For many fitness enthusiasts running a half-marathon is typically on their bucket list. The 5k run is the first race for many beginning runners which is an awesome accomplishment. Then they look into running a half-marathon, but there is a race in between that can prepare you for your half-marathon goal. That race is the 10k which is 6.2 miles.
Running a 10k is the best race to put into perspective what running a half-marathon would be like. 6.2 miles isn’t even half of the 13.1 miles of a half-marathon, but running a 10k will give you the push and the confidence in your ability to run longer distances. Here are some tips to run a 10k that will build you up to running a half-marathon.
Sign-Up for a 10k
First things first, it’s easy to say your next race will be a 10k, but you aren’t fully committed until you sign up for a race. Once you’ve signed up you now have a goal to reach and some training to do.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
At some point most runners reach a “comfortable” distance that they know they can run with no problem. For me that’s a 5k, 3.1 miles. Even if I haven’t gone for a run for in a couple of weeks I can always push myself through 3 miles. Running a 10k race was the next logical step for me if I expected to cross the half-marathon off my personal bucket list. I had to start running further than my typical 3 miles, and to be honest it’s not as bad as you think! You’ll be amazed what your body can do when you push yourself to reach new goals.
Don’t Worry About Your Time
So many people get caught up with the time on their watch it takes them to run a certain distance. I’m guilty of that. When you start tacking on distance into your runs, it’s best to start slow. Running further will take more time and you have to be okay with that. I don’t mean drag your feet through a run, but don’t push yourself so hard that you end up hitting that wall and not being able to recover.
Have a Training Plan
Having a training plan to follow will keep you on track for preparing for your first 10k. Your dedication to stick to the plan will also be necessary when you start training for a half-marathon. A great resource for a beginner’s 10k training plan is found at Hal Hilgon.
If you like a less structured plan then consider doing a run/walk mixture. Run your 3 miles and then walk another mile to complete 4 miles. The following week on your longer run add on a half mile to your 3 miles and walk another mile to reach 4.5 miles. Adding distance of half a mile to a mile will make building up to a 10k more attainable.
Run Even If You Don’t Feel Like It
Running four to six miles isn’t the most exciting thing that happens during your day. It can actually be the worst part, until you lace up your shoes and get out for your run. Not every run you go on will be easy or without some difficulty, but it’s those runs that seem to fly by that are worth it and keep you coming back for more.
Your Running Confidence Will Be Boosted
With race day comes the rush of adrenaline and the thrill of excitement. During the race you’ll have people to pace yourself with. People to keep in sight and people behind you who you don’t want to see pass you. You’ll get into a running groove and soon enough you’ll be flying through the 10k finish line. The confidence you need to take on the intimidating task of running a half-marathon will be there after you complete your first 10k race.
If you can run a 5k then you can run 6.2 miles! It truly puts into perspective what running a half-marathon would be like and gives you the confidence that you can complete 13.1 miles. Get out of your comfort zone today and sign up for that first 10k!