*Disclaimer: I am not a professional athlete or doctor – these posts are solely based on my experience. All athletes are different and experiences vary. If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or need medical attention, please see a physician.
My experience training for a 10K
First – I did my first 10K as a virtual race in January 2021.
Second – I was 27 and in decent shape (so I believed).
Third – I did not follow any training guides.
Actually doing the 10K
It sucked. I did not follow any training guides, nor did I have the correct shoes. I had two pairs of running shorts at the time and did not properly hydrate the days before. But I’m grateful for those errors so I can apply these lessons to my training now.
What I’d do differently
- There are so many training guides out there from couch to 5K/10K etc. Find one that sounds appropriate for your running level/experience and go for it. Don’t just dive into a 10K willy-nilly. I don’t care if it’s virtual – you’re still putting in the miles.
- Whether you’re doing a 10K in May in Florida’s heat and humidity or doing the Hot Chocolate runs in snow and below freezing temps (ouch), hydrate at least the day before. You’re moving. You’re going to be sweating.
- Focus on food the night before.
- I learned that carb-loading isn’t the best option for me during a long run in preparation for a half marathon. Maybe it works for you, maybe it doesn’t. Make sure your training includes some “dress rehearsals.”
- Watch the weather.
- Florida weather is more unpredictable than a rabid wildebeest. I haven’t seen one, but it sounds like nightmare fuel. Watch the weather – no matter where you are – and plan accordingly.
- Prep running gear including clothes, headphones, water bottle.
- If you’re not a morning person (like yours truly), you may need a little help getting out the door. Prep your stuff the night before and get out the door before your body fully realizes the horror that’s right around the corner.
- There are so many amazing snacks for runners that are easy of the stomach. From waffles to chews to goos, there’s an option for virtually anyone.
- Consider being fitted for running shoes.
- I made the error of not taking the extra step and getting fitted for a pair until 3 weeks before my first half. I was in great pain and had the beginnings of plantar fasciitis because I wasn’t using the right gear and treating my feet with love and care.
I’m sure I’m missing a ton of pointers, but please let me know if the comments how you prepared for your first 10K!