Some of the things I learned during Runnex@25:
- its difficult to race when you’ve just arrived after a 5 hour trip, cramped inside a bus… yep, ran Runnex after arriving from Baguio. I arrived in Manila at 4 am, put on my kit, packed my stuff and commuted all the way to Diliman. My knees felt a bit stiff after arriving since I was in a sitting position for 5 hours, add to that the bus was quite cold because of the airconditioning system. I was only able to “loosen” my knees by doing a slow warm-up jog from Philcoa to the starting area…
- it takes my body 25-30 minutes of continuous activity (be it running/jogging/walking) before I can enjoy running… I realized this the first time during the OYM run where I did a 30 minute wam-up jog prior to the actual race, which I enjoyed from start to finish, even if I was running at a blistering pace (for me). For Runnex, though I did a warm-up jog, it was only for 15 minutes, and my big mistake was I entered the starting line a good 15 minutes before the start. So my body just cooled down to baseline as if I didn’t do any warm-ups. So what happened was though I was able to maintain a good pace during the start of the race, I didn’t feel comfortable at all… I was hoping the race would already end so I can stop running and just go home. However, after about 25 minutes (around the 5 km mark), I began to enjoy the race. I was still maintaining my pace, but my body felt lighter, and my brain was no longer complaining. What could explain this? I don’t know, one theory I’ve read is that during this time, the body begins to utilize its glycogen stores, shifting from just plain blood glucose, thus making running less of an effort. So for my future runs, I’ll be making sure I arrive early enough for my 25-minute warm-up, and that I’ll only check-in the starting line a couple of minutes before the start of the race.
- i need to eat breakfast before a race!… I’ve read that for shorter distance races, you don’t realy need to eat breakfast since all the energy you need for that run is already stored in your body. And the sole purpose of eating is that so you won’t feel hungry during the race… well, I was hungry during the race! Since I arrived in a rush, all I took in for breakfast was an Alaska choco-milk drink. Sure it provided some calories for energy… but it just wasn’t filling. So for the next races, I have to wake up a little earlier so I can have a light breakfast so that I won’t feel hungry during the race.
- familiarity of the course helps… Since I’ve been having some of my runs at Diliman, you could say I know some of its routes already. And this helped since while running, I’d know where the next uphill would be, or how tough the next segment would be. By knowing these, I was able to monitor my pace… when to slow down, when to speed it up little, knowing that the next segment is already flat. Hopefully I’ll be able to “scout” future routes before running them in actual races — this maybe easier to do now since the top destinations for races are quite limited.. the Fort, UP Diliman, MOA, and Roxas Blvd —
Hopefully, with what I’ve learned during this race, I’ll be able to continue improving my running. My target PR 10 km race for now is the DocFit run on May 25 at UP Diliman (same route as Runnex). My goal is to run it in less than 48 minutes… see you all in Marikina on May 11!