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Bridge to 10K
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So I've finally entered my first 10k... but how to prepare?!

I'm emerging from winter running hibernation (one run a week and not a very long one) and to give myself a bit of a kick up the bum I've entered the Edinburgh 10k! I haven't hit even 5 miles since June, though. I'm OK with about 5k and a bit at the moment, but I remain very slow, and am worried I'll be too slow for the race (has to be completed within 1.5 hours, which sounds do-able, but as yet I haven't managed to do 5k in 30 mins, and I completed Couch to 5k about 2 years ago). I just don't know how to get stronger and faster while also increasing my distance. I don't need to be super fast, but I'd like to start seeing some improvement or I'll just get bored.

Should I be doing the long run at the weekend, as usual, and then... one during the week shorter and faster? I tried that last week but even though I tried my best, running faster seems impossible to me! It must be some lack of strength or ability, but then I've read so much about what 'should' be done that I'm just a bit confused and overwhelmed. If anyone's got a simple idea of a plan I could stick to, or what kind of thing to aim for, that'd be great.

Oh and also what should I be eating before I run? I never go as far as I want because I'm hungry, but I can't eat too soon beforehand obviously. I've tried a banana an hour or so before but it didn't seem enough. I'm worried I'll be hungry during the race and feel faint.

I feel that by now I should know all these things... but apparently not :(

11 Replies

There is a 10k plan here that you are welcome to join ( it’s in a rolling programme). healthunlocked.com/bridgeto...💥-week-1-of-the-shiny-new-10-is-the-magic-number-10k-plan-with-ju-ju

Or if you do your own thing I suggest stick to your 3 runs, 1 5k, an interval run ( like Laura’s speed) and then a long run you increase by 1k a week.... the intervals will help your speed.


Thank you for this! I'll have a look. I like someone to recommend a structure, otherwise I just panic and end up doing nothing instead (applies to many aspects of my life). I'd like to be able to run 10k by end of May because that's when my race is, so I could maybe start your plan next week and give it a go. I've never really tried intervals but I think they could be a good way to improve my speed from all I've read. (what's Laura's speed?)

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If you go to the podcasts it’s here : nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Couch-to...

It’s good fun, gets your heart rate up, gets you quicker and it’s all over in about 20 minutes ( exploding walks)!!


Also by rolling plan do you mean I just wait till you all start again or can I pick it up even though I'm sure by now I will be a bit behind?

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You can pick up and join now although you might want to start at a different week. This is this weeks’ healthunlocked.com/bridgeto...🌟

Shall I add your name on?


eek OK! I'll have a look to see what week might be do-able for me just now. I had to work very long days recently and so I'm behind with my midweek after-work runs!


With fueling, I do the following which is working for me, up to 13k now!

If running for more than an hour I use tailwind, it goes in water and comes in different flavours - you can buy sample packs.

Before running, it depends on the time of day. If it’s a run first thing I find that a coffee and banana is enough slightly longer and I’ll maybe have scrambled eggs.

If it’s later in the day I don’t eat anything particular but will always leave it an hour before running.

After a run it’s always a glass of milk.

I guess it’s trial and error depending on your tastes and what works for you!!!!

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Hmm yeah, the race is at 9 so I'll need something or I'll be starving before I even begin! Maybe if I wake early, have a banana and maybe a biscuit, and then by the time I get there I should be OK. Afterwards I plan to eat everything I can stuff in my face, haha!

I don't know tailwind. I know my distance isn't that far but I will probably be over an hour because I'm not speedy. So I'll probably take water with me.


Always an idea to go out running at the time of your race, then you can play around with what works and doesn’t!


People sometimes feel hunger due to dehydration. If you drink well a day before you run you should feel fine/better. By drink l mean at least a few litres of water. Before the run avoid any excess intake of fluids or you'll need a toilet break every 25 metres and will end up bloated. Imagine that!

For moderate distances of up to 10k (15k in my case), you should be ok with a banana or a boiled egg or anything else that's not a rib eyed steak with greasy chips, if you're running first thing. I don't even carry water for that distance.

For later runs see that you let the food settle for at least an hour if you've eaten a good breakfast or similar. Avoid the steak scenario.

If you are still feeling hungry or fear that you may faint from exhaustion, go check it out.


Definitely test everything first. Have you tried porridge (or overnight oats in the summer) before your run? They are slow-release fuel. They are my standard breakfast before an event :) I time it for an hour and a half before I set off and that works for me. If it's going to be hot, I also take water and put SiS stuff in - the endurance one. I'm not sure if it really works but I think it does :D


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