9 Rules For Your Final Weeks Of 10K Training
Your best-ever guide to the final three weeks before the Windsor 10K
Are you joining us on 24th September for the Windsor Women’s 10K? With just a few weeks to go, the training is nearly over. Be sure to make the most of these final weeks. Here’s what to do (and what not to do!) in the final three weeks before a 10K race.
1 Keep running
It’s not quite time to taper down your running yet. For a 10K race, you should only taper your running (reduce it down and rest) in the final week. So, until 17th September, keep running. Now is the ideal time to do your longest runs of up to 10K (6.2 miles). Your final three weeks of training might look like this (depend on what you’ve been doing up to now of course)
3 weeks to go: one long run (up to 10K), one speed work/HIIT session, one mid-distance hilly run, one mid distance flatter run.
2 weeks to go: one long run (up to 8K), one speed work/HIIT session, one mid distance flatter run, one recovery run.
Race week: two mid distance runs (one of them with speed work incorporated)
2 Get organised
You’ll be doing less running in these final few weeks. Keep your mind occupied the rest of the time by getting organised. That means planning (and finding!) your race day kit, locating hairbands and safety pins and other essentials, planning your driving route, booking accommodation if relevant. Don’t leave anything unplanned and uncertain.
3 Don’t try anything new
That goes for training sessions, running routes, running shoes, other kit, or food. These final few weeks are critical. Stay healthy, keep your fitness ticking over, and aim to get to the start line in tip-top condition. You can try out that new curry restaurant or go out wearing those new heels after the race…
4 Chill out
You might find these final weeks hard to deal with, especially if this is your first 10K. 10K training has been a big part of your life for months. Now what? You can’t run as much as usual (especially in the final week). You feel cooped up and twitchy. Try to rest and relax. Catch up with reading, TV watching, or anything that’s not physically taxing. Go for walks, catch up with friends. But now is not the time to redecorate the hallway, or lay new flooring in the kitchen.
5 Stay well
Keep on top of your general health in this final stretch of training. That means eating well (lots of vegetables and fruit), getting extra sleep if you can, staying hydrated, and avoiding any colds doing the rounds. We don’t mean you should bundle yourself up in bubblewrap and become a hermit. But do try to stay healthy. There’s nothing worse than feeling poorly a few days before a long-anticipated race.
6 Get more sleep
Our top tip for these final few weeks is: sleep. This is especially important if you normally sleep badly, or don’t get enough sleep. Simply getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep in the lead up to the 10K will work wonders. Sleep doesn’t just make us feel good. It helps our bodies recover, repair, and even rebuild connective tissue and rebalance hormones.
7 New shoes?
Should you get new running shoes in these final few weeks? Ideally not, but if your existing shoes are on the way out then do it – but quickly. Buy a brand and model you know suits you (ideally the same as you always run in) and make sure you run at least 4 mid-length training runs in them. We don’t recommend running a 10K race in brand new shoes, even if they are the same make as your old ones.
8 Treat yourself
Whether this is your first 10K or you’re an old hand at running races, you’ll want to celebrate. And why not! Running 10K is a real achievement. Spend some time in these final weeks planning a post-run treat. It could be some new running kit, a massage, or maybe a meal out with the people who have supported you through training.
9 Plan your next race…
Our final point might not sound appealing at the moment, but we think you’ll see the wisdom in it on Sunday 25th September! Once you cross the finish line of the Women’s 10K, you’ll be exhilarated, proud, excited…and ready for the next one. So why not start looking at some running races now? You don’t need to enter one, but get an idea of races near you. You could always enter the Windsor Half Marathon 2023 if you want a new challenge…?
Good luck – we look forward to welcoming you on Saturday 24th September in Windsor!