The following guide is for runners of all abilities who want to improve their personal best over 10,000 metres.
We can’t promise that you’ll be as quick as the current Olympic, World and European champion, Mo Farah, but with the right plan you’ll be able to achieve a respectable sub 60, 50 or 40 minute time.
10k is a popular distance as it’s just long enough to be testing, but not as physically demanding or time-consuming as marathon distance.
From experience, we know that once you’ve got the bug and are competent with the 10k distance, your next goal will probably to be run it faster and quicker.
To do this, you should set an achievable target and start training accordingly. To help you along the way, here are 5 of the most effective training methods and things you can do on the day to beat your current best time.
As personal bests are based on quickest times, the first thing you should do is incorporate accurate timing into your training.
Start by getting a sports watch or a mobile GPS system such as Strava or Nike +. Whichever option you choose, you’ll have lots of useful data to aid your progress and help you run quicker over the same route or distance.
Try: Start training at the pace you need to get your body used to the workload and when it comes to the event you should easily achieve your goal.
Whatever you call them, tempo, fartlek or interval sessions, this type of training might be painful but it’s great for quick gains.
Completing structured interval sessions and incorporating short sprints into a longer run will boost your aerobic capacity and get your body used to running fast.
Your body will adapt to sudden sharp bursts of speed and you’ll be sprinting down the home straight to the finish line – shaving a few minutes off your PB while you’re at it.
Try: Start with 30 seconds at max speed with slightly longer rest periods and gradually improve the length as you get fitter.
The most common areas of tension are the neck and shoulders, brought on by stiff running motions, but if you learn how to run in a more relaxed manner you’ll make it easier to pick up speed.
All runners who are just starting out should get good-fitting shoes and have their running action assessed through detailed podiatry. This will stop you getting injured and keep your training plan on course, helping you improve your overall athletic ability.
Try: To improve your time you should lengthen your stride and increase cadence. This, combined with improved strength (see next point) will help you see the most returns.
The stronger your core is the quicker you’ll be able to run, so start supplementing your running training with strength exercises. They also help with injury prevention, improve your balance and make you a more efficient runner. It’s that simple.
Try: 30-second planks. They improve the strength of your abdominal and back muscles – add more time as you get stronger.
Eat a hearty breakfast shortly after you wake up to ensure you are well fuelled. Make sure to drink plenty of water to stay fully hydrated. You should also eat oats and try to include a banana for the energy you need to help your body cope with the strain of going faster than ever over 10K.
Try: Make sure you look closely at the route. Is it hilly or exposed to wind? There are plenty of different elements to consider when planning to beat your personal best. Realistically, you are not going to beat your personal best if the final 5k is all uphill.
The Bollington 10k takes place on the 10th August, starting at the leisure centre. The first two kilometres take runners up to Pott Shrigley, before heading down Shrigley Rd and then back towards Bollington along the Middlewood Way.
You can enter online up until August 23rd.