Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and a very good day to readers of my blog,
Today, I want to share with you some things that I've learned from my recent stint in the 10 km category of the Putrajaya Night Marathon 2016 last Saturday, 12 November 2016 (which I think some of you had joined as well).
This run was only my second 10 km run that I've done. I'm sure some of you have more experience than me, but hopefully this can be sort of a refresher for you guys and also something newbies like me can learn and share..
Some of the things that I've learned from the run are...
1. Flat Terrain Can Be Deceiving
Yes, PNM 2016 is mostly flat in its terrain, meaning there's not much climbing needed to be done during the run. This makes us feel that we can run fast as far as we can. However, this notion can be very deceiving as when we start to quicken our pace, our heart will start to pump more blood around our body especially towards the feet and hands because the body's activity is heightened.
When the faster heart rate happens, we need to learn to pace ourselves and take it easy for a little bit...which takes us to the second point which is....
2. Listen To Your Heart (Or In This Case, Your Body)
No, I'm not talking about the 90s song, "Listen To Your Heart" by Roxette, but simply when we do our running, no matter for a formal event like a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, or even in our leisurely runs by ourselves, we always need to listen to our bodies.
What I mean here is, we need to closely monitor or feel how fast our heart rate is. This is because like I mentioned earlier, a heightened level of body activity would naturally lead to a higher heart rate. While running, we can actually feel whether our body can take the higher heart rate or not. Therefore, if you start feeling heavy in your breathing, that's a sign that you need to slow down a bit, and this does not mean you don't move at all. Brisk walking is good to ensure you maintain a steady pace during the running routine and keep within your timing, especially when there is a cutoff time involved to get a finishing medal.
3. Time Is Your Friend and Motivator
In relation to my last sentence in point number 2, time is indeed your friend during running, especially when there is cutoff time involved. This is because, time is the one thing we need to monitor to ensure that we keep ourselves well-paced within the cutoff time (particularly for runs within the length of 10 km and above).
We can simply monitor our time using our watch (even analog watches) and take note of our start time once we hit the starting line mat, and again take note of the time as we hit the finishing line mat at the end of the run.
If you want to monitor more than just your overall timing, and you want more info like your pace per kilometre, then make your smartphones are more runner-friendly. There's lots of apps to track your running activity in both Android and iOS like Runtastic, Strava, Nike Running App and many more. Just pick one which suits you best, install it and you're good to go.
Trust me, using a running app is definitely a morale booster as you know exactly your overall timing and pace as well as how well you've done on a per kilometer basis. This is really great if you're out to always better yourself in terms of pace and timing.
So, there you have it guys. Some little things that I picked up so far as an amateur runner. Hope you guys benefited from this article, and do give your comments on this article if you have other tips to share as well....
All in all, RUN FUN, RUN HAPPY and FINISH STRONG. Remember, every winner was once a beginner.