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10 ways to run your first 10k this year

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 January 2017

Young and old enjoy the Great Newham Run

Young and old enjoy the Great Newham Run

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Handy tips to help achieve your running goals

Competitors embrace at the end of the Great Newham Run Competitors embrace at the end of the Great Newham Run

The UK running boom is in full flight, with more than 2.2 million people participating at least once a week – an increase from 1.4 million in 2005-6, according to the latest Sport England figures.

Whether you’ve dabbled with the odd short run, or have never even stepped out the door, these beginner running tips from Great Run Ambassador and former GB athlete Jonny Mellor will see you through to your first 10k this summer.

The Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run takes place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 2 and finishes inside the stadium on the same track to play host to Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, and Hannah Cockroft at the 2017 World ParaAthletics and IAAF World Athletics Championships just two weeks later. It might seem daunting at first, but the 10k is a really fun event to train for and doesn’t require as much training as a half or full marathon – so it’s much easier to fit around our increasingly busy lifestyles.

The Great Newham Run finishes on the track inside the London Stadium The Great Newham Run finishes on the track inside the London Stadium

Follow these training tips to get you race-ready in 2017

1. Sign up: The first thing to do is to sign up and commit. By signing up to an event it suddenly becomes more realistic and will help motivate you through training on cold, dark nights if you’ve got a target to aim for.

Christine Ohuruogu faces the camera with other runners at the Great Newham Run Christine Ohuruogu faces the camera with other runners at the Great Newham Run

2. Follow a training plan: Signing up for a training plan is a great place to start when aiming to take part in your first 10k. Great Run Training offers free plans that take into account your current fitness level and help provide you with a structured and progressive plan in an easy to follow format.

3. Run/walk: Don’t be afraid to mix periods of walking with running as you safely and gradually increase the distance. Time on your feet is just as important during the early stages of training and will help prevent injury and illness. Remember – however slow you think you are, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch!

4. Find a training partner: Having a training partner or a group of friends you can run with is great for motivation, making it much easier to train for the longer distance. If you arrange to meet a friend or group for a run, you’ll be more inclined to keep the date to avoid letting them down. Plus, running with friends is much more fun!

5. Make the time: Now you’ve committed to run your first 10k, you’ll need to put the work into training, which means being more organised. Consider running before work, on your lunch break, or to/from work, leaving you with more free time after you finish for other commitments.

6. Nail your nutrition: Now you’re running more you need to pay more attention to how you fuel and recover after training. Make sure you’re well hydrated before, during and after training as well as replenishing your body with carbohydrates, protein and vitamins and minerals post training.

7. Get social: There are plenty of running groups and online chats on social media - join the conversation and follow the Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run on Facebook for more training tips and advice in the lead up to the event.

8. Join Great Run Local: Why not join in your nearest Great Run Local session, a free, weekly timed 5km or 2km run (one at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where the Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run takes place so you can get used to the course!)

9. Track your progress: Keep a training diary and take photos from your runs to see how far you’ve come. When the going gets tough you can look back on everything you’ve achieved and be inspired to keep going.

10. Do it again: Once you’ve completed your first 10k, visit greatrun.org to find your next event.

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run 10km and 2km Family Run are open now, sign up at greatrun.org/newham.

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