Short-Term Preparation for a 10km Race

Short Term Preparation for a 10km Race

The final 2 days leading up to race day are very important. The last workouts, equipment / mental prep, logistical planning and meal planning can have a major impact upon performance.


2 Days Before

Penultimate Workout:

Your penultimate workout before the race should be relatively easy to avoid fatigue on race day, a relatively short run of 3-4km at a comfortable pace is ideal. To help prepare your nervous system for race day this session should include 5 bouts of a 30sec ‘relaxed’ sprints.


Post this workout you should start Carb-Loading, research shows that increasing meals to include a very high level of carbohydrates leading up to an event is sufficient to maximize muscle glycogen stores.

Glycogen is the body’s main source of stored energy and is converted into sugar (glucose) for energy during exercise. The best time to start this is right after this short workout.

Stay off your feet:

Try to avoid activity the rest of the day and stay off your feet, ensure your glycogen stores are fully replenished and you are completely recovered for your race.


The Day Before

Last Workout:

A slow jog the day before the event to relieve tension and get rid of any pre-race anxieties also helping you sleep the night before the race.

Pack Your Bag:

Packing your bag early or the day before the race ensures you’re not rushing around at the last minute. Try and pack clothes for different weather conditions and don’t forget to take all of your running essentials including, race number, any energy bars or gels, drinks, sun cream, change of clothes, tissues, safety pins, plasters and the timing chip provided.

Run in something comfortable that you have worn already during training. New kit may cause chafing, blisters or general discomfort.

Pack something warm for standing around in before the race starts, many runners use old T-shirts for this, which they can throw away just before running. Owwww and charge your GPS watch!

Continue Carb-Loading:

The night before, eat a meal that is high in carbohydrate with a little bit of lean protein, such as pasta with salmon. This is important for maximizing glycogen in the muscles. This should be done as well as ensuring your fluid intake is high, hydration levels have a huge impact upon performance.


Race Day

Make sure you eat something:

Even if it’s too early for you to feel hungry, try and eat a light meal consisting of foods that you have tried out before a training run. Drink some water or a sports drink, whichever you usually use. Where possible always try and stick with what you’ve tried before.

Eating later within an hour before the start of a race can affect the blood sugar levels of some people, so it may be wise not to eat during this period and again stick with what you know.

Run in something comfortable that you have worn already during training. New kit may cause chafing, blisters or general discomfort.

During The Race:

The first few miles can be very crowded. Many people tire themselves out by dodging in and out of other runners because they’re behind on race plans. Try to maintain an even pace and enjoy the event.

Use mile markers as a reminder to review how you’re feeling focus on your posture, breathing and pace. Ensure you are drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated.

Post Race:

Try to eat something as soon as you can after crossing the finish line. Choose something easy to digest, such as a banana. The sooner you eat, the quicker you will start to recover, but unless you’re planning another event, the timing of your energy replacement isn’t too important.

What matters is that over the next 24 hours you eat enough to allow your body to refuel and this should consist of fluid, electrolytes (normal body salts), carbohydrate and protein.