It’s no surprise that 10K is the race-distance of choice for so many first-time runners. It’s not too long (not like a half-marathon) but it’s also not so short that you think “…was that it?” 10K is a really great challenge for a beginner runner. But plenty of people never take the plunge to sign up. Why? There are lots of reasons. Let’s overcome them together.
1. I’m Not Fast Enough
There’s no entry qualification for your 10K race. True, some running races have cut-off times, but these tend to be much longer events (like ultra-endurance marathons). So there’s no such thing as “not being fast enough”. If you’re worried about feeling embarrassed about your 10K running pace, we’d urge you not to be. Firstly, there will be plenty of people running at your pace. Secondly, you’re the only person who will judge yourself harshly for your pace. In fact, it’s usually the slower runners who get the biggest cheers! After all, you’ve been out there putting in the effort for far longer than the speedy ones! To put your mind at rest, look up the results from last year’s race and see how many people finished at around your pace or perhaps slower.
2. I’m Not Fit Enough
Maybe you’re not now, but isn’t that the point of a training plan? Choose a 10K at least 8 weeks away and you have time to build your fitness. The great thing about 10K races is that there are lots of them around. Late Summer and Autumn are prime time for 10Ks. So now is the perfect time to choose a date. Assess your current fitness, work out how many weeks you’d need to train, and choose a race that fits your plan. Then find a solid beginners’ 10K training plan (running4women can help). Your fitness will come! How’s this for a challenging thought: if you don’t do a 10K, you’ll stay at the same fitness…
3. I Haven’t Lost Enough Weight Yet
Forget the image of a super-slim runner sprinting a local 10K. There are some women like that, but the majority of people who run 10K races are normal, everyday people like you. You don’t have to be slim, or a certain dress size. If you run, you’re a runner. The atmosphere at 10K races is wonderfully supportive. Everybody – regardless of your shape, size, or age – will get a cheer as they cross the finish line. That includes you!
4. Everyone Else Will Be A Proper Runner!
What do you mean by a “proper runner”? We’d argue that everyone who enters, trains for, and runs a 10K race is indeed a proper runner! If you mean that everyone else will be gazelle-like runners who zoom through 10K in half an hour then we can promise that’s not the case. 10K races attract a wide range of runners. You’ll see club runners and people pushing for the top spots. You’ll also see people running for charity, men and women doing their first race, and old-timers who have been running for 50 years. So yes, everyone else will be a proper runner! But not in the elite sense of the word.
5. 10 Kilometres Is Too Far For My First Race
That’s for you to decide. We think 10K – 6.2 miles – is a great choice of distance for a first race. 5K could seem easier, because it’s shorter. But there might be more people pushing for very fast times at a 5K. 10K is a challenge, but you can definitely do it. Even if you’re not there yet, you can train and build up to it. Imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment you’ll feel at running 10K.
6. I Don’t Know Anyone Else Doing The Race
By the end of the race, you’ll have new friends! But if you want to run (or travel) with people you know, there’s plenty you can do. Do you have any friends who would be interested in taking on the challenge with you? You could train together, or at least keep each other motivated through texts or weekly phone catch-ups. If nobody in your personal life runs, then use resources like the Windsor Womens 10k Facebook Group to find someone else doing the same race.
7. My Family Don’t Support Me
This is a tough one. If you’re the only runner in your family, and if you’ve recently made changes to your health and fitness, they might not understand your new passion. But don’t let that hold you back from running a 10K race. Get them involved in your excitement. Communication is key. Sit down with them and explain that you want to do something exciting, and that you would love their support. It might help if you find a race that’s either local, or somewhere they would want to spend the day. Make the project exciting, but not hard work for them. They will probably be very proud as they see you sticking to your training plan, getting fitter, and then doing the race. Right now it feels a bit out of their comfort zone and perhaps they don’t know how to react.
8. I Might Come Last
OK, yes you might. Someone has to! But the chances of that happening are statistically slim. So let’s deal with the small possibility that you will indeed be the final runner to finish this race. So what? You’ll get huge support from the marshals as you pass them. You’ll get a big cheer from spectators at the finish line. And you’ll definitely get a personal shout-out from the person on the PA system. The atmosphere and adrenalin will be incredible. And you’ll still get a finisher’s medal and goodie bag! Coming last in a race has less to do with you and your speed, and more to do with who else turns up. On any other day, there could be dozens of people slower than you. Remember: this is your race, your finish time, and your victory.
Now take the plunge and sign up for the Boudavida Women’s 10k Windsor Saturday September 23rd 2017