So, you’ve decided to run the acclaimed BolderBoulder…or you got roped into it by a bunch of adventurous friends! To top it off, it seems as though everyone and their mom have their own ideas about how to best prepare and train for it. Don’t fret, with just over two months to go before the 35th annual running of the BolderBoulder 10K , there is still plenty of time to train and have a successful race. But, where do you start?
For many runners, a 10k race (6.2 miles) is a major landmark and significant accomplishment. It shows great improvement over the 5k and involves some serious distance. Adding to its popularity is the fact that it’s an attainable distance for most runners and “non-runners” alike.
Assuming you’ve been professionally fitted in appropriate running shoes at your local running store, there are a few important tips to keep in mind that can make your training more enjoyable, help to keep you injury free, and make your 2013 BolderBoulder experience a great race to remember.
1. Train smart. First of all, follow a training plan. A professional plan will ensure that you increase your distance slowly and gradually to reduce your chances of getting injured. It will also contain all-important rest days that allow your body to recover and adapt. Training smart also means training within your personal limits. Resist the urge to run 6.2 miles on your first day out or to run at an all-out sprint. Remember to take it slowly and run at your pace. If you start out and can only run one mile, don’t sweat it. Take a little walk break until you’re ready to run again.
2. Train consistently. Consistency in running is the key to success and cannot be emphasized enough. It doesn’t mean you have to run seven days a week (please adhere to the rest days), but that you are running a minimum of 3-4 days per week, each week, each month. Consistency builds endurance and strength in your cardiovascular, muscular and skeletal systems. Consistent time on your feet conditions your body to sustain the effort required to run 6.2 miles, making your running and breathing easier, and the whole experience more enjoyable. Train consistently and your fitness will come!
3. Crosstrain. It’s easy to lose motivation and experience burnout at some point when all you do is run, so here’s your chance to mix it up. Adding other activities to your week, be it yoga, swimming, cycling, or strength training, allows you to continue gaining fitness and strength, while giving your main running muscles a break. Cross-training will also help strengthen secondary muscles that enhance your running, keep your workouts interesting, and create balance in your training. Get creative and go to that Zumba class you’ve been eyeing, or the spin class you’ve always wanted to try; the options are endless, just keep it fresh and keep it fun.
No matter how much or how often you’re used to running, use these basic, but effective tools in your training to prepare your body, mind, and spirit for the fun and craziness that is considered by many, “America’s All-Time Best 10K.”
Dena Powell, RRCA-C is a nationally certified distance running coach for Peak Energy Performance Therapy in Lone Tree, CO. As an avid runner and triathlete, she coaches and trains runners of all skill levels. If you would like more training tips, coaching or a detailed running program she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.