Training for the 10k race

I've not posted for a while but I have entered a 10k race in two weeks time! 😬 ( put that face cos I'm worried I'm not ready) I've missed over a week due to holidays but have managed runs 3 times a week for the last 3 weeks, ranging from 5k to about 8k. Was planning a 10k at the weekend but it was a big birthday so I was busy drinking champagne and eating too much cake! Anyway I got out for a run today and is was such hard legs just wouldn't work, I felt stiff and achey and managed to stretch to 7k at a plod. Over the last 3 months I have only run 10k about 4 times. I feel I can do a 10k but I want to do it well. Then another distraction was my new running watch, which has a heart rate monitor which told me at the end I was running at the top two heart rate zones. I kept slowing down but up until now I've been oblivious to my heart rate and now I am feeling that I must be unfit if my heart is at the top threshold but I'm not exactly speeding along. Oh dear, too much knowledge is a bad thing I think! So any ideas what I can do for the next two weeks to help me complete my first 10k race.😳

10 Replies

  • If you have run 10k four times already, then you will have no problem on the day.

    Your HRM is only going to give you accurate results regarding zones if you have accurately set up your max HR. I have had my HRM for two years and am still told that I run an entire 10k at the top of the range, which should be impossible. This is simply because I have not yet identified my max so it is calculated based on averages, which can be way out. I only use the thing occasionally out of curiosity, although some use it all the time as a training guide. You might be better off ignoring it if is causing you grief.

  • Thanks ,that is interesting to know about the HRM. Until now I have gauged how hard I have been running by my breathing which personally seems to be more accurate for now than my heart rate. I have been reading a lot about training in heart rate zones but I think I would end up walking at a snails pace to be within the 'easy zone'.think I won't bother with that for now and will just go with how I feel.

  • I did a 10k race having only run the distance once before, and that was 3 years ago!

    This time I had a great training plan set up, but didn't manage to follow it for one reason or another and the longest distance I'd run was 9k and that was 3 weeks before the big day. I didn't manage 3 runs a week either :(

    So I'm sure you'll get round absolutely fine. I'd ignore the heart rate monitor for now and relax and try to enjoy your runs. Sort it out after your race if you want to, but honestly I think it will just distract you at the moment and you've managed this long without one!

    I wouldn't worry about a proper long run unless you can fit it in early in these 2 weeks, and even then I don't think you have to push for 10k, just run slowly for an hour or something and don't worry about distance. I'd do a "fast" but not superfast 5k this week and some intervals and then next week an easy run or two.

    The biggest thing on the day is ignoring the pace everyone starts with - start off slowly and you'll be surprised how many people you'll be able to pick off in the second half of the race.


  • Thanks for those great tips. Especially like the idea of starting slow then picking up the pace. I find my 2nd 5k is easier than the first when everything is warmed up nicely. Think I might stop worrying now😊.

  • My 2nd 5k was something like 2.5 minutes slower than my first, and I still went up about 30 places, so if you can manage even pacing you'll probably do even better!

  • I can't comment on the heart rate zones, I'm afraid, but if you can run 10k now then you will be fine in the race because the extra excitement will carry you round. Don't try and fit in long runs other than perhaps one early in the two weeks, but other than that, steady running over similar terrain.

    runningnearbeirut is absolutely right, don't be swept away by everyone else at the start. It always seems like such a mad rush and people gallop off like mad things, but it's too easy to go with them and run out of energy later.

    Good luck! You'll be fine, I'm sure :)

  • Thanks Anniemurph, sounds like a good plan to not overdo the long runs and to take it easy at the start 😊

  • For the HRM do not over think it as it could have a negative impact instead of a positive one... Anyway, there are very complex ways of calculating your max and min HRM and they include fast run. If you look up in google you should be able to find out how to calculate it. I have done so but never bothered too much.

    I know my Min level (take your Hearth rate when sitting down and relaxed, maybe you can do it in the morning and afternoon and evening and then work out which one should be). I used 60 for a while, now 58 but it could be lower... Not sure and i do not care too much, HRM is just an indication of the effort. Then I take 190 as max (I have never reached it but it simplifies calculation for the ranges as I compute them on my own.

    Once you have min and max, you can get your HRM as follows:

    Zone 1: 60 to 70 %; very comfortable effort; use this for warmup and cooldown

    Zone 2: 70 to 80 %; comfortable enough to hold a conversation; most training is done here

    Zone 3: 81 to 93%; “comfortably hard” effort; you may be able to say short, broken sentences.

    Zone 4: 94 to 100%; hard effort; the pace is sustainable, but conversation is a few words at a time. For most people this is around 5-K pace.

    With my example (min 58, max to 190) you will use the following formulas (changing the %)

    HRmax - HRrest = 190 - 58 = 132 -- 70% of 132 = 92

    92 + HRrest = 92 + 58 = 150 bpm


    The Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone - 60% to 70%

    (190-58)*60% + 58 = 137

    (190-58)*70% + 58 = 150

    The Aerobic Zone - 70% to 80%

    (190-58)*70% + 58 = 150

    (190-58)*80% + 58 = 163

    The Anaerobic Zone - 80% to 90%

    (190-58)*80% + 58 = 163

    (190-58)*90% + 58 = 177

    The Red Line Zone 90% to 100%

    (190-58)*90% + 58 = 177

    (190-58)*100% + 58 = 190

    I would use 92-94% for the final part of the 10 K, but start slower...

    --> 180-182 (if you want you can use a lower max and it should give a lower intensity)

    For the race I agree: If you have run 10k four times already, then you will have no problem on the day. Try to run negative split (second part stronger than first).

    You can try this week some change in speed, or repetition over short distances, but next week try to tape to the race, to have relaxed muscles on the race day.

    Do a good warm up and stretching (maybe you can try this in the taper week). This is very important as in a 10K you are going to ask a lot to your muscles...

    And most importantly Enjoy the run and the energy of the day :)

    best of luck


  • Thanks for all that detailed info actually makes a lot of sense how you have explained it and actually using your calculations I was operating more at zone 2 and 3 rather than what I thought I was yesterday. I know I rarely push myself over that red line. Most of my runs include hills (unavoidable around here) so I guess that pushed up the heart rate but it stayed under 170 even uphill so I guess I'm not going to explode anytime soon! Think I shan't be too worried about the hrm for now but thanks for the explanation.

  • I never use HRM unless I want to push and control my pace for longer than a mile (I use it in races, but just because I am not too sure what the pace I am doing, there is no need for this technology all the time and to be honest, my calculations are not precise at all (min and max are very approximative, but I have tried to change them and there are not massive consequences on the thresholds, so they work for me ;)

    good luck with your 10, let us know :)

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