The Bellin Run is one of the largest 10K races in the nation, and a lot of people use it as their big goal race to kickoff summer. But what happens after they cross the finish line? Many will spend the rest of the season running shorter distances while others will make the jump to the half marathon or marathon distance for fall. The question becomes, how do I transition to these different race distances?

Transitioning to the 5K

This is an easy transition and you can likely keep up with the same training you did to prepare for the Bellin Run. Continue to include these runs in your weekly training:

  • A longer run to build endurance
  • A 2-4 mile steady state tempo run to improve stamina
  • Intervals at roughly 5K pace to get dialed in and comfortable with race pace
  • All other runs at an easy pace

Transitioning to the half marathon or marathon

This transition will take more time depending on what level of training you achieved prior to the Bellin Run. The biggest change in your training will likely be total time/mileage with all runs. The long run will steadily increase to the distance needed to meet your goals and accomplish your race distance. A lot of marathoners make the mistake of focusing solely on endurance. Even when you’re training for a longer distance, you need a steady diet of tempo runs and longer “cruise intervals” to help with efficiency and pacing.

For both groups the 10K distance is a great race to predict your current fitness level and allows you to build a program for a shorter or longer race. Look for a training plan that includes a variety of workouts throughout the week to build different energy systems of the body. With shorter races you can focus slightly more on intensity. With the longer races you should first transition to more endurance based work before coming back to race pace, tempo and interval workouts.

Good luck with the rest of your summer training and racing whether your plans include a 5K in the Titletown Wellness Race Series, the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon, or another fall race event.

Nate Vandervest, Certified Running Coach, CSCS, CES