I ran the All-State Hot Chocolate 5K at Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta. I had been planning to run since December, then signed up in January, so I had at least 8 weeks to train for the February 17th race.
I run occasionally, but it’s not something I am great at making myself do on a regular basis. I also don’t really enjoy working out, but I know that I have to so that I can enjoy a certain lifestyle. If I am going to brunch hard and go to festivals every other weekend, then I know I must make time for exercise. To make sure that I stay consistent, I decided to sign up for a few 5K’s throughout the year. As I “trained” for the Hot Chocolate 5K, I developed a fool-proof method for doing even better the next time around.
1. Absolutely DO NOT attend a Cider + Doughnuts event exactly 1 week before the run.
Oh my God… Urban Tree Cider and Dollies Doughnuts are so good. But is it worth it when you know that you should be eating healthy foods to make sure your body is running at optimum level? I don’t know… because I ate it anyway. And now looking back I realize that it wasn’t the best way to train for a 5K. But it was a damn good time.
2. DO NOT celebrate Valentine’s Day the night before the run by going to Fogo de Chao.
Yes, it may be a holiday around the time of your run. And holidays suggest a lot of eating. However, it is probably not a good idea to celebrate Valentine’s Day by going to Fogo de Chao before you need to get up and run 3.1 miles. All of the delicious meat and cheese-infused bread may have slowed me down a little. I almost regret it.
3. Make plans to run with your friends… and then actually run instead of drink wine.
This one is tricky. One minute it could seem like you are making plans to work out with your friends and then suddenly you’re splitting a bottle of wine on the couch instead. Finding a workout buddy is a great way to stay accountable! Just make sure you guys actually do the exercise part. Remember – Run first, Wine later.
4. Carbo-loading does not mean eating as much fried rice and French fries as you can.
If done correctly, carbo-loading can help with endurance. However, this should be done with good carbs – oatmeal, yogurt, fruits! But who craves that stuff? Not me… so French fries was my meal prep of choice. I see it. I like it. I want it. I ate it.
5. Do not make excuses.
This is the most important and sincerest step. There is literally always an excuse to not work out or eat right, but you can’t let it stop you from accomplishing your goal. I made a lot of excuses in the weeks leading up to the Hot Chocolate 5K. There wasn’t enough time in a day or I was too tired. But if you continue to make excuses for things in life you will never improve yourself.
I am happy that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and ran this race in downtown Atlanta in the cold, windy, drizzle weather. I feel accomplished even though I could have taken the training period more seriously. Now that I have developed this 5-step method there will be no stopping me next time! Currently I am looking for my next Atlanta 5K before I run the Peachtree Road Race in July. Any suggestions?