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The Canada Running Series Under Armour Eastside10k is just around the corner. Check out coach Rob Watson’s 10 tips to a kick-ass 10k

1) Be prepared for race morning: Leave nothing to chance. Know what you are going to eat, know how you are going to get to the race, know where you are gonna stash your gear. Arrive early, no need for added stress on race day, you are there to compete and perform. Unnecessary stress will affect your performance.

2) Warm-up: For some this is a 20min run and active strides. For others this is a 5min walk and some stretches. Either way, get those muscles loose and ready to go, it’ll help avoid injury and have you primed to perform.

3) Find your place: Get on the start line and line up with people whom are at your same level. A 45min 10km is a great accomplishment, but you probably shouldn’t be lining up at the very front- you will get pulled out too hard and you will impede faster runners. Also, if you wanna run 35min get yourself to the front- if not you are gonna spend too much energy passing people and you may be trampling over slower runners. Be smart here.

4) Get off the line: The 1st km of this race is the fastest. You will feel fresh and there is a nice downhill. If you are several seconds faster than your goal pace do not worry, get the 1st km in and then settle into your race.

5) Settle and Flow: From 2-5km you should relax and find your flow. If you are pushing too hard at 3km you are gonna be suffering hard by 8km. Have your goal pace in mind and focus on maintaining that effort and rhythm. Being 5seconds too slow is fine as you can make up time with a strong last 2km, but being 5seconds too fast can be disastrous as when you blow up you’ll be giving time back in chunks.

6) Just get up the damn hill: Accept that the hill is going to suck. It’s just that simple. When you get there don’t stress about the pace slipping. Accept the burn and get to the top. Once you crest that hill, you get a nice down hill to get a few seconds back, and then you start making your way back towards the finish. The hardest part of the race is now behind you. Get back on pace and keep rolling!

7) Find a Group: There is power in numbers when it comes to racing. Working as group can help a lot. A group can pull you along, you can fight the wind together and you can thrive off the positive vibes that come from sharing a common goal. Find a friend and roll together.

8) Focus: This is racing, it is supposed to hurt! Your legs will burn, you’ll fight for breath and you’ll wanna stop. You trained for this. Focus on your goals and stay positive. The pain of racing is brief, but giving up will sting for a whole lot longer.

9) Bite your tongue and give it hell: Ok, you got to 9km. Time to get going! This is where you put your head down and give it hell. Dig deep and push. Give it everything you have until you cross that finish line.

10) Reap the spoils: Congrats on finishing the Eastside 10km! Now enjoy yourself a bit- go get brunch, drink a beer or just do something to spoil yourself. You have earned it!

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