Couch to 5K
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How to prepare for & pace a big 10k race

I'm running in the British 10k with 25000 others. I normally run in my own (but have done a couple of park runs) so slightly apprehensive. Any tips on running with so many others? Particularly:

How to pace myself when not supposed to wear headphones & no garmin

How to keep out of people's way when I'm slow

What to do before / after

How to stay hydrated

Am kind of looking forward to it....

3 Replies

Well, I've never done one so I won't pretend to be an expert but I was looking at the British 10k website the other day ( and it answers a couple of these:

1) They do play music through loud speakers around parts of the course so you won't be completely without. The website says you can't run with headphones but I can't see anything about no running watch? That would seem strange to me- you always see runners crossing the finish line and stopping the watch on their wrist.

2) Keep to the left hand side of the road if you're jogging slowly to allow faster runners to pass you.

3) The website explains all about lockers/making your way to the start so I'll let you read that but as far as mental preparations- that's up to you! I'd imagine you'd want to do a warm-up, stretch, mental pep talk but the forms in which those take vary from person to person.

4) There's water on the course but you're only allowed one bottle from each station (not that you're likely to hang around to grab more). I think be strict with your fluid intake- if you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated so if it were me, I'd have something to drink at every station (probably half the bottle and then the rest over my head if it's hot) but not so much that I needed a wee! The other thing is, don't drink too much before the race starts because you'll just need the toilet 15 minutes in. Have a drink of something, but don't chug 2 or 3 huge bottles!

Good luck! I'm sure you'll have an amazing day.



Is it a common thing at major races that you can't wear earphones? I can't run without my music as I can't stand the sound of my own panting lol and have trouble finding my pace


There are normally km markers so you can see your pace assuming you have a watch. Start it when you go over the start not when the gun goes off.

Don't worry about faster runners unless you push to the front - they will just pass round you - stick with folks that are of a similar pace preferably that look like seasoned runners (old kit) with garmin running watches.

Just relax and enjoy it - unless you drink loads of water on a normal 10 k don't worry about it but grab one if you feel youneed it.

Their will be four water station on the race route each with 330cl bottles of water. These will be located near the 3k point on Victoria Embankment, near the 5k point on Upper Thames Street, near the 7k point on Victoria Embankment. At 8K before Westminster Bridge.


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