Thursday 12th January 2017

How to run a personal best 10 km in six months

Run a personal best 10 km in six months and knock five minutes off your time. 

I have been running off and on since around 2006.  10 km is my ideal distance as it minimises the risk of injury and prepares me perfectly for Olympic distance triathlon.

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In the first half of 2016 I ran two 10 km races, the first being Manchester 10 km in May and the second being Kalmar 10 km in August in Sweden.  Both races were flat courses with good conditions and I ran both to the very best of my fitness and produced two times of 48 minutes.  Those times were on the better side of the times I have been producing over the past nine years, which have generally varied between 48 mins and 52 mins, with one exception where by I ran 45.50 in the 2009 edition of Manchester 10 km when I was 46 years of age.Between August 2016 and December 2016, I improved my race results by almost five minutes  My improvement came from a number of things I did differently in the latter half of 2016.

Here’s a list of what I did differently.

  1. I set myself a goal with enough time to improve.
  2. After running the Kalmar 10 km in August, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to break 45 minutes in the Ribble Valley 10 km
  3. I moved to a fixed diet in order to remove  bad habits and snacks with multiple variations which made it hard to understand what was affecting what in my excercise and food.
  4. I ate the same breakfast (porridge with banana and a teaspoon full of nutella) and same lunch (two pieces of buttered brown toast) every day got myself in shape and lost 8 kgs in excess waist line.
  5. I joined a running club https://www.facebook.com/1865miles/
  6. I ran once a week with the club and built up my distance slowly to regularly run 5-8km
  7. I walked my dog every night for around 15 minutes and sprinted back up the 260m of track that leads to our house, as quickly as I could.
  8. I moderated what I ate at night, cutting out snacking just before bed.
  9. I thought about my running style and tried to improve my form, chin up, tall body with quick feet.
  10. I got myself a Garmin Fenix and measured every run I did.

In December 2016, I produced a lifetime best in the Ribble Valley 10 km running a 43:27. I have since improved further to 43:14.  I ran less distance than almost anyone else in the club yet improved the most by adopting a highly focused high intensity, low volume approach to training.  Give it a try it works!Darrin Robinson