Brecon Carreg: How to run your first 10K as a beginner

Running a race for the first time can seem daunting, especially as a beginner. How can you get started so that you can reach the finish line?

Being new to the running community has its ups and downs. How can a beginner get started today? (Credit: CDF Runners)

The only time data analyst Jared Delbridge would run was when he was late for a doctor’s appointment or if he needed to catch a train. Before that, he never ran during his free time as an exercise.

Delbridge thought the idea of running was great in theory for fitness but never considered himself an active runner. Now, Delbridge has passed that threshold and has run enough race tracks to be considered a ‘running connoisseur’.

“If you told me at the beginning of 2020, that I would be an active member of a running club and running races, as someone who used to never run, I wouldn’t have believed you,” says Delbridge.  

Delbridge was never a runner before he joined CDF Runners. His entire perspective on the activity has shifted and he recommends it to everyone (Credit : Delbridge, Jared)

Delbridge is apart of a local running club called CDF Runners, which was founded a decade ago as an offshoot of an old Nike Running Club that was in town. Delbridge was asked to join by a friend back in 2022 who was already an active member of the club. 

Since then, he has been an active member and has participated in multiple races and marathons including the London Marathon, and the Manchester Marathon, and plans to take part in the Brecon Carreg 10k race which is to be hosted in Cardiff on May 19th. 

“I used to only run casually three to four times a week before I joined CDF Runners. Since I’ve joined I’ve found that it’s a lot of work and I’d had no real idea. You just have to walk out and see what happens,” says Delbridge.

Delbridge ran his first 10k race with CDF Runners after months of training which is where he endured one of the worst physical setbacks he had ever gone through. Colds, muscle strains, and fatigue were among the few symptoms that he experienced when training for his first race. 

CDF Runners was first founded in 2014 and now has an active community of 60 people now who partake in races and marathons together (Credit: CDF Runners)

As a beginner who is new to running longer distances, it is important to formulate a routine. Scheduling time to run a certain distance a week can help you to become faster. At least three to four times a week builds up mileage and endurance.

“The first week I did training I went hard in the first block and I got sick. That is quite common for people to go through. When your body goes under that much stress and physical strain. It’s important to pace yourself,” says Delbridge.  

Making sure to have a diet that includes 15 to 20 grams of protein is a must for beginners who are about to run their first 10k. Dieticians recommend that for a 10k, runners should be consuming fiber from food such as cereal or oatmeal and recommend eating it the night before their big day. 

Oatmeal and cereal are two foods that dieticians recommend to eat before you are about to run your first race (Credit : Flickr)

As for clothing, it is a must for runners to wear multiple shoes with cushions and support for when they are on the track. Wear shoes that are built for endurance running such as the Nike Vaporflys or the Adidas Adizero Pros, which are the most elite to run in for your first race. 

Delbridge made the mistake of wearing the same shoes he wore for training during one of his races and suffered injuries in his foot afterward. 

“I finished my race successfully but I was injured for two weeks after because I decided to wear the same shoes for training and the actual race. It was not designed for that type of running. So I don’t recommend doing that if you are a beginner,” says Delbridge. 

As a beginner, it is recommended to have a shoe with good cushioning. Wearing for comfort while you are training for a race is ideal, especially for beginners.  Getting a simple pair of trainers from discount stores like Primark is the perfect way to get the best footwear while on a budget.

Any simple pair of trainers from discount stores like Primark is the best way to get started with buying shoes for your running journey while staying on a budget (Credit: BelieveInTheRun)

Also, you can get brownie points if you wear extra padding in your shoe for support. Making sure your feet aren’t too flat to the ground while running will prevent foot strains when you are on the track. 

“My advice to anyone running a race is to wear padding in your shoes. It helps with support for people like me who have very flat feet,” says Delbridge. 

Running as an exercise improves your physical and mental health for miles. Academic research has proven that that running can improve cognitive health, and muscle joints and extend your lifespan by 12 years.

As for mental health, starting your running journey can uplift your overall mood. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine,  running releases hormones called endorphins in your body, which has been defined as “runner’s high’, a euphoric state after intense exercising. 

“Running to meet new people or to get fitter comes off as a Venn diagram. When you combine those two, you get that middle section where it does something mentally. It’s great and I highly recommend it to people,” says Delbridge.

Running with friends or family takes away the fear of feeling alone when running your first 10k race (Credit: CDF Runners)

Signing up for a race by yourself can seem daunting as well. It’s not required to run by yourself, but as a beginner, it’s nice to have a community of people to run with. Asking a friend or relative to sign up with you to run is a great way to take the ‘first race nerves’ away.

Joining a running club is another great way to get involved with running because you are surrounded by other runners who are there for encouragement.  Other running groups in Cardiff exist for people to get started today such as Les Croupiers and Cardiff Athletics.

“I highly recommend it because it has multiple benefits outside of being a runner. It’s great from a social standpoint when you’re running with strangers who can become your friends at some point. I have a new network now thanks to CDF Runners,” says Delbridge.