Q&A: How to Build Fitness for Your Next 10K

I’m doing the Oakley New York Mini 10K and I’m not sure what I should be doing now, when I want to train hard and build strength, and what I should do in the last two weeks before the race, when I want to save my energy. Do you have any guidelines?

 

With five weeks until the Oakley New York Mini 10K, you should plan a mix of running, cross-training, strengthening, and rest for the next four weeks, followed by decreased mileage and cross-training in the week prior to the race.

This week, make your longest run this between three and four miles. You can increase the distance of your longest weekly run in the following three weeks, but follow the 10% rule: Don’t increase your total weekly mileage more than 10% from one week to the next, to keep your injury risk low. Aim to run three or four times a week, cross-train or strengthen two or three times a week, and rest one or two days a week during this period.

Strength-training should include your core, glutes, and hips. Some great exercises are planks, squats, step-downs (use an eight-inch step), and side-steps with resistance bands.

Foam-rolling and stretching are other excellent ways to keep your injury risk low and reduce the normal soreness that can accompany training. If you don’t have time to foam-roll and stretch on your running days, then do it on your non-running days. It’s also important to listen to your body and take extra rest days if you feel more sore or tired than usual.

During the week before the New York Oakley Mini 10K, scale back the distance and intensity of your runs and cross-training sessions and do little to no strength-training. Take two rest days right before the race; you can go on a short walk if you wish, foam-roll, and stretch. It’s also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids in the days leading up to the race.

Remember, on race day, have fun! You earned this moment with all the training leading up to the Oakley Mini 10k. Good luck!

ABOUT THIS CONTRIBUTOR

Lauren Alix

Lauren Alix, PT, DPT, CSCS, is a doctor of physical therapy at Hospital for Special Surgery. She has run two marathons and numerous other road races, and enjoys helping runners become better at their sport through running analysis, training, and rehabilitation when needed. Lauren is passionate about injury prevention in athletes, and specializes in treating orthopedic injuries. She received her doctorate in physical therapy from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

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