Yesterday morning was the final training run with my In Training for Peachtree folks, and boy am I glad it's done. I actually feel like I've learned a lot about running in general, not just getting ready for the Peachtree. Next Saturday will be an event to participate in, not a race that I can try to determine my 10k pace. As a recap, here's what I think I've learned over the past 10 weeks or so:
- The right shoes make a world of difference. Go to a running store and get fitted.
- Being tense in the shoulders and arms is fairly common and can lead to things like headaches and decreased performance. I didn't realize I was so tense until I began working on lowering my arms and shaking them out occasionally.
- Don't push off with your toes to go faster. This will create more shin problems and affect the distance you're able to run. Try striking with more of your foot and pushing off with your upper legs/glutes.
- It's pretty common to have hip/back soreness and problems when increasing your mileage. If you feel you need to cut back for a couple days, then do so. You know your body better than anyone else.
- Stretch!!! I don't recommend stretching before the run unless you've warmed up a bit, but stretching post-run is an absolute must.
- G2 is so awesome after a run, particularly when it's been really hot and you've been sweating like a pig.
- Bananas are still my go-to pre-run fuel.
- Not only does technical clothing help keep you cool, but you have to have the right kind of technical clothing. The hotter it is, the less clothing you wear period. If you're concerned about spectators judging you, just remember that you're out there running and working on improving yourself while they're being couch potatoes. Other runners will not judge because we're just like you - busting our butts outside to meet fitness and weight goals.
This has been a very interesting experience, and I whole heartily encourage everyone to try to get a coach. Even if it's temporary and in a group setting like my situation was, it was well worth it.