My First 10km Run

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The Mississauga Marathon took place on May 5th and 6th. Although I am not much of a runner, I thought I would give the 10km a try.

Running the 10km was a goal I had set for myself after losing 30 lbs in four months; details of that process can be found here.

For the 10km run, I began my training in January. I’m not much of a runner, so I had to start my training gradually. These were the goals I had set for myself:

  • Treadmill – 5km walk/run
  • Treadmill – 5km continuous run (under 4.5 miles/min)
  • Treadmill – 5km continuous run (5-5.5 miles/min)
  • Outdoor run – 5km walk/run under 30 minutes
  • Outdoor run – 5km continuous run under 25 minutes

At first I trained everyday, which soon became quite taxing. I began to spread it out to 2-3 times a week, allowing my body to recover. In between running days I would focus more on strength training and general sports. On days I felt over tired, I would rest.

Before the actual race I had never completed a 10km run, despite being advised to do so multiple times. The main reason for running a 10km on my own was boredom, after 30 minutes of performing the same task, I found it hard to keep the motivation going. So instead of longer distances I focused more on speed, time and intensity. My game plan was to train hard for a shorter distance, and hopefully on race day the excitement of the actual race would help me reach the finish line.

On race day, the weather was quite cloudy, which turned into a downpour 15 minutes before the race. There were about 1200 runners in total, all completely soaked with soggy shoes, but spirits remained high.

At the sound of the buzzer the race was off and all 1200 runners rushed out of the gate. Right from the start it seemed that nearly 1199 of the 1200 runners whizzed by me within the first 5 minutes. I figured I was running with ultra-athletes or the prodigy of Usain Bolt. I kept my pace, I had an hour to catch up.

The course itself was very scenic, winding through Port Credit and the Waterfront. The tempo of the race helped the first 5km go by with ease. The next few kms became a bit more difficult, especially around the 7km mark. The cold and wet conditions started to take a bit of a toll, however I carried on. Interestingly around this mark, many of the 1199 runners started to slow down, making the event of passing them a joyous occasion.

The last few kilometers, the pace really picked up. The course was outlined in such a way that the last kilometer allowed you to see the finish line. With the music in the distance and seeing the finish line, I was able to increase my pace and complete the race in under 58 minutes, achieving my goal of finishing under an hour.

This was a memorable experience and the thrill of crossing the finish line was priceless, making the entire process worth the training and the cold and wet conditions.

I share this story to help inspire you to challenge your health goals, and to encourage you to try to push the envelope when it comes to your fitness. Our bodies have an amazing ability to adapt to new exercises and activities with the proper plan and training. This in turn can help create healthier muscles and joints, and decrease the chance on injury.

If you are planning on performing a run, here are a few simple tips I learned from my experience that can help you on your journey:

  1. Have fun: The goal is to have fun, don’t worry about the details. Just remember the worst you can do is walk to the finish line, and you still receive a medal at the finish line!
  2. Plan your training: Plan your training in such a way that allows your body to grow and adapt to each new activity level. Give yourself time, and increase the intensity gradually.
  3. Off-days: There will be days when running will seem impossible, and that is okay. Try your best and if you fall short of your goal, do not worry, try again another day.
  4. Run smart: Don’t be like those 1199 participants I mentioned earlier. Pace yourself, stick with your tempo and just focus on yourself. You’ll be passing most of the crowd at the seven kilometer mark!
  5. Lastly, invest in good shoes. Make sure they are light, flexible, comfortable and offer good support. Personally I used my custom orthotics, which I felt helped support my feet well while training and racing. If you are unsure about your shoes bring them by our clinic.

I hope this articles inspires you to get more active this summer. Wishing you the best of health!

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