You’ve finished the Around the Bay 5K and finally, spring has sprung—now is the perfect time to keep on running and there’s no better incentive than another race. Why not leap to the 10K? Brent Bishop is the owner of Think Fitness Studios and personal trainer of the Sporting Life 10K. Here’s his ten tips for increasing the distance of your next race.
10. Incorporate strength training. Functional strength exercises such as lunges, squats, deadlifts and planks can do wonders in terms of stabilizing your joints, enhancing performance and reducing injury risk.
9. Commit to a date. Choose a 10K race that interests you, sign up and commit. Signing up for an event dramatically increases training coherence.
8. Incorporate hills to boost your stamina. Incorporating one day a week for hill repeats can do wonders for increasing your overall running pace.
7. Focus on finishing. Visualize yourself accomplishing the 10K distance, what does it feel like? Conjuring up these emotions can have a significant impact on your dedication to the process.
6. Plan your training schedule. If you’ve signed up for a 10k race, work back from race day when planning out your distance increases and stick to your plan. You’ll need no more than 8 weeks to properly prepare.
5. Proper footwear! Running shoes have a lifespan—how long have you had yours? Now might be a great time to invest in a new pair of runners, but ensure they are what your feet need.
4. Build your distance weekly. Having one day a week (usually the end of the week) where you increase your distance is important. Increasing overall weekly mileage by 10 percent per week is a good approach.
3. Rest and recovery. Often overlooked, ensure you have rest days incorporated into your plan to allow your legs and joints time to properly recover from the increased distances.
2. Listen to your body. Although some post-run discomfort may occur in the beginning, don’t confuse discomfort for pain. If you feel joint pain or severe muscular discomfort take the time to recover—better to miss a day or two of running then having a setback due to injury.
1. Keep limber. Incorporating regular stretching and myofascial release work such as foam rolling into your weekly routine can enhance your recovery, performance and significantly reduce the chance of injury.