Top 10 Training Tips for a 10K


Eat Right

Runners need to load up on healthy carbs before a race to avoid glycogen depletion.
Runners need to load up on healthy carbs before a race to avoid glycogen depletion.

Perhaps one of the best benefits from training to run a 10K is the fact that you'll be able to eat more because you'll be burning more calories. In fact, you can roughly estimate just how many calories you'll incinerate per mile by multiplying your weight (in pounds) by 0.63 [source: Mueller]. Of course, you should strive for the usual healthy stuff -- whole grains, fruits and veggies, and lean meats -- because the better you fuel your machine, the better it'll perform on race day. It's a good idea not to eat any closer than one hour before a training run.

You also want to be sure to eat right both before and after a run, generally consuming foods (around 400 calories) that are higher in carbs before you exercise and recovering with a more balanced meal of carbs and protein.

On race day, your biggest worry nutritionally will be "hitting the wall" or "bonking," a condition whereby the body runs out of glycogen -- a type of stored energy your body will draw from while running. To avoid this, you can carbo-load in the week before the race by getting 70 to 80 percent of your calories from carbohydrates. Note: This doesn't mean you should eat 70 to 80 percent more food, just change the mix of the calories you're already eating to be more carb-heavy. On the big morning, eat a light meal of around 500 calories (like a bagel with cream cheese and jelly and a piece of fruit) about two hours before the run begins and you should be good to go -- and finish!

Related Links


  • Applegate, Liz. "Eating And Training: How To Time It Right." Aug. 5, 2002. (Aug. 3, 2010)
  • Aschwanden, Christie. "Training Phases." Runner's World. Nov. 26, 2007. (July 29, 2010),7120,s6-238-244--12330-0,00.html
  • Clark, Josh. "Road Rhythms." Cool Running. (July 28, 2010)
  • Clark, Josh. "The 10K." Cool Running. (July 28, 2010)
  • Clark, Josh. "The Runner's Building Blocks." Cool Running. (July 30, 2010).
  • Consumer Reports. "Make Sure 'Sneaks Fit Feet.'" July 28,1998. (July 28, 2010)
  • Dreher, Beth. "How To Run Past 5 Common Roadblocks." Active Network, Inc. (July 30, 2010)
  • Fishpool, Sean and Bud Baldaro. "The Perfect 10K." Runner's World. July 30, 2002. (July 26, 2010)
  • Fitzgerald, Matt. "Run Less, Run Better." Women's Running Magazine. (July 27, 2010).
  • Fitzgerald, Matt. "Run Smarter, Faster, and Longer to Burn More Fat." (Aug. 1, 2010)
  • Gorman, Megan. "Mind and Body Work Together." Runner's World. June 19, 2007. (July 30, 2010),7124,s6-238-275--11960-0,00.html
  • Jaret, Peter. "A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion." The New York Times. May 3, 2007. (July 27, 2010)
  • Lee, Yishane. "The Pack Rules: Tough It Out." Runner's World. February 2009. (Aug. 3, 2010),7120,s6-243-297--13032-0,00.html?cm_mmc=Active-_-Get%20Over%20It-_-Article-_-Tough%20It%20Out
  • McMillan, Greg. "Time To Rethink Your Marathon Training Program?" November 2006. (Aug. 1, 2010)
  • Men's Fitness. "Five ways to a faster 10K: Running away with it." (Aug. 3, 2010)
  • Mueller, Kim. "4 Steps to Perfect Marathon Fueling." Active Network, Inc. 2010. (Aug. 11, 2010)
  • Palmer, Andy. "Training Program -- 10K Beginner 1." Running Times Magazine. (July 27, 2010)
  • Rennie, Doug. "Your Ultimate 10-K Plan." Runner's World. July 2004. (July 26, 2010),7120,s6-238-244-259-1117-0,00.html
  • Scott, Paul. "Avoid Hitting The Wall." Runner's World. Jan. 12, 2007. (Aug. 4, 2010),7120,s6-238-267--11428-0,00.html


How to Train for Your First 10K

How to Train for Your First 10K

Ever wonder how to train for your first 10K? Visit HowStuffWorks to learn how to train for your first 10K.