Improving your 10k – From strengthening your glutes to finding your tribe
No matter how many races you do, there’s always something magical about the 10K distance. Short enough to push yourself hard but long enough to capture that elusive runner’s high.
The 10K is perfect whether you’re new to running or a seasoned pro aiming for a PB. If you’re tempted to run one soon,
We asked the coaches, captains and members of adidas Runners to share their number one tip on improving your 10K running and racing experience.
1. Push your pace and repeat
Running a 10K is all about finding that sweet spot between a punchy speed and something you can maintain for the duration of the distance.
“For me, the basis of a fast 10K starts with being able to improve your speed over shorter distances,” says coach Noel Carroll. “I find running 1K reps, at a pace faster than your target 10K pace, very useful for this. Start with three reps and increase to five with one to two-minute jog recovery in between,” he adds.
If you’re not sure what your target pace is, think of your goal finish time for the 10K and divide by 6.2 for the approximate minute per mile pace you’ll need to hit.
2. Fire up your glutes
By adding strength training into your race prep, you can bulletproof your body against injury and up your explosive power (essential for that sprint finish).
“Kettlebell swings are a great full-body exercise. A fast and explosive movement that strengthens your posterior chain, hips and core – all essential for strong running, particularly during the latter stages of a race when fatigue is setting in,” says crew runner Sum Mattu.
“Single-leg strength is a key area that is often over looked, too, as running involves spending your time on one leg then the other,” adds Noel. “My favourite is the Bulgarian split squat as it also develops glute strength.”
3. Take stock, don’t panic
If you have to miss a training run due to work, illness or injury, don’t let it get to you.
“It’s not the end of the world if you miss a training run,” says coach James Heptonstall. “Balancing your training around other commitments is always tricky. Try to make your sessions part of your weekly routine and if you need to miss one see if you can reschedule it for another day,” he says.
4. Find the right training vibe
Immersing yourself in a group of people pushing themselves just as hard makes those tough sessions that little bit easier.
“Sometimes running a hard session on your own can be incredibly difficult if your head just isn’t in the game, but if you’re running with others then you somehow find an inner strength to keep pushing, as everyone else is,” says Emma Guthrie, a coach and PT for adidas Runners.
Celebrating wins, however small, can also feed positivity and there’s no denying how positive psychology can enhance performance. “This aspect is huge as sometimes your non-running friends just won’t get how much of a big a deal that PB you’ve been working so hard for is,” adds Emma.
5. Run to recover
Your training sessions are important, but it’s the periods outside of training where your body actually rebuilds and gets stronger. Schedule in time for recovery after your runs to help your body along.
“Static stretching post-training ensures I don’t tighten up over the next day or so,” says James. “If it’s a particularly hard session then I’m a fan of a cold bath to aid recovery followed by a hot shower to get oxygenated blood flowing around the body again,” he says.
Not sure icy temperatures are for you? Try other recovery methods such as elevating your legs, foam rolling or getting a sports massage to get you race-ready and keep you in peak condition.
Good luck in improving your 10k!
Credit to Runner’s World, full article can be seen HERE