.
Focus on lunges and other movements that will warm up your muscles while giving them a gentle stretch. This should be done before every training run, and especially before hitting pavement on race day.
4. Variety will always do your 10K training good.
Milk does your body good, and variety does your 10K training schedule good.
Training at this level requires long runs as well as routine runs, and you will easily get bored if all of those runs are on the same terrain.
Shake things up so you have different things to look at, different inclines to master, and different challenges to overcome along the course.
You can experiment with trail running, take laps around a local park, or hit the local gym to use their treadmill. You will repeat running locations, but you should have at least a few options available.
5. Create smaller goals that you can focus on.
Every time you head out the door, you could have a different goal for your training session.
Rather than just counting each run as another step toward reaching the finish line of your 10K race, think of it as perfecting a specific aspect of your running.
One run may be dedicated to improving speed while another is dedicated to extending distance. There should also be regular runs that focus on everything from form to speed to full 10K distance.
If you have a schedule that tells you what to focus on each day of the training week, you will always have something different to focus on and you will be well trained in all areas in the end.
6. Stay accountable by charting out your progress.
Write down your training schedule and start tracking stats from those runs. You should create some type of running log
to serve as motivation along the way.
The more you see yourself improving, the deeper your desire to keep going will grow.
It is important to schedule out your runs and make sure that you do not miss them. You may have to sacrifice some other things along the way, but that is what a dedicated runner does when training for a 10K.
7. Find ways to lighten up your runs.
10K training can be intense. In fact, if you are properly pushing your body for success, your runs should be very challenging most of the time.
That doesn't mean you cannot have a bit of fun while pushing yourself.
Find ways to add some fun into your runs, such as fartlek training. This is a technique where you run as fast as your legs will carry you for varying lengths of time throughout your run. Some use these drills to gain speed, but you can use them just to push yourself in a playful way as well.
8. Build up your cardiovascular endurance.
Interval training is a process of running at a moderate or slower pace for a period of time, then going faster for a period of time. You rotate between the two speeds off and on until the end of your workout time. This is used by many beginning runners who cannot sustain a long period of running straight, but they are helpful when training for long distance races as well.
Rather than walking and jogging, you will do intervals of slower and faster running. This is excellent training for cardiovascular endurance.
9. Do not underestimate the power of mental stimulation.
If you can spend some time meditating
, visualizing your progress on an upcoming run, or go through some yoga sessions with deep breathing, you can enhance your performance during 10K training runs.
Running has a tremendous mental component that you must master if you are to become successful.
Plug your brain into the run and use all the tricks you can find to make it through each training session. If you struggle to make it through a run, tell yourself that you can quit after a given period of time or when a certain landmark is reached. Chances are you will keep going once you reach that point.
It is all about getting into your own head.
10. A healthy diet is what you need.
A runners diet
is about more than just staying skinny. It is all about eating to fuel the body for those vigorous runs to come.
Your body needs whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein to keep your energy levels high and your muscles well nourished.
Now that you have some insider tips on 10K training, pick a race and get started. You can't reach the finish line until you take that first step.
Learn more about effective 10K training and order Daniels' Running Formula today! Also known as one of the best training books out there.
Return from 10K Training to Marathon Training Tips home