In just 4 weeks I am running my first 10K and I am actually pretty nervous. I have been training the last 3 weeks, and I have seen some improvement but honestly, starting to run in your 30s is not easy. It hurts, it’s hard, and there are moments when I’d rather be having a root canal, then doing those hills. But, there are moments, when I almost feel at ease, like Im kind of floating. Perhaps its that infamous “runners high” I have heard so many of patients talk about. It’s a bit of happiness, combined with pride, with a touch of calm and its these moments that get me back on the road for another run.
If you are thinking about taking up running this season here are some tips to get you on the road, and running your first race
- Find a Partner. Being accountable is half the battle of training. Although I don’t have a steady running partner, I am running the 10K with a bunch of co-workers. Each week we compare what we’ve done, in terms of training, and this helps me stay on track.
- Have a plan and be consistent. In my research I found a ton of information on training programs for running. Most involved starting with a walk-run plan which I have incorporated into my workouts. I started with a 4-2 split (run for 4, walk for 2), then a 5-2, and worked my way to an 8-2. This is what has worked for me, but do your own research. Its also important to be consistent. Training involves good runs, bad runs and everything in between. It will all add up to running your best.
- Embrace the pain. The burning pain you feel while running hard is from lactate building up in your muscles. It should go away five to 10 minutes after you finish running. If you do have lingering pain, then do have it assessed. I have to believe that when I cross that finish line and have accomplished my goal, all the pain that I have felt will be totally worth it.
- Warm up. Your warm up should be the first 1K of your run. Trust me, Im guilty of this. Anything, to make my time on the road shorter. But its not effective and can lead to injury. A light jog for 10 to 15 minutes, then throw in a few 100-meter accelerations to get your heart rate up is a good warm up according to Olympian Coach, Pete Rea. A good warm up will loosen joints and increase blood flow to the muscles, allowing for a better run and decreased chance of injury.
- Take Care of Yourself. I do reward myself each week after I accomplish my running goals. 2 weeks ago, it was a night out with my girlfriends, last week it was a massage. Massage is a great treat, it helps to prevent tissue tightness and prevent some of the post run soreness all while helping me to relax. I also make sure to keep nutrition up! I take my supplements each morning and ensure that I am hydrating regularly.
There is still 4 weeks left of training and rest day, stay tuned for more!!