On the weekend I competed in my first 10K race. I didn’t have hopes of placing on the podium, but had a goal of completing the run in less than 50 minutes. The main reason I signed up for it was to make sure I was on track for the marathon in September and to see what kind of pace I could maintain for that distance. I ended up finishing 21/94, 7th in my age group (30-39).
I ran the first 5K right on the 5min/km mark with a 25:00 split time. On the second half is where I started making up some time with the last 2km being my fastest of the race. I was able to muster a bit of a surge at the end, but nothing I’d really call a sprint. I finished with a time of 49:11. There’s still a lot of work to be done on distance and speed, but luckily there’s also still a lot of time.
One thing that I’m finally starting to realize is that not every run is a race. When I was training for my first half marathon, I was always running at my hopeful race pace I finished every run leaving everything I had out there and would often need a day off just to let my legs recover. The more I read though, the more I see the benefit of many different types of running in training. Intervals, LSDs, hills (up and down), and – probably most importantly – the cool down at the end of a run instead of finishing with a sprint.
Last night I also got out for an easy 10K. I ran about 2km to the park, then took off my shoes to try running barefoot. I thought I had a pretty natural stride as I’ve been really conscious of my running form and landing with my feet under me, but I noticed right away that my strides were changing. I know I’m a few years late to the party, but I’m finally reading McDougall’s Born to Run and thought I’d give it a try. I’m not planning on running any marathons barefoot or anything, but I’m hoping to work it into my training occasionally. After about 2K of barefoot running, I put the shoes back on and did some more road running before doing 2K on trails along the river. It was a lot of fun mixing all of these types of training into one run. Not worrying about time (after realizing that not every run has to be a race) makes it a lot more fun and allows for a lot more variety.
I’ve got a very fun 10K planned for the weekend and am hoping to be up to 20K by the following weekend. So far I’ve gone as high as 15K since starting again this year. Also hoping to start running to work once a week as the weather gets nicer. That’ll be about 11K each way, so 22K for the day. Much running in the near future!