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Running 10k Marathon for the First Time: Tips and Guidelines You'll Need

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Have you signed up for your first 10K marathon?

Congratulations! But wait, are you nervous?

Are you overestimating yourself? Are you fully trained?

Are these questions baffling you? It should because a 10k marathon is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is not every day you put on your trainers and set out, full of spirit to run. The regular or seasoned runners know pretty well that a 10k is not only about showing off how much strength you have got or how speedy you are!

Weeks of training, not necessarily rigorously, but properly, and having full mental preparation is needed to finish that line successfully with a smile.

After running a 5k or 3.1 miles covering 12.5 laps, you might feel that you have achieved enough and you won’t be able to cover twice of it at any cost. But remember, if you have been successfully able to cover that distance properly, then a 10k is not such a big deal that cannot be conquered.

If you can run a 5k after starting from casual running, then why worry about a 10k? All you need to do is learn some tips for running 10k. But first, you need to know what exactly a 10k Marathon is.

10k Marathon – How Many Miles and in What Time?

Running a 10k marathon
Running a 10k marathon

A 10k marathon consists of 6.2 miles that is twice of a 5k with 25 laps.

So let’s just consider that a 10k is like running the 5k marathon twice!

Coming to the time, superbly trained runners can cover a 10k in around 50-55 minutes while the newbies will need around 70 minutes. You can, of course, reduce the time with practice and regular training.

An average human running speed depends on lots of factors like terrain, fitness, age, diet, working schedule, and so on.

Check out Average Human Running Speed: Broken Down Age-wise

Preparation for 10k –A Proper Training Plan to Follow for 10 weeks Minimum

  • Beginner: Run 15-25 miles per week
    As a beginner, if you ask us “how long does it take to run 10k?” we can prescribe an estimated time of 50 minutes as average for men and women. While men can finish in 48 minutes, women might take up to 54 minutes.

  • Intermediate: Run 25-50 miles per week
    Estimated finishing time for men is 40-44 minutes and that of women is 48-52 minutes

  • Advanced: Run 40-60 miles per week
    Estimated finishing time for men is 34-40 minutes and that of women is 38-44 minutes

  • Competitive: Run over 50 miles per week
    Estimated finishing time for men is 34 minutes and that of women is 38 minutes

A Week Before Your First 10k – Saddle Up

As the big day comes knocking at your door, you will feel a combined emotion of tension and excitement. But save that for later! Just pay attention to the last minute preparation so that on the D-Day nothing goes out of your hands.

Stress Buster

Let go of the fear that you will finish last. Many people out there have enlisted themselves who are just taking part to see how it feels or just to tick off a wish from their bucket list. On the contrary, you have trained properly. So just run, that is all that matters for the first 10k.

Know the Route

Traverse the route where the race will be held beforehand. You will get familiar with the terrain, where you can push harder or where you can just run-walk. Moreover, it will also mean that you will not get lost!

Follow Proper Diet

One of the most important tips for running 10k is to eat what suits you best without creating any health hazards. Don’t intake too much fiber, carbohydrate or protein –eat exact amount of nutrients necessary to keep your body boosted up.

Check out What to Eat before Running? Top Foods for Runners

Last Night Tips for Running 10k – Heart Beating too Fast

What did we say about mental preparation?

Let go of the fear and anxiety. You don’t want to have cold feet before running, right? Just convert 10 km to miles, the numbers won’t scare you!

Read below to know what to do on the last night before the race.

Don’t Experiment

Deter from experimenting with anything new –be it shoes, diet, gear or even workout.

Give Your Feet Rest

Keep your feet relaxed and flexible to take up the strenuous activity the next day. Don’t walk much or put pressure on your feet.

Sleep and Eat Just Right

It is your first 10k, so have enough sleep the night before. Deter from partying, alcohol or fast food. Intake healthy food and drink plenty of water.

Check out all about The Importance of Rest for Runners

Checklist

Keep track of the weather forecast and remember to carry necessary items accordingly. Pack the papers regarding the race beforehand to avoid any hassle. Charge your music player, digital watch, mobile and fitness tracker that you will carry the next day.

Checklist
What to bring for a 10k

 

Stuff to Pack – the Less, the Better

  • Papers regarding the race, running number

  • Safety pins

  • Headsets, music player, fitness tracker, mobile phone, watch, armbands

  • Sufficient water

  • Sunscreen, talcum powder, ointments for bruises, wounds, and blisters

  • Band-aid, crepe bandage

  • Spare clothing and shoes

The Race Morning – Before the Race Starts

Let us assume that you have successfully covered all the “levels” before the day of the race. Now what? The first thing is to wake up early. Then follow these tips for running 10k!

Eat at the Same Time Before the Race

If you have the regular routine of eating 1-2 hours before running, then try to follow the same rule on the race day too. Don’t eat too early to feel starved during the race or too late to feel stuffed during running.

Reach the Venue Early

It is never right to turn up late on the big day. There might be long queues at the parking lots or in front of the restrooms. Having time at hand never hurts. Also, line up on the track before the last call.

Fix Up Everything

Get hydrated properly (not too much as to feel like going to the loo during race!), cover blisters, keep your skin smooth to avoid chaffing, don’t overdress or wear scanty clothes to freeze, tie the shoelaces properly and finally, put all the necessary details on your bib and stick it securely on your shirt. Wear synthetic or nylon fabric instead of cotton.

Cushion your shoes (shoes should be half size bigger than normal).

Stretch before and after
Stretch before and after

Warm Up

Take a hot shower before the race if possible. Walk with steady stride for 10-15 minutes before the race starts. Keep your arms and legs active and flexible.

Check out The Warm up Routine for Running Perfectly

Set Up Goals

Planning up for the race – how to run, how to cover the tangents, where to walk and where to run, how to land and so on should be in your mind before the race starts. Also, a Plan B for any change in situation is always necessary for your first 10k.

Stay Mentally Prepared

Being relaxed and positive about finishing the race properly is the key to success. Plug into music if that makes you relaxed or have the company of your friends or family members if possible. Forget how many miles are in a 10k and just run.

Stay hydrated
Stay hydrated

During the Race: Tips while You are Running

This is the most crucial part of the 10k Marathon as this is where a single mistake can make all your efforts for the past ten weeks, go in vain.

So follow these tips for running a 10k without training.

Start Steadily

No matter how much the crowd pushes you or you feel lagged behind, resist from starting like a rocket. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. You too need to start slow to make your body habituated with the race environment.

Calculate how long does it take to run a 10k and set your time for the first half of the race, after that reset it for the second half. While the first half will need you to take it slow, on the second half you need to speed up.

10 Percent Rule

For the first 10 percent of your race, run slower than normal to avoid over exertion and burning out your energy. Save all the energy for the final part and keep an even pace for the earlier part.

Know all about The 10 Percent Rule: Do's and Don'ts Before Your Run

Stay Hydrated

If you are carrying water, then have a sip in regular intervals to avoid dehydration. In case you are not carrying any, make sure to slow down at the water stations to take in water or energy drinks.

Check out Effective Hydration Tips for Runners 

Supporting Faces

Ask your friends or family members to be at the strategic points along the course so that they can shout out encouraging words as you are running your first 10k. Seeing the faces of your loved ones adds to the positivity factor during your race.

Run with friends or family
Run with friends or family

Mentally Prepared

For the time being, stop ruminating over how many miles are in a 10k and try to keep your mind at peace by checking out the spectators, runners and also the course. The next milestone on the course matters during the race, so don’t worry about the finishing mark.

Keep an Eye for Other Runners

People may overtake you, let them pass. If you need to bank right or left, check whether there is anyone zooming forward; let them pass to avoid a collision.

Unfavourable Conditions

If it’s a scorching day, try to run beneath the shadowy areas. Try to skip potholes, mud, puddles and rocks. Keep visors handy in case the weather gets windy or it starts raining.

Run like a Pro

Take the tangent line rather than entering the curve of the track –it is the shortest and fastest way. Keep an eye on the fellow runners, if you see them slowing down and realize that you are overdoing it more than you have calculated then its time you too should slow down.

Make a mathematical calculation of your overall progress and the remaining race after you cross every mile mark of your first 10k.

Relax your shoulders and neck, keep your head straight ahead. Keep your hips aligned under shoulders as you move your arms at a relaxed pace like a pendulum.

Finish with a Smile

Give your everything for the last mile no matter how much your legs are screaming and your lungs are asking for more oxygen. Keep breathing and chant in your mind that you can do it.

Feel the throbbing sensation as you approach the finishing line, watch how the crowds cheer for you, try to overtake the runners in front of you and smile as the photographer will be there to click the satiated face of yours!

Enjoy the race
Enjoy the race

After the 10k

  • Intake sufficient drink and carb-rich snacks within 30 minutes after the race no matter how much you are busy clicking selfies or boasting about the medal! Freshen up and change into comfortable clothes and shoes. Treat any injury if occurred during the race.

  • Don’t sit back; instead try stretching hips, quads, calves and shoulders. Squat wide while facing forward and keeping the ankles and knees aligned. Hold on to something and then lean away dropping your hips towards the surface. Stay for 15-20 seconds, then slowly stand up.

  • Hold someone’s wrist and step back to align your arms with shoulders, bend the knees towards his/her knees to form a squat and stretch your back while leaning away from him/her. Then straighten your legs and stand up clasping his/her wrist.

Running a 10k
Run a 10k today!

To run a 10k, the first step is to give your body enough time to get ready for the challenge because it is impossible to gain cadence overnight.

Stop overtraining and give your body enough rest to recover from the soreness. Strengthening and stretching exercises should be done alongside running. Increase your speed gradually and steadily.

In case of any injury, apply a foam roller on it instead of ignoring it altogether.

Run short runs easily, without pushing hard and take the long runs seriously at the same time. A walk-run program always works as you are adding miles every week starting from the 5k running routine. Finally, eat properly, dress properly and keep your mind at peace.

You can do it!

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