Browsed by
Category: running advice

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

So story time after a two-month hiatus from posting. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I created the *perfect* Spotify playlist (located at the bottom of this post!) for the Army Ten-Miler Race in D.C. last October. And guess what? The race “rules” online said headphones and electronic listening devices weren’t allowed on the course.

Say whhhaaaat? Run 10 miles without any music?!?!

Inside I was like “Well sh** sh** sh**. I don’t know how well I’ll run it now…”

I had only ever run 2 miles without music a handful of times for the Army’s PT test. And with that run, I never think about music. For PT test runs, I’m always waaaay too focused on not dying or puking since I’m running full throttle. So I’m kinda like this photo minus the sitting down and hammock part.

As you already know if you’ve read my previous posts, I finished the Army Ten-Miler Race, and I ran it really well for me (an 8:16-per-mile pace). And now with this story, you know I did it without any music whatsoever. Just me and my thoughts for 1 hour and 22 minutes. Good times.

To be honest, although music would’ve been nice, I didn’t need it. Racing past the monuments and the thousands upon thousands of other runners gave me such a cliche runner’s high that I didn’t even think about music. It’s a really unique, patriotic experience that I encourage runners and non-runners to do at least once. It’s definitely a bucket-list type item. 🙂

So after hearing my story about how I didn’t need music for the race, I’m sure you’re ready to listen to this playlist!

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist from Hungry Gator Gal

Just kidding. I really do prefer running with music, and this playlist contains some recent hits and really solid motivational throwbacks. <— I’m talking to all of you 90s kids.

So if you’re doing longer runs for race training or if you’re running distance just for fun, feel free to give this playlist a try. I still use it when I feel like doing a long run. I’m on a more strength-focused routine and have turned to cycling and swimming lately more so than running for cardio. But the reason for that switch is the topic of an entirely different post.

More to come on (1) preparing for a ten-mile race and/or a half marathon, (2) workout playlists, and (3) my favorite workouts lately (cardio and strength). Stay tuned!

P.S. Follow me and my playlists on Spotify here. Oh, and did I mention how everyone on the course had their phones, headphones and music? So much for “rules.”

Also, early registration for the 2016 Army Ten-Miler Race opens May 11 for service members and for persons who have run the race seven times or more. Mark your calendars!!!

 

Questions:

  1. Do you prefer to run with or without music? <— With music for me, for sure.
  2. What’s your current favorite running song? <— Mine has been any remix of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers for like a solid 6 months now, haha. 

 

Related Posts:

Running, Surprising People and Surprising Yourself

 

Fast-paced Fall with SOS Rehydrate

10 Things I’ve Learned as a New Runner

10 Things I’ve Learned as a New Runner

New to running? Me too! Here’s what I’ve learned in my first six weeks of truly pursuing my goal of becoming a “runner.”

10 Things I've Learned as a New Runner from Hungry Gator Gal

1. Check your form!

Go to a running store or find a running coach who will videotape you while you’re running to check your form. I went to Fit2Run in Gainesville and completed an assessment for FREE. Other stores also offer the service at little or no cost.

I discovered I’m a heel striker during the assessment, so I’ve been walking around on the balls of my feet and my toes for weeks to change the way I walk and run. My calves hurt like hell, but I don’t feel pain in my shins anymore. I did a simple search online and found these tips on running form.

2. Buy new running shoes, if necessary. 

Women's Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 Shoes on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

If you receive an running assessment, the store associate will likely tell you what type of runner you are (i.e. under pronator, over pronator, neutral). The associate will then suggest specific brands and types of shoes that fit your stride.

Trust me when I say that the correct shoes will prevent injuries. I’m a neutral runner and recently bought the pair of Nike Women’s Zoom Pegasus 31s you can see above (affiliate link!), which make it feel like I’m running on clouds, no joke.

No shin splints = a happy Brianna.

For my male readers, check out the same pair of Nike shoes below, which my brother bought in a different color. Each pair cost about $100.

Men's Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 Shoes on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

3. HYDRATE.

Nalgene Wide Mouth 32-Ounce Water Bottle on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

Drink water all day, every day. Keep a water bottle at your side at all times. Challenge yourself to drink a liter every 60-90 minutes. I drink at least four full bottles of water from my Nalgene water bottle every day and often more. That’s 128 ounces or nearly 4 liters for you math wizards.

Hydrating properly before and after a run is especially important if you live in a more humid climate like Florida, even if you run in the mornings when it’s not as hot outside.

How do you know if you’re drinking enough water? Let me show you this lovely pee color chart . . .

4. Mind over matter.

 

The struggle is real . . . but, it’s more mental than physical.

I had never run more than 2 miles without stopping prior to joining the Army ROTC program. Now, I regularly run 4 miles at a decent pace without stopping. I’m not the fastest of the bunch, but I push my personal limits with each run.

To ensure I don’t give up, I usually pick a mantra and repeat it to keep myself going. I can’t wear headphones or listen to music when I’m working out for ROTC, so I usually repeat something like, “The faster you run, the faster it’s done!”

5. Make “pre-hab” a priority.

 

Photo by Brianna Kolota

Do dynamic stretches before running and static stretches afterward. Go to yoga at least once a week. Foam roll. In other words, do something now to save yourself from an injury, subsequent rehabilitation and time off from all exercise.

Here’s my favorite warm-up, the ultimate static stretch for hip flexors and quads, and my favorite  yoga stretches.

6. Don’t forget about strength training.

If you run, run, run all the time without taking time to build muscle, you won’t become stronger or faster. Aside from running with ROTC, I complete two strictly strength workouts on my own each week.

I’ve been digging “One-Set-to-Failure” workouts lately because they’re challenging and time-efficient.

7. You are what you eat.

Cajun Turkey Lettuce Wraps photo by Brianna Kolota

If you eat crap prior to a run, you’ll probably feel like crap. In other words, put down the fried foods, pizza, candy, etc. and go eat your veggies and lean meat.

And even if you eat relatively healthy, make sure you’re not eating too much fat. More than once, I’ve made the mistake of eating too much “good” fat (i.e. nuts, avocados) the night before a cardio-intense 5:30 or 6 a.m. workout. And guess what? I was as slow as molasses.

You can eat fat before a run. It’s your choice. However, I realized I need more carbs, less fat, and a moderate amount of protein to perform my best. If I have a physical training test in the morning, I like to do a moderate “carb load” at dinner the night before with fruit, starchy veggies and occasionally some whole-wheat cereal, pasta, bread or crackers.

8. Track your progress.

Photo by Brianna Kolota

I bought this $15-Casio watch at Walmart to time my runs. It’s the cheapest watch I’ve ever bought, but I LOVE it. It’s waterproof, easy-to-operate and has a 24-hour clock for military time.

P.S. Here’s a similar Casio watch you can buy on Amazon (affiliate link!).

9. Don’t think every run has to be better than your last.

Some days you might not be “feeling it.” Don’t give up and go home on those days, but make the most of what you can do if you’re not in the “running groove.”

Case in point: I could tell during the first lap of my first Army Physical Fitness Test this semester that it wasn’t going to be my best run. My legs were stiff. My hips were tight. I didn’t get enough sleep the night before. I was nervous. But you know what? I made the most of it and told myself the next test would be better.

10. REST.

I couldn’t resist the seal photo. . .

First, sleep at least 7 hours every night. And if you can’t sleep for at least 7 hours, try modifying your sleep schedule. You don’t want to feel exhausted before you even start running.

Secondly, take FULL days off. Don’t run every day and overdo it. This concept sounds easy, but it’s easy to forget if you like to exercise.

The amount of time you need to recover is personal. I typically take two or three days off from all strenuous physical activity each week. I also have one day where I walk a lot and/or practice yoga.

When you take rest days, enjoy them. Be productive. I usually knock out a bunch of homework on rest days and sometimes even sit on my butt for a few hours to watch “JAG” or “How to Get Away with Murder.” I thoroughly enjoy the laziness, and you should too.

Side notes:

  1. Yes, I hope to join Army JAG after law school; and 
  2. “How to Get Away with Murder” is incredibly unrealistic in terms of what I’ve experienced in law school, especially in my criminal law class. 

    Conclusion:

    Photo by Brianna Kolota

    After six weeks, I can say I still don’t love running. If given the choice, I prefer to cycle, hike, interval train without running, etc. However, becoming a better runner currently tops my “fitness bucket list” in terms of ways I want to keep challenging myself physically and mentally.

    So if you’re new to running like me, please don’t give up! Learn from my tips and mistakes. That’s why I’m sharing them. Secondly, if you’re a seasoned runner, please offer your advice by leaving a comment on this post. Sharing = knowledge.

    Also feel free to email me at bkkolota@gmail.com or reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter or Google +  if you have questions about running or anything really. I LOVE talking with readers.

    Thanks for reading, and have a great day! 🙂

    Related HGG Posts:

    Tips for Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

    This Hungry Gator Gal’s Post-Grad Plans

    Photo by Brianna Kolota

    Best Treadmill Workout for Killer Legs