It finally happened, my first 16km run! For some readers this may seem like a breeze as they are experienced half or full marathon runners. And for some the 16km is a long way to go. Not too long ago I thought a 16km run was a bridge too far, but I made it happen.
Since this posts says that you can learn something from it, so here we go:
Mental Mind Set
I don’t think it will come as a surprise that a healthy mind is half the journey. If your head is not in the game then your result won’t be something you will be proud of or can really enjoy. And even worse, you could have done a lot better. I’ve been thinking about a longer run a few weeks before I actually ran my 16 km. I was running the Bay Run in Drummoyne (7km) for a few months and improving on my time, so my mind started wondering. I’ve been running this once, I want to run it twice!
Like inception, the seed was planted. All that needs to happen is letting the seed grow. I kept thinking, how awesome it would be if I was able to run it, how it would make me feel and how it would be one step closer to the half marathon goal. During my first lap of the Bay Run, I kept thinking about that second lap already preparing me to do it.
After the first lap, I stopped to stretch a bit and was literally at a crossroad. Left was back home, right was another lap of the bay run. I faked a leftie and did another lap. First 50 meters I was thinking, what are you doing!? Are you Nuts? After 250 Meters I was thinking, wow this is going really good! Good pace, not feeling tired or thirsty. All muscles are go!
Physical Mind Set
So during my second lap, about 10 to 11 km into my run I felt my knee getting a bit achy but kept running. It has happened before so wasn’t worried about it. My pace was getting a bit slower then during the first lap but it was still faster than the granny shuffle. I knew physically I could pull it off, I just had to keep on going until the mental finish line.
My longest run before was about 10 to 12 km, so doing a 16 should not be that much longer. All I knew was to keep running, it was ok to slow down but just keep putting that foot before the other one.
The (Bad) Result
I finished it! It was a long run but it felt good finishing it. Unfortunately I have no idea how long it actually took me. I didn’t have a watch on me which is really annoying as I would have loved to know how long it was. On the downside of that run is that my knee is sore and I haven’t been able to run since. Now I know my hamstrings are very short (and I am not flexible at all) so that is not very good for my running in general. According to my physiotherapist the cause of me not being able to run is because of my ITB (aka Runners Knee). Apparently this is a common injury among runners and can be quite a long recovery if not treated well.
A quick Google search will get you these results on what it is and how you can treat it.
Time to run – ITB
- Make sure you stretch before you start running. Its very important you are flexible. This may not be as important on shorter distances but when training for a half or full marathon being flexible is a crucial for good results.
- Keeping with the theme on stretching, also after the run, make sure you stretch. This might be where I went wrong and got me an injury. Not that being stubborn and not stretching enough has anything to do with it….
- During my run there were several water fountains and I needed to stay hydrated. I suggest you either bring a bottle of water or you stop off and have a sip or two.
- If you feel some tension on either your knee during or after the run. Make sure you ice it when you are done. If during your run, you get a lot of pain or tension, please stop and walk. Having an injury is on your knee can take weeks, its not worth it.
- If you go to the gym, make sure you strengthen your core and legs. This will help you with your running, running posture and long term running career.
That is all for today, happy running!