Keen to clock your fastest ever 10k this spring? Want to run so well that your social media will explode with likes? Ready to turn the tarmac beneath your feet into cinders?
That’s the spirit! I knew you were made of the right stuff. Simply follow these tips and you’ll be in the perfect position to flatten your PB.
1) Back to the Future
The first thing to do is to pick an event and get it firmly in your diary. Then you can start planning your training backwards from the big day. Be ambitious, and remember to make the week before your race an easy one. Make sure all of your long runs and sessions are in the bag by then.
2) Catch a great wave
You’ll find it a lot easier to smash your PB if you’re surrounded by people aiming at a similar time. So study any wave times when you enter your race. Think Goldilocks for the pace - not too hot, not too cold. Realistically, which wave gives you the best shot at success?
3) Go team!
When you’re looking to PB in style, a support crew is invaluable. Be sure to tell the people around you what you’re doing so they can help. If it works for you, share your 10k adventure on social media. Likewise, ask everyone you know to come and cheer you on when race day arrives.
5) Super sessions
Mentally and physically, a weekly session at your target 10k pace can be of huge benefit. Introduce longer reps of 800m plus. Take enough recovery to get your breath back. Hills and shorter faster reps will give you extra vim and vigour. Treat them with respect and you’ll be fine.
4) Easy like Sunday morning
The more easy and steady running you can do, the faster you’ll race. Whenever you can, lace up your trainers and head out there. You’ll be lean, mean and brimming with confidence before you know it. And to save those aches and pains, stay on the soft ground.
6) Let the time take care of itself
All of us like to run quickly in training. But constant clock watching can have the opposite effect. Use your watch as a guide, not as some kind of evil taskmaster. Learn to run by feel in training, and your time will take care of itself come race day.
7) Choose the finest fuel for your jet engine
The better your diet and hydration are in training, the better you’ll feel. The better you feel, the better you’ll perform. Sounds simple, but it can be tricky to get right when you’re busy with everyday life. Try keeping a bottle of water near you at all times, and plan your meals in advance.
8) Stretch and roll to reach your goal
Even just 15 minutes of daily stretching will work wonders for your recovery. If you haven’t made friends with a foam roller yet, now’s the time. You can stretch and roll while you’re watching TV, listening to music, or even during your lunch break. What time of day works best for you?
9) Play the long game
When your race day arrives, you want all your focus to be on your running. Pack your kit the night before. Get there early and stick to your usual warmup routine. Stay alert in the start area, and pick a good spot. Go off sensibly, and then push on during the second half of the race.
10) Believe in yourself
Let’s face it, chasing a new PB is not for the faint-hearted. Be proud that you’ve got what it takes to tackle this kind of mission. Embrace the challenge, believe in yourself, and give it everything you’ve got on the day. If you do that, you’ll find that anything’s possible.