You have signed up for a 10km run and it is time to start training. Here are five tips to keep in mind on the day of your run and the time leading up to it.

1. Stretch, stretch, stretch!

Stretching before and after you run is important no matter how serious the run is. It does not matter if you are on a serious training program, or on a social jog with girlfriends, stretching before running is very important for avoiding injury. Start at your neck and head and move all the way down to warming up your ankles, arches and toes.

2. Hydration

Try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. It is essential that your body stays hydrated all the way through training and into your 10km run. By hydrating your body as part of your training you will reduce the risk of dehydrating during your race.

3. Set goals

Whether this is your first 10km run, or you 100th, setting goals for yourself is an important part of pre-run preparation. The first goal you must set is your star goal. This goal is one you might not be able to attain, but you are aiming for in the very best case scenario. Secondly set your moderate goal which is attainable if you run competitively, as per your training regime. Lastly set your minimum goal. This is the time that you must finish by. This way you know how to pace yourself and can track your progress.

4. Train effectively

Training for a 10km run needs time – so start your training regime well before the race. Scale your training from easy runs in the beginning to your achieving your moderate goal by the week of your race. Do not push yourself too hard during training to avoid injuring yourself.

5. When is it safe to eat?

Get to know how your body works through your training. Generally eating a large meal two hours before your race, 30 minutes for snacks, is safe for most women.

With an effective training program you can comfortably reach your moderate goal. Who knows, you may just surprise yourself and reach an even better time! When you train well you can enjoy the freedom and peace that can only be found in running – and experience the energy and excitement of a 10K without a having to worry about injury, dehydration, or discomfort.