10KM is one of the most considered run distances by fresher as well as regular runners. Total registrations for 10KM are about three times more than that of half marathon and marathon distances. The simple reason is that it gives a challenge but still remains within achievable goals. It is not too overwhelming or injury-prone if approached correctly. One must not get too worried about the average 10KM time which might look challenging. Keeping a target of one hour, which is challenging as well as achievable with a little training.
Aim for the duration of run initially
For beginners and those who do walk or other activities but not running, one has to teach body and mind to run for one hour. The distance here is not important. No matter how slow you are, it is important to just make sure that one prepares the body to run or run/walk for 60 minutes. Once you get started, one hour will feel relatively a short time with proper training.
How much to run per week
Depending on the level of fitness you are at, you must try and start from a comfort level where you have negligible chances of having a running injury. Those who have been doing other activities such as cycling or gym and believe to be in better shape should also go slow. It is important to let the body adjust to high-impact running activity. With anywhere between six to twelve weeks of training, anyone can run 10km and can aim to achieve it in 60 minutes or less. There is no harm to go slow and allow yourself 12 weeks of training before your first 10KM even if you feel you can achieve it, earlier.
What workouts should be included in training
To train for your first 10KM you need to have a mix of endurance, speed, strength, and flexibility training. Hence it is important that you do profiling well. These days a lot of websites and applications are trying to sell you fixed 10km programs. One must avoid them as they do not take care of personal traits and lifestyles. You must make your own weekly training program. However, make sure that it has all the ingredients.
1. REST – People might mention rest in the end, but make sure that rest is incorporated well. It is important to recover before your next training session. This is not only to get better results but also to remain injury-free.
2. Long-distance day – Make sure you have one long-distance day. Since the program is for 10km, your longest can be 10km (+/- 2km). Increase distance slowly and give the body time to adapt. Aim for distance and not time. Increase distance not more than 10% per week.
3. Speed training – Speed training can be done twice a week. It helps your muscles respond faster and get used to the consumption of carbs and other fuel sources. A simple way of doing this is repetitive training. Run 200 meters with 70 to 80% target pace. Take a one to two-minute break and repeat again. Do it at least 5 to 6 times. Ensure that you maintain the same pace throughout. Slowly increase the 200 meters lap to 400 meters lap.
4. Uphill training – Incline provides natural resistance and hence gives more power to your stride. Hence when you run on a flat surface, the power required is less and easy to achieve. Once a week is good.
5. Technique – it is important to dedicate one day to techniques, striding, drills and breathing. Here you can reduce the distance to just 60 meters and practice striding, running at 100%, breathing, etc. Drills are important so that you are able to rectify errors in your running.
6. Warmup and cool down – During all days it is important that you start with at least 15 to 20-minute warmup followed by dynamic stretching. Once you finish training, static stretching will help increase flexibility and will benefit you in overall fitness as well as running.
7. Running gear – Ensure you have the right gear. If you have pronation, try footwear made for that. Avoid simple injuries such as blisters and chaffing. These injuries can take you off from training for many days.
9. Diet – Diet is an important part of training as anything else. Within the first hour of completion of training carbohydrates and proteins are well absorbed. Hence ensure you have a diet rich in both after training.
10. Strength training – it is important to make strength training a part of your overall development. You can hit a gym or do bodyweight training. Three times a week, 30 minutes session is good enough.
Build slowly. Do not get too excited if you progressed faster than you expected. Still follow the guidelines to increase mileage and speed. Adding too much intensity or volume is dangerous. Never overdo training. Plan according to your comfort, lifestyle, work profile, and location (weather and climate). If you feel tired or not good, do not hesitate to take a day or two off.
Article by: Capt Jitender Harjai Fitness Expert H2FCare