5 tips on training for the AJC Peachtree Road Race

Here's a look back at some images from the 50th AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on Thursday, July 4, 2019.

Many runners have Georgia on their mind as they prepare for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race, the largest 10-kilometer race in the world — a title the race has held onto for decades.

The 6.2-mile course will follow its usual route beginning at Lenox Square and finishing in Piedmont Park. It will also have a virtual option, which allows runners and walkers to continue the Independence Day tradition from all over the world.

If you will be training for the Peachtree Road Race as your very first 10-kilometer race, or if you are simply considering a 10-kilometer race elsewhere, there’s a thing or two you need to know about the not-so-common distance and how to train for your first race.

A 10K is 6.2 miles. That’s a big jump from the distance in the popular 5K, but still a lot more manageable than a full (or even half) marathon.

So lace up and let's get started with the most important things you need to know about training for your first 10K.

Prep your feet

Running is a fairly inexpensive hobby, but you’ll need the right pair of shoes that support your foot type including arch type, flex point, heel, instep, length and width. Confused? Don’t be. You can visit your nearest specialty-running store to get fitted for no extra cost.

Put in the time

A beginner’s plan for a 10K typically runs at least eight weeks. Your workouts will range from less than 30 minutes to about an hour and a half. Plan ahead and try to stick to a consistent routine of when you’ll get your runs in. It can be difficult to stick to a plan if you’re doing your workouts at random times each day.

Be consistent

Running requires a significant mental effort and training requires self-discipline. Do not — do not — skip a single workout unless you are experiencing some sort of injury or sickness. Even if it’s raining, find a way to get your workout in. Once you have a few weeks behind you, you’ll find that you are more dedicated to keeping your training plan flawless.

Take care of yourself

By choosing to train for a race, you’ve done a great thing for yourself. Sticking to a training plan will help you become healthier physically, mentally and emotionally. However, you’ll get the most of your training plan if you choose to be healthy in other areas of your life. Eat a balanced diet, stretch, sleep well and avoid excessive stress.

Find ways to stay motivated

Whether it’s training with a friend or following a running blog, it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize, which is finishing a 10K and being proud of it.

These elements of training are just as important as your actual plan. To execute a plan, you have to be prepared for the time and effort it will take. The internet is filled with 10K training plans for all levels of runners. Find one that works for you that you know you can achieve.

Keep up to date on training, cheering on the runners, and more by signing up for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race newsletter.