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Top tips for 10K training

Friday 24th April

Training for an event like a 10K? It can seem daunting if you’ve never really run any long-distances before, but by following some simple top tips you can make the training experience safe and enjoyable.

We asked our Charitable Trust Manager, Thom Craigen, who is leading a team of 30 Benenden runners in this year’s York 10K, for his team’s top tips… 

1. Start out small.
Don't put yourself off by completely overdoing it. Keep pushing yourself just outside of your comfort zone and you'll be surprised how quickly your fitness and stamina increases. (Clare Austin-Clarke, Senior Administrator)

2. Set yourself achievable targets.
If you’ve never run before, running programmes like Couch to 5K can help to get you started and give you effective milestones to aim for, without feeling too overwhelmed. (Dora Kolacsek, Senior Marketing Executive)

3. Get a running buddy.
This doesn't mean you have to run together (although you might find it makes running easier or more fun to have a friend alongside you). Sharing progress and talking about how your training is going with others can be motivating for both of you. (Amanda Shaw, Charitable Trust Executive)

4. Stretch
If your muscles hurt for a week after a run, it probably means you haven't stretched properly. Take a look at this simple guide from the NHS on how to stretch after a run. (Jo Crawford, Product Development Manager)

5. Improve your overall general fitness.
Incorporate other exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling etc. into your general routine which will help boost your overall fitness and stamina. (Andrew Radi, Group Chief Information Officer & IT Director)

6. Look after your joints.
Ensure you have proper shoes and train on soft terrain or a treadmill if you can until your cardio and muscles are strong enough to protect you from joint damage when running on tarmac. (Richard Johnston, Democratic Services Manager)

7. Use running apps to track your progress.
This can help you keep an eye on distance and speed and see how you are improving as your training progresses, and many help you connect with other runners you know. (Nicola Deighton, Acquisition Campaign Manager)

8. Check your technique.
Everyone’s body is different and we each run in our own way, but there are some bad habits which can increase fatigue and cause injury. Use free resources like YouTube videos, or consult an expert at a gym or specialist running shops to make sure your technique is working for you. (Thom Craigen, Charitable Trust Manager)

9. Listen to your body.
It’s great to push yourself but stay mindful of what your muscles are telling you as you run, and take rests as you need them. Always ensure you allow your body rest-time between runs to recover and grow stronger. (Ben Arthur, Senior Business Intelligence Manager)

10. Make running a habit.
It’s sometimes tempting to take that extra half an hour in bed (especially if it’s rainy outside!), but if you set yourself a regular running slot and make part of your routine it’ll be easier to ensure you don’t give in to temptation. (Jenny Holtby, Contact Centre Adviser)

11. Keep it in the front of your mind.
Try leaving your running shoes out in a prominent place as a reminder, or leaving your running clothes by the bed so they’re the first thing you see in the morning. They say you should change into your running gear and then decide whether to go for a run! (Neil McCallum, Head of Partnerships)

12. Exercise your willpower.
Much of running longer distances is about motivation and willpower. Exercise your willpower ability on a regular basis outside of your running regime – for example, go without alcohol for a week or don’t drive your car for journeys less than 2 miles. (Neil Barnes, Media Relations Manager)

13. Focus on the finish line.
Try to finish in the same place each time, no matter the distance of the run – that simple final landmark will soon take on a new significance and appear to the sound (in your head) of soaring, orchestral music much like Christopher Columbus discovering America. (Neil Barnes, Media Relations Manager)

14. Just try to be better than you.
Finishing is winning - just getting round a 10K is a big deal for most people. There is no need to compete against anyone else. Just focus on being a fitter, stronger, faster, healthier, more determined version of yourself. (Marc Bell, Chief Executive)

15. Find your groove.
Some people like to focus on the rhythm of their running and remain in the moment. Others prefer to lose themselves by listening to music, comedy or audiobooks. Whether you like to rock while you run, or use the steady beat of dance music to drive you forward, find what works for you. (Amy Goodman, Media Relations Executive)

16. Relax and enjoy it!
There’s a saying that “A run begins when you forget that you’re running.” It is hard work to get there, but running should be fun and reaching your 10K goal will be a fantastic achievement. Take it in manageable stages and increase your distances gradually, sticking to your training plan. Watch out though, it can be addictive! (Claire Riley, Admin Service Delivery Manager)

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