One of my favorite things about Chicago is that there is always some kind of race going on. Anything from little neighborhood 5Ks to the Chicago Marathon, there are plenty to choose from. Signing up for a race is a great way to keep yourself motivated… but unfortunately not so great for the bank account! At least it’s a healthy hobby… right?? (Please say yes and help me justify my spending.)
Earlier this summer, I unfortunately overslept the 6:30AM race start for the Chicago Rock N’Roll 10K. Side note: do not carb load the night before with tequila. I was anxious to get back into training and to redeem myself, so I signed up for the Monster Dash 10K with a few of my coworkers.
The best and the worst part about training for a race is the discipline of keeping with a training schedule. I am a huge fan of Hal Higdon’s (free) programs and have used them to train for a 10K, half marathon and marathon with great success. He offers a few different levels, depending on how experienced/serious you are, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to train for a race! This is the 8 week plan I followed:
Tempo Runs: 5 minute easy warm-up, gradually increase speed, 5 minutes easy cool down
Strength Day 1: plyos and light weight/high rep total body workout to increase power
Strength Day 2: high weight/low rep total body workout to increase strength
Interval Days: 400m intervals on treadmill (I hate the treadmill, but use it for interval workouts to keep my pace consistent); sprints at 9.0mph and recovery was 2 minutes at 6.0mph.
Race Pace: aimed for sub 8 min/mile.
Stretch: yoga once a week and A LOT of foam rolling
Long runs: whatever pace felt good on that day
I may not have followed this plan 100% perfectly, but I did my best to follow it the best that I could! Race training, macro tracking, etc. all comes down to consistency. So often we worry about perfection, and when we fail, we quit. Don’t strive for perfection; make consistency your #1 focus.
Hard work pays off! I ran the Monster Dash last Sunday and hit a new PR (46:46). Next up on the race calendar- Hot Chocolate 15K!