Running 101

Have you ever been talking to a runner and feel like they are speaking a foreign language? Kilometers, miles, fartlek, intervals, PR, LE, and the list goes on! So here it is – the 101 of talking to a runner…

Disclaimer: you do not have to be a runner to talk to a runner. But if you do talk to a runner… Running is all they really want to talk about!

First lesson is easy: Not ever race is a marathon! The marathon is the pinnacle of the runners dream, but all races are not marathons. So let’s talk about distances:
5K = 3.1 miles
10K = 6.2 miles
15K = 9.3 miles
Half Marathon (or 21K) = 13.1 miles
Marathon = 26.2 miles or 42K
Yes, we know we could just drive these distances instead, but we enjoy this!

Second lesson: Not every runner is a Kenyan! We may not all run at lightening speeds, but we are proud of any progress we make against ourselves. Yes, we may have friendly competitions, but the holy grail of racing timed events is the PR or personal record (some also refer to this as a PB or personal best)! This means that we have beaten our previous time for the distance we ran. It might be by 5 seconds or by 5 minutes, but either way we celebrate!

Third lesson: We are not all natural runners! We have to work at it. We have good days and bad.
Some people can go out and run five miles without stopping. Others of us run intervals. I love intervals. Currently in my marathon training I’m holding to a run one mile, walk .1 mile interval. It gives my heart rate time to recover and gives my muscles some much needed rest.

Fourth Lesson: Training is tough! No matter what distance a runner is training for – it’s tough! Even if they’ve run 10 – 5Ks before, they may be training to run their fastest 5k ever. I remember training to break the 30 minute 5K barrier (which I have only done once!), it was one of the toughest trainings because I was pushing my pace more so than I had done before. I may have only run 2-3 miles on a training run, but they were full out and non-stop pushing!
On the other hand, training for long distances, like I’m doing now for the SpaceCoast marathon, consumes your life! Hydration, fueling and running are daily and constant reminders of the journey ahead. Ensuring that you are giving your body the water and food it needs to run the longer distances isn’t hap-hazard. We went to a restaurant on Friday night and I had my 13 mile Saturday run in the back of my mind while ordering. They only had ONE pasta dish! Carbs are the fuel your body needs the night before a run like this. So I ordered a meal I wasn’t truly excited about because I knew my body needed it. (Side note: we were at Bonefish and the meal was delicious!)
We wake up at ungodly hours in the morning to make sure we can get our runs in before the sun becomes so ridiculously hot we nearly faint!

So there are your first four lessons… Keep reading with Running 102!



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