You’ve done it before, risen to the challenge of a 10k race. Now it’s time to push yourself. UK ranked runner and Nuffield Health Operations Manager Blake Vivian provides his top tips for speeding up your 10k race time.
Once you’ve run a few 10k races, the most obvious challenge is to speed up your time, but it can be frustrating if race after race you’re seeing no improvement.
If you train correctly, follow a healthy nutritious diet, and think positively, you can get faster, it’s just a matter of knowing how. There are lots of ways you can improve your speed, but here are four great tips that will help you towards this goal.
- Be consistent — Race times will never get better if you don’t practice regularly, Getting into a routine of running every day is a great start. Even if it is just for 10 minutes, creating the habit will stand you in good stead for the rest of your training. It is very important that you don’t overdo it though. Vary your running duration throughout the week to give your body time to recover before challenging it again or you’ll tire your body out and waste valuable training time.
- Run hills and speed work — Using a nearby hill to practice short speed sessions will help you to build muscular and cardiovascular strength and endurance to run a faster 10k. Incorporating a hill run into your training once a week on a slope that takes about one minute to scale is ideal. After doing a gentle 15-minute warm up, run up the hill almost as fast as you can, turn around, and jog back down. Complete around 10 times at a hard pace. Once a week on a non-hill day when you finish your run, find a steeper hill and simply conquer it for a quick hill sprint before your five-minute cool down. This will work your whole body and aerobic system hard, readying you for the 10k.
- Give 100 percent — Don’t be afraid to go out there and actually race. While it is not advised to push yourself to the limit for the whole race, it can really pay off pushing yourself for the final kilometre or two. You might surprise yourself. However it’s very important you listen to your body. If you feel unusually tired or are in pain ease off.
- Body weight — Weight does play a part in running a 10k run as the less weight you have to carry around the better, however you do need to keep a good amount of muscle mass at the same time. Find out more about some food substitutes in this article.