Thinking of signing up to your first 10k race? Accessible enough for beginners, there’s no need to feel daunted by the challenge, especially with these top tips from fitness brand Brooks and leading personal trainer Graeme Hilditch.
They’ve teamed up to answer the five most common questions from new long-distance runners ahead of Sure’s Run to the Beat on 13th September, so read on and get set to lace up those trainers...
1. How much should I push myself in training? Is it really ‘no pain, no gain’?
The phrase ‘go hard or go home’ may well ring true in power and strength-dominant sports, but when it comes to running, training too hard can actually be counter-productive. Certain runners striving to achieve fast times will need to train at a very high intensity, but for us mere mortals it’s far more productive to complete training runs at a more moderate intensity that you’re comfortable with, rather than giving everything you’ve got to every training run.
2. Do I need to run 10K during training?
There is no need to run the entire 10K in your training. Provided you are able to run up to 8K by the time September comes, you’ll find that the buzz and excitement of the day will give you a massive lift and completing the 10K course will not be as difficult as you might think.
3 .How much carbohydrate should I eat throughout my training? Do I really need to eat loads?
It is a common myth that you need to eat your body weight in pasta, potatoes, rice and bread in order to get the fuel needed to train. In fact, your body is able to store a lot more carbohydrate than you can actually use or need. Although you may need to eat more during the latter stages of training, there is no need to overboard right from the word go. When it comes to the carbohydrate requirements of runners, everyone is different.
4. How much fluid do I need to drink during training?
To ensure you’re hydrated properly before training you should start thinking about it in the hours leading up to your run (not just in the 15 minutes before). Drink water regularly, though not excessively, and try to keep track of your hydration status by keeping an eye on the colour of the ‘water you pass’ when you use the bathroom. The colour of the ‘water passed’ is a key indicator of how well your body and cells are hydrated. If it runs clear or is pale then you are adequately hydrated and good to run. If it’s dark in colour you may be dehydrated and should take on fluids before you train.
5 .What tactics should I adopt for race day?
Try and pace yourself evenly throughout and resist the temptation to set off too fast. The electric atmosphere, pumping music and adrenaline coursing through your veins can often mean runners set off too quickly, which results in fatigue setting in by the 7-8K mark. By starting off nice and slowly, then speeding up towards the end, you should still have spring in your step to help you cross the line running happy.
For more information, visit RunToTheBeat.co.uk