Hi, I just started my training for a 10K. I'm terrified, having never done this much running before. I started off with a 5K that I managed to do in 31 minutes, but I have run the same course 4 more times and each time is slower than the last. I don't quite know what I'm doing wrong? Thanks. Gina
If we always do the same running route with our training, the speed at which we adapt and progress can plateau and we can feel like we are getting slower. This is easily changed with variety in your training. To enable you to complete a 10K run and improve your speed I suggest the following:
- Ensure you are running enough miles each week to allow you to build the endurance required to run a 10k. By including two runs each week ranging from 6-9K, your body will start to adapt faster to the demands of running which will improve running technique and efficiency, resulting in improved performances.
- Try to include an interval session each week. Start by jogging for two minutes (at a pace slower than you would run a 5K at) then run for one minute at an increased effort (faster than your 5K pace), repeat this 6-8 times. Interval work is one of the most effective ways to improve your running pace as it will trigger a number of physiological changes including improved cardiovascular efficiency and an increased tolerance to lactic acid. This means improved speed and endurance and ultimately an improvement in your overall performance. You can progress your interval training sessions by changing the speed and duration of the work intervals or the duration of the rest intervals.
- Include uphill and downhill sections within your runs. Uphill running will encourage more explosive use of your power muscles for running (the glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles). The strength and power gained by running uphill will produce a longer, quicker and more efficient stride. Also include downhill sections to increase your stride rate. Your stride rate is controlled by the nerves (neuromusclar system), by running downhill you are teaching your nervous system to run fast by increasing leg turnover which will lead to an increase in speed when running on the flat.
- Set a realistic time in which you aim to finish your 10K and based on this time try to run the race at an even pace throughout. It is really important to resist the temptation to go out too fast - there is always the chance to pick the pace up in the last kilometre if you feel able to.
Hope this helps,
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