Moving from a 5K to a 10K

Jennifer Bonn
Photo byJen Bonn

Go Mental

Going double the distance is even more mental than it is physical. There are several things that you can do mentally to make the difference between the two races easier. Divide the race into several parts and instead of thinking that you are doing a 10k click off each new mile as one more step to the finish. If your 10k is a looping course, don’t think at the 5k mark that you have to do that all over again; instead, think that you are halfway through. Have a mantra that you can repeat when you are feeling tired. Simple statements like “I am strong, I can do this.” work wonders. If you want to stop and walk, set physical goals to meet such as I am going to run to the garbage can. If you have to walk, walk for about thirty seconds and then run again. Believe that you can do it.

Pace yourself

It is so easy to get caught up in the starting frenzy. In a 5k you can recover from going out too fast but in a 10k going too fast for too long could make the race a disaster. Force yourself to start out slowly and build up speed if you feel comfortable. As you run more races you will be able to see what you are capable of doing.


Anyone can make it through a 5k without drinking, but it is a good idea to make sure that you are well-hydrated for a longer race. This does not only mean that you should drink during the race but well before the race as well.

Set realistic goals

Setting goals gives you something to shoot for. Make sure that the goals are realistic. You want to push yourself a little bit but you don’t want to end up discouraged. Some people believe that just crossing the finish line is a good goal.

Train for it.

The best way to feel confident about longer distances is to do them before the race. I like to be running consistently longer than whatever I am racing. If a 10k is my goal, I will make 8 miles a normal run for me. If you can do some hills and some speed training, you will be even more confident.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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