Hey friends!

How are you today? In addition to my weekly fitness feature, I thought I’d roll last weekend’s Waterloo 10K Classic recap into this post. I’ll be off to Guelph this Sunday to compete in my first duathlon (one of my goals for 2014), but I’ll tell ya more about that on Monday.

The 10K was this past Sunday at 9am, and I’m not going to lie – I woke up in a mindset that was far from where I like to be on the morning of a race. The week prior was a really busy one, so I was working on catching up on sleep and just letting my body relax. Sunday morning rolled around and I still felt kinda sluggish, but got myself dressed and hopped in the car.

Waterloo10K Classic running gear

The route covered streets that I run regularly – the only difference was that normally I do these roads in the opposite direction so that I get to run downhill instead of up! It was hot and humid, but I used some of my mental tricks to distract myself from the negative thoughts I’d been letting float around my mind before the race. Instead of thinking about how I was tired, or looking at my watch to check my pace (which I almost never do), I did the following:

  • Counted to 7 over and over and over again in my head
  • Wondered if the race organizers would have post-run watermelon available at the finish line like they did at the last RunWaterloo race
  • Thought about places in the world I’d love to run most (these include Australia, Oregon, California, Hawaii, and New Zealand.)

Waterloo 10K Classic

Occasionally thoughts like “You won’t be able to sustain this pace” and “It’s ok to just slow down – you don’t have to try to PR this one” popped up, but I’ve been working just as hard at getting mentally stronger as physically stronger in my training, and thankfully the negativity was crowded out by my little distractors above. My strategy was to go steady up the hills without trying to kill them (which would have required lots of effort), and use the downhills to my advantage by picking up the pace on those portions.

Waterloo 10K Classic

The last stretch was a nice flat road, followed by a lap around a 400m track. I picked it up as fast as my legs could carry me for the last 150-ish meters, and came across the finish line with an official chip time of 41:55.

Waterloo 10K Classic - Post-race

Considering that my 10K PR of 40:46 was set earlier this year at the Yonge St 10K (net downhill and cooler weather), I was totally fine with this race being only about 1 minute slower. I definitely wasn’t expecting to place, but ended up being the 3rd woman overall. Jessour other race buddies and I enjoyed some time basking in the sun on the field while the awards were presented, and best of all, there was plenty of this:

Post-race watermelon

Watermelon + Vega Recovery Accelerator = best post-race snacks ever.

And now, into your Fit Bit Friday for this week!

Work It Out

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been receiving lots of emails from you guys about the best way to go about running faster. To be honest, I don’t know if there’s a ‘best way’, but I’m certainly willing to share some workouts that I’ve used to accomplish this goal. Today’s routine (a 3-part combo) is really simple, and it can be altered to suit your fitness level.

Source: Runner's World

Source: Runner’s World

The Run a Faster 10K Workout

The runs below can be done on a treadmill or outside. If you’re outside, it helps to have a sports watch like a Garmin or Polar to help you monitor your pace. Relying on feel is fine, but when you start to get tired, it’s hard to tell whether or not you’re still running at the same paces as you were at the beginning of the workout.

Step 1: Determine your target race pace. So say you want to finish your next 10K in 45 minutes. That means you’d have to run each kilometer in 4:30. (To figure out your target pace, use this calculator from Runner’s World.)

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the charts below. They show weeks 1, 2, and 3. Ideally, you’d do the week 1 workout twice in that week, along with another run of your choice. (For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday might be your running days, and you could do the week 1 routine on Monday and Friday.) The same applies for the week 2 and week 3 workouts. Do them twice in combination with another run day, giving yourself adequate time to recover in between. You’ll see that as the weeks progress, so do the number of kilometers covered at your target race pace. Gradually, you’ll be teaching your body to run faster.

Fit Bit Friday 146 - The Run a Faster 10K Workout

 Click here to print the 3-week plan.

Step 3: Go running!

And after all 3 weeks… If you like, you can extend the program. To continue progressing, either add more distance covered at race pace, or adjust your target race pace to be even faster. You can also apply similar progressions to any other distance, whether you’re looking to run a faster 5K, half marathon, or marathon.

Turn It Up

A few weeks ago I shared OneRepublic’s Life in Colour, and because their Native album is SO good, I couldn’t resist giving you one more. So here you are, it’s Love Runs Out, a song with a great driving beat that I’ve had in my playlists for pretty much every gym cardio session over the past 3 weeks. Enjoy!

Have A Read

Now, before you go, tell me…

  • Do you have any favourite workouts that you use to improve your running/cycling/swimming etc times? 
  • What are you up to this weekend?