I have been out of commission (or so we'll call it) for the past 8 weeks. During that time (you'll understand in an upcoming article) I was restricted in my ability to do cardio training. I continued strength endurance training and mobility and flexibility work, but over the span of those 8 weeks, I only had 5 cardio sessions; 4 of them shorter than 2.5 miles, and only one of any "decent distance" (the Saturday before this race) at 5.2 miles.
It was just last week that I found this 5K online. It's the 2020 Hunger Heroes 5K in Afton, VA. It's a short drive from where I live, and I knew I'd be home in time to participate, so I set myself on going. The event was hosted by Bishop's Events (I'd never heard of this company before, but apparently they host a TON of small races each year all over the country - so give them a look if you want to do some racing!) and, while it was a very small event, it was nice and it was fun!
Due to being limited in cardio training, I did a lot of squats, isometric squats, and jump squats as well as lunges, single leg bridges, and some pistol squats in order to maintain some good strength endurance and "pop" in my lower body. My 5.2 mile run the day before the race (Saturday 12/19/2020) felt good, but my HR was close to 10 beats higher than normal for the pace I was running which means my cardio, as one would expect, had dropped quite a bit from the 8 weeks of missed cardio training.
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Still, I really just wanted to do a race. This one was doubly worth running as well because they had a percentage of the revenue from the race going to a local food bank, which is one that I'd worked with previously when I was managing a local gym. The course was set up at a vineyard, so most of it was running around and through the vineyard as you went out and back 2x to get to the total of 3.1 miles. I thought I'd be hurting a lot more than I was. I pushed myself a good bit, but not all the way. Again, my HR was much higher at the pace I ran than it was a few months back at the same pace, but I still kept the pace well.
This was a very small race. Because of Covid, waves of about 10 people were released at a time, so the first lap on course there was almost no one which felt weird. It made it feel much more like a training session than a race. Even so, it was fun to be at a race, and compete...even if it was a small event.
(P.S. Youtube SUCKS at life and decided to age-restrict our channel even though we don't even have so much as a single word of profanity or anything else remotely inappropriate on it...we've appealed the age restriction, but you may just have to view the video on youtube)
I finished in 21:08 and won 1st Place overall. While 21:08 isn't blazing fast by any standards, I'm pretty happy with that time knowing that the course was on grass with slight rolling hills, I didn't push to max effort, and I was 8 weeks out of cardio shape. Sadly, I'll probably be sore later...but that's just how things go when one is deconditioned.
I had no control regarding my cardio training the past 8 weeks, but I still did as much as I could! 99% of you out there have control regarding how much cardio training you can do, so make sure you are putting in the work! Excuses are lame. Unless you are actually unable, get out, get going, and watch your performances improve dramatically! We'd be happy to help you prepare, so follow the link below.
Visit the Training Programs page in order to learn about the different custom programs we design for athletes in OCR.