Prepare for a 10K in Only Two Weeks? Here’s How
The next 10K race is in two weeks and you have just decided to participate? Not exactly an ideal situation considering that it usually takes at least 12 weeks – depending on your fitness level and training volume – to get ready for a race. The longer the distance of the race, the more time you need to prepare for it. Because a 10K is a relatively short race, you don’t really need a long time to get ready for it. But of course the last-minute preparation will be noticeable in the finishing time.
But if you still want to prepare for a 10K race in two weeks (or less) and get the most out of your training, you need to follow these three tips:
1. Run several workouts at your race pace
With only two weeks, you won’t be able to make any big physiological adaptations to your body in response to your training. Nevertheless, it is still a good idea to run several intense workouts at your desired race pace. That way you at least develop a feel for running at a fast pace.
2. Get in one last hard workout
You should do one last high-intensity workout four or five days before your race. This is usually one of the most important sessions in your race preparation. It gives your muscles one last training stimulus and prepares your body for the demands of the upcoming race.
3. Don’t overtrain
You can’t pack 12 weeks of training into just two weeks. A few high-intensity workouts are important, but you also need time for adequate recovery. The last thing you want is to be standing at the starting line with sore, fatigued muscles. That’s about the surest way of guaranteeing a poor time.
Your last week before a 10K race should look something like the following:
- Six or seven days before the race:
Long slow run – 30-45 minutes
- Four or five days before the race:
Intervals – 10-minute warm-up / 4 x 5 minutes at your 10K race pace with 3 minutes of jogging in between intervals / 10-minute cool-down
- One or two days before the race:
Long continuous run followed by accelerations – 10-15 minutes / 3-5 accelerations
Make sure to warm up properly on race day. This can really make a big difference in your performance.
You can find the ideal warm-up for your 10K race in our article “How to Warm Up Properly for Your Race”.