Saturday, November 5, 2011

Racing my first 10K

Today I finally bit the bullet and registered for a race I've been eyeing for a long time, the YMCA Turkey Chase. I have been hesitant to do this because I like to be cozy (read: lazy) on Thanksgiving morning and I have plans to play a hardcore game of football with my friends that afternoon.

But, when I put "Run a 10k and PR" on my list of November goals, I was committed. I realize that it's impossible for me not to PR but when I say "PR" in this instance, I am not talking about setting a personal record for the 10k distance. I am talking about setting a personal record race pace which means I have to run faster than an average of 9:04 minutes/mile for 6.2 miles.

My real goal is to really push myself and run fast. When registering, I had to enter my expected finish time and I selected "53 minutes" which means I have to run 6.2 miles in 8:31 minutes each. Now that it's in writing, it is something I have to work toward.

The question is: how do I work toward this goal? Luckily, my new Run Less Run Faster book has a detailed 10k training schedule. Unluckily, the schedule starts 12 weeks out from the race and mine is in 19 days. So that won't exactly work but it has helped me form my own quick plan. Here is how I will run less and run faster in the next nineteen days.

Once I feel that I really understand it, I will post more about the Run Less Run Faster program but the premise is that doing only 3 key runs (track workout for speed, tempo run, and long run) a week, and mixing in 2-3 non-weight bearing cross training sessions, will help your fitness and speed and will reduce the impact and stress on your body.

As someone who feels, and fears, the impact that running has had on my knees, I am very intrigued, and nearly sold, on this training plan. I'll see how it works over these short three weeks and then maybe take it more seriously for a future race.

Whatever my pace ends up being, the best thing of all about this race is that it runs within two blocks of my parents' house. So, while they're hard at work in the kitchen, they can take a little walk down the street to see me run by. I just made this discovery today and, let's be honest, that's really why I gave in and registered.

Can't wait for thanksgiving and for my first official (non-virtual) holiday race!

Have you ever run a holiday race? Do you have any good advice for last minute 10k training?

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