The Race: Market Day Race 10 K
Market Day Race 10 K – Portsmouth, NH - June 11, 2016
This 10K course begins and ends in two of Portsmouth's most historic areas: Market Square to Puddle Dock and the grounds of the Strawbery Banke Museum, winding our way through the Market Square Day Festival on Congress Street.
I have based my training plan loosely on Hal Higdon's program, which means that I intend to focus on overall fitness. Higdon's 10K training program is an eight-week affair, and so my first task in going from couch potato to 10 K. is to ensure that I am fit enough to begin this training on 8 April. Thus, I must run consistently over the next three months in order to ensure that--at minimum--I can run three strong miles and so be ready to complete my race. If I put on my new sneakers today, I could complete a one-mile run in fifteen minutes.
Higdon and other running coaches now advocate for a program that incorporates:
So, I commit first to regular strength training, two or three days a week, focusing alternately on discrete parts of my body: back and shoulders, arms and then legs. I enjoy the zen of lifting weights, because, if done properly, it facilitates a meditative state. You inhale as you lift, counting to four, and then exhale as the weight descends, counting to three. There is no room for extraneous thoughts about household chores or tasks that must be accomplished at the office.
I also pledge to include cross training once or twice weekly in my training program. In this way, I will not solely develop my leg muscles. Cross training activities include bicycling, yoga, swimming, rowing on a machine (or, better, outdoors on a river), or paddleboarding. I have also given myself permission to check this off by signing up for a dance class. I would love to sign up for beginning tennis lessons, but, in truth, this sport is simply too hard on the joints, especially my arthritic right knee, and so I cannot consider it a cross training activity. (Most trainers agree with me.)
The aspects of training that will be difficult to incorporate into my regular routine are lunges and plyometrics. Lunges are probably the more familiar of the two exercises. They consist of one leg being put forward while the other is behind. You continue to lunge forward in this position, often with a weight in both hands. Plyometrics is equally difficult, because it is based on the idea of a person jumping--and repeatedly--and so using maximum force in a short period of time. Both of these activities are prevalent, I'm convinced, in the tenth circle of hell, the one that Dante never got around to discussing. Given my absolute loathing of these activities, I commit to no more than cursory attention to them. I will focus some time on them twice a month.
I keep a training log of my movement every day, and it will show what I felt went right and wrong. If I went for a run, I will mark the distance. I will also time my run, even though my own personal success will be marked merely by crossing the finish line. What was my mindset before I began my workout? And after? Did I experience pain? Setbacks? Triumphs?
Each week, I will post a progress report allowing you to track my training and follow steps toward my running a 10K for Claire on 11 June 2016. I look forward to sharing my journey, one that will reunite me with my longtime love of running.