The ELLE Running Club: How to run a 10k

Nike answers your key running questions

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Despite running for several years, I still consider myself a novice.

Why? I’m very erratic with training and have little knowledge of technique and nutrition.

Lucky enough for me, this week I got to ask all the questions I’ve been dying to know the answers to whenever I’m working up a sweat running through Victoria Park.

What should I eat? How should I run? Which stretches are best? It’s all here thanks to Nike Master Trainer Joslyn Thompson

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The key to training for a 10k

Is consistency. You need to run at least 2-3 times per week. A mix of sprint, hill and one longer distance session is ideal.

My top 3 running tips…

1. Don't underestimate the benefits of strength training - a strong body will make a strong, injury-free runner.

2. Know that your recovery is as important as the actual training itself. Take time to stretch, mobilise and give your body some TLC.

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3. Be patient with the process. In time, with consistency, you will get better.

The best position for your feet when running…

Is on the balls of the feet. The body cannot move forward efficiently until the centre of mass passes the ball of the foot.

If you do just one post-run stretch, do this…

It’s dependent onthe individual but I really like stretching out the hip flexors. Kneel down in a lunge position with your right leg in front; squeeze the bottom tight and push the hips forward to feel a stretch in the top of the left hip; lift the left arm up and over to the right to increase the stretch in the left hip; hold this stretch for 1-2 minutes. Repeat on the other side.

The best pre and post running foods

I suggest a good mix of carbohydrate and protein pre-running. If that's early morning perhaps a small piece of fruit and some nuts, as long as you can stomach it at that time. Post-running, it is important to eat within an hour of exercise. Again a good mix of carbohydrate and protein will aid recovery fast. Perhaps some chicken or fish with some vegetables that include sweet potato.

The ideal running surface…

It is better for our ligaments and tendons to run on slightly uneven surfaces which will make them stronger. Running on the pavement can create more wear and tear on the connective tissues in the body and so grass or any similar uneven terrain is preferable.

The most common myth about running…

People think you have to run for miles and miles to get better and faster. Short bursts of sprints or hill training will make you both a fitter and more powerful runner, rather than just running long slow steady paces day in, day out. You need to train smarter, not harder.

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