When Racing is Fun

It's been a hard year for me when it comes to running. I was injured most of last summer and fall. I spent the winter focusing on rehabbing my leg and doing lots of yoga. Physical Therapy was great and I learned a lot - about my body, why I was breaking down and why I was not getting faster. When I started running again, it was slow and short. I got stronger and faster and thought I could race a half marathon this fall. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Life threw me some obstacles and, of course, right around the time of the race! My July half marathon didn't go as planned and it took a little bit to get out of the funk. I was totally bummed- it was one of my slower half marathons. However, I have found some great running friends here in Seattle and they helped me get out of my funk; I ran Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage and just this past weekend, the Woodinville Destination Races Half Marathon. I did both of these events as fun runs and ended up with fast times and feeling great.

Sometimes you need to shift your focus and make races less about a time or a PR and more about the experience and the joy of running. I was able to wave to people on my half, enjoy the scenery and the post race wine and beer tasting event. I'm now ready to run again and focus on specific workouts and racing. I just needed a little fun in between. So, if you find yourself in a running funk or just can't get faster, take a different approach. You might even surprise yourself with the result!

Woodinville Half

How to Train for a 10k

If you want to crush your next 10k race, there are a few key things to remember. 

1) Give yourself ample amount of time to train. I recommend about 12 weeks if you are a beginner or new to running.

2) Set up a log book to record your runs and your workouts. Aim to run three times a week and then have one of your runs be a longer run so that you gradually work up to the 10k mark which is 6.2 miles.

3) Strength train. Two key exercises that you want to implement during your training are squats and opposite arm/leg extension. So when you are doing a squat, you want to have your feet about hips width apart and you want to sit back as if you were sitting back onto a stool. Come down all the way or just do a modified one if that hurts your knees. Gradually work up to two sets of 25 squats, two or three times a week. The opposite arm/leg extension is great because it builds up your core muscles and gives you balance. To do the opposite arm/leg extension, come down into a tabletop position and extend your left arm out and your right foot back. Inhale and then as you exhale, bring your elbow and your knee together, hold for a two second count and then inhale and extend all the way back out. Do that ten times on each side. That exercise is safe and effective to do every day.

Follow those 3 steps and you'll be on your way to crushing your next 10k race!