As a lifelong basketball player, I’ve been active my whole life. But I’m a relative newcomer to running. It wasn’t until I was 39 years old and started working at Independence Blue Cross (IBX) that I got into running and started running the Blue Cross® Broad Street Run (BCBSR). And now, 2018 will mark the sixth year I have run this ever-popular race. So if you think you have to be a full-time running fanatic to take on the largest ten-mile race in the country, well, you don’t. In fact, part-time running might be the perfect way for you to tackle the BCBSR.
When I first started working at IBX, many people on my floor were runners. I stayed active by playing basketball — my first love. But I thought that running might be a good way to keep in shape for basketball, so I got together with several of my colleagues and committed to running the BCBSR that year. Well, only three people followed through and signed up — one of them being me! That first race stands out in my mind because it was 83 degrees at the starting line! I was worried my body wouldn’t hold up, but luckily I made it through.
The Best and Worst Parts of the Blue Cross Broad Street Run
My favorite part of the BCBSR is the finish line. There’s nothing like crossing that finish line. The first time I ran the race, I’ll admit that I hated the training every step of the way. I said to myself, as I crossed the finish line, “I will never do this again!” Then, a week after finishing the race I was out running again. What can I say? It’s true what they say — running is addictive.
Cross-training is a Win-win
If you’re intimidated by training for the race, try cross training. It keeps things interesting and prevents burn out. When I was training for my first BCBSR, I scheduled training runs but I also continued playing basketball. I don’t think I could limit myself to just running. I need to do different activities so I don’t burn out doing one thing. I still play basketball regularly and I’m in Blue Streaks — the IBX running club. I participate in 5Ks throughout the year to prepare for the BCBSR. And training for the race over the years has made me a better basketball player. It’s a win-win.
3 Tips for Casual Runners
I’m not going to tell you that training is a breeze or you need to work out seven days a week. But I will tell you that you can run this race, even if you don’t think of yourself as a hardcore runner.
- If this is your first time running ten miles, follow a training program (beginner or intermediate) to safely build your mileage and stay motivated.
- Training can be tough but crossing that finish line is a fantastic feeling that makes it all worth it. To make training more interesting, I suggest changing up your route. For example, I’ll make a left instead of a right one day, just to see where it will take me. I like running outside, all around the city: Boathouse Row, the Art Museum steps, the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, etc.
- Busy day ahead? Consider running in the morning. Save time and lay out your running clothes the night before. After the run you’ll get that amazing post-run high, which lasts all day.
Practicing What I Preach
As an account manager at IBX, I work with large customer groups, so it helps that I practice what I preach. I love to talk about running with my customers and when I tell them, “Keep your employees healthy,” I’m not just talking the talk. I work to stay healthy as well, and the best example of that is my participation in the BCBSR.
Parting Words of Wisdom
Your body is capable of much more than you think. You might think you can’t do it, but you will be surprised by what you can accomplish. You may be on the fence about running the BCBSR. Perhaps you don’t really consider yourself a runner or you’re intimidated by the distance. All I can say is, as someone that wasn’t a lifelong runner, I know firsthand that the BCBSR isn’t just for hardcore runners. This race is great opportunity to challenge yourself, no matter what level of runner you are!
Hope to see you at the starting line on May 6!
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.