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Your first 10K- a guide to getting started

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For many runners, the 10k is the first big challenge they accept. Where better to start than the fun, friendly and well-organised Siglion Sunderland 10k on May 13th?

It may be about the glory, the challenge, a target to help lose weight, or just something to keep you motivated throughout the winter. If you are planning on running Sunderland for your first 10k, here are a few hints and tips to help you along the way.

1. Book it. When you are booked in and your entry is confirmed, it gives your challenge that “reality” check. Print out your confirmation, write it on a calendar, tell people. You are less likely to back out of it if people know!

2. Join a group. Running clubs to many are a daunting prospect. But not all club runners are super-fast, and they all started somewhere. Search the Run England website for local beginners groups. They will all have something to offer whether these are your absolute first steps to running, you are moving up from 5k to 10k, or you have a time in mind to achieve. Running groups give structure to your training, help you to share experiences with like minded people and really keep you motivated through the winter.

3. Start Me Up For Sunderland. Get involved in our FREE training sessions planned for every month leading up to the Run Sunderland events. The sessions are fun and inclusive, open to all and led by experienced leaders and coaches to help you along the way. The next session will be announced soon.

4. Be social media savvy. Join Facebook running groups, link to Twitter followers who run, Instagram your training with apps such as Fitsnap to show off your hard work. Encourage healthy competition between you, your friends and training partners by linking your training to Strava if you use GPS. Social media can give you quick, accessible and friendly advice 24hrs a day. Join our account @sunderland10k

5. Vary your workouts. Don’t just go out and run. That will get boring. Vary your running sessions with speed work, intervals, varying pace and doing hill sessions. There are advice and tips on these on most running websites such as Runners World and Womens Running. Remember even a short run is better than no run at all.

6. Get a training plan. Plans show you where to start, and are much less daunting than the idea of immediately getting out and running 10k (6.21miles) all in one go. They will mix up your training, keep you motivated, and gently increase your distance meaning you will get stronger and less likely to get injured. Find training plans at Runners World, Asics, and Bupa wesbites as well as many others.

7. Don’t just run. Mix up your training with gym work, classes, cycling and swimming. The stronger you are, the easier your running will become.

8. Never lose sight of the prize. There will be times you feel like you can’t do it. You will feel tired and every day life will sometimes get in the way. Remember why you are doing it, and think about how you will feel when you cross the finish line on May 13th and you can wear your medal with pride.

Good luck runners, we will see you in May!

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