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Fallen Heroes 5k University of South Carolina Campus

What I learned at the Fallen Heroes 5k, And How It Can Help Improve Your 5K Time

In this post I recap the 2018 Fallen Heroes 5k held on Univ of SC campus, and how it will help improve your 5k time. Every one who is serious about running knows the value of improving your 5k time so hopefully my lessons learned will be of some value.

Running With Friends Can Be Beneficial

Robert Lewis - How To Improve Your 5K Time


One take away I learned from the 2018 Fallen Heroes 5k, hosted by Strictly Running, is that running with friends can be very beneficial to your 5K run. During this race, I ran with my good friend, Billy, who is a retired active duty U.S. Marine. He can run for days. I, on the other hand, can not. This race was particularly more challenging due to the fact that the race was held at the University of South Carolina Campus which is notorious for lots and lots of hills. We both ran and finished together at a time of 39 minutes and 59 seconds. If it wasn’t for his words of encouragement pushing me up to keep moving and not stop, it probably would have taken me over an hour or so to finish.

Having someone that can encourage and push you when you feel like quitting is important. The Bible has a verse that says, “Iron Sharpen’s Iron”, which basically means that one’s brother, sister, or close friends, can inspire and push them to greater achievements and help them to reach goals they might not have. Billy gave me the push that I needed.

You Have To Practice Running Hills

Originally, I was not going to do this race, because I knew that those hills were going to be crucial. When I look at my Strava app after the race, I saw that we hit a max elevation of 305 feet. I was not prepared and 5 minutes into my ascend, my body wanted to pull back to a fast walk. Because my goal is to do a 10K, I know that hill exercise and preparation is a must. Unlike the two previous 5k’s, all of them will not be mostly flat. I also know that preparing for hills, will also allow me to reduce my overall 5k time.

How To Run Hills

When running Hills, Billy informed me that I need to make sure that I pump my arms very similar to how you would see a train chugging along. As you pump your arms, it helps to build momentum. As you are going down the hill, you should the opposite by not pumping your arms, and just let gravity do its work.

I will be testing out this advice and soon come up with my own unique strategy, but from what I have read and searched online, the advice seems very legit.

Running Is Mental

It can be very easy to put yourself down or want to give up when you see people competing at such a much more visible rate of success. As I was running other runners were passing me as they were heading back towards the finish line. That was when I had to be mentally tough and just focus on what was my number one goal for the day which was to finish.

Likewise, your mind will tell you to give up when you start to feel tired and your legs are hurting, but mentally you have to stay strong and keep moving. However, I do know and understand that sometimes, your body is screaming at you telling you that you have a serious problem. Basically, you have to know your body and be able to tell the difference from when you just want to slack up a little bit to give yourself a breather, or if there really is a potentially serious medical problem that is going on.

Most Races Do Not Have 2XL Shirts

This was only my third race but from what I can tell, it doesn’t look like most races will provide any shirt larger than an XL. This is just something to prepare for and should urge you to keep running so that you will not have any issues fitting into the race day shirt.

Related Links

Strictly Running
2018 Fallen Heroes 5k, University of South Carolina Video Recap

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