What a strange distance. The 10K. You don't see them a whole lot, but when you do you should sign up. The 10K is a throwback to the good ol' days, in the eighties they were every where nowadays not so much. With the Ocean Road 10k coming up I thought we'd break down the 10k and discuss how to race it and why 6.2 is a heck of a lot different then 5k and way different than the half marathon.
Have a Plan. You may be thinking a 10k is just two 5ks back to back. So I'll run a 5k and then another 5k right? Your approach will be different than mine and different than the person next to you. We’re all snowflakes! We’ve got different strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge what yours are and tune your race plan to take advantage of your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Maybe you’ve done a ton of strength workouts and can push your pace a little earlier than most folks? Maybe you’ve got a nasty kick and save some for the last mile? Or maybe you’ve done a little of both and can adapt on the fly.
Workouts mix it up
A solid 10k or any other race for that matter comes from being consistent and having all your runs and workouts add up to a great race. The 10k is an interesting distance because it requires equal parts speed and strength. If we’re focusing on a 5k we’d lean a little heavier towards the speed side of things and if we’re doing a half we’d lean a little heavier towards the strength side of things. Since we’re smack dab in the middle its important to remember every run has a purpose. Easy runs need to be easy, recovery is key to seeing gains during your workouts. Speed runs need to be quality, interval work (like we do on Tuesdays) helps here. We need to feel our race pace. Longer runs need to be integrated into your training, especially if we’re jumping up from the 5k. Running long builds strength and we need to be able to carry a faster pace over 6.2 miles.
Rehearse physical prep
Sleeping enough. Eating right. Hydrating properly. Remember the little things and practice them on a regular basis. Have a longer run coming up in your training? Practice your race-day routine, for me its waking up chucking back a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, and a bagel with peanut butter, warming up and heading out for a run. Make sure to practice these things on the regular and on race day when those butterflies are flying around your stomach you can slow down take a deep breath and fall into your routine.
Do not forget why you do this. We love it. Its fun! In your training be sure to remember to socialize get out to our group run and chamiserate with other runners. Complain about all the hard work your putting in, the weather etc…Brag about that long run a little bit and generally have a good time with your crew. In addition, the race is not only a time to reach back and put our training to work, its also a time to hang out with our teammates, get caught up in all the hoopla and have a yourself a damn good time.
Visualize mental prep
Previewing the course can be a huge help for runners taking part in a race. You can visualize the course and mentally prepare yourself for what lay ahead. Theres a hill at mile three, sharp corner at mile five, know where your mile markers are and it will go a long way to making your race a success. Mentally preparing yourself can also help keep you calm during race day, if you know whats coming you can relax and be as cool as a cucumber. The reason Tom Brady can administer those fourth quarter drives so effectively is he’s calm, he’s done this before.
10k is a little different than 5k. During the 5k you can let it fly a little bit more, the 10k needs to be a bit more measured you need to be a bit more efficient with your energy. Form can play a big role in wasting energy, every mile take an inventory of where you are at, check your posture, cadence etc…If we’ve reviewed the course you make sure to not waste any energy by cutting tangents and running the shortest line possible. Pacing yourself is key visualization will help keep you in check those first few miles so you don’t get carried away.
The 10k can be fun and we’ve got a great squad taking part in the Ocean Road 10k this weekend so lets go out there and have ourselves a great time!!!