Posted: 25 May 2012

How to run a 10k . . . and how I ran 10k

In advance of Sunday's Bupa London 10k, Kate Wareham and Henry Rowling of our fundraising team have written about their running history (including Kate's other 10k runs), reasons for running (to raise money for our work to support young people, as Henry explains), and as Kate writes today, training for this year's 10k - although, as Kate says, you probably don't want to follow her example.

Next week, Henry will provide an account of this year's run.

If you are not able to join us on Sunday we hope you'll join us for the Bupa Great North Run 2012 or another upcoming event.

How to run a 10k . . . and how I ran 10k

People ask me from time to time what I do to train for a 10k.

Here are my recommendations: 

  1. Do three runs a week: one long, two short.
  2. Build up your running slowly. Start at 3k in the first week and aim for 9k in the last week (the adrenaline on race day will carry you the last k).
  3. Have a target pace and track your runs to make sure you’re getting closer (I’ve had success with the RunKeeper app for my iPhone and a nifty spreadsheet). 
  4. If you run with music, have a selection of songs with a beat that keep you running at a good pace.

This year, have I followed my recommendations? No.

To train for this year’s Bupa London 10k I’ve run once a fortnight and jumped from 3k to 5k to 10k. Not clever.

Here’s a kilometre-by-kilometre account of how my 10k training run went.

Kilometre 1

Running down to the river. Feel good. Anticipating the beautiful views of Richmond. Nice easy downhill bit.

Music on iPod

Don’t upset the rhythm – Noisettes

Jai Ho! – A.R. Rahman

Kilometre 2

Running along the Thames. Oh look there’s a duck. It’s upsetting how similar a quack sounds to a laugh, yes I know I look silly in my bright pink running top.

Richmond Lock – stop to walk up the steps. I’m too prone to clumsiness – likely to trip and land on my face in front of assembled tourists.

Music on iPod

Barbara Streisand – Duck Sauce (good running, having a little bop)

Only Girl – Rhianna

Kilometre 3

Beginning to feel it now, plus I’ve also joined the ‘serious runner’ route down the Thames to Kew.

Super fit people are overtaking me. I feel inferior. Bolstered by the monotone voice of Mrs Running Coach on my RunKeeper app telling me ‘you are ahead of your target pace by 7 seconds’. Rock on. Never actually ever heard that come out of my phone before. Boo hiss, fit people overtaking me.

Music on iPod

Oops! I did it again – Britney (guilty pleasure)

Don’t stop believing – Northern Allstars

Kilometre 4

Really struggling with overcoming my head telling me to stop. My feet are still going. . . . Oh no, they’ve stopped. Heart sinks. How can I run 10k in a few weeks when I can’t even run 4k. Gave myself a serious talking to.

New strategy: I’ll have a 'tree walk', which is a walk until the next tree on the path, then I'll run the rest of the kilometre. When Mrs Running Coach on my app tells me I’ve made it to the next kilometre, I’ll have another 'tree walk' as a reward.

Music on iPod

Forever – Chris Brown

Poker Face – Lady Gaga (good pace for running)

Kilometre 5

Tree walking continues but the golden gates have appeared in the distance. OK, OK, it’s just Kew Bridge, but it’s the halfway mark and it makes me feel better. I’ve also exchanged a few knowing looks with not-super-fit runners, which has bolstered me. My positive feeling is reinforced by my music selections.

Music on iPod

Sunshine after the rain – Berri

Monkey – Eliza Carthy

Kilometre 6

Determined now. There’s something about knowing you’re over halfway that makes the second half seem achievable. With newfound energy I practically sprint past a loved up dawdling couple and round the bend, where I promptly stop and walk again. Short lived enthusiasm. Tree targets continue.

Music on iPod

Umbrella – Rhianna

You go the love - Source

Kilometre 7

Entertained by the beautiful-ish views of Brentford across the river. A nice distraction. Somehow I’ve got myself into a rhythm and the 'tree walks' become unnecessary.

Music on iPod

Born this way – Lady Gaga

Sandstorm – Darude

Kilometre 8

I’m still running – it’s a miracle. I’ve surprised myself. Slight concern however that the walkers behind me will catch me up.

Mrs Runner Coach confirms it in her American drawl – I’ve slipped back in pace.

Music on iPod

Something kinda Oooh – Girls Aloud

Red Alert – Basement Jaxx

Kilometre 9

My limbs are decidedly tired now. Reached the observatory gardens and spied the Richmond Lock. Salvation. The end is in sight.

Music on iPod

Everybody’s Free – Rozalla

Evacuate the Dance Floor - Cascada

Kilometre 10 

Over the lock, up the hill (ouch), across the traffic lights (attempt to look like I haven’t just crawled through 10k in case anyone I know drives past).

Mrs Running Coach confirms I’m ridiculously slow. I’ve just run 10k. Roll on the Bupa 10K and come on you sponsors.

Music on iPod

I got a feeling – Black Eyed Peas 

One more time

On Sunday 27 May, please cheer on me and other runners for The Children's Society at this year's Bupa London 10k. We'll be in purple jerseys. We'll also have a cheering station near Embankment tube stop.

By Kate Wareham, Senior Regional Fundraising and Development Manager

More information

By Kate Wareham - Fundraising and events team

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