Your essential guide to the Vitality London 10,000
A 10K event like the Vitality London 10,000 represents a meaningful challenge that’s also achievable for beginners and, importantly, training for it can be easily fitted into your lifestyle.
If you’re tempted to take on the Vitality London 10,000 but would like a bit more insight into what it’s all about before signing up, read on!
How do I start?
To help you through the 10K maze, simply follow this three-step checklist:
Check it’s safe for you to begin exercising. If you’ve not exercised for some time, have a check-up with your GP before you begin.
Evaluate your fitness levels. You need to know where you are before you can progress – so sit down and honestly assess where your running and general fitness levels currently are.
Select a training plan. Trying to prepare for the Vitality London 10,000 without a training plan is like trying to find your way to a new town without a map. Check out our training plans to find one that is right for your fitness levels and will take you safely towards your goal.
What should I wear?
To start your training, basic shorts and a T-shirt and/or sweatshirt is pretty much all you need. There is an excellent range of running-specific kit available that will keep you dry, will help you to avoid any chafing problems and will be light and comfortable to wear – but to begin with you’ll probably find that you already own enough gear to get you started.
However, one area of kit where you shouldn't compromise is on running shoes – and it is certainly worth investing in a proper pair of running-specific trainers. Seek out a specialist retailer who can give you advice and, if necessary, assess your gait, so that you can find the most suitable shoe for your running style. Remember that a good pair of running shoes is an investment in comfort and injury prevention, and will repay you again and again long after your initial outlay.
What should I eat and drink?
Correct nutrition and hydration are an essential part of both your Vitality London 10,000 preparation and during the event itself. Without the correct fuel – and enough of it! – you will be unable to complete the longer runs, and so paying close attention to your diet is key.
As a runner, you need to be consuming plenty of ‘slow-release’ carbohydrate to provide you with energy – which means food choices such as pasta are ideal. As a rule of thumb, you typically burn at least 100 calories per mile on top of your general daily calorie requirements – so it is important that your body is supplied with enough of the correct type of fuel.
Also, don’t neglect your fluid intake, because your fluid requirements will increase both for storing fuel in your muscles and because you will lose more fluid through sweating.
How much training do I need to do?
Up to a point, the more training you’re able to complete, the better. However, remember that the most important component of any training plan is rest – so you balance building up your 10K-specific fitness with sufficient recovery.
Use the guide below to help gauge how much time you need to commit per week. Your plan should consist of a careful blend of long runs, recovery sessions and faster-paced training as you build your endurance so that you’ll be able to run for 60 minutes or longer.
Training times vs finishing times
- Training for less than three hours per week = a target finishing time of 65 minutes or above
- Training for three to four hours per week = a target finishing time of between 55 and 65 minutes
- Training for four to five hours per week = a target London 10,000 finishing time of between 45 and 55 minutes
How long will the Vitality London 10,000 take me?
Depending on the weather conditions and any unpredictable events that occur, your 10K may be faster or slower than your target time – so the finishing times above are just a guide.
It is also important to remember you will actually be on the road for longer than your target time. It may take up to several minutes to cross the Start Line at the Vitality London 10,000 – but with computerised timing systems, we’ll be able to record your personal time from crossing the Start Line to crossing the Finish Line.
At the start and finish, as well as at various points around the course, you will cross special mats that register your time as you pass over them– which will provide you with an exact time for your own 10K.
What happens on Vitality London 10,000 Event Day?
The day will be a fantastic experience that you’ll never forget. In addition to running, the build-up and culmination of all your training makes everything worthwhile.
You need to rise early so that you can top up your energy stores before heading for the Start. There will be many thousands of participants – which will make for an amazing atmosphere! While the exact start procedure is always subject to change, in usual years everyone will line up in positions according to their expected finishing time – indicated by placards at the side of the road – and then the start gun will fire and you’ll be off!
En route there will be Drinks Stations where you can top up with water and/or energy replacement drinks. Running in a huge field is very exciting but can take a little getting used to – so entering a lead-in event such as a 5K will give you very useful experience.
Pace judgement is very important, and your training plan will help you to prepare for running at an even, consistent pace. There are usually big crowds at the Finish, and crossing the line and achieving your goal is a memory that will stay with you forever!
Once you’ve finished, you’ll receive your medal, food and drink, and a goody bag with a souvenir finisher’s T-shirt and other products (again, this may vary from year to year), and then it’s time to celebrate!
A few days after the event (or even sooner!) you can expect to receive your resultand a selection of photographs taken around the course of you in action – which will be excellent mementoes.