Rewind to February. My brother was deep into marathon training and was telling me how he’d quickly increased his fitness and surprised himself as to how quickly he was able to run further and further. I’ve never really enjoyed running and will choose other exercise over running but i’ve always loved watching the marathon and being absorbed in the atmosphere. There is something very appealing about big road running events. So, I signed up for a 10k – definitely not a marathon but still a long way for a ‘non runner’.
I ran the 10k yesterday and loved it. So, here are the things I’ve learnt during my training.
1. Get a running app.
I used the Nike running app and I found it so helpful to my running. You can have it running while listening to music and it tells you once you reach every kilometer (or mile), how long you’ve been running for and your average speed per each k. At the beginning I had no idea how to pace myself and this helped me so much. It also creates a graph at the end that shows your speed throughout your run so this gives you a great idea of where you sped up and slowed down.
2. Run on an interesting route.
I began my first three weeks on the treadmill to gain some running fitness then I never went back on it. Running outside is so much more interesting, as long as you pick an interesting route. I ran along the canals and generally ran the same route which I found helped me as I knew roughly how I was doing in terms of my energy levels. Running outside means you can look around, smile at the passers by and feel clear headed- these things help you to forget what you are doing when you get to the tough bits!
3. Run in different weather conditions.
My first run in the drizzle was awful! I felt tired very quickly but it made me realise that you just don’t know what the weather will be like on the day so you’ve got to prepare for all. I also ran on very windy days, boiling hot days and colder days. They all feel so different.
4. Listen to something.
The radio, a podcast, an audio book or your ipod. Time goes quickly when you’re plugged in. I always listened to the radio as I liked the surprise of not knowing what was coming on next and the mix of songs and chat.
5. Start your first kilometer really slow.
At first I ran my first kilometer too fast and tired really quickly. I then learnt that if I took it really slow then I was able to keep my energy for much longer and then speed up later. Go even slower than you think is too slow! This is so true on race day too. With the adrenaline on race day it’s so easy to get carried away and speed quicker than you’ve ever done… and then crash.
6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Before, during and after. So important.
What did I miss?
Now for the next one!