Registering yourself for a distance like this probably comes with some mixed feelings. It’s exhilarating to feel like you’re putting yourself out there for a new challenge. Yet, it can also be intimidating to think about how 10K is twice the distance of your last 5K and 4 times longer than your 2.4K at NAPFA.
Fret not – we’re here to walk you through conquering your first 10K!
First mistake: Starting out too fast
Precisely because we’re used to shorter distances, we tend to overestimate the pace needed. We start out too fast, build up a ton of lactic acid in our muscles and crash for the next half of the distance. Instead, we want you to work on a pace that is 30s slower than what you typically do. Then, gradually increase your pace over time if you feel energetic and are still going strong. It’d help if you got yourself tracking Apps.
Second mistake: Skipping pre-race meal
When we do shorter distances and are done within 1 hour, it’s okay to not eat before your runs. However, for longer runs, your muscle glycogens would be depleted more than usual. You’d need to take in some carbs before to support this extra work. Especially since most runs are in the morning, your body has already used up most of the energy stores to basically, keep you alive through the night. So have a good breakfast! It perks you up before the race too. If you’re afraid that you’d end up with queasy stomachs during the race, try having them 45 minutes to 1 hour before the race.
Third mistake: Forgetting to enjoy!
We can get so caught up with trying not to screw up. Or we get so afraid about being bored to pack our playlist with music and remain plugged in throughout the race (I did!). The sweet race experience comes from the scenery, the fellow runners and enthusiastic volunteers, and of course, counting down to the next hydration point.
It’s about being completely involved in the race that would give you the full running experience. When you’re waiting at the starting line, be ready to give it your mind, sweat, your all. If you need to slow down, it’s okay. If you need to walk, it’s alright too. What we want is for you to finish and finish happy.