5 Simple Factors to Maximize Your 10k Performance

by JP Slater

Race preparation, like shoe preference, is different for every runner. But, there are some commonalities between every runner…like hydration, fueling, pacing and nerves. One of the most fun distances to get out and test your fitness is a 10k. It is long enough that the faster paces become washed away and replaced by the ability to hold a constant and grueling tempo. Though each person has a different training routine to get them to the finish at their best, here are 5 fun, easy and helpful tips on how to maximize performance on that 10k race day!

Shot of a man out for a run in the woods.

1. Fuel
A 10k is a grueling distance. Though it isn’t a half or full marathon, it still requires a vast amount of energy. To assure you get the best out of yourself on race day, make sure to fuel up with plenty of carbohydrates on the days leading up to race. Eat a little pre-race fuel in the morning to ensure you are able to compete with the best of them!

2. Hydration
Much like fueling, hydration is very important before, during and after the race! To assure your best performance, you want to hydrate with more than just plain water. Try making your own electrolyte-rich drink. Proper hydration is a crucial component to running your best 10k come race day.

3. Pace
A 10k isn’t quite a half-marathon. In fact, it’s almost half a half-marathon… We’ll go with quarter marathon. But it is long enough that if you decide you’re going to try and win the first mile, you’ll quickly learn the next 5.2 will not be as friendly. You must practice the right pace for you so you’re able to kick it into high gear those final miles of the race.

Shot of a group of young adults running with a city skyline in the background

4. Visualize
Now this one might seem a bit strange, but study the course. Look to see where hills may lie or where a downhill or turn-around may occur to assure you’re ready and prepared for all elements of the course. Visualizing the course allows you to plan places in the race where you’ll need to use your extra strengths.

5. Have fun
This tip is sometimes the one least utilized. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the nerves. Will I run okay? Will I get a cramp? Did I eat enough? But when it comes down to it, just have fun! That’s what running is all about. So remind yourself come race day that, though you want to have a great run, no matter what the clock reads, it’s important to just have fun out there.

Young woman in sports wear running on the park lane

This is just a quick list to help you prepare for your first or your 50th 10k. It is just a small reminder about all the little things that go into your preparation for the 6.2 mile journey. So next time you are planning to get out there for a 10k, remember to check this list to make sure you’re ready to do your absolute best!

About JP:

JP Slater

JP Slater was born and raised in Los Angeles, Ca. He attended UC Berkeley, where he was the captain of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. JP has the third fastest 10,000-meter time in Berkeley school history. After finishing school in 2014, he started racing professionally. JP has been involved in competitive running for over 10 years and will continue to race on the elite scene for as long as he can stay competitive. Slater says: “I’m super into eating healthy and living a healthy active lifestyle.”

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