Friday, March 8, 2013

10K Training!

I am pretty much one week into my 10K training so I thought I would give an update into how it is going. The long runs in my training program have actually been going really well. Last time I did one I ran 8k in five 10-minute intervals (one minute of walking between intervals). The problem I am finding is that I am a slooooow runner. Right now I am running on the treadmill so it is easy to track my speed and I can comfortably run long distances at 5mph, but in order to get under an hour in the 10k race (my goal!) I need to be running at 6.2mph minimum.

My coworker used to train professional bicyclists so I asked him for some advice on getting faster and he suggested interval training with my "fast" intervals being well over 6.2mph. So now I am doing some distance runs and some interval training to pick up my speed! He also suggested that I should strengthen my legs so I went ahead and threw in some strength training too!

So here is my plan:
- Intervals for speed x2 per week
- Leg exercises for strength x3 per week
- Longer slower runs for endurance x2 per week

Fun times indeed.

My leg exercises don't take very long, so I actually consider those my rest days. I am using this infographic that has been circling Pinterest:

It is tough, and not much fun, but it is only 15 minutes.

But I actually find myself looking forward to my runs! I am not sure where this crazy exercising Casey came from, but I am certainly encouraging her to keep it up. The funny thing is that I have never really been a runner, even though I have attempted running as my exercise many times. However now I find myself loving it. I love how my whole body is in motion and I can feel each muscle pulling its weight in propelling me forward.

Forefront of my mind right now (even over speed) is posture. I know that if I can improve my posture it will make running easier overall.

For example, this is proper posture when running:

And this is me right now:

Haha, ok maybe I am not that bad, but I am definitely trying to stand taller and keep my chest open so that I can get more oxygen in these rickety old lungs. I find it is easier to practice posture on my slower runs, so that it what I am attempting to do.

And as for fueling, my coworker told me that right after you stop the "hard" workout and before you go into cool-down, you body needs glucose to help your muscles rebuild. It isn't easy for me to do that in the gym, but what I am doing is eating 1/2 protein bar before my workout and as soon as I finish my cool down walk I go straight back to the condo and drink a cup of chocolate milk. Technically chocolate milk has glucose-fructose in it, but it is easy for me to get to quickly. And you know what- I have experienced minimal soreness in my legs after my workouts! I had one sore day, and that was after a strength training day, so I think my fueling plan is actually working .

Are you a runner? Do you have any tips for how I could get faster and stronger?


  1. I am a runner! Well, sometimes. But, I have tips!

    I've been running since high school, when I decided I wasn't going to be so artsy fartsy anymore and actually try some athletic stuff in grade 12. Of course, by that time, I couldn't do any team stuff, so, cross country it was!

    The biggest thing that has helped me is learning to breath. I find it's absolutely crucial to keep my breathing in rhythm with my steps. I only breath when my left foot hits the pavement (or treadmill). This prevents cramping and ensures that I'm always breathing steadily, even as I increase my speed.

    For speed, try a shorter run - 20 minutes, for this example, though make sure you properly warm up and cool down! - and start at 5 mph for 5 minutes. Then, up the speed by .2 every minute. After 5 minutes, you'll be running at 6mph. Then, keep going, every minute, raise the speed .2. When your workout hits 15 minutes, you'll be running at 7mph. If you can hold it there, run 7 mph for the remaining 5 minutes. I actually find it easier sometimes to continue to ramp my speed up (it's totally just a head game) or, to start ramping my speed down using the same process - every minute, bring the speed down 0.2mph.

    Of course, don't forget your cool down and warm up!

    It's a short run, probably only around 5K as opposed to your goal 10, but when you do face your longer runs they will be a) easier and b) faster.

    Perhaps, when the weather warms up, we should meet up to run!

    1. Thats a great idea- I am definitely going to try that this weekend and see how I do!

      And Id love to go for a run once the weather improves!!

  2. Awesome!!

    I used to run- in fact that's the reason I started my blog in the first place!

    My goal was to run a 5K under 30 minutes- I think my one and only 5K was 38 minutes? Something like that...

    Sorry no tips or advice- just lots of encouragement!! WHOO HOO!


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