Help with advise for my first 10k

Have been running on a treadmill for the last 6mths. Have entered the Ashford 10k,which goes in a couple of weeks. Questions I need answering are: Race starts at 11am,what to eat pre race and how long before? How much water to drink before as I get dehydrated very quickly? How many days rest before the big day? Thanks in anticipation. Stuart


  • Hi Stuart, well done on entering your first 10k.  Don't do anything too different from your normal running routine, and definitely don't try anything new on race day!  You definitely don't want to try something on the day because someone says its best on here, only to find it makes you sick or sends you running for the loo mid race!   Its quite a personal thing, before a 10k at 11am, I would normally have a bowl of porridge when I get up then a banana about 10am.  I don't tend to drink too much in the morning, as I would then end up spending most of the pre-race morning in the loo queue! My indicator is usually how hydrated I am (ie is my urine straw coloured) and I usually focus more on staying hydrated the day before.  But again, everyone is different.  Do you know if there is water available on the route? If so, how much (cup or bottle)?  That might help you judge. 

    In terms of rest days, I would judge it by my aim.  For example, for our clubs championship, I had a day off running the day before.  However, if I was doing it as part of training for another event, I may still run before.  You won't lose any fitness by taking a few days off, so go with what feels right and fits in with your fitness.

    Sorry I don't have any definitive answers.  But different things work for different people and part of running in a race is finding out what works best for you.  Some times you'll get it right, other times you won't but you'll learn from it.  Good luck!

  • Brilliant. Thanks Fiona for taking the time to respond to my query. It is very helpful.
  • I did my first 10k not that long ago and really enjoyed it. The above advice all seems sensible. The only thing I would add is make sure you have done some road running before you race as the treadmill is quite a bit different to road running ( I do both ).

    Also with regards to drinking, I'd test this in one of your practice runs before the day but I have a good drink just five minutes before a run, probably 200-300 mil. You wont need the loo as when you start running apparently the kidney stops processing and it doesnt have time to get through the system anyway. It certainly helps me and I sweat a fair bit.

    With rest days if the race is Sunday I wouldn't run after Weds or Thursday but thats just me.

  • Thanks Scrumpie,very helpful. I had also thought that I should do some road running. I'm training every other day now,but I'm struggling to get past 7ks,running at 11.5 k/hr pace. Hoping it will improve over the next couple of weeks. I'm 47,so not a spring chicken anymore.
  • Personally I'd drop the pace for the runs, and you will definately get to 10k if you are doing 7k and then you know you have done this before the race. Its just a bit of a confidence boost. I just ran the furthest I have by running nice and steady. Its much easier! Your pace is 51 minute 10k pace which is pretty good going.


  • Agree with scrumpie. Slow down.

  • Fuelling for a 10k isn't a problem. Don't eat anything heavy that will sit your stomach and be hard to digest. Porridge or cereal and toast is great. I'd eat about 2 hours before. No need for any gels or sports drinks. I'd sip about 250-500 ml of water from 60 mins to 30 mins before the start. I really wouldn't drink anything 5 minutes before as that massively increases the chance of a stitch. You will need to drink during a 10k in January (assuming you are in the UK) - you will probably sweat much more indoors on a treadie than outside.

    Pace wise slow down a bit. Most people can run a lot faster in a race than training, but you want your first experience to be a positive one. Set off a little more conservatively, and if you get to 6k and are feeling good start to push a bit more (if the wheels fall off at 8k then there's not too far to hang on). 

    Regarding resting before. I would do my last longer run the weekend before as normal, and then cut back any runs on Monday to Weds (or Thurs) by a mile or so. You may want to just rest Fri and Sat (poss Thurs as well) - how much depends on how hard your training has been. However, I like to go for a very gentle couple of miles the day before a race, otherwise I start to feel a bit stale and doubts creep in, even though it's stupid - all the training is done by then. 

    Everyone is different, it's just a case of trying some things out and then reflecting on what seemed to work, and what didn't.

  • Thanks to Chubby and Exciled. All the info is much appreciated and is helping to increase my confidence. I'm loving the buzz I'm getting from training for a specific challenge. It is great having a goal. I'm planning on cycling the 10k route on Sunday to get a feel for it,as its very local to me.
  • Good idea - it's always good to get an idea of what to expect. Usually you have to make do with a map & try and get hold of an elevation profile. Good idea to know where the hills are, and save a little bit for them. Going up hills on a bike is often much more noticeable than running them. It's also nice to get the last km or so fixed in your head so you know just what's left, and know when you can floor it and still be able to finish!

  • I don't want to disagree with exiled about drinking before running because people have got much more experience than me. However I find if I drink 60 mins before a run I need to go to the loo just before the race/ run starts so I always now have a good drink 5 - 10 mins before a run and I've never had a stitch. If you try it in training you'll know whether you get a stitch or not.

  • Well, I always make sure I go to the loo 5-10 mins before the start of the race anway - there's no point in carrying extra unnecessary weight round with you! If you've drunk earlier, then you know you are well hydrated and the stuff in your bladder is excess you don't need. But as I said, what you really need to do is just try stuff and see if it works - different people do stuff quite differently, and Scrumpie and I have both found what works for us.,

    I didn't mention it earlier, but it's a good idea to have a good clear out of the other stuff too - don't carry the weight, but also you don't want to have to have a "gingerbreadman" (listen to marathontalk for any length of time and you'll hear plenty of people who get this wrong!).

  • Really appreciate the feed back. The training now seems to be paying off,as I managed 8ks fairly easy yesterday and felt good but only stopped as I had a hamstring start to feel a bit tight. Going to contact the ashford Pilgrims Hospice as I may as well raise a few pounds for such a worthy cause. Am itching to go for a run now every other day. Hoping for anything other than snow on the big day, Feb 4th. Thanks to all the above.
  • Had a great day on Sunday at my first 10k ,at the Ashford and district road race. Ran 53.00 mins and am now hooked and aiming for my next race to get a PB. Also raised ??401 for Pilgrims Hospice. Am still buzzing. Must mention the race marshals who were great. Didn't know if they were clapping to keep warm or to spur the runners on....a bit of both I suspect. Have heard there were complaints about the race starting a few mins early. News to me as I timed it at 11.07.
  • Well done Stuart! A great start, and a good challenge to beat your new pb.

    Marshalls are superstars!

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