One of my goals for 2017 was to complete a 10K run.
I needed a focus to get my booty off the sofa and a goal that I have wanted to reach for years.
As my career is mainly based online, I craved an achievement that was nothing to do with the internet, just me, myself and my bod. I used to be a keen cross country goer (weird kid) and I miss the training involved. I miss the rush of adrenaline on race day and all the energy you absorb from everyone around you. Sounds a lil cringe, but it really makes ya feel alive!
Not gonna lie though, I was kinda bricking it.
You see, I am VERY good at persuading myself out of things. This was a test to see if I was capable of pushing myself and sticking to my goal.
I started by training twice a week. Maybe three if I fancied it. If I was on the roads / parks I used Nike Run Club (so handy) to track my distance. If it was raining, I just used the ole treadmill at the gym. I trained for two months, and only reached up to 6k! Eeep.
I definitely did not feel prepared. I actually had nightmares that I would take SO long to complete the race, that everyone had left when I reached the finish line! lolz.
But on the actual race day, I felt pretty good. The sun was shining, I gobbled down a big ole bowl of porridge and headed to Regents Park.
After a flurry of getting lost, I made it with a minute to spare. I stuck my earphones in, put my phone away just in time for the starting pistol (or whatever it’s called!) The atmosphere was incredible, so many family and friends there to show support – Matt, Mumma, Fifi (and Ping Ping) were at the sidelines cheering me on!
I didn’t stop running for the entire race, and somehow managed to cross the finish line at 59 minutes 30 seconds which I was so happy with! I was a sweaty, red, dribbling mess but I did it!
Throughout training and the race itself, I learnt so much. I felt confident what my body was capable of more than ever, so I wanted to share what I learnt with you. Obvs I am no running expert, it’s all just my own lil tips.
This might be the most difficult, but most important tip. I am such a sucker for running / walking then calling it interval training hehe. When I get a stitch, I walk to relieve it. As I didn’t want to be the gal strollin’ round the track, I trained myself to push through. Breathing through the pain, and eventually the stitch faded. Stopping your flow of running will make it harder to conserve energy. If you are feeling tired, perhaps slow your pace and focus on breathing, I promise it will help!
A GOOD ALBUM DOES WONDERS
Finding a corker of an album and sticking to it for the duration of your run is the best. I used to create my own running playlists, or pop on one of Spotify’s ready made ones. But what I needed was just an album with a good beat, and the same tempo throughout. In a fluster 30 secs before starting I chose Disclosure’s first album Settle, luckily it was a good choice. Every track is a banger and it kept me going for the entire run.
NO PHONE RULE
Not whippin’ my phone out every two mins helps. I used to check it constantly, to change music or check the time, that would quickly turn into to scrolling through Instagram. When I decided to get my sh*t together and take my training more seriously, I decided on the no phone rule. No distractions, just pure undisturbed running. Which leads me on to my next point…
LOVE FOR THE BUM BAG
I love bum bags. I have done since our trip to Thailand in February. They are just SO useful! There is something so liberating about being hands free but having all your essentials right there. It is especially good for running as your arms are key to help get that momentum. I usually keep my phone, keys, cards and extra hair bands in there, just in case.
BREATHING & A LIL YOGA STRETCHIN’
Breathing is essential in any exercise, and life in general, obvs. With long distance running, it is all about pace. Creating comfort and helping your body reserve and generate energy. Yoga also really helped me! I stretched whilst running to open up my chest, focused on deep breathing to release heat out fill my lungs. Yoga is’aaaaall about awareness of the body, and that is so essential with running too. Whilst training, try and weave a few yoga sessions in, after training – Yoga with Adriene is my fave.
I am well up for doing another run soon, maaaaaaaaaaybe a half marathon. Maybe.
Have you done a 10K before? If you have any long distance running tips, I would love to hear em!
P.S the race I did was the London Spring 10K! I would definitely recommend it, the course is lovely and the medal is pretty cute too >:)