I ran my first 10km race in 2009 with a time of 1:01. For me then it was a great accomplishment. I’ve run a 10km race every year since with times between 56-58 minutes. I’ve never trained because 10km was a distance I could do in my sleep. But, as I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve let my fitness slide over the last year. A week and a half ago I ran my first 10km in several months in 1:25. I’ve got some work to do. I need to start training.
In addition to being less fit than in previous years, I’m also older. Weird, right? I’m 31 years old, which isn’t really old, but is old enough to start feeling aches and pains that weren’t there before. It’s old enough to feel the repercussions of not stretching. It’s old enough to have to do things differently. So for the past couple of weeks and for the next couple of months, I’m going to go about my 10km training in a new (to me) way.
Run. In the past, increasing the distance and frequency of my runs was the only way I’d train for anything. Seemed obvious, at least it did to me. I intend to do exactly that again. I want to run 3 x a week, with at least one of those runs being 10km or longer and the distances building as my fitness improves. Easy. However, what I’ve never worked on before is my speed. I’m a slow and steady kind of girl and honestly, I find it challenging to push myself speed-wise when running alone. And here’s yet another reason why I love my bestie Katie–every time we run together she pushes me to be faster. As long as we continue running together every week or so I’ll definitely be able to see my speed improve.
Yoga. I never used to stretch. Ever. What was I thinking? I’ve had problems with my hips before, nothing serious, but definite discomfort. If I spend my days sitting at a computer and my evenings running, I’m not doing anyone’s hips any favours. So I’m going to build 2 yoga classes a week into my fitness schedule. Stretching is important for my hips and my body and I won’t ignore that fact this time.
Strength training. This time last year I was having knee pain any time I hit the 15km mark in a run. I saw a physiotherapist about it and she basically told me that my butt wasn’t strong enough to sustain long runs, so my knee was having to compensate. She gave me a list of strength training exercises and a strap to help me do them. I’ve probably done them 6 times in the last year. I’m dumb. If I want healthy knees (and a less flabby butt) I need to incorporate strength training into my routine. My goal is twice a week.
So there’s that. Running, yoga and strength training are going to dominate my fitness schedule until the end of May, with a few hikes and squash games thrown in here and there for good measure. Here’s how my first week of training went:
Saturday: 10km trail run
Sunday: 60 minute yin yoga class
Monday: 5km trail run; 20 minutes legs
Tuesday: 45 minute hatha yoga class; 10 minutes core
Thursday: 5km run
What do you think? Have you ever trained for a 10km? Is there anything I’m missing?