29 September 2022
HOW TO PREP FOR A 10K... NOT
by Greg Buford
let me explain...
When I sat down to write this blog post, it was initially with the intent to be a very informative guide on how a newbie could best prep for a 10K. I mean newbie in the sense, that I had run track and field in high school, up to the 400m and rarely 800m distances, and the longest run I had done was a “Fun Run/Walk” 5K, but that’s 7-8+years ago at least.
Back to the very informative guide part though. I was expecting this guide to help you train better by providing advice on scheduling, diet, prep, etc, but as I gathered my notes and thoughts, I realized my running plan was much better than my execution. As a result, this guide has more or less become a what NOT to do.
“I was expecting this guide...”
So to start, I was planning to run three to four times a week for about two and a half months, but due to variables that are probably bullshit, that schedule was more like one or two days of running a week every other week. On top of that, due to lack of plan execution, I hadn’t trained much run variety, so I unintentionally trained myself for a more moderate/relaxed pace, which was slower than planned.
#1: don’t NOT train consistently and variably
On top of that, I had planned on eating more carbohydrates to provide more fuel for the runs I was going to do, but that too, didn’t go as planned. I mindlessly failed to alter my diet to include more carbs, so the runs I did do, felt sluggish and the HIIT workouts I incorporated were LIIT. Legit, my energy was depleted and I was a huge grouch.
#2: don’t NOT adjust your diet for your training/goals
"you can just as easily hit snooze"
How else did I drop the ball? Great question! Well one big way was not having a consistent sleeping schedule. Whether it’d be varying my waking or resting times, my sleeping schedule was shot, and as a result, my energy levels for all other activities fluctuated, as I found myself relying on caffeine. Of course, you can set an alarm to help, but you can just as easily hit snooze or shut it off.
#3: don’t NOT have a sleep schedule you can stick to
Yeah, you’d think the bad news would stop there, but lastly, I had made the mistake of planning my business and pleasure too close together. See what happened was, I had signed up for the Under Armour 10K months in advance, but a couple weeks prior to running Sunday, my friends were talking about going to a music fest in a couple weeks. I said, “send that!”, then soon realized that my race was sandwiched in between the festival days. Long story short, I started the race running on fumes, a granola bar and a few sips of water, but once I reached the Gatorade table at two and a half or three miles, I was much better.
#4: don’t NOT properly rest, hydrate, and fuel electrolytes for race day
Nonetheless, I finished the race in what I think was a decent 52:28, even through the 90% humidity. That’s the only pat on the back I’m giving myself, but still very fortunate to have had this experience, because I didn’t die which means maybe a half marathon or full isn’t as ridiculous as I initially thought. I do still think it’s ridiculous, but a kind of ridiculous that I’m curious to explore. Maybe when that’s done, I can have some more DOs/ DONTs for You/Yous.
* if double negatives are hard work, just don’t not drop the first two words from each tip *