Saturday, February 26, 2011

My First 5k

Well after much ado, the big day finally arrived today. As most of you probably know one of my fitness resolutions this year was to run in a 5k race and today I did just that. I must say I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. First I want to give a big thanks to Kim & Bruce Gaughft for coming out today and running with me and I also want to say a big thanks to the Gulf Coast Running Club and Disability Connections for hosting the event and for raising money for a good cause.
I have trained for this event for nearly 2 months now... probably not as consistently as I should have but I have made it a point to train as I wanted to have a good race time. The training prepared me to run distance better than I thought I would, what it did not prepare me for was the event as a whole.

If you have never participated in a running race let me tell you it is not what I expected. I don't know what i expected, but let me tell you about some of the sights and sounds and then offer a few tips to anyone who has never ran a race before.

I got to the event an hour before the race and had time to walk around, loosen up and mostly people watch. There was so much to see. There were men women and children of all ages. There were people who had clearly showed up to support the charity and had no care whatsoever about what kind of time they put up. There were others like myself who were challenging themselves and were there to for the run. There was a third group that seemed to love the social aspect of the race. Finally there was the group I found most interesting and entertaining. This was the competitive group, they showed up early and were running warm up sprints, there were wearing shoes that matched their shorts, or they were running shirtless. It was amazing to me how carefree some people seemed about the race and how serious others seemed.

As far as the race goes... I finished! I beat my goal of 30 Minutes! So it was great! Here are the official results. I finished 130 out of 244 but I am pleased with that.

I will now offer 5 tips that I have learned for anyone who wants to test themselves by running their first 5k.

1. Invest in a good pair of running shoes. running is not an expensive exercise to undertake but it is important to make sure you have a good pair of shoes to keep from hurting your feet.

2. Properly Train for about several weeks prior to the race Runners World offers this 5 Week Plan. If you don't think that is enough time Couch 2 5k has a great 9 week program.

3. Set a goal for yourself. Whether the goal is to finish or whether you set a time goal make sure to realistically challenge yourself.

4. Don't be ultra-competitive. Remember you are not running against the other people but you are running to Challenge yourself. If you start out too fast you will not finish as strongly as you hope. Also never be afraid to walk. plenty of people will walk at least some of the race

5. Have fun. The crowd was very friendly and even though I came in 130th there were probably 30 runners who had finished before me standing at the finish line cheering for the runners who were still coming in.

For many more tips here are some insights from Runners World.

No comments:

Post a Comment