On Sunday 28th May I joined 3,500 university students in running the Purple Wave Greater Manchester 10Km Run. My FIRST EVER one! It was fun, exhilarating but most of all significant and later in the blog I’ll tell you why. In the meantime, I’m going to share with you my training peaks and troughs and how I powered through to the finish line!
Training commenced on Wednesday 3rd May which by some would be considered…LATE! And they would be correct because in actual fact I forgot that I had registered for this run! I was so caught up on my PhD work that I lost track of time. This being said, once training started I went HARD! After my first training session, I covered 4km followed by 6km then slacked and did 5km followed by 6.5km and finally 9.97km!!!!! In between these I would run/walk on the treadmill on days I didn’t have time for a full jog or it was chucking down with rain. For each run I did, I would map out a route to follow using the app Strava and also time myself, setting myself goals each time to measure my progress. Whilst running I would stagger my drinking to avoid filling my bladder too quickly, which is good as your body can actually go for 30-60min without water whilst running it just requires training. Beyond 1hr, I would advise hydrating your body!
To be honest, my diet didn’t change that much! I try to have a balanced diet anyway i.e. fat, carbs, protein etc. I have a smoothie every morning which consists of beetroot, carrots, apple, kale and honey which I’m sure helped in some way. I always ate before each run, which worked for me as I’d always leave 1-3hrs for digestion. I know complex carbs are very important when training so I tried to consume those i.e. oatmeal for breakfast.
Injury and Mangement:
On Thursday 18th May I surpassed my expectations and ran 9.97km in 2hrs – I was ecstatic! I was aiming for 8km only! Sadly…I ended up pulling a ligament, which meant I experienced pain behind my knee every now and then. As I knew that this injury wouldn’t heal fully until after the run…I had to be a bit cheeky and just do some short-term pain management. This included:-
- Minimising my running distance during training
- Doing contrast hydrotherapy a.ka. the hot-cold protocol
- Taking ibuprofen
- Doing knee stretches
On Monday 22nd May, we heard the shocking news that there was a bomb at the Ariana Grande concert. A sombre and fearful cloud hovered over Manchester that night and for the days that followed. Yet despite the terror that came that day, love and solidarity remained. Manchester showed how strong and resilient they are, supporting those who were injured, families who were bereaved and individuals who were in shock. As a community we stood together.
So you see the run that took place on the 28th May was so significant because it almost didn’t happen. Whenever there is a bomb incident, the terror threat heightens and everyone becomes super vigilant and wary. The run would involve thousands of people…but I can confidently confirm that it was a success! I completed the 10Km run in 1hr and 10minutes…my knee was acting up from 6Km but I just walked-jogged the remaining 4Km! The crowd were amazing and the live music at each kilometre really fed in some fresh energy for us. It was such an honour to be a part of it and we ran for Manchester that day. In unison. Unshaken and Unmoved by the past incident. Manchester strong.