Oh, dear Lord, 10K.

Before I became a runner, I actually participated in a race: I entered the Sporting Life 10K as a walker. (It was a bit stressful, as competitors were given two hours before they cleared the course and opened streets up to traffic. I managed to walk 10K in 1 hour, 49 minutes, so I didn’t have to worry about it.) I actually got a race medal, a souvenir T-shirt, and the whole bit. But, as registration time for the Sporting Life came up again, I wondered: could I actually do it as a runner? Could I run 10K in one go?

Gulp, I thought. I’ll try it.

As you might expect, there are training programs that will take you from 5K to 10K. And, in fact, there was a version of the couch-to-5K app that I used that will take you from 5K to 10K. So I went back on the familiar routine – running for a while, then walking for a while, then running some more. The program lasts six weeks, and once again, it’s finely calibrated. Here’s the schedule for the fourth week of the program:

  • Day 1: 5 minute warmup, 30 minute run, 5 minute walk, 15 minute run, 5 minute cooldown
  • Day 2: 5 minute warmup, 30 minute run, 3 minute walk, 15 minute run, 5 minute cooldown
  • Day 3: 5 minute warmup, 30 minute run, 2 minute walk, 15 minute run, 5 minute cooldown

As you can see, the buildup is extremely gradual – I was running the same distance, but the amount of rest time was being gradually reduced. During the final week, the walking part was eliminated:

  • Day 1: 50 minute run
  • Day 2: 55 minute run
  • Day 3: 60 minute run

I’ve just finished this program, so now I can run for a whole hour! Whee! Unfortunately, I’m not up to 10K yet, as I am a bit slower than the average person who uses this program; I can do about 8.1 km in an hour. But 8.1 km is pretty close to 10 and, as my wife points out, I could probably do 10 if I really had to. I suppose.

I’m going to have to, I guess. And I’m going to have to do it twice. Not only have I signed up for the Sporting Life 10K in May – I’ve now also signed up for the Toronto Waterfront 10K in June. I’m going to be busy this spring, I guess.

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