I recently ran in my first ever 10K, the Red River Run in Alexandria, LA. It was a great race and tons of fun before and after the race. I met some great new people and put faces with names of people I had spoken and/or emailed with before. The thing that made this race so significantly different from my past races was the amount and type of training I put in as race day approached.
I typically run about 30 miles a week. 10 in shoes, 10 in my KSO's and 10 barefoot. These are working, fluid numbers and have begun steering away from my Nike's and Asics and into my Vibrams and barefeet more often. I try to mix it up with trails, road and treadmills all throughout the week and never really skip any aspect of my 4 a day training schedule, unless I am adding a day or mileage or whatever. I have been nursing a few minor injuries the last few weeks and decided that my doctors were probably right and I should take some time off (even with a race coming up). I stopped running for 12 days, turned up the cross training on the stationary bike, alot of kettle-bell and medicine ball workouts and 3-5 short barefoot walks with my wife and dog each week. I normally skip the walks and go for my run or I run and just meet them on their walk and we finish the last mile together. It is a nice way to finish the day before a shower, dinner and time spent on the couch.
So the 2 weeks I took off before the race kind of worried me, like only someone with a mild case of OCD about their training regiment can worry. I figured I would keep the pace slow, maybe around a 9-9:30 and just have fun...right? I looked down at my Garmin about 1/2 a mile into the race and realized I was going entirely too fast...about a 6:45 pace. I backed it off to what seemed like a comfortably hard pace and decided I would hold it until I got winded or my legs started to act up again. 2 miles later I looked at the watch again...7:24...average...I still felt great and decided that there was something wrong with my watch and I should, just for safety, back it off again. I finished in 47:11.60, right at a 7:37 overall pace (the 10K ended up being like 6.25 or 6.35, I forget now).
So I started to think about what I did differently for this race. The biggest thing was the lack of running and the increase of x-training and gym time with compound exercises. I have decided that I will continue to run 3-5 times a week, just kind of throwing my old regiment out the window in favor of the new "idea"...run as far as feels comfortable 2 days a week. Run a long social run on the weekend (or a local 5K or whatever). Run 1 quality speed/hill/interval/tempo run a week...and make it really count...and start throwing in stationary bike 3 mornings a week and some type of high intensity training (cross-fit/kettle-bells etc) 4 times per week...hopefully Tuesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons.
So if you were able to struggle through my disjointed, sketchy writing and pulled the important pieces out of it, then great, it all sounds good inside my head when I think it, although I have been told it is hard to understand when I speak or write it down.
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