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How to Train the Week of a 10K

author image Henry Halse
Henry Halse is a Philadelphia-based personal trainer, speaker, and writer. He's trained a wide variety of people, from couch potatoes to professional athletes, and helped them realize their own strength, determination and self-confidence. Henry has also written for various fitness and lifestyle publications, including Women’s Health, AskMen and Prevention.

Planning out the week of your 10K will relieve some of your pre-race anxiety. After training hard for months, this is the easiest week of training. Sometimes scaling back your intensity from the previous weeks is the hardest part. Avoid training too hard during this week and spend some time stretching, taking care of your muscles and fueling up for the race.

Assuming that your race is on a Sunday, you'll build up by doing short runs, a couple of track workouts and two recovery days. If your race is on Saturday just take out Tuesday's workout and move everything back one day.

Read More: Typical 10K Times of a Runner or Jogger

Monday: 3-Mile Run

This is going to be the longest run you do all week. Run for three miles at the pace at which you want to run your 10K. You can even run a little faster, like at a 5K pace, if you feel good. Remember, the goal of this week is to ease into competition and not tire yourself out, so don't push it too hard.

Tuesday: Five 400-Meter Runs At A 5K Pace

As an active recovery and final speed training day, you'll run 400-meters at the pace at which you would run a 5K. Simply take your per mile time in a 5K and divide it by four to find your 400-meter goal time.

Focus on running upright with good form during these runs. You can use them as an opportunity to focus on running technique since they're not too intense.

Wednesday: Recovery

Spend your Wednesday before the race in recovery mode. You can get out and walk for 30 to 45 minutes if you're feeling energetic. It might help to use a foam roller or see a massage therapist to help your muscles recover from all the training they've been through. Try not to sit on the couch all day because your muscles might stiffen. At least try to do some simple stretching.

Thursday: 2-Mile Run, Eight 100-Meter Strides

Run for two miles at your 10K pace. Don't push this run too hard because you're going to hit the track afterward to do some final speed work. When you're at the track you'll do eight 100-meter sprints.

During these "sprints" you're not going to accelerate very quickly. Instead, work up to your running pace and focus on doing long, powerful strides. This helps you improve your stride length when you're running, which can get you a better time. Taking the acceleration portion out saves you from risking a potential hamstring injury.

Read More: Nutrition for 10K Training

Friday: Recovery

This is your last recovery day before the race, so spend it wisely. You can get out for a walk or use a foam roller. Don't see a massage therapist because it might make you sore. Take some time to make sure you're getting enough carbohydrates and water before race day.

Saturday: 2 Miles

This is going to be your final running day before race day. Getting out for a light two-mile run helps you get ready for the race so that it's less shocking to your body. You can run as slow as you'd like, even slower than your 10K pace.

Sunday: Race Day

This is the big day! Get up early enough to get in your starting position. Eat a light breakfast with some carbohydrates and drink two or three glasses of water. Leave about 30 minutes before the race to warm up and then it's time to perform.

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