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A 10k PB

One of the most popular race distances is the 10k. It is short enough for most people to complete without the high mileage of marathon training and it is one of those benchmark distances that define your ability as a runner. To run a fast 10k requires both speed and endurance and good pace judgement. All of these can be improved with a good training plan. Follow these Dos and Don’ts to run your fastest 10k ever…

Do run short interval sessions. To develop your speed, distances such as 400m and 800m are ideal. Aim to complete approximately 4k to 6k of fast running. For example, 10 times 400m repeats or seven times 800m. Give yourself around 60 to 90 seconds rest between intervals, and aim to run them at the fastest possible speed you can maintain for each of the repeats. Perform this session once every two weeks.

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Do run longer interval sessions Short intervals will increase your

speed, but you also need to increase your endurance whilst running at a fast pace. To do this, long intervals such as three times 3k at just faster than your target 10k time is ideal. If you are aiming for 50 minutes for your 10k then you should be aiming to run your 3k around 5 seconds faster per kilometre, which would make your target 3k time 14 minutes and 45 seconds. Give yourself one minute rest and repeat. Perform this session once every two weeks also.

Do run a practise 10k Ten kilometres is a distance that doesn’t place too much demand

on the body compared with a longer distance, such as a marathon. This means you can run a hard 10k in training and not compromise the rest of the training week. Keep in mind that running 10k in training won’t improve your speed but what it will do is give you a chance to get used to the pace and intensity required for a fast 10k. If you find yourself slowing in the last half then your pace was too fast initially. Don’t try this more than once every two to three


weeks as the training benefit is minimal. It is more a chance for you to become familiar with the pace and intensity.

many runners just taking up the sport. Running every run as fast as you can won’t improve your running speed or fitness compared to mixing up easy runs with hard interval sessions. Make sure you do at least one to two easy runs per week and resist the temptation to sprint the last few kilometres home.


read, a big pasta meal the night before a 10k isn’t going to help much and may hinder you. You won’t use up more than half your potential energy stores in running a 10k so it doesn’t matter if your muscle stores are full of not. Provided you’ve eaten well the preceding few days, there is no need to overload on carbohydrates the day before. You are much better off starting with an almost empty stomach rather than one that is still trying to digest last night’s pasta.


relatively fast pace it is essential that you are fully warmed up before your race. Do at least 10 minutes of easy running followed by a series of dynamic stretches, such as walking lunges, butt flicks, high knees and calf raises, and then some 100m runs that increase in


Do warm up thoroughly on race day Since 10ks are normally run at a

Don’t carbo load the night before No matter what you’ve heard or

Don’t run every run as fast as possible This is a common mistake for

pace until you are running slightly faster than race pace.

exactly what your target pace is, and what it feels like to run at that pace. When the race starts make sure you stick with that pace no matter how easy it may feel initially. If it still feels easy after 6k then you can pick your pace up.

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is when your legs really start to hurt. Remind yourself that it is only 10 minutes or so to the finish and then the pain will be over. Use whatever energy you have left to increase your pace slightly. If you do this too early in the race you will “blow up”, but with only one or two kilometres left your legs should be able to handle the slight increase in pace, and it may mean the difference between a new personal best or just another 10k run.


ANDY DUBOIS Andy is an elite ultra marathon runner and a qualified personal trainer and exercise coach. www.andydubois.,

Do aim to run the second half quicker than the first Negative splitting, or running the

last half faster than the first half, is not just for the professionals. If you want to run your best time at 10k then negative splitting – or at worst, even splitting – is the way to do it. This is why knowing your pace is so important.

Do make sure that you finish strongly The last few kilometres of a 10k

Do get familiar with your race pace On race day you should know


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