Sprinter, Fitness Model & Presenter Katie Williams gives us some insight on her top tips for outdoor training in Winter and 10 thoughts every Runner has during their first 10 K Race ??
My top tips for outdoor training in Winter would be:
1. Spend more time warming up the body (increasing your heart rate & doing mobility drills)
2. Keep moving during sessions – don’t stop long enough to totally cool down
3. Be an onion (layer up & peel off as your core temp increases)
4. Exercise at midday (if you have time to sneak off & get some Vitamin D)
When it comes to tackling a race of 10km or more, it’s all about putting yourself in the right frame of mind. Our affiliate Katie sat down with www.news.com.au on 10 thoughts every runner has during their first 10k race!
1. ‘Stopwatch on. Get ready to power off.’
Race day, it’s on. Pre-race jitters are very common and no amount of preparation the night before is going to stop you from triple-checking all your gear is charged and working.
“When you’re doing a 10km run, you’ll see a lot of people will have a stopwatch or calorie watch,” says Katie, “As soon as the gun goes off, start your stopwatch.”
You’re filled with excitement and energy. Your nerves start to build and your mind is filled with thoughts about your strategy: starting slow, building up speed, steadying your pace until you fly past the finish line.
“You want to have a good start,” Katie explains, “You’ve got to get your legs moving fast and try to break up from the mass so you don’t not get caught up in people.”
Can you see the crowd cheering? This is a big deal.
2. ‘Eat my dust – I’m breaking away from the pack!’
It’s the moment when the sound of the crowd depletes and it’s just you. You start to focus your attention to finding your position in the crowd and you slowly get your pace in check. At this point, it can go one of two ways according to Katie.
“If you blow all your energy at the start sometimes it’s difficult to pick up the pace,” she says.
“I’m a sprinter, but I have done the City to Surf a few times and plenty of 10km runs in the past. Because I sprint, I try to get away quickly but that often means I peak faster.”
3. ‘Hello adrenaline! I hope this lasts…’
It’s that burst of energy you hope will last for the entire race.
“You definitely get an adrenaline rush – especially during the race,” Katie reflects, “I never get one when I’m going for a regular run. It’s the sound of the gun, other people’s energy as well as your own.
“You want to do a good time and get a good place.”
Typically after your first kilometre it starts to feel like you’ve been running for ages. Time seems to stand still and you keep checking the time or your distance tracker to see how much further you have to go.
“It usually only lasts for the first 500m to kilometre and then you start to settle in. It does wear off but it’s great while it lasts,” she says.
4. ‘If I keep going like this, maybe I’ll set a new PB.’
Referred to as a “kilometre split”, Katie says this helps you to keep your pace and reach your personal time goals.
“It’s about knowing how comfortably you can run each kilometre in,” she explains. “It’s important to keep the time of each kilometre consistent so as not to blow out all your energy and run too fast at the start.”
For a lot of runners, beating their personal best time is the main goal. So while you have your desired time in mind, think of ways to speed it up. Marking people to overtake is a great way to keep your rhythm and speed up your pace. You have to make sure however, that you’re not going beyond a speed you can manage so as not to exhaust yourself.
5. ‘5km down. Uh oh … I went way too fast.’
It’s almost definitely going to happen during your race. Your nerves and adrenaline are getting the better of you and you’re focused on exerting as much energy as possible sometimes you can overdo it.
“This is when you have to take a step back,” Katie instructs.
“Relax your arms and shoulders and make sure you’re getting your breath back.”
You’re putting in the hard yards now, so it’s important to focus on how your body is feeling beneath the adrenaline.
6. ‘Get into rhythm & just breathe.’
You’re over the halfway mark. It’s a moment of absolute achievement but also resentment. You’ve reached that halfway point and all is good in the world… Until you realise you have another 5km to go. The only thing to do is get settled in for the rest of the race – there’s no stopping now.
“I try to relax my breathing. If I start to breath too fast I slow down to get it back.”
There’s nothing wrong with slowing down to get your breath in check, according to Katie.
“Every runner will breathe through the nose first,” she explains, “It’s just the technique used to get more oxygen. It’s more relaxing … in and out through the mouth is an easy way to get puffed out.”
7. ‘I’m only at the 7km mark … whose idea was this?!’
Some people downplay the idea of a 10km run. It’s not a quick sprint, nor is it a marathon. But it’s still a challenge for many of people regardless of their level of fitness.
“Even though it’s not a marathon, it’s actually really far,” Katie explains.
“[10km runs] separate the boys from the men. A lot of the time people who are running are either doing it for a place, a PB or just for fun.
“Even if you have trained for it you’re still in pain!”
You’re changing energy systems, your body is starting to use all the energy up and it’s starting to hurt.
8. ‘Even my arms are hurting … must lift my knees!’
It’s natural for your body to start seizing up the longer you’ve been exerting the energy. Katie’s interesting insight, is that if there are certain parts of your body that are hurting, you may need to pick up the performance of another part.
“It works in opposites. If your arms start to fatigue, you need to lift your knees higher to take the pressure off and vice versa.”
“Your body has to compensate,” she advises, “if I lift my knees higher my body will start moving faster.”
No pain, no gain. Putting your body through a long distance race will always create sore muscles. You should make sure you stretch sufficiently before and after to ensure you prevent injury and stiffness. A relaxing massage wouldn’t hurt either.
9. ‘At least I look the part in my outfit and new kicks.’
Many people would agree, looking the part helps you to feel the part. You’ll notice at any 10km event, there are people with the latest gear and fitness wear. For Katie, it definitely helps her feel motivated.
“You’ve got to feel comfortable – even little things like wearing the right underwear,” Katie suggests.
“It’s too hard to run consistently and worry about your hair not being tight enough, or if your socks are uncomfortable, etc.”
“I always wear compression tights when I’m running and a hat if it’s a long distance run. The type of shoes I wear will always be supportive. The more supportive the shoe the less likely you are to get shin splints.”
10. ‘I wonder how many calories I’ve burnt?’
“Surely I’ll deserve that second scoop of Messina ice cream?” Katie jokes.
Sometimes the only thing you’re thinking about is how you’re going to treat yourself afterwards. Food is fuel, so it’s completely normal that you would be thinking about how you’re going to recharge, (or treat yourself) after the run.
11. ‘Time to put turbo speed on. Wow, where did this energy come from?’
“I definitely find that in the last kilometre, as soon as you know there’s only one more to go the mental thing kicks in – even if you think you have nothing left you just get a last shot of adrenaline.”
This is the time to push your last burst of energy. Knuckle down, pump up your playlist with a motivating tune and settle in for the last part of your race.
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