Getting the race distance under my belt.

I'm a real beginer runner and am due to do my longest ever race at the end of October, the Great South Run (10 miles) i am not following a training plan so need a bit of advice from those with more knowledge and experience than me.

I did my first ever 10km last month which was great so i have been keeping my long runs at around 7-8 miles for the last few weeks to keep the momentum going. I know i need to up this so i know i can do the full distance before the day but not sure when i should do this. Do i up the milage over the next 2-3 weeks and do it then and go back to 7-8 for the weeks prior to the race. Or do i wait and keep doing my usual run for a few more weeks and then up it closer to the day. Does it actually make any difference is it more a mental thing for a first timer knowing that i can do it?


Sorry for the long gabbled post, if you have made it through without gouging your eyes out with spoons then any help will be appreciated, thanks.



  • Liz

    I have completed several 10 milers and always benefitted from having done at least 3 training runs of that distance prior to a race. The benefits are both physical (increased endurance) and psychological (you're not expending energy worrying if you can last the distance) Its one less factor to have to consider. If its done at long slow run pace then I would do my last one 2 weeks before the event. Come the last week of training I would recommend cutting your mileage by 50% to ensure you take to the start line refreshed and raring to go. RW have a no programmes on the net which would be helpful to follow.      

    Best of luck 

    PS Garbled is good!


  • I agree with John's comments above. You have time to increase up  to a 10 miler then bring it down again in time for the race. Portsmouth is a big event and the crowds of runners will keep you from racing off to fast at the start, so long as you are in the correct pen to start with. Enjoy it as its scenic and don't worry about being last, there are always a few that walk it.

  • Liz, congratulations on your first 10K.

    If you can get your long run up to and even a mile or two PAST your race distance it's not only good training but it's a really good psychological advantage on the day - if  you're getting tired during the race it's great to be able to tell yourself "well, I've run 12 miles a couple of times in training, so I know I can do 10!"

    You've got a few weeks, so see if you can up the length of your long run by a mile a week for two or three weeks, then drop back to 8, then up it again (e.g. 8 - 9 - 10 - 8 10 - 11 - 12 - 6 - RACE.

    Have your last proper long run a couple of weeks before the race then taper, as I've indicated with these long runs, but also decrease your shorter runs in the last week or so to make sure you're nicely rested on the day. 

  • Ok brilliant i'll start building up so that a can do 2-3 full length practices and then taper for race day.  7ish miles felt so much easier this morning than the first time i did it so makes sense to get up to 10 and stick there for a while so it seems like a normal sunday run come race day.  I just didn't know if it would be to much as i am not used to the distances.


    Thanks for all your help, i'm really looking forward to it and already the thought of finding a half marathon to do is creeping into my head. I mean it's only 3 more milesimage

  • Sorry i cross postedwith you Debra, you right going past race distance is worth doing seen as though i have the time.


  • Liz, watch out, you'll be over with us ultra-running nuts before you know it! image And yes, if you can do a 10 miler than you can train for and run a half-marathon no problem.

    Seriously, the physical benefits of going over distance are good, but the psychological benefits are even better!

    When I was starting to really increase the length of my long runs, I found that the first time I reached a certain distance it was hard. The next long run, when I was going past that, the distance I'd done once previously was okay, it was the NEW extra couple of miles that were hard...

  • Not sure about ever even contemplating an ultra those distances are immense.

    Looks like atleast an 8 miler for me next weekend, i'd best get a route sorted. Thanks for all your help.

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