A 10k is one of the first challenges for most running enthusiasts. To take on this easily accessible, widely successful event, you'll need to do some specific physical training which includes a variety of different exercises over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. With some basic preparation and a dose of drive, you can experience the joint pleasures of running and success.
How do I prepare for the event?
Do general physical training and general aerobic activity.
During the first four weeks of training, your goal should be to improve your endurance and boost your aerobic abilities. Train on land, jogging through nature and going for both slow and fast runs. Make sure you don't have any difficulty breathing and that you don't run too hard or for too long.
Your physical training programme for a 6,21 miles run
- Plan two to three sessions per week at a moderate intensity (60-70% of your maximum heart rate), and include short recovery periods.
- During every session, strengthen your muscles and joints by doing floor exercises for 10 to 15 minutes (lifting, abs, core strength, stretching, etc.).
Regular jogs at a slow pace will help most runners prepare for short- or long-distance races. In fact, training for a 10k is the same as training for a marathon (42 km).
Improve your speed
During this phase of physical preparation, your body will make quick, natural progress. The next step to succeeding in a 10k is improving your speed. By learning to run more quickly, you will be more comfortable at your endurance pace, improve your stride, increase your power and tone your muscles.
Increasing your maximum oxygen consumption
In order to increase your speed, your training plan should include a variety of activities which mix up your pace. By varying your pace, you increase your maximum aerobic speed (MAS). Training which alternates fast and slow running is called Fartlek.
How to do Fartlek training.
During a slow run (40 minutes), add in 5 to 6 bursts of energy where you run at a sustained fast past along a straight line for 100m. Make sure to build in recovery time after each burst of speed.
How should I work on my speed while running outdoors?
There are three ways to optimise your running speed:
Pick up the pace: Start slowly and comfortably, and gradually pick up the pace over the course of your run so you finish at a faster pace. The "pick up the pace" method lasts for between 40 minutes and 1 hour and favours the warm-up period, developing your heart and muscles and giving you a great feeling of competition.
Fartlek: string together slow and fast segments during your run. This type of run should last from 40 minutes to an hour. It replaces split training.
Advice: before heading out, plan out the length and number of fast runs and the length of your recovery periods. If you're a novice, you can use a heart rate monitor to precisely measure your different paces.
Fartlek group training: a group of people participates in a running game combining fast and slow spells. This training technique is a very effective method of making progress, helping you avoid the monotony of endurance paces.
Example: After warming up, the group runs in single file. The last person in line speeds up and runs to the front of the line, adopting a sustained, slower pace. After recovering from this (by running at a regular pace), the last person in line runs to the head of the pack and the whole process starts over again.
The specific training phase
This phase is composed of short, higher-intensity runs with recovery periods corresponding to the amount you've run. You gradually reduce your aerobic endurance training and the general quantity and length of your workouts. Reduce the quantity of longer sessions and add in pauses of about 3 minutes each.
The final phase
A few days before the competition, decrease your training even more, spacing out your intense, longer sessions.