8 things you need to know before doing 10K
Undoubtedly, the 10K races are those that more runners feature and where many of them begin their road in popular competitions.
That is why we want to tell you 8 things every racer needs to know before doing their first 10K:
1.- Know the distance and its features
10 km races are accessible to most people, which does not mean it’s an easy race.
10,000 meters are perfect to test your endurance (the ability to maintain an effective effort for as long as possible) and your speed.
Although in the first kilometers of the race it may seem that you have everything under control, you will surely be surprised to start feeling really tired with the passing of the kilometers.
In a race of 10 kilometers, we could say that the 6th/7th kilometers are often the most difficult, you have already run some of them and there are still too many to finish.
Therefore, in order to make a perfect race, you must be disciplined enough to not be tempted to run too fast in the first kilometers and suffer in the last ones.
2.- How much should you train?
One of the doubts that concern most rookie runners in 10k is how many days and kilometers do they have to run to get ready for the race.
Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question, as each runner will need different stimuli to improve in the distance.
While some runners prepare 10k training three times a week, others do it seven times a week and even in double shifts (especially professionals).
To define the amount of training and kilometers, you need to analyze your current physical shape, your background and your goals.
If your physical form or daily obligations prevent you from running more than one time per week, we do not recommend you to participate in a 10 kilometers race.
Unless you run in extremely hot / humid climates, in a 10-kilometer race it is virtually unnecessary to abuse of hydration during the race.
Therefore, avoid excessive consumption of fluids (sports drinks, water, etc.) during the race.
In not extreme weather conditions, the risk of dehydration during a 10-kilometer race is almost nil.
In the hours before the race you should drink liquid normally (you do not need to overdo it).
4.- How long should it take to run it?
One of the most normal questions of someone who runs a distance for the first time is: how long should it take normally to run the race?
Just like in the amount of training needed to run 10k, to determine a “normal” time for the distance is impossible.
The important thing here is not what is normal, but to determine in how much time you can run 10 kilometers.
Again, it is essential that you analyze your current physical shape, your background and your goals.
5.- Energetic gels
It’s your first 10 kilometer race 10 and you’ll probably want to run it in the shortest time possible and achieve maximum performance.
Faced with such desires, many runners make the mistake of consuming energy gels, sports drinks and other additives that may make them run faster.
To participate in a race of 10 kilometers, it is completely unnecessary to consume energy gels or any other source of carbohydrates.
6.- Save energy for the final sprint
We all want to give it all in the race, and many refuse to save a little energy for the final sprint. However, we recommend this technique.
Finishing the race at maximum speed generates excellent physical and mental sensations, and we recommend that you save enough energy to do so.
7.- Loading of carbohydrates?
The loading of carbohydrates consists a considerable increase in the consumption of carbohydrates in the days before the race, with the aim of allowing our body to have the fuel reserves at full.
For most runners the loading of carbohydrates for a 10k race is absolutely unnecessary, since they usually finish before the total depletion of glycogen stores.
Therefore, in the previous day avoid making the mistake of filling with pasta and other sources of carbohydrates.
8.- The best strategy
Although it is not recommended in a debut at a distance to go for a certain time, it is always advisable to predefine a race strategy.
Although we are not machines and it is very difficult to know how we are going to wake up and / or feel the day of the competition, being clear about what you will do in the race it will surely help.
Are you going to start the race at full speed? Will you start slow to go for fast later? Or do you seek to maintain a steady pace throughout the race?