Your First 10- K...........................
How to work your way up past 10km and far beyond.
When you need two numerals instead of one to log how far you’ve run in a single outing, you’ve hit a major milestone: many recreational runners never make it that far. The reason you should bother striving for
more than 10 – beyond the bragging rights – is that going long, no matter how slowly you’re moving, is the best way to increase endurance. More endurance often means faster race finishes. And long, aerobic efforts can help you lose weight and keep it off. Trouble is, if you go too far, too soon, too fast, you could end up injured. Here’s how to join the 10- Plus Club without getting hurt.
1. Build wisely.
Plan on doing a long run every other weekend, adding no more than 1km each time. In between, maintain fitness by running or run-walking for at least 30 minutes every other day. On longrun days, choose a route that loops past your car or home so you can stop for water and snacks.
2. Move slowly.
Your long-run pace should be about 75 seconds per kilometre slower than your shorter-run pace. If you usually run continuously, take walk breaks (30 seconds after every minute of running) on long runs. If you use a run-walk strategy the rest of the week, shorten the run periods and lengthen the walk periods to go long.
3. Add fuel.
On your long-run days, if you’ll be out for more than an hour or so, have a sweet snack of 120 to 160 kilojoules every 3km. A few wine gums or jelly babies work well. Make sure to wash snacks down with sips of water, and drink more whenever you feel thirsty.
4. Recover right.
Have a snack (a good 1 000 kilojoules) with carbs and protein within 30 minutes of completing your run. To soothe tired muscles, consider soaking your legs in a bath filled with cool water. Log an additional 2 000 to 4 000 steps of walking after you’ve finished your run, to prevent soreness in the following days.