Training for a 10k

This weekend is the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend at Epcot in Walt Disney World and I am beyond excited to run the Enchanted 10k with my friend!

Let's be honest. Would you rather have your first 10k be on an empty trail or at the most magical place on Earth? The answer, just like singing along to your favorite Disney tune, is easy.
While daydreaming of sparkly running costumes and taking pictures with my favorite Disney characters is nice, going from a competition dancer who cut across the grass while running the mile in gym class to running 6.2 miles in one event is no joke. I knew that I was going to have to train hard and set some serious #sweatsesh goals in order to be ready for the big day.

Here are some tips that I found to be helpful.

After completing a 3 mile run on the treadmill, it was very apparent that my Nike 5.0 shoes were not going to cut it for such a lengthy activity as a 10k. I knew it was time for some legit running shoes and had no idea where to begin my search. Luckily for me my friend recently finished the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco (she crushed it, I may add) and was able to point me in the right direction towards a local Fleet Feet store. Not only did the employees fit my feet and watch me walk in running shoes, but they went as far as to determine what type of shoe would be best for the arch of my foot and how the ball of my foot lands when hitting the pavement. 

After a 30 minute consultation I was confident that Nike would continue to be my go-to brand and decided on a pair of Nike Zoom Pegasus 32 (exact pair can be found here). I was now ready to blaze the trail - or at least the indoor treadmill - and begin training properly.

While some may be blessed with gorgeous weather year-round, those of us in the Windy City are subject to icy pavement and snowy winds, not to mention the risk of getting sick if not bundled up properly. I have been attending Chicago Athletic Club's Lincoln Park location for 2 months now and absolutely love it. Joining the gym is a great way to have the flexibility of not only using the treadmill to train, but to also take advantage of the classes offered.

This leads us to tip #3...

While running is a necessary part of preparing for a race, cross training has been proven to keep the body strong and build stamina. Keeping your body on it's toes with a yoga class here, spin class there, is the best way to take advantage of your membership and tone your body.

Finally, the most important part of training when you are looking to see results is fueling your body with the proper nutrition.

My advice to fellow 20-somethings? Put down the shot glass, step away from the unneeded calories, and make water your new best friend. As an experiment I gave up beer during the month of February and only allowed myself the occasional drink of light alcohol during special occasions (Hello, SuperBowl 50 - I had to toast Queen Bey properly). What I found was a huge improvement. I felt lighter, leaner, and more energized to get up and get running.

Cut out fast food and learn how to cook. I was once told that the best way to enjoy cooking is to look forward to the meal you are making. Expecting to only eat leafy greens and no carbs every day is unrealistic, so I looked for tasty meals that are good for your body and contain the perfect amount of nutrition. This made cooking fun and easy to incorporate in my daily routine.

New to cooking? I recommend trying the Breakfast Morning Quinoa from SELF's meal plan!

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