Next weekend I am running the Women’s Mini 10K in Central Park. I love this race! It’s so fun to run women-only races. There is just a special ambiance in the air that you can’t recreate in co-ed races.

Last year, if you remember, I ran this race and crashed and burned. I was in one of the first corrals (!!!) and was right behind the super speedy elites. Not that I could ever dream of keeping up with them, but my adrenaline was pumping. I think I ran my first mile in 6:30-ish… and just continued to slow down after that. It was too much way too fast.

My strategy for next week’s race is to run it a little smarter.

Well, a lot smarter.

Here are my tips to run a fast 10K:

  • Make sure you rest before the race. A 10K definitely isn’t a marathon, but it still is a significant distance (anything that reaches double digits is significant in my mind!). Because of this, take the night before easy and make sure you fuel properly.
  • Get to the start early. I love doing this because I am relaxed and ready to go. No last minute stress, and gives me an opportunity to stretch so my muscles feel fresh and ready to go.
  • Don’t start out to fast. Duh. I learned my lesson from last year. Instead, start out at a pace that may be 10-20 seconds faster from your ideal pace for the first mile. It will put you in a good position later on in the race.
  • Miles 2-4 are all about setting the stage. Spend the in-between miles as an opportunity to stay at a consistent pace that is fast, but not too fast. Use these miles to settle into your pace and figure out what is comfortable for you. Remember, the weather will help dictate what is your ideal pace for the day.
  • Start picking it up in the 5th mile. The fifth mile is fun because you can say “one more to go.” Use this time to cut off the 10-20 seconds like you did in the first mile.
  • Balls to the wall in the 6th mile. The sixth mile is the LAST ONE. This is when you start picking up the pace for what makes sense. Don’t try and speed up too quickly because you will crash and burn. Pick it up slowly, test out how you feel and determine if you can even push it a little faster.


What are your tips for running a fast 10K?

Favorite race distance? 

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