I am excited to write that I ran my fastest 10K race over the weekend! I ran the Western Springs Tower Trot, which is a local race for me.

Running a fast time is always fun, but the race itself was a good time too. It was well organized and the weather was beautiful – ideal running conditions at cool and sunny.

At a time of 48:14, I’m proud of my accomplishment and certainly gives me momentum to towards my next race.

In this post I want to share how I ran my fastest 10K. It started back in January but I’m not going to do a month-by-month commentary of what happened. Instead, I’ve boiled my training down to a three key steps that will hopefully help you in your next race.

Spartan Strength Training

In January, I got serious and strategic about strength training. It started with Quick Strength for Runners, then progressed to Spartan-style strength training.

What makes this type of strength training important? The exercises focus on multiple muscle groups. This led me to become stronger for running and more importantly injury free.

The other tip that helped me was to change my workout plan every 4-6 weeks. This kept my body guessing and not hitting a comfort level. Plus, this tip made strength training fun and motivated me to get to the gym.

Speed Training

Let’s go back to January for a second. 2013 had been a rough year as injuries plagued me. Going into January I was determined to stay injury free. Yoga and strength training were big assets but something I never really grasped was a running training plan. I used to blindly go out an run – my best. Every run had to be my fastest. This mentality did not play out well for me; it’s not a smart training approach.

I read up on how to run smarter and varying workouts was a key ingredient. I leveraged tempo runs once or twice a week. My long runs were at a comfortable pace. I’d mix it up with some hill repeats. Bottom line, when I went on a run, I had a plan. It wasn’t just to run or run my race pace. Each run contributed to my overall training. More importantly, I stayed injury free in the process.

Technology Helped Along the Way

Establishing a pace had to do with help from technology. I run pretty much exclusively with the Strava mobile app. I use the setting that allows me to call out my mile splits. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been able to better gauge what a 8:30, 8:15, 8:00, or a 7:45 minute mile feel like.

My goal for my next race would be to really progress in time. It might have been my fastest 10K but not a perfect one.

Final Thoughts on Running My Fastest 10K

I had a lot of fun running the Western Springs Tower Trot. The weather was great, the course was familiar, and my training paid off.

The other benefit of running a race so close to home: I walked from my house to the starting line. That’s a nice to have. I literally walked from my door to the starting line with less than ten minutes to spare. Not bad.

Finally, my wife was a big help. I was contemplating not even running this race because of my son’s soccer game took place the same time as the race. Plus, we had painting to do in our basement. She convinced me to it and I’m glad I did – not because I ran my fastest 10K because the race experience was fun. The best part was seeing my family at the end of the race.

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