It's here! The final week of your training programme

WITH the Rudolph Run 10k taking place in Eskra on Saturday, December 4, host club Knockmany Running Club have prepared a six-week training plan aimed at runners who are hoping to improve their 10k time or running their first 10k and provides a training structure.

In the final week, we focus on executing that perfect race.

Well done - all the hard work is behind you from the last five weeks of a tough training programme.

For week six, the training will focus on getting you ready for race day.

In the week before any big race it is not advised to do any tough sessions or introduce anything new into your training programme like lifting heavy weights or starting a new bootcamp class. Just stick to your usual regime.

For your diet, eat healthily and try not to indulge in junk food. Eat plenty of clean food and follow a balanced diet.

The night before you should eat a dish with plenty of carbohydrates such as brown rice, pasta or potatoes and also keep hydrated, aiming to drink two litres of water each day in race week. On the morning of the race, have a bowl of highly nutritious cereal such as porridge and banana - also keep drinking water. Some runners swear by a coffee for a hit of caffeine to get them going.

When you get to the race venue after you park and get your race number, warm up for at least 20 minutes before the race at a slow pace with some faster slides to get the heart rate up. Also, do some dynamic stretch and hold stretches after you are well warmed up.

The most important aspect of the race is your pace, trust the training. Do not go out too fast or you will pay for it. It is much better to start off your pace slower and get into the race instead of going too fast and falling off - you will find it difficult to recover.

When you approach the hills, pull back and you will recover time on the downhill sections. Getting the right pace is essential and similar to walking a tightrope – where you can fall off and not recover.

But you have done all the training so be positive and enjoy the race. Stay strong and focused, visualise the finish line and don’t be put off by others runners overtaking you. You may overtake the same runners if you have executed your race perfectly.

Think how good you will feel when you cross the finish line!

The benefit of the Rudolph Run is having five experienced runners for pacing – 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 minutes. So if you are unsure about your pace then follow a pacer! This will be a good chance to achieve a milestone and also fall in with other runners at a similar level.

For week six runners should aim to have four sessions as follows:

Tempo training session - gently warm-up for 15 minutes, then for five minutes break into a slow jog, followed by five minutes at 10k pace - repeat three times for a total of 30 minutes. Practice makes perfect for your race preparation. Then finish off with 10 minutes of recovery and some gentle stretches.

A three-mile slow recovery run. Recovering from your training is just as important as the workouts themselves. Use these days to do easy running, based on how you feel, to help you recover after intense training.

One cross-training session is encouraged each week such as yoga, swimming, pilates – but nothing too strenuous for race week

Race day – good luck! see you in Eskra on Saturday for your 10k, enjoy the race and put all the hard training to good use.

Rudolph Run 5k and 10k entries are now available online and it's encouraged to enter early to avoid missing out on Rudolph Run Beanie hats (first 250 entries). No entries will be taken on race day.

See and Rudolph Run Facebook/Twitter pages for registration links.

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