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21 Things I Learned Doing 21K

Posted by on 23. October 2011

My first running goal was to reach sub60 for 10K and after months of training, I’ve finally reached that milestone. My next goal was completing a half marathon. It was something I never saw myself doing but you’ll never how far you can go unless you try.  By the time, I decided to go for 21K, I was already able to do two 15K races at a decent time so I thought half mary shouldn’t be a farfetched goal but somehow, I did hit a wall being struck with cramps towards the finish of a 10K run and then came vacation season followed by the rainy season and after all those breaks, I struggled and hit a plateau.  It felt like a restart but I finally decided to do myself away of all the excuses and go ahead with a training program I am bound to follow.

So there you go, three months worth of training program for me to level up to the 21K level.  No excuses was my mantra for that period and whether it rained, I was busy or I was traveling, I had to go with my program especially the long runs during Sunday.  I slowly built up my endurance and it wasn’t easy but it was worth it.  Of course, there are a lot more fun alternative to do on a weekend but it’s a matter of commitment to my training program and today, I did hit my goal a 21K run and it was a solid debut and a decent time and a consistent pace with only water breaks as rests.

I’m half a marathoner and here were the things I learned the past few months.

  1. Believe it is something you could do.
  2. Love what you do.  Everything is much easier when you are enjoying it.
  3. It’s a long run. It’s not how fast you run but how fast you recover.
  4. There are no short cuts to building up endurance.  You got to run long and run consistently.
  5. You got to love the hills. It strengthens your legs and increases your stride length.
  6. You got to appreciate the easy runs.  It lets your muscles recover and at the same time, it keeps them from being stale.
  7. Learn to rest and recover.  Your body will never learn how to recover unless given a chance to do so.
  8. Conserve energy. Go for long and powerful strides.
  9. Building up your upper body strength gives you additional stamina in the long haul.
  10. Run high and run proud. A firm posture and consistent cadence does makes it a smoother run.
  11. Listen to your body. It will tell you how far and how long you can go.
  12. Take short walking breaks or do some drills a long the way.  It takes away the monotony of running.
  13. Running conditions may change at an instant. Learn to live with it.
  14. Learn to test your limits. You might fail at times but it’ll make you better.
  15. Experiment on what works for you on training runs – your gear, your gels and your pace.
  16. Take the run a kilometer at a time. It’s easier that way.
  17. It’s refreshing to run in the rain.
  18. Compete with yourself to get better.  There is always a next level.
  19. Feel good about yourself, nothing beats a positive outlook.
  20. Try to visualize the finish line, it will give an extra motivation to go on.
  21. When all else fails, it’s your will to finish that would cross you through the finish line.

Thanks to my awesome running Coach Andy Leuterio for not only preparing me for my first 21K but also instilling some positive values in me that come a long way.  Thanks to my running team, Team Total Fitness and all our sponsors for the support.  This is just the beginning of the many races we’ll have together.

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