Here’s the tricky part about racing: you can’t do it without practice. Having ended my competitive dancing career almost one year ago, being busy with the start of my university studies, and generally not having any goal to work towards athletically, my shape has gotten out of it. So with just one week to prepare (and still midterms to write!) all I could really do is… run. I’m no personal trainer, but the way I think I can personally prepare best for this race, is to improve a little day by day. I did my first training: 5.6km, about 30% of which I took breaks to walk instead of run. Next up: trying to balance out my speed to be able to run the whole distance of 5.6km. And finally, adding distance day by day until the race!
I didn’t realize what I had gotten myself into until I did that first practice. It is really damn cold in Toronto this time of year! I think what kept me running was the fact that every time I slowed down, I started to get cold. But I’m always up for a challenge, and I love the fact that after a year, I finally have a goal I can work towards in terms of my athleticism. The #runmore race is about running without being able to complain you don’t have time to run (because, well, you don’t lose any thanks to Daylight Savings Time), and also about supporting the Canadian Olympic Foundation. This is huge for me, having participated almost my whole life in a sport that got almost no support from its association or the government. If I can make a small change in other athletes’ opportunities, this is the best that I can do! Learn more about the race here. Unfortunately, registration is closed at this time, but you can definitely look forward to the next one! (And have more than a week to prepare, unlike me.)
My biggest challenge so far is to keep running. It’s sad to admit, but I don’t spend nearly enough time outdoors to be used to that large amount of fresh air. I also have the tendency to run too fast right away, and as a result I run out of gas real quick. On top of all of that, having forgotten about the athlete life, I don’t eat anywhere near properly enough to go and run 10k. Luckily, I’m running the race with a good friend of mine, Antonina Smar, who is super athletic, and who I am able to turn to for reminders and tips about how to prepare.
Here are the most important things she’s told me so far:
eating/drinking before: oatmeal. fruits. carbs! Take a 40-minute break after your last bite in order to digest before heading out for your run. Stay hydrated!
getting through the run: Don’t stop! (I should listen to this one better). Push through the pain. Slow down if you need to, but whatever you do, don’t stop running.
figure out your time of day: just like with work, some of us are morning people, and some of us are night owls. Figure out what time of day gets you performing better and improving with each run.
start running at same time of day as your race: once you’ve made progress during your own time of day, start running at a time closer to the real time of your race. That way, when you get there, your body won’t panic if you’re used to running in the morning and the race is at night.
Do you have any other quick tips for running? What has worked for you in the past?
Looking forward, and also extremely scared for the race this weekend! Not sure how much I could really prepare myself in the next five days, especially with a midterm left, but I am up for the challenge.