Searching – If I can run 5km can I run 8km?

If I can run 5km can I run 8km?

This was a search term that someone used recently and found Unsporty Women Can Run.

Dear Searcher, I wonder who you are?  I wonder if I can help you with some encouragement because I certainly would like to.

Here is my no frills approach to increasing distance – tried and tested by me, the Unsporty Woman

  1. Believe in yourself and that you can do it.
  2. Don’t neglect your diet – we need good fuel for running.
  3. Start with a good warm up (lunges and hip swings are my favourites) and end with a cool down and stretch.
  4. Set some realistic time goals for training that fit your life and your current level of fitness.  Taking it slowly is ok.
  5. Plan the course that you will run.  Map it out so you know where you are going and how far it is.
  6. Make sure you have the right gear.  If you haven’t done so already invest in a good pair of running shoes.  Your feet, knees, hips… all of your legs and indeed your whole body will thank you for making sure they have the most appropriate footwear to carry you on your running journey.
  7. If you can find someone who is a runner to talk to and get some advice from, this is really helpful (from experience the people who sell running shoes love to talk about running and can give some great tips and advice).  It’s also helpful to join a running group or find a parkrun if there is one nearby – the encouragement and positive vibe plus the coaching will be invaluable and greatly assist to help you meet your running goals.  These people are really friendly and will welcome you warmly!  Another option is to get into running magazines.  Even if you are guy I’m sure you would love Women’s Running Magazine Australia, but there are others out there too.  Reading the articles, looking at the product reviews… it’s all very helpful and encouraging.
  8. Believe in yourself.  Yes, that was point one, but it’s important to keep believing through all these steps.  If you need a little inspiration subscribe to Gibson’s Daily Running Quotes on facebook – this is really motivational.  And don’t forget the runner-cycling-fitness blogging community – there are some inspiring writers right here on WordPress! I would be lost without them all!
  9. Go and make it happen.  Be careful of your pace, just go for distance, increasing pace can come later.  Little recovery walks of about a minute during the run are ok.
  10. Celebrate each little success no matter what the increase is – you did it!!!  You are amazing!!! If it was easy everyone would be running.  Everyone isn’t running but you are – you are awesome.

The first time I ran 8km was the Westbury Fun Run in 2011.  It was the first time I’d ever run this distance!  I had mapped out what I thought was an 8km track but now that I have a GPS watch I know it was only 7km.  I had been running 5km without too much drama for a little while – I was still anxious but feeling more confident every day about this distance.  But going any further was switching the I CAN’T on in my brain.  I can’t run that far.  It’s just too many kms.  I’ll stick with 5km.  8km?  I just don’t run that far!  Husband was very encouraging and kept quietly suggesting that I could do this and that the other option for the Westbury Fun Run wasn’t far enough (4km).  I so wanted to run with him, I so wanted to be part of this off-farm activity that he enjoyed.  I set my resolve and  I trained and trained.  I set the goal of increasing my distance just little bit by little bit.  Because I run on the farm I used gates, turnoffs and signs as my marker points.  Today I will get to the gate near the bridge.  Today I will get to next door’s laneway.  Today I will get to the ‘caution cow crossing’ sign.  Finally a couple of weeks before the Fun Run I managed to run what I thought was the full 8km.  I was so exhausted.  But with this gradual increasing of the distance something amazing had happened: I’d switched on that button in my mind that says I CAN RUN 8KM.  My legs might have been a bit wobbly and my heart might have been pounding but my mind was steady.  I CAN do this!!!

I ran those 8km in the Fun Run.  I was so exhausted at the end but so amazed and pleased that I run all the way and finished.

So Dear Searcher, yes if you can run 5km you can run 8km.  It won’t take you too long and you will be able to do this!  That’s what I love about running, as we keep moving forwards with our running our CAN’TS become CANS!  I posted this motivational quote a while ago but it feels just right for today.  Stay positive, keep going, you can do this running thing if you really want to.  There will be good runs and not so good runs but with each run you are that much closer to realising your personal running dreams.   And hey, you can run 5km, you did all the work to get that far so of course you can make it to 8km, believe in yourself and make it happen.

Stay Positive

Happy running 🙂

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