Part 1: From Couch Potato To 10 KM Runner - Physical Prep

Written by Juliana Sim, 24 Saturn Life Stylist



Our May special, a three part series on Juliana's preparation for the 10 km The Straits Times Run In The City 2017. Get some run-spiration from her physical preparation, diet changes and resistance workout tips.



I haven't always been a couch potato. There were periods of my life when I was a netball coach, a badminton and table tennis enthusiast and I throughly enjoyed fitness aerobic classes. Then when life dealt me some setbacks, I found myself slumped on the couch again as I escaped into the world of reality shows.



When my health started to deteriorate a little and I fell sick too often, I decided to pull myself out of the rut and joined a gym to build body strength and started running in the evenings too. They were baby steps back then. I started with 1 km without stopping, then 2.4 km until I was running 5 km races without much strain.





And although the medals were sweet rewards for my training and discipline, what I learned about myself meant even more! I had become a more resilient, determined and disciplined person than I have ever been. 



Yes, this has made me more self confident and I feel more like myself again. Feeling that I can push myself further, I'm challenging myself to run a 10 km event and I have three months to accomplish that!








It's daunting if I think about pushing myself too hard to get myself prepared faster. So I've decided to pace myself and plan a progressive regime that includes weights, cardio, diet changes and resistance training.





I spread out my training to take place either in the gym or outdoors. Since March, my physical preparation includes the daily routine:
3 km run at the gym in the morning and another 3 km in the evening. If I prefer to have the evening off, I do 5 km in the morning. My target running pace is 6 km/hr and I increase the distance by 10% each week.
I finish off each running set with weights. It's important to build arm muscles as this helps with momentum. The proper arm movements in sync with my leg movements will go a long way in helping build and maintain momentum. I do six sets of weight training with 6 kg of weights.
Outdoor Running
I take my running outdoors sometimes, the nice scenery and the smell of fresh leaves makes it more enjoyable.





What a sight!





I might've pushed myself too hard in the beginning and probably didn't have the right foot support in my shoes because I began to develop Achilles tendinitis! What a pain, literally and figuratively. It became a hindrance to my plan and boy was I counting on progressing according to my additional 10% a week planned routine.


I immediately bought a new pair of running shoes. 
Lacing your shoes up all the way through the final eyelets minimizes slippage. Feet swell and lengthen during running, so make sure there's a thumb's width of space between your longest toe (Which isn't always the big toe) and the end of a shoe. Your shoe should complement and support your stride, not alter it.


In light of this, I have taken things slow. Still progressing but at a slower pace. I figured, it's better to progress slowly than to completely injure myself and forgo the event!





I turned to the old chinese practice of foot reflexology! No scientific evidence to prove that this helps but it makes me feel better doing it. Walking on a stone path massages foot muscles and aids blood circulation.




In Part 2 of my run-spiration series, I will share with you my diet changes and in Part 3 I will share tips on resistance workouts!


Wish me all the best!







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