A return of the Peachtree Road Race to the Fourth of July weekend in 2021 is planned by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This year’s 52nd edition of the 10 kilometer race will take place on Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4. As well as the physical option, participants will be able to map out their own virtual 6.2 mile route.
How To Prepare for The 10K Peachtree Road Race
Prepare yourself for the largest 10K in the world! Atlanta’s AJC Peachtree Road Race has established itself as a Fourth of July tradition and a global race that has well-earned international recognition. Enjoy the festive atmosphere, a beautiful city course that ends in Piedmont Park, and the T-shirts that are popular with finisher’s. Running enthusiasts of all ages and abilities participate in this Fourth of July tradition organized by the Atlanta Track Club.
It isn’t surprising that 10K races are the most popular. A typical 10K race field includes runners who have upped their distance from 5K, others using it to build speed endurance while training for a longer event, and speedsters who make it the primary focus of their season. The race is not the only thing that makes 10K training versatile: It fits into more running goals than any other distance.
1. Newbies: Build mileage slowly
Runners who have completed a 5K can move up to a 10K, but doubling the distance requires adequate preparation. It could mean increasing the length of your run by a quarter or a half mile at a time if your longest run of the week is four miles. You will become stronger if you spend any additional time on your feet, even if it’s just walking. Find beginner-appropriate helpful running tips to help you prepare for the 10K Peachtree road race.
2. Experienced Runners: Bonus Workout
Are you preparing for a marathon? No problem – run the 10K, too! When you train for a marathon, a 10K race can be a bonus speedwork workout, and you may even run your new 10K personal best in the process.
Test your endurance three or four weeks into your training program, then practice starting under control and running in a crowd three or four weeks before your race. Towards the end of your training run, you may have longer mileage, so do those extra miles first, then run the 10K to simulate finishing your goal race strong when you are tired.
As a half- or full-marathoner, you should consider doing shorter races, such as the 10K, to complete your training cycle. The fitness and performance gains you see in a 10K usually extend to longer distances, as it incorporates a good mix of speed and endurance training without totally exhausting you.
3. Change Up Your Workouts
You’ll need strength, endurance, speed, and a finishing kick to complete the 10K. You want to practice running at a goal pace, a little slower than a 10K pace with a medium effort, and a little faster than a 10K pace. A few weeks before the race, you can do 3 x 2 miles at the goal race pace, which is the best 10K workout.
4. Warm Up Before You Begin
For harder workouts – like tempo runs, speedwork or runs that include mileage at 10K pace – a warm-up is essential. Jog a mile, then do five sets of 100 m warm-ups such as skips and high knees with a recovery jog between each set.
Before the race, do the same if you have a time goal – 6.2 miles is not long enough to wait and hope for a warm up during the race. If your goal is simply to finish, however, you should use the first mile of the race as a warm-up, starting at an easy pace and gradually increasing it throughout.
5. Set the Pace
Leg turnover and speed are improved by short intervals of 200-600m. Start with 8 x 200 meters at 90% effort with a 200 m recovery jog between each, then repeat every other week, adding a few repeats each time. It’s important to work your way up to covering an equivalent distance in 20 repetitions. Once you master those, you can move to covering the same distance in 400m repeats with 400m rest periods.
6. Change Your Pace
If you want to get faster, you will need to push yourself out of your comfort zone during some long runs. The mental and physical preparation for a race comes from long runs at a variety of tempos. A few long runs at an effort of seven to eight on a scale of one to 10, along with a one-minute surge every 10 minutes (a controlled speed increase about 15-20 seconds faster than your regular pace) help your body adjust to higher intensity for longer periods. Since these runs are challenging, you should do them no more than once every two to three weeks.
7. Train Your Muscles
A big advantage of training for a 10K instead of a half or full marathon is that it’s easier to fit in different types of workout, such as yoga, Pilates, or circuit training. Be sure to check out our article on the benefits of yoga for runners. Regularly performing core-strengthening and flexibility exercises can help you improve your form and overall efficiency, and reduce your injury risk.
Aim to combine core workouts (including abs, back, glutes, and shoulders) with yoga sessions at least twice a week (on days when you’re not exercising hard). It’s best to squeeze in a few planks (and their variations) whenever you can if you’re short on time.
8. Build Endurance
Exercises such as squat jumps, lunge jumps or bounding will build explosive power that will serve you well during a 10K. Start with 5 repetitions once a week for each exercise. From there, runners can increase their reps, but don’t do plyometrics more than twice a week.
9. Train For A Faster Finish
The fastest 10Ks were run with a negative split – the second half of the race was faster than the first half. It is best to run fast and controlled for the first 3K, then push from about 4km to 8km, and then kick at the end. Train for faster finishing: run the last one or two miles of most long runs at close to the pace you want for the race. Starters can easily add some one-minute pick-ups to the end of their weekly long runs.
Getting the best vantage point requires planning ahead, arriving early, and remaining patient both on the way there and when you leave. It is best to take MARTA to the area where you plan to watch the race.
After the event, it is a good idea to meet up with family and friends at the Family Meeting Area located near the Park Tavern in Piedmont Park. Family Meeting Area will be decorated with alphabetically ordered balloons to help you decide where to meet up with your family and friends.