How NOT To Run A 5K

Friday, June 04, 2010

I  signed up for the Neutrogena Run 2010 last month.  It was my 3rd run and so I considered myself a bit more experienced than the 1st timers.   I wasn't able to prepare for this run as much as I did for my 2nd run which I was proud of.   To make matters worse,  I just came from a out of town trip to Lucban, Quezon the day before and due to unforeseen circumstances, we got home very late.  No that's an understatement.  We got home early the next day.

How late ?  Let's just say that I got to the racing venue around 3 hours before start.   But I just came from the trip and haven't gone home yet.  That's how late.   So with 2 hours of sleep, I already knew I wouldn't perform as well as I wanted to be.  And during my entire run, I was thinking about writing this to warn others what NOT to do to avoid the same mishap I endured.

So here it is.  My Top 10 Things NOT to do for a run.

  1. Get ample rest.  Get 8 hours sleep.  Heck get 12 hours sleep.  The merits of being well rested will increase your needed energy burst during the run.

  2. Be cool, relaxed, & rejuvenated.   I came to the run late, panicky and fatigued.   Trust me, it's not a good feeling.

  3. Be fresh.   I woke up late and because of that, I skipped a shower, a drink and a bite.  It's not like I was smelly or anything.  It's just that the feeling of not being the freshest you could be could make you uncomfortable.  Think of a crowded bus and you feel the sticky arms of the person beside you pressing on your arm each time the driver steps on the brakes.

  4. Know your route beforehand.   I did this on my 1st 2 runs.  I guess I forgot to study the map this time and just figured that I'd depend on the numerous "this way" signs put up all over the course or just follow the other runners.  What I failed to realize was that since I was late,  I didn't have anybody to follow and some of the signs were being taken down cause some of the organizers thought the last few runners had already pass by.  So guess what,  I actually circled one huge block twice cause I didn't know where to pass.   The sad thing was this was the very 1st kilometer where I gave my all and ended up at the starting line again.  I could hear James Ingram singing to me: "I did my best, but I guess my best wasn't good enough 'cause here we are back where we were before".

  5. Make sure your gear is intact.   That means check your shoe laces, shorts, mp3 player, pedometer, wrist strap, watch, pouch or whatever accessory you have on with you.  The worst thing that would happen is one of these accessories are loose or fall off wasting your time trying to fix them instead of running at full speed.   I wasted around a minute trying to find my running mp3 playlist and because I couldn't find it, I had to settle with 3 songs being played over and over.

  6. Warm up before the run.   I was late so there was no time for a warm up.  The feeling was like a dog with rabies was chasing you and you had to run for your life.  But instead of even beginning to run, you're laying on the ground trying to get up first.  Warming up makes you more agile and ready.

  7. Avoid an out of town trip the day before.  Everything that could delay our Quezon trip happened.  We left late, we got stuck in horrendous traffic, we missed our designated meals, someone got lost, and we had to revise the whole itinerary cause if we didn't, the race the next day would have ended even before I would have gotten home.

  8. Be with a friend.  Whether they're running or not, it's nice to know there's someone you know and someone who knows you in that multitude of people during the event.   I raised my arms in victory before I crossed the finish line and it felt half-fulfilling cause even the cameraman didn't seem interested in taking my picture.  It would have been nice to see someone happy for you, even if it were just a camera pointing my direction.

  9. Don't text while running.   Since I was all alone both during the course and at the event, I was texting to  at least let my wife know what kind of mishaps I was going through.   I tell you it's difficult to press those keys when you're bouncing up and down.  I also got a bit dizzy after 2 sent messages.

  10. Photos are better than video.   It's a good thing the event supplied photos.  Since I wasn't with anybody, I couldn't rely on anyone to take my photo.   When I saw some cameras along the race route, I slowed down and made a conscious effort to look like I was running fast and poised.  What's great about photos is they don't capture your speed, just a still photo of you that very second.  If they would have taken videos, I would be exposed as how slow I was running that may be even a fast walker would have passed me. 
Overall, I finished the race... after an hour.  I'll just have to put this in another perspective. I'm glad I didn't come in last.   There were 5 other people behind me... and 744 runners ahead of me (ouch!).   Lessons learned.  Gotta redeem myself next time.

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  1. Sleep and hydration are very important talaga before race day :) Next time you should try going slow at the start then finish at a constant pace. Always avoid "gassing out" early.

    My motto: "complete not compete" :) See you and Miguel next race. Gail and I will be joining the Bottle School Run this 13th. Sali kayo ha?

  2. Thanks for sharing master! Am slowly
    trying to live healthier and engage
    in running too.. More power!
    Next time coach ka na rin! ;)

  3. @thegrapebunch :) Medyo mahirap itong papasok ang rainy season. But I'll try to exercise indoors para may exercise pa rin. Grabe ka naman, di ko kaya maging coach. Di ko kaya mag afro tulad ni Coach Rio. LOL!

    @Marc oo nga eh. I tried sleeping sa bus nung pauwi pero iba pa rin yung tulog na comfortable ka. Pass muna kami sa next few runs. Busy eh.