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What I Learnt From My First 10k Race

This year I took part in my very first 10k race. I had never really dreamed of taking part in a 10k, however, I dream of taking part in a half-marathon. Instead of setting this goal in the distant future and stick to the measly 5k, I decided that this year I should get my guns out and take a small step into the right direction: 10 kilometers.

I hadn't expected much of a result from this race. After all, I am not a sprint-racer (lacking leg length for this ... and more crucial: speed) and it was my first time taking part in such a distance. Instead, I focused on finishing without any breaks. That was the goal.

As the race started I quickly noticed that the groups started to separate, the quick ones right in front. Then a smaller middle blob, and the slow three ones at the back. Since it was a small event with mostly sports club members taking part. When I was at the end of the second from three laps, a man even lapped me! This should either be something that ruins my  confidence or boosts it out of pure spite.

However, it bothered me not nearly as much as I thought it would. Instead I kept on doing my own thing. This was one of the few lessons of life and jogging I learned during this particular 10k race.

Do Your Own Thing


When it comes to 5k you can always somehow manage it and it does not matter a lot what you do. If you have a too fast start you'll survive. If you run one kilometer way too fast and the other too slow, it is annoying but your body can cope.

However, 10k are much more punishing of these mistakes. If you manage your energy badly, and decide to go all guns blazing for the first kilometers you're going to be nothing more than a dirty and miserable piece of cheese halfway through. Instead, what you need is find a steady pace that is suited  right for you, one that you can keep at.

At the same time, you need to make sure that you are not tempted into too fast running by others. Yeah, getting lapped was a strange experience. Then again it was a sports club member who was about two meters tall.

On the other hand you had me, who is far from two meters tall and runs as a hobby. Of course, I was going to be lapped. This should not tempt me into trying to keep up with a man I was not going to be beat anyway, and possibly ruin my own race!

Keep Pushing


One of the problems of running on race day, is that they are never perfect. There is always something wrong and slightly annoying. Sometimes it is a clothes issue: after all you left the house sooner, and when it was cooler but now the long leggings are redundant and you can't change.

I had a clothes issue. It was not a particularly hot day, but it started to be incredibly humid because very soon after the race it started to rain. Then I remembered that I had jogged in heat up to 33°C while training and managed to push through this. So I might as well here.

I just had to remind myself of the smaller issues I had in training to remember and those can be overcome on race day much the same way.

You just gotta keep it in mind and keep pushing! Don't give up.


Set The Right Goals


Most people who took part in this race have set goals. Maybe they wanted to run this faster than their last time. Maybe they wanted to beat their friend, just like the friend wanted to beat them and thus creating a healthy rivalry that would motivate both.

I started with two simple goals:


  •  run the full distance in one stint
  •  run it in or under the time I managed in my trail 10k run


These are wildly different from the ones that Heinz Competitive Runner had. However, not only were they achievable, they were just right for me and my first go at 10k as well.



People are going to be happy for you 


This was the most positive and heartwarming thing I noticed. I may not have finished best overall - far from it - but when I told friends and family about my time - which was almost five minutes faster than my time in training - they were happy for me. When I told people at work I ran my first 10k in an hour and a bit, they said it was properly good.

In fact, I actually finished third in my class. This was mostly down to the lack of competitors but nobody made me feel like I did not deserve the little trophy I was given. In fact, I had a little chat to another lady on the podium (hello!), and she was very nice and congratulated me on the result.

I did not feel like the happiness was undeserved because I did improve massively during the run, and I reached all my goals. Hence, I was proud of myself as well. That's the most important part.


It may sound soppy or like typical lifestyle blogger twaddle, however, when you think about it, these small lessons do not only apply to a 10k race but to life as well.

Often people manage to achieve the same goal faster than you do. Does that mean that all your efforts are wasted and shit? No, it does not. Life is tough and you have to push from time to time, in the end you're going to get to the finishing line - not referring to death here - at your own pace.

Then you'll know that you will have rocked it and achieved something great!

12 comments :

  1. "Do your own thing" A crucial lesson that I've only learned in the last few years. Loved this.

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  2. Good on you, this is a brilliant achievement! Running is probably my least favourite form of exercise because I'm so bad at it, but this post has actually inspired my to put my trainers on! I'm glad that the guy lapping you didn't get you down - it's important to work at your own pace and do what's right for you and your body! Huge well done, I'm proud of you!

    Abbey ❤️ http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! I hope you also enjoy your newfound motivation to go jogging again.

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  3. Congratulations on your first 10K! 5K is my absolute maximum, I just don't enjoy running anymore after that point. I guess that's also part of 'doing your own thing' :)

    x Envy

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    1. Ha ha, yes I suppose it is. I know what you mean, I won't do a full marathon because I think I'd get bored. #NeverSayNeverTho

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  4. I applaud you for doing this. What a journey can teach us is so valuable in itself! I do recognize this clothing issue. I always seem to manage to pull it off to. 3th place is a real achievment. Do not downtalk yourself

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  5. Wow well done - I think it's amazing that you finished this race!! 'Do your own thing' is the best bit of advice ever. Great post xxx

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  6. I loved reading this. I recently started running again after a bad ankle sprain and have started looking at races for early next year so it was great hearing about someone else's experience! Well done for completing your first one!! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, I hope you can get into running again despite the ankle injury. My fingers are crossed for you :)

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  7. Serious congratulations on running 10k! I'm definitely not a runner and I can say with confidence that I'll never run this but I found this post really inspiring anyway!- https://sophiehearts.net x

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