The St. Helens 10k is upon us, you got your entry sorted months ago or perhaps your eager friends have finally convinced you to enter, but you're not sure how to start your training?

With just over a month to go there’s still plenty of time to ensure you’re feeling fit and ready to become a North Road Survivor, here is what last year's winner Matt Crehan, who also owns running shop Made to Run on College Street, had to say.

St Helens Star:

Matt Crehan

  • So let’s start with the hills.

"St. Helens 10km is a great course and the support out on the route is fantastic but there are some tough old hills, from North Road to the ups and downs of Victoria Park. So to ensure you get some hill practice in.

"When running uphill you need to drive up from the forefoot, cutting your stride length, while increasing the turnover speed of your legs, the best way to practice this is through short hill efforts, find a relatively steep hill of around 100m in length, then do around 10-20 efforts up the hill with your recovery being the jog back down, focus on driving from the toes and lifting your knees."

  • Speed sessions

"Often overlooked by many in 10k up to marathon training plans is speed sessions, with people often thinking longer slower runs ensuring they can cover the distance is what they need to be able to do.

"But speed and power are vital, those short hill efforts are a great session mixing the hill work with the speed, another great session to incorporate is on one of your runs, use fartlek efforts (Swedish for speedplay), running faster, above your planned race pace for varying intervals of time or distance, so for example you may over a 5 mile run do 6 or 7, 1-3 minute faster efforts working your body harder and activating your anaerobic systems.

"With all the hills, working on your core strength can significantly help especially if you get stuck in due classic British weather, so some planking, sit ups, press ups and squats will all work to strengthen the core which will help you as you drive up those hills."

  • Nutrition

"If you’re planning on using any form of nutrition from gels to electrolyte drinks on race day, then now is the time to start testing how they affect you.

"Some can suffer from stomach issues so it’s worth finding this before race day morning, there are a lot of different nutrition brands you can try so it’s worth finding something that works for you."