Fitness

How to run 10km (and actually enjoy yourself while doing it)

Does jogging non-stop for 10km seem impossible? Well, according to Nike running coach Matty Abel, it definitely is not. In fact, it’s much easier than you may have ever realised.

By: Ellie McDonald

Ever told yourself you can't run? And, that if faced with a 2K jog, you'd probably keel over from exhaustion in the first 500m? Me, too.

That is, I used to tell myself this until I bit the bullet and enlisted the help of Nike running coach Matty Abel.

You see, according to research, running brings a raft of health benefits; with each kilometre spent jogging, you're strengthening your heart muscles, upping your endorphins and burning fat (fast). Not only that, but running is just as much about building physical stamina as it is mental strength.

"I personally believe running makes the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and clear the mind," Matty tells me. "Some people use it as their form of meditation and time to switch off."

"I know that for new runners, running can be quite daunting so I'd suggest breaking your runs into run/walk sections until you're comfortable to run a certain time without stopping," he adds.

Still feeling a little daunted by a big run? Let Matty calm your nerves: here, he reveals his top tips and tricks for literally going this (running) distance - and how to wholeheartedly enjoy yourself along the way.

Because as Matty says: "It's never too late to lace up and get out there!"

How to get motivated if you really, REALLY don’t feel like running

Schedule in a run with a friend as this will keep you accountable. It's easy to give up on yourself and stay warm in bed, but if you've committed to your friend, you'll be there.

My other top tip? Join a running group and make it a social event! It'll feel like you're in a team, and will motivate you to show up and train. Finish off the run by enjoying a healthy reward with your running mates, like a fresh juice or coffee from your favourite café - knowing there's a reward will give an additional hit of motivation.

How long it actually takes up to build up to running a 10K

Depending on where your current fitness is at and how committed you are, it may take a few runs or it may take a few weeks. I suggest starting off with easy broken runs. Once you can run up to 2km without stopping you will want to increase by 1km each week until you're running 10km without stopping.

What you wear will make you in smarter - and faster - not harder

Firstly, wearing the right gear is vital. You want to feel comfortable and supported from the ground up. For women looking for a new pair of runners, I'd suggest the new Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 that is tuned to the female runner. It feels super responsive and supportive so it's perfect for your everyday runs.

Secondly, it's also important to track your training to ensure you're not over-training or building up your weekly mileage too quickly. Try using the Nike+ Run Club App, which is free to download via the App Store. There's also Audio Guided Runs on there now where athletes, coaches and even comedians like Kevin Hart act as your in-ear coach, motivating and guiding you on your run.

Lastly, it's helpful to have a supportive network. Nothing is better for your progression than having a group of family or friends running with you or even supporting you from the sidelines.

The three stages of getting to 10km

I generally set 3 stages for someone building into a 10km

Stage 1 – Base training
Base training is all about building up your easy running and getting your ligaments, tendons and muscles stronger for harder work in later stages.

Stage 2 – Quality running
Quality running is where we add in some tempo running, progressive running and hill work. This phase will help you adjust to harder running, make you stronger and increase your mileage.

Stage 3 – Race phase
Race Phase is the final stage and this is where we get to run fast. Everything we have done in the previous stages have led to this. I'd generally set shorter, harder runs and also include some longer runs, which will integrate interval training at race pace.

It's not too late to sign up for a fun run! Start by checking out The Sydney Running Festival to find the best run that suits you.