A few weeks ago a friend asking for some 10k tips. She just finished her first 5k and was thinking about trying out a 10k. I was so excited to geek out with her about the experience!
When I say excited, I mean thrilled! I had no idea she was curious about running. That is, until now. Not only did she just complete her first 5k but was thinking about signing up for a 10k!
I know that after my first 5k I was so excited I couldn’t stop talking about the experience and was eager to explore what comes next. At first, the 5k was intimidating and I couldn’t imagine ever running a double or even triple that. Something about those double digits and longer distances seemed unreal. When I decided to take the risk and sign up, with a little training, I found that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. If you can run a 5k you absolutely are ready to take on a 10k and are on track for conquering a 15k.
Below are a few questions my friends had. Feel free to share any comments or questions that you may have about jumping into your first 10k.
What do you wear? Shoes, clothes, etc.; are there any recommendation since I will be running farther than I have in the past.
My recommendation: Avoid cotton clothing. The only time chafing is guaranteed is while wearing cotton. If you haven’t experienced chafing, you don’t want to, just trust me on this. As a rule of thumb, I always wear something I have run in before to avoid any outfit surprises. It is frustrating when my new pants just won’t stay up and I would rather find that out while training when I can cut my mileage short and change.
Shoes and socks; make sure you have run in your shoes and socks before. New shoes might feel awesome in the store and look really cool, but I always want to make sure I know exactly what my feet think about them, especially 6 miles in. Same goes for socks. I have found that my feet like socks that have been warn and washed a few times rather than fresh from the store. Blisters and black toenails are painful and distracting.
Chafing?? If you are worried about chafing or just want to exercise caution use Body Glide, Body Glide, Body Glide. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of it everywhere! I always say you can never use too much. A new distance can cause new problems, so I always lube up with this stuff to at least cut out chafing. They make a few different kinds (cycle, for her, and standard blue) but I have found they are all the same. My favorite is the stick one.
Should I run with a water bottle? Some people say you should. Is it really necessary?
My recommendation: Practice with one and if you like it bring it. Someone told me that if I run for longer than an hour I should carry a water bottle. My 10k pace is about 10 minutes per mile so that puts me at just over 60 minutes. With that said, there normally are water-stations (at least one) set up along the course for most organized runs, so you may not need to bring your own. Check the race website to confirm this the day before. Or just plan on bringing a water bottle to avoid the chaos that drinking from Dixie Cups cause while running. I still haven’t quite mastered it. 🙂
What do I eat the day before and morning of? Power Bars, Protein Shakes, Carbo-Lode?
My Recommendation: Eat like you normally would for any run. Changing a morning routine the day of a race can cause some pretty gnarly results, including the dreaded “Mud Butt”. (Ever heard the saying “never trust a fart”…) There is nothing worse than running in a giant group of people with a HUGE stomach cramp and a line for the Port-a-Potty. My pre-race morning of meal usually consists of a “power bar” from the Safeway bakery, a slightly green banana, some hot herbal tea, and right before a run I pop some energy Jelly Beans. I tend to avoid oatmeal right before a run as that gets my digestive track moving. My week leading up to a run I try to incorporate more carbs into my meals (but I don’t normally eat a heavy amount). The night before I try to have dinner around 4:30 or 5 that includes things like protein packed quinoa, baked chicken, and some raw veggies to add a little crunch.
I am afraid I won’t be able to run the whole time. What if I have to walk?
My Recommendation: If you have to walk, walk. My yoga practice has taught me to listen to my body. If something doesn’t feel right the address it. If I need to walk I walk. Also know that a huge part of running is your mind telling you to stop when your body can still go. Don’t give up on yourself because you are tired, but don’t push yourself beyond what your body can take. In the book, Running a Love Story, the author explains that she reached new distances by setting goal like “Run 9 minutes, then walk 1 minute”.
Most of all if go out there and have fun! Enjoy the starting corrals. Smile for all the cameras. Pin your bib right over your stomach so the number is easy to read. And don’t forget to tell me all about it!