Every once in a while, you have to push yourself, so why not run a 10K?
If you’ve followed me via social media over the last few months, you’ve probably noticed yours truly training for a 10K. And by the my definition of “training”, what I thought was needed to perform optimally on race day.
Well that day Sunday, October 28th, came and went, with results being:
Not too shabby if you ask me. I think I did pretty well myself, but I know I could have done better. There’s a lot I learned from this experience and figured I would share my story in this week’s blog post!
Why Did I Do It?
Well if you’re already in decent shape, why do it? What’s the point?
Some things in life are just worth a try, and I’m glad I did it. I think I found a new healthy hobby. The event itself was a great atmosphere to be apart of. There’s nothing like being around a few thousand individuals who are trying to better themselves!
But the main reason I decided to run the 10K was to get the family on board with health and fitness. I wanted the race to be a family event we all participated in. Unfortunately, it didn’t fall through for a multitude of reasons. I think me finishing the race and placing how I did motivated them, or at least I hope. I’m looking forward to having company during my next 5K and 10K races!
What Was My Nutrition Plan?
Nothing drastically changed as far as nutrition goes from my pre-race training days up until a few days before the race. Before I really started getting zoned in on my 10k training routine, I switched to the “vertical diet”, which I’ll cover in a later post.
Now, my nutrition a few days before and right after the race is an entirely different story, and my biggest learning experience.
My mom decided to come support that weekend, and it was my birthday, so of course we splurged. This definitely had a negative physical effect on me, but my adrenaline on race day erased any noticeable effects in my mind from poor nutrition.
Since the race was early in the morning, I decided to fast which was the right thing to do. But nutrition after the race was terrible. I pretty much ate whatever was in front my face after the 10K was over. Pancakes, taquitos, beer……..you name it, and I ate it.
And if you’re wondering, hydration was never an issue. It felt amazing outside, and I was properly hydrated a few days in advance. Fun fact: never chug a ton of water before a race and consider yourself “hydrated”. It never works.
What Was My Training Program?
What gave me a chuckle after the results were posted was the fact that I made up the entire training program with zero experience. I didn’t do much research, just listened to my body and did what I thought was best for me at the time.
My training was very basic. In the beginning of 2018, I began running two to three times per week, two miles per session. On days I didn’t run, I’d burn 250 calories on the stair master and maintained weight training four to six times per week consistently. This was all pretty normal for me, nothing too out of the ordinary.
I really started ramping up the mileage about one month before the big day. On week one, I’d run 3 miles once per week. Week two, 3.5 miles……week three, 4 miles……..and week four, 4.5 miles, all done early Saturday mornings. The only time I ran the full 10K (6.2 miles) was during the race itself.
Funny enough, I decided to run two miles the day before the race! Crazy right? I wanted to stay in my routine and honestly, I think it helped mentally and physically.
A lot of performing well in long distance running events boils down to mental toughness, and my elementary training program proved this. If you get in somewhat decent shape, you’ll have no problem doing well if you’re mentally strong.
If you aren’t physically active at all, then this program will obviously not work for you. I highly suggest doing a couch to 10K or 5K routine to slowly progress your way to your big day event!
There were a few things I noticed especially on race day that surprised me.
One, most people just showed up and “winged” the race, which I don’t recommend. You run the chance of getting injured, and most likely reduce your performance. I’d say around 75% of the runners weren’t warming up or stretching at all before the race, displaying their lack of knowledge.
Two, the way the event tracked miles was sort of confusing and something I wish I would have noticed or knew ahead of time. I waited too late in the race to accelerate my pace and lost a good amount of time because of it. All this just comes with experience, which I had none of.
So what were my overall lessons learned from my first 10K?
- Have better nutrition leading up to and after the race for better performance and recovery.
- Stretch afterwards. You’re so relieved you finished and caught up in the moment that you forget to stretch when you’re still warm, which slows down recovery.
- Have a plan or routine set to help with a faster recovery. I was sore as hell for about three days, which surprised me a lot. I sure could have used some foam roll and ice baths!
Hope you all enjoyed this week’s blog post! If you’ve missed last week’s post comparing ETFs and mutual funds, click here! As always, don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”
Book of the Month: “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace D Wattles