Every Memorial Day, the streets and hotels of Boulder are filled with anticipation.
Runners’ anticipation, that is.
More than 50,000 people ran or walked in 2010’s Bolder Boulder 10K race, the second largest in the event’s history, since its inception in 1979.
If you’re serious about gearing up for next May’s Bolder Boulder, BoldRunning’s Ewen North’s got some tips:
1. Take at least six to eight weeks to get ready, ideally 10 to 12 weeks.
2. Build your training gradually over several weeks, increasing no more than 10 percent a week.
3. Include other activities that you enjoy such as bike riding, swimming, ultimate Frisbee, going to the gym.
4. Build up to running and exercising at least four times per week.
5. Be consistent and try to stick to your plan. After the initial three or four weeks, include one slightly longer run where you begin to work towards the six-mile distance goal.
“It’s a Boulder and Colorado tradition,” said Ewen North, of BoldRunning and a trainer for Bolder Boulder runners. “It’s one of the most fun, mass participation events you’ll ever do.”
Now, one doesn’t necessarily have to be a seasoned, professional runner to participate in the Bolder Boulder.
“It’s a wonderful race and a great experience, whether you are racing seriously, running for a personal best or enjoy the course with friends and family,” said Cassie Slade, the winner of the 2010 women’s citizen race.
People participate in groups in costume, walk the race as basically a social event, or compete professionally against racers from all over the world.
For all you incoming students that may have heard of the 10K and are somewhat interested, listen up.
“10K or 6.2 miles is not a walk in the park,” Slade said. “I advise anyone interested to do some training before hand.”
Molly Frederick, 23, said she decided to run the race four years ago.
“I had never really been a runner and wanted to start, but I am the type of person who needs a challenge and running a 10K right off the bat was, I thought, a good start for me,” she said.
So since Frederick decided to run the race, she decided training was a must. Frederick had her brother, who is a runner, make her training program, and she used a schedule from Active.com, an aptly named Web site for the physically active person. But there are many options to training for your first Bolder Boulder.
BoldRunning is “a fun, non-intimidating group with runners ranging from beginners and novices to those who are more seasoned,” according to the Bolder Boulder Web site. It’s basically an all-ranges training group, directed by North, who said it’s most important to “make your training fun.”
“There is great camaraderie amongst the group,” North said. “Our aim is to get you ready for the race without taking the training too seriously.”
BoldRunning splits people up into different pace groups of all levels, and each group has a coach that stays with them and supports them on their training journey.
North said that runners should take at least six to eight weeks to get ready for the race, so no, you don’t have to get on the treadmill or buy those new running shoes quite yet.
Slade advises that “drinking, smoking and unhealthy food will not help the body run efficiently or get any faster. Your body needs good fuel and a balanced diet to be healthy and to run well.”
Frederick, Slade and North all agree that you don’t absolutely have to make running your lifestyle to be able to run the Bolder Boulder — but dedication or at least motivation is key.
“I think that the idea of the 10K can be a little scary if you aren’t a runner — but you don’t really have to be,” Frederick said. “There are so many people everywhere and just the overall atmosphere that is going on during the race in Boulder can totally pump you up as well as just keep you going during the race.”
Slade said about the same thing regarding the environment of the actual 10K race.
“I love the atmosphere of the race,” Slade said. “The fellow competitors are fun and supportive. The crowd is encouraging and always has so much excitement. I think the course is challenging, but a blast.”
So maybe around end of February or March next year, if you’re not doing anything, lace up some running shoes and start training for your first 10K race. It may not be your last.
“Running the Bolder Boulder got me hooked on running and wanting to run bigger races,” Frederick said.