How to Train to Run 10k

10k run picture

More and more people are choosing a 10K run as a way of raising funds for their favourite charity. I remember my first such run, which was the Great North Run in Edinburgh around 1992. I was extremely unfit, as I had a desk job, and a big chunk of it was uphill.

At one point I was huffing and puffing along and I was passed by two ladies, much older than me, who were having a conversation, and I was struggling to breathe, let alone talk!

Why was I having such a hard time? Because I did absolutely no training whatsoever. I believed that this would be easy, and I was wrong. I did complete the course and raised money for my charity but my time was very poor.

So, if you are planning a 10K run for the first time here are some tips to help you feel more confident and to be fitter on the day:

1: Plan a training programme for at least 4 weeks prior to the race - 8 weeks is better

2: Start at a pace you feel comfortable with. You will probably be finishing the run in around 40 minutes so you need to build up to that.

3. Create an x-factor for each week where x=week x A.

4: to get the A number divide 40 by the number of weeks. so if you have 4 weeks the A number is 10 and if you have 8 weeks the A number is 5.

5: Write a list of x-factors for each week e.g. if you have 4 weeks then you have week 1 = 10 (1x10); week 2 = 20 (2x10) and so on

6: In each week run at a comfortable pace for three days (e.g. Mon, Wed, Fri or Tue, Thu, Sat) and rest for the days in between. On the first two run days of the first week run for ten minutes then walk for five minutes then run for another ten minutes.

7. On the third run day in week one run for 20 minutes

8. for the first two run days in each subsequent week run for x-factor minutes for that week.

9. For the third run day of each week run two times the x-factor minutes for that week (up to a maximum of 50 minutes).

If you follow this simple method you will be ready for your first 10k race and capable of finishing in a good time without struggling. You will also be fitter and have more energy to do other things in your life. If you want to keep fit this way, just keep running for three days a week to maintain your level of fitness. Good luck and I hope you do well for your charity.

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