As an experienced runner, I know that starting (or re-starting) a training plan if you’ve lost some fitness can be daunting, but with small steps and perseverance, anyone can go from the couch to a successful 10k road race.
The key is to start slowly, build gradually, and listen to your body. By following a step-by-step plan that incorporates walking, running, strength training, cross-training, and stretching, you can increase your endurance, improve your fitness, and achieve your goal of completing a 10k race.
The second annual, and first in-person, Medfield 10k was held Sunday June 13th. I ran the race and, despite the unseasonably warm temperatures had a great time on a new and challenging course. I’ll be back next year to try to improve on my wilting, second half fade.
Here are 10 things I liked about this new, local Metrowest 10k road race.
I realized I might have made a mistake just about a mile into the race when my foot slipped off a root and I felt a twinge run up my ankle. We have a big vacation coming up with a lot of walking and if I broke an ankle running a race, my wife might divorce me.
Spoiler: I didn’t break an ankle but it was a little dicier than I expected.
What is it about a taper week that brings out the worst self-hating demons? You’d think by this point I’d be used to it, but they get me every time. By Wednesday, I’m feeling achy and diagnosing myself with the flu or some new chronic disease. By Friday, I’m sure those niggling pains are actually torn ligaments or stress fractures.
This past week Michelle finally put a stop to all the nonsense and asked why I was freaking out that I always got like this before a race. She was right, of course. There were no upper respiratory infections or torn ligaments. It was just a big, hairy goal that was trying to knock down my confidence. I didn’t entirely succeed. Clearly, I still have a lot to learn from Deena.
After the triathlon season ended, I wanted one more goal to help motivate me for the fall road running season. I decided to try to pick off my longest standing running PR, the 10k. It’s been stuck at 41:16 since 2014 and now that I’m over 40 and a masters runner, it didn’t seem like that goal was going to get any easier in the future.
Unlike the marathon, where a lot of the training is just being on your feet and running with fatigue, or the 5k where it’s about holding that speed as long as possible, the 10k requires a mix of easy, hard, fast, and slow runs. This variety can be great to shake up a training routine that is stuck in a rut.
Alternate title: Not a new 10k PR
Ok, so I know I’m supposed to not have any goals beyond being just present this year, but damn, just being present is really hard. I think that New Year’s 5k PR put ideas in my head. Bad ideas like I might not have all my endurance back, but maybe I can go for some speed PRs this year. Get a 5k and 10k PR on the books. Heck, the year is a day old and I already had the 5k PR done and dusted. With those thoughts dancing in my head, I’ve sort of convinced myself to try for that 10k PR. Bad Mike!
Now that it’s summer, it’s time to give a couple spring races a quick recap before I completely forget what went down. In late April, I ran the James Joyce 10k Ramble, a race I’ve done multiple times in the past and is a good measuring stick for early season fitness. I followed it up just a week later with the Cox Providence Half Marathon, the first leg in the UHC Triple Crown series. To the time machine!