By Wanita Nicol; Photograph by Wadley
Must-read intel from the mouth of a coach! If you want to run your best 10K ever, these essential tips will get you there…
Sean Tait, running coach and owner of Off The Mark Training, offered up this advice for your next run:
1. Warm up well
If you’re planning to hit the race hard, make sure you do five to 10 minutes of easy running, some dynamic movements like high knees and butt kicks and even some 100m pick-ups (fast running) at race pace to get your legs accustomed to race pace. It will reduce your risk of injury and improve your run performance. Remember, it’s always important to warm up the right way, no matter your fitness goals.
2. Know your ability
Use a recent 5K time to get an idea of what you’re capable of. Take your time in minutes and multiply it by 2.05.
3. Take a pace watch
Fitness trackers are a runner’s best friend. Know you goal pace in min/km and aim for perfectly even splits – running the same pace each kilometre. If you don’t have a pace watch, take a stop watch and practise your 10 times table the night before!
Read More: Are You Addicted To Your Fitness Tracker?
Avoid burning matches by heading out way faster than goal pace in the excitement of the first kilometre. You’ll go into oxygen debt and will have to slow down considerably to recover. The first kilometre should feel relatively easy if you’ve correctly predicted your potential 10K pace.
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5. And remember, it’s all in the mind…
If you narrowly miss your goal time, you will have lost it between kilometres four to eight of your run. It’s in the middle section of the race that we start to doubt whether we can keep it up, or just lose concentration completely. Stay on it. If your body fails you, that’s okay, but don’t let your mind fail you.
Need help getting into the zone? Try these 10 songs that’ll help you run like the wind and try these hip-opening yoga poses to help you faster, better, stronger.