If you’ve done shorter races, but you’re brand-new to the 10K distance (6.2 miles), here are some tips for running a 10K race.
Don’t expect your time to be double your 5K time.
As the race distance gets longer, your pace will be slower. While this may seem like common sense, some people still get disappointed when they realize they can’t run as fast as they do in a 5K race. You can use a race time predictor calculator (using a previous 5K time) to predict your 10K time so you know what to expect.
something before the race.
You might have been able to get away with not eating breakfast before a 5K, but it’s a lot harder to push through a 10K on an empty stomach. Get some ideas for a pre-run breakfast or some pre-run healthy snacks.
Don’t start out too fast.
It’s tempting to start out at a fast pace, especially if you’re used to running 5K races. But you’ll pay for it later in the race if you push it too much in the beginning. You should feel like you’re holding back a bit during the first two to three miles. If you’re feeling good at the halfway point, you can pick up the pace slightly.
Also see: Common Racing Mistakes
Use the water stops.
A 10K is long enough that all runners, no matter how fast you are, need to take in some water during the race. Even if the weather conditions are cool, you should still take advantage of the water stations on the course. If you’ve never done it before, here are some tips on how to take water from a hydration stop.
Prevent chafing and blisters.
You may have not had a problem with chafing or foot blisters when you ran shorter races, but it may be a problem when you’re running longer during a 10K. Make sure you take steps to avoid chafingsuch as using BodyGlide or Vaseline on trouble spots (nipples for men, bra-line for women) and wearing technical fabric (not cotton) running clothes. To avoid blisters, wear synthetic blend (again, not cotton) socks and make sure your running shoes fit properly.
Also see: Embarrassing Running Problems
Get your family members and friends to support
immensely when you have people along the course cheering for you. Recruit your
family members and friends to be at strategic points along the course to help
push you along. Knowing they’re be on the course will give you something to
look forward to.
Stay mentally tough.
Your mental fortitude will be tested during the race, so you’ll need to be armed with mental strategies. Try distracting yourself by looking at the sights along the course, other runners spectators. Focus on getting to the next mile marker, not the finish line – the race will feel more manageable if you break it down into smaller pieces. It also helps to have a running mantra, or short phrase that you keep repeating to stay focused and strong.
Push to the finish.
As you get closer to the finish line, there’s no holding back – if you feel good, go for it. Keep pumping your arms and looking up. Try to focus on runners in front of you and see if you can pass them before the finish line. Follow these tips for finishing strong.
More Tips for Running a 10K Race:
- How to Deal With Crowds at Races
- Dealing With Pre-Race Jitters and Anxiety
- Running Etiquette Rules for Racing
- Mind Games for Long Runs and Races