Can you run a 5 mile race without training? YES! I know because I just did it!
I did it. I ran a 5 mile race I wasn’t ready for. It ruled even when it was OMG SO AWFUL. That’s how running goes so much of the time. So awesome. So awful. This is the first time I’ve run a race without any training and it was a totally new experience. Not because of how much it hurt (running always hurts, okay maybe it hurt a little more this time, but I totally expected that), but in how gently I treated myself throughout the race. I tend to be pretty hard on myself when running, so this was a relief. I let myself walk. I wasn’t mad at myself about slowing down, walking, or obsessing about needing a clementine. In going gently, I had the space to notice what was happening with my body and respond to it, or choose not to (because running just sometimes hurts and the only way out of that is through it, keep going).
Mile by Mile Breakdown of the 19th Annual Doyle’s 5-Miler
Start: Hooray for running! I love everything! Look! Bagpipes! I love bagpipes! Omg I’m totally going too fast! I don’t even care!
Mile .75: Breathing is starting to settle, speed is slower. I think I can actually do this. One mile at a time.
Mile 1: I made it! Two weeks ago, I ran 1 mile and it was awful, so this is way better than that, at least.
Mile 1.25: Water stop! I let myself walk through water stops. Walking feels good. Starting up again feels even better.
Mile 1.5-2: I feel great. Perfect pace. YAY RUNNING.
Mile 2: OMG I need water. Or an orange. Or a clementine. I would totally hurt someone for one of those right now. I bet all these people pushing strollers have all the snacks under them. Maybe I should ask a little kid to give me a granola bar when I run by. Not eating before this was a bad choice. Water! Water! I love water!
Mile 2.5: Halfway! New strategy: walk for water, walk for hills. These hills are stupid. I still want a clementine.
Mile 3: WATER! I LOVE WATER!
Mile 4: Okay this is it. I should run this whole last mile without stopping. Oh wait. Hills. Hills are so stupid. Forget it. I’ll just go back to running all the time and walking the bad hills and not make dumb rules for myself about “last miles” because it totally doesn’t matter.
Finish: I did it! HOORAY! THAT RULED! Let’s do that again! And all the time! And OMG everything hurts so bad!
Knowing this one was waiting for me at the finish line totally helped. She’s my biggest fan. And she had snacks. I love snacks.
The biggest issue with not training is after. I’ve been careful to hydrate, rest, eat, and move.
Tonight’s dinner: lentil soup, cheese & crackers, strawberries, Gatorade, and tea. And I’m going to eat about 47 clementines. Because obviously.
So, can you run a 5 mile race with no training? Yes! Go easy. Pay careful attention to your body. Walk when you need to. Don’t fight small children for clementines. And take really good care of your body after it. Let’s run all the miles!
Note: You should always train before running any kind of race so you can avoid injury. Injuries are awful. Especially because then you can’t run and not running is even more awful. Next year, I will train better for this and I am currently researching how to train for a 7 mile race I’m running this summer and a 10K this fall.