As one of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Social Runners this year, I’ve been seeing a lot of tweets from nervous newbies. Lots of people worried about the distance (10 miles) and the time limit (14:00 minute miles). So over the next few weeks, I’m going to start posting some things I’ve learned in my years of racing.
You can do this.
Trust your training. The Virtual Training program started this week, and the Beginners are currently doing a run/walk pattern. It starts off slow, but it will get you to that ten mile distance. Do the workouts. Even when you don’t want to run, get out there and run.
And if you miss a workout due to illness or unavoidable conflict? Take a deep breath and move on. If you miss a long weekend run, try to get that one in on another day, but if you miss a midweek workout, don’t let it stress you out. Just keep sticking to the plan and try to not miss too many workouts.
Note – I have learned the hard way that missing too many mid-week workouts but making sure I get in all my long runs does not a pretty race make. You can still do it, but it’s not going to be awesome. You will regret missing those workouts come race day. If you’re sick, well, you have no choice. But if you’re just tired and don’t want to run? GO RUN. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I don’t always want to do my workouts either, but I still do them and I’m always glad I did.
I’m hearing from a lot of runners that they don’t want to do a run/walk pattern – they feel they have to run the entire race. I personally think this is untrue. Read a little bit about Jeff Galloway, who really pioneered the run/walk method. I know incredibly fast runners who still walk parts of their races. Sure, they maybe only walk the water stops, but there is walking involved.
I personally do a 1 minute run, 1 minute fast walk. It’s what works for me and my heart rate issues. I’m not super fast at this, but I’m improving. I know people who really succeed with a 30 second run, 30 second walk. I know people who do longer run intervals, like a 5 minute run, 1 minute walk. Figure out what works for you. Don’t feel defeated because you can’t run the entire 10 miles. It doesn’t make you any less of a runner.
A big part of running is just believing in yourself. You can do this. You signed up and on race day, you will be ready.