Training For My 1st 10-Mile Race: Q + A

22 comments

Just a quick note to say that the Amazing Grass Giveaway is only open until 11pm tonight! Make sure to get your comment in!

faqs thumb   Training For My 1st 10 Mile Race: Q + A

Good evening!

Tonight I am going to talk about my training for my first 10-miler race on Sunday! I have been receiving lots of questions about it so I thought I would address them in 1 post.

10 miles will beat my longest distance I have ever run by 2 miles. Naturally, I was a bit nervous about this distance, not really for my lack of cardiovascular training, but for the fear of not wanting to get injured again. As you know, I have been very careful easing back into running and I now approach running in a completely different manner.

Let’s take a quick look at my training since my 10-km race on June 14th, exactly 30 days ago today:

June 15, 2009: OFF day, very light walking

June 16, 2009: 3 mile run

June 17, 2009: 15 min hill walking, core work, tons o’ stretching, pushups

June 18, 2009: 60 mins treadmill hill walk (This was my first regular treadmill workout since my 10k race on the 14th of June and man were my calves screaming on the incline!!).

June 19, 20009: 3.31 mile run

June 20, 2009: 30 minute treadmill hill workout

June 21, 2009: OFF DAY

June 22, 2009: 5.35 mile run

June 23, 2009: OFF Day

June 24, 2009: 3.33 mile run

June 25, 2009: OFF Day

June 26, 2009: 50 min treadmill hill walking

June 27, 2009: 5 mile run

June 28, 2009: Treadmill hill walking

June 29, 2009: 35 mins treadmill hill workout

June 30, 2009: OFF day

July 1, 2009: 4.60 mile run 

July 2, 2009: 55 min treadmill hill workout

July 3, 2009: OFF day

July 4, 2009: Treadmill interval workout, 50 mins.

July 5, 2009: 4.5 mile run

July 6, 2009: OFF day

July 7, 2009: 6 mile run

July 8, 2009: OFF day

July 9, 2009: 50 min treadmill hill workout

July 10, 2009: OFF day

July 11, 2009: 1 hour treadmill hill workout

July 12, 2009: 7 mile run

July 13, 2009: OFF day

July 14, 2009: 8 mile run

REST DAYS:

As you can see out of 30 days, 10 of those days were REST days.

Averaging it out, one in three days I took a rest from exercise! You may also notice that my rest days almost always follow a run. I have been much more mindful of this since my injury.

You can also see that I never ran two days in a row. Others might be able to handle running two days in a row, but I prefer to give my body a break.

One thing I have really learned lately is just how important rest days are. I never used to take them and I felt guilty about it. I find I have changed my entire outlook on it now.

How did you stop feeling guilty about taking off days?

When I was injured for 2 months, I couldn’t exercise for the entire time. I couldn’t even go on a walk without feeling pain. I couldn’t do yoga. Zippo. Those two months taught me a lot about my body and how I should listen to it more. I used to hate rest days, but now I see them as saying a big ‘thank-you’ to my body that works so hard for me all the time! Just like it is healthy to take breaks from work on the weekends (or whenever your scheduled off days are), it is healthy to give our bodies a break too. I always feel re-energized after a rest day. For example, I took a rest day yesterday and came back today stronger than ever! So now whenever I feel a small twinge of guilt for skipping a workout or taking a planned rest, I remind myself what it was like to be out of exercise and training for 2 months. It was not fun. Since I don’t want to be back there, I play it sensibly this time around.

Why the increase in rest days lately?

I generally try to stagger my off days after runs, and you may also notice that my off days increased in frequency in the past 2 weeks. This is because I started to increase my mileage and speed training. Since both of these things are harder on the body, I knew my body would need extra repair time.

What about mileage?

I barely did any running in the two weeks before my 10k race, yet I felt fine cardiovascular-wise during the race. I credit this to high intensity cross and interval training. As you know, I am a huge proponent of steep incline walking at a fast pace and I believe this conditioned me and prepared me for the race, even though I wasn’t hitting the road and doing 8 or 10 kms each week.

However, a 10 mile race is a whole other ball park and I knew I would have to increase my running mileage if I was to be ready for the race. So gradually, over the past month I have increased my mileage to a point that I now feel confident entering this race.

What did your weekly mileage look like over the past month as you trained?

Week 1: 6.3 miles (this was a decrease in mileage since I was recovering from the 10k)

Week 2: 13.6 miles

Week 3: 9.1 miles

Week 4: 13 miles

Week 5 (current week): 8 miles (taper week)

Now of course, my mileage isn’t perfect over the past month and I wouldn’t expect it to be. I don’t think mileage should be a linear thing either. I think it is natural to have fall-back weeks where our mileage is less than normal. This allows the body to recover. We have also just gotten out of a nasty month of weather where it rained basically every day so many of my runs were cut out in favour of the dry treadmill. :)

How are you preparing for your race now that it is 1 week away?

I did my last long run today-8 miles. I made sure to reduce my pace and I took it very easy. It was a very calming run and relaxing. I wasn’t out of breath or struggling because I wasn’t focusing on my speed…just distance. I needed to know physically and mentally that I was capable of doing the 10 miles this weekend. After 8 miles, I knew I could do another 2. I felt fine and since I didn’t want to push it too much, I was content with 8 being the longest distance I have yet to run ever in my life. On Sunday, there will hopefully be a new record. :)

For the rest of the week, I plan on tapering. I have 4 days left now, and I don’t plan on running again until Sunday. I may do a couple of easy miles on Friday, but I probably won’t. here is my game plan:

Tuesday: 8 mile easy run + stretching (done and done)

Wednesday: Off day + SGBC exercises 19, 20, maybe light walking, stretching

Thursday: Treadmill hill workout

Friday: Interval training + SGBC exercises 21, 22

Saturday: Off day

Sunday: 10-mile race

This is just a plan and of course may change :)

How has stretching improved your running?

Let me just start off by saying that last year when I was running, I didn’t stretch. Barely at ALL. Bad, bad, Angie, I know! Now I stretch almost immediately after getting back from my run and then I stretch at night too. And get this- my muscle soreness has virtually disappeared! Even after my longer runs this past week, I have not been sore the next day. This is a first for me actually and I credit most of it to stretching. I focus a lot on my inner thigh/groin muscles because that is my trouble spot for getting tight.

Is there anything else that has helped you out?

Yes! After my runs I now make sure to take my favourite vitamins along with my post recovery meal. I take Spirulina, Vitamin D, Calcium/Magnesium, and Omega 3 vitamins. I’d like to think that these vitamins have helped build my bones and help my muscles recover faster.

Secondly, I have said it before, but I’ll say it again: My knee sleeves have CURED my knee pain. I have worn them every single run since I got them (2 months ago or so??) and I no longer experience knee pain. A true life saver for me!

Thirdly, I have helped my blister issue by using Moleskin. It is a pain in the butt to put it on each run, but it is worth it. I also secure it with electrical tape and I have had no problems with blisters.

How do you get motivated to run on the days you don’t want to (like Sunday after the Wedding)?

I do a lot of pep-talks to myself and I use motivating phrases. Feed The Warrior works for me and puts a big smile on my face. Sometimes, I remind myself of how I will feel afterwards or those blissed out moments when I am running and everything seems right in the world. I also make sure I have lots of fuel in the tank!

I also have been wearing my 10k medal off and on to ramp up my motivation to race! Here I was this morning, mentally prepping myself for the 8 mile run (a distance I have not done since pre-injury):

img 9515 thumb   Training For My 1st 10 Mile Race: Q + A

So there you have it! I hope this has helped answer some of your questions. :)

Tonight’s question:

Have you ever had to revamp the way you approached exercise or training for an event? What did you do? Were you ever injured and as a result learned news ways of approaching your training?

angela signature thumb31   Training For My 1st 10 Mile Race: Q + A

Stay tuned for tomorrow AM for the post-run recovery food I am in love with! I will also be revealing a new Glo bar, and a fun relaxation exercise!

Previous Posts

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

heather July 14, 2009

Hi,

I don’t know how I found your site but I love it! It’s too bad your bakery goods can’t be delivered in the U.S.A. yet. They look scrumptious. Thanks to you I’m drinking Green Monsters everyday! Thank you! Is there any way you can add a ‘print version’ button to your site. I’m a new runner and I’d like to print some of your articles, like the one above so that I can follow the plan. Good luck to your new adventures in baking!

Heather

Hi Heather, Thank you for your comments :) I have a print function right now that I occasionally use for recipes, however it has a few problems. Eric is supposed to fix it for me so I hope to get it up and running soon. ~A

Reply

Kate July 14, 2009

I’ve definitely had to revamp my approach to exercise. After I injured myself in a spinning class back in March, I couldn’t do any cardio. I found pilates and rest were both critical during this time.

I’m also still revamping the way I look at exercise because I didn’t have a healthy relationship with it for much of the past 3 years. I’m still finding my balance, but no reason to rush the process! It’ll all work out in good time :)

Good luck on Sunday!!

Reply

Help Meghan Run July 14, 2009

Great info, Angela! I’m training for a half marathon right now, and my number one focus is staying injury-free. I only run 3 times a week and do lots of cross training and stretching. It’s fun to find the right balance. :)

HelpMeghanRun.com

Reply

Tammy (Defining Wellness) July 14, 2009

Rest days are so important, and feeling guilty is not productive! I’m so glad you posted about this topic. I find that I run much better after I take a rest day or two . . . plus, I enjoy my runs more!

Reply

Runjen July 14, 2009

That is so unbelievably true about how we have more energy for workouts after a day or two of rest days. My best workouts or run pretty much always follow a day of rest!

Reply

Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope July 14, 2009

I think it’s awesome how seriously you took the preparation for your race! I loved how you mentioned the importance of stretching. Evevn when I’m just running a couple of miles, I call really tell the difference if I stretch or not!

It’s also so important to listen to your body and take those rest days when you need them. Sounds like you definitely found your balance. Thanks for sharing all this info!

xxoo
Heather

Reply

Kathy (Moving Beyond Perfection) July 14, 2009

That is great that you are allowing your body to take rest days! Rest days are really just recovery days, and though it’s something I still have to remind myself of, rest days are necessary and do work wonders in making you feel great the next day.

Something else that might help reduce stiffness/soreness after long runs is a foam roller. I LOVE foam rollers, and plan on buying one the minute I have my own apartment and am finally settled for good!

Reply

Alex July 14, 2009

Angela, you are setting a fantastic example.

I hope more people realize that they can reach their goals without doing anything excessive or unhealthy.

The “No Pain, No Gain” motto just doesn’t hold true, does it?

Reply

Rachel July 14, 2009

I’m terrible at taking rest days and am trying to learn from your example. You’ll have a GREAT run on Sunday – those extra two miles will feel like nothing! Good luck!

Reply

Meghan@traveleatlove July 14, 2009

As I have mentioned before, my overtraining in the past has led to two stress fractures. I have altered my training so I never run more than 4 days a week.
I may try knee sleeves soon. I run and run and feel great in my breathing, heart rate etc, but the ache in my knees makes me feel like a robot and really makes for an unpleasant run!

Reply

Lizzie July 14, 2009

Angela – have you tried a foam roller? I love, love, love mine – it’s great for stretching out those muscles you didn’t even know were sore. I was a lazy stretcher too and then I injured my foot and was off for 2 weeks. That was a wake up call. Now if for some reason I don’t have time to stretch immediately after, I try and fit it in before I go to bed. I also didn’t know the importance of rest days until I started working with a trainer and since then my running has improved because I have more energy and I don’t feel guilty for taking a day off – it’s normal and needed! :)

Reply

Angi July 14, 2009

Thanks for this post. I find reading your blog has been helping make the necessary changes for my health.

I keep using my ACL tear from last May as an excuse to not exercise consistently. I want to do a 5k in October to raise money for ALS research. I am determined to get back to my running, slowly and following a training schedule.
Days off will need to be part of that plan.

Reply

Amanda July 14, 2009

Ever since I messed up my shins pretty badly training for my first half-marathon, I have tried to listen to my body more. I am now training for another half and have vowed to never run two days in a row! Better safe than sorry!

Reply

Jessica July 14, 2009

Awww i want a medal :) I can’t wait to stop being so freaking busy. Blah!
-muffy

Reply

Gillian July 14, 2009

I am uber pumped about Sunday!! I did my last run yesterday and will also be doing alternative exercises all week! Last year when I ran this race I had never done 10 miles since my last knee injury (I was around 8 like you now) – and I did in a time that blew me away – I just dug deep in the last few miles when I was DYING and pulled through. Being in a race with all the adrenalin makes your body do some amazing thing! We need to figure out where to meet up pre-race lady!!

Reply

*Andrea* July 14, 2009

thank you so much for posting a recap of your workouts. 10 of 30 days rest shows perspective for me. you look gorgeous and healthy ALL THE TIME and you eat lots of yummy food, workout without obsessing, and seem happy :) you rock!

Reply

Christina July 14, 2009

I need to take a tip from you about rest days. I often find myself feeling bad for taking one day off a week!

Reply

Dani July 14, 2009

Great post! I definitely need to stretch more… it helps so much when I do, but I just need to get into the habit! Good luck Sunday, you will rock it! :)

Reply

Susan July 14, 2009

I love how you stress the importance of REST. I always like to think that half my progress is made resting :) I injured my hip in May running more than I should have after an extended period of non-activity (exams!). I think the boost in mileage, paired with my stiff muscles was a recipe for an injury. Of course, I only realize this looking back. I had to back off all activity as well, and while it was a hard decision to make, it was the best one I could have made. After two full weeks of no workouts and a month off running, my hip is better and I have a much better perspective on how to tackle training :)

Reply

MarathonVal July 15, 2009

Ever since I sustained an injury (plantar fasciitis) while trining for my first marathon I, too, take a day off in between runs, and I absolutely feel that my running ability has improved as a result of this!

Reply

Brandi C July 15, 2009

Angela I think you’re a mind reader! You hit ALL the topics I’m interested in! Thanks for the Wonderful Information Lady :)

Reply

Fitzalan July 15, 2009

I have changed how I train for a race after I blew out my knee. After coming back from that injury, I decided I would enjoy training as much I enjoy racing. I don’t push myself too hard, I listen to my body and I walk when I need to. I don’t berate myself or feel guilty about it.

A major thing I do differently after my injury is how I treat my body. I ice my knees twice a day while training. If anything else is sore, I ice it too. I stretch EXTENSIVELY. I use the foam roller probably 3 times a week and I use The Stick every day. I try not to take Advil (I used to take it daily when training) because I want to listen to my body, not mask the pain. I also make sure I strength training my lower body specifically to avoid running injuries (make sure to do single legged squats, single leg press, etc.) to ensure that both legs are equally as strong, to avoid injury.

So far–I am having the most enjoyable half marathon training to date and I am only 3 weeks away from the race. I have learned to enjoy the journey in addition to the destination.

Happiness Awaits

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: