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How Coach Colby Trained to Run Her First 10K

Running, HIIT, and strength helped Colby beat her goal

Date October 11, 2021
Author Patrick Wong

On September 19, Coach Colby ran her very first 10K (that's 6.2 miles) race during the inaugural 10K distance race of the San Francisco Marathon.

Complementing her training runs with Tempo workouts, Colby was able to ensure that she not only had the endurance, but the strength and stamina to complete the race. And not only did Colby complete the race, she crossed the finish line even quicker than she aimed for and beat her goal. Here's how Colby trained for her very first 10K race:

I remember very distinctly in my first month of training at my new mixed martial arts gym in 2016, a professional fighter (that I still look up to in awe to this day) Leslie Smith, looked over and said to me “Humans were meant to do two things: run and fight… and I ain’t no runner!”

For some reason this statement resonated with me so much because I had never considered myself a runner either. For the next three years I continued to train in boxing and I turned into more of the “fighter” that I had always wanted to be when it suddenly dawned on me… I was never born a fighter. I was never just naturally skilled at the sport. It took a lot of patience, time, and hard work! Despite not being innately gifted, with a little tenacity and passion, I did it — I became that boxer and fighter.

And that's when I realized that through my years of boxing training that if I could call myself a fighter… I could most certainly become a runner too.

Ever since that realization, I have been running at least once a week and usually sticking to around 5K distances. I have learned that not only do I love running as a workout but it's a great meditative tool that lets me shut off my mind and enjoy some solitude. However, during the beginning of the pandemic I started to get more competitive with myself and I wanted to improve my time and stamina. So, when an advertisement for the San Francisco Marathon popped up a few months ago I thought racing the 10K option might be the perfect way to really push my running to the next level.

As someone who has never competed in a sporting event, let alone a race, I can say honestly that I didn't know exactly what I was doing. However, I was able to seek out some help from other runners and the coaches in order to develop my training plan. Because I began training seven weeks out from the race, I also knew I didn't have much time and would need to balance running, coaching classes, boxing, and recovery.

With that said, everyone's training plan is going to look a little different depending on your current fitness level, your goals, and a variety of other factors. Generally, my plan below can be a framework, but flex it to what works best for you. For most, you can throw in some upper body build and core workouts (a strong upper body and core will improve your form and make you a more efficient runner) as well as a lower body build classes (just make sure you have about two days before your next long run so your legs feel fresh and that you aren't going too heavy). And while you'll want to focus on your runs, you can also sub in some HIIT workouts as well to help build endurance — mine and Coach Cole's C-Squared program would work nicely!

And, remember, you're training for an endurance event — it can be hard on your body, so just make sure you listen to it. Up until your race, you may need to scale back on strength training so that your legs aren't too tired for your runs. With Tempo, don't forget you have access to amazing mobility and yoga classes. Take advantage of these classes after your runs or on recovery days to let your body optimally rest and get ready for what's to come.

Now, here's how my training plan went down:

Because I was running a 10K and focusing on endurance running, throughout my 5Ks and longer runs I really focused on keeping my average heart rate zone in Zone 3, and trying to maintain that pace.

My goal was to do the 10K at under an 8:30 min/mile pace and ended up finishing with a 8:19 pace. And you know goals are all about beating ourselves — so I was very happy!

No matter my time or the outcome, I highly recommend committing to a race or athletic event! It was an incredible feeling to not only accomplish a goal I set for myself, but to do it with a huge group of like minded people that morning!

If you have any questions, find me on the Facebook Group and/or on Instagram!

Author Patrick Wong
Tags FitnessCommunity

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