5 to 10 km: a beginner’s guide to conquering the next big milestone
“The road is long with many a winding turn… “
Ok, maybe it isn’t that long or dramatic but guys and girls, I am about to do my first 10km official run and I am super nervous!
Completing the 5.6km Old Mutual Two Oceans Fun Run way back in March was an exhilarating and scary experience. I had gone from being a single couch potato to a still single runner in two months and I was on top of the world!
As with dating, running is all about the next step or bigger challenge so here I am, facing off my next trial with some trepidation.
Here’s a guide to conquering the next big milestone:
1. Up the racing ante:
My personal best for 5kms was 48 mins. If I was going to do 10kms in a similar time frame or less, I obviously needed to improve my speed and running so back I went to my trusty S Health app to set up a suitable training programme.
S Health recommended a 60 day programme of 5km, 3km and 6.9km runs in a slow build-up to 10kms every two days to allow for optimum training and recovery time. I’ve supplemented my schedule with other physical activities like swimming and Zumba classes to give me a mental and physical break from running - it does wonders for my overall fitness morale!
2. Change the scenery:
I’ve said it before and I will say it again – nothing inspires you to run quite like a beautiful view, so, if you’re bored by your usual settings, change things up.
I usually stick to the Mouille Point, Cape Town Stadium route for my 10km training, but every so often, I venture out to Lagoon Beach. Nothing is as rewarding as gazing out at that epic view of Table Mountain after pushing your limits!
3. Pump those jams:
If views are what keep you moving visually, then hot tunes are its aural equivalent. Changing up your playlist is as important as changing your training route.
It’s hard to believe that some runners find Frozen’s Let It Go seriously motivating (each to his own and all that) but I am going to stick to rock, pop and emo classics like Queen’s We Will Rock You or dance running to new hits like Twenty Pilots Heathens off the Suicide Squad soundtrack.
4. Life catastrophes happen - get back on the road:
A couple of life-changing events happened during my 10km training which sent my entire schedule out of whack.
Between juggling a dying grandparent; insane work deadlines and disastrous non-dates (don’t ask- the fact that I am solo and rocking it explains a lot!); I just wasn’t meeting my road goals.
When this happened, I had one of two choices: I could give up on my training entirely or cut myself some slack and restart my 10km training journey when things calmed down.
I did the latter and realised that the most important thing about being a successful runner is being my own champion and cheerleader.
Are you ready to hit to the road? I know I am!
Until next month,