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Springtime marks the start of racing season for most runners. Are you feeling the itch of running your first 10k?

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If you’re not sure it’s for you, you’re not alone. I wasn’t sure I could run one either. Although I’ve been running for “pleasure” (if you can call running pleasurable) for almost two decades, I didn’t think I was good enough of a runner to complete a race.

I can’t really pinpoint what changed my mind. Maybe it was because I was in my 30s and everyone in their 30s suddenly needs to run some sort of race, or maybe it was because I was a closeted exercise addict and I needed another challenge to boost my ego. Whatever the reason, I decided that I was going to cross “running a 10K” off my proverbial bucket list, and just go for it.

Of course, just “going for it” isn’t entirely recommended when preparing for something as intense as a 10K race (which equals 6.2 miles).

Whether you’re a novice or experienced runner, any race requires a plan. If you’re curious about lacing up for a 10K race, here are the top things I’d recommend to do in order to cross the finish line in one piece.

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