Over the years we have developed a strategy as to ‘how to run your best 10k’. The strategy is based on your training, related to our 10km programs, and is specific to the sessions you have conducted.
Use your 10k training to achieve your best 10km
The sessions you have done in training count towards your racing. The 5 x 2k session, should be the average pace you aim for, give or take 5 to 10 seconds per km.
The pace development gained from this session is crucial to achieving your best 10k time.
6 x 1k session
The value of the 6 x 1k session when applied to your race strategy, is directly related to the time you able to go through 5k in, without too much panic.
If your aim is to run a sub 40 minute 10k and you have been training at 3.45 to 50 per k for the 1k session, then you will not be so ‘stressed’, if you go happen to go through the halfway split in 19.30. If you go quicker than that pace for 5k, then you are putting yourself under pressure in the latter stages of the 10k event. So knowing that the 1k intervals you have done in training, allows you to pass through 5k at a certain pace without being too far out your comfort zone.
Form plays a major role between kilometers 1 to 7km.
The development of your form should take place the most during your 5 x 2k session. Learning to relax at speed is integral to the development of ‘good’ and ‘successful’ form.
From the 1k mark to the 7km, relaxing at speed while feeling composed and in control is imperative.
There shall be a future article on form
From 7km, you will have to work to maintain the pace. This is where your form will be questioned and your mind will play a role in keeping the pressure on you to maintain your speed.
The secret of staying on target maintaining the average pace for the individual kilometers is the secret, not trying to make-up time lost is also part of the secret. If your target is 4 minutes per k, then that is your only focus from one kilometer to the next. Not your overall time. Your plan must be to run each kilometer separately, if you go over the target, focus only on running the next km on target / pace.
From the 1km mark to the 7km, this should be your main focus.
Running your 1st kilometer
Till now we have not mentioned the 1st kilometer, and here comes the advice relating to this important kilometer. The 1st km and your last kilometer should be the fastest of your race. Both these kilometers should be close to your 5k speed or within 5 to 10 seconds of your 6 x 1km session you have done in training.
During the 10km race, there is every possibility you will lose time at certain stages of the race. Wind and terrain can slow you down.
However, if you race with the correct strategy and power of mind, you can deliver a winning performance on the day. Each winning performance is an individual triumph.
During the 2k and 1k session you can develop a lot of your strategy on how to race your best 10km. Jumping out quickly during the first 100m of your intervals is important to develop during training, so that you are ready for the quick start of a race.
Once you have jumped out, you should apply much of what has been mentioned above, relating from 1k to 7km, relaxing at speed while focusing on form. All this should be applied during the interval sessions of the 10km training programs provided. During your training, you should aim to run your quickest last 1km during the sessions, so you prepare yourself mentally for racing. Form when you tired, must be focused on, so that you maintain speed, and your target time.
The first 100m of your race, can now be applied, you jump out, then settle down, take your split going through the 1km mark, and then focus on your average pace for the next kilometer, as mentioned above.
The more you apply this to your training, the more you will be prepared for your race / events
If you don’t achieve a Personal Best on the day, the course can be used to measure oneself when racing on that course again.
We shall expand further on this article over time, so you are able to learn more regarding how to apply your race strategy during your training and in your events.
Author: Gavin Doyle