Reindeer Romp 5K


Like all good 5Ks, I signed up on race day with a few other crazy friends like me and then headed to the dollar store to get some festive accessories. This was the 20th running of the Reindeer Romp 5K in Havertown that benefits the American Cancer Society in honor of Brandon Lake. Besides supporting a good cause, this race was within walking distance of where we live.

The kid wanted to race too, and she thought she could win her age group that is usually 12 and under and not the official 19 and under age group for this race. I didn’t say anything, but told her to run her race and to have fun. Her friend was running her first ever 5K with us, so the kiddo decided to run/walk the race with her. That was a good plan, and she stayed with her friend the whole way.

My race plan was to keep the girls comfortably ahead of me in case they needed anything.  I underestimated how fast ten year olds can sprint though. Every time they saw me when they glanced in my direction, those two took off sprinting uphill.

The kiddo got a PR of 30:50 for the 5K that included walking when she wasn’t sprinting. She didn’t place in her age group, but now she’s determined to win her age group next year: she wants that piggy bank stuffed with bills. So far, her goal is to run a 10K this summer and get another PR in the 5K. Next time, she’ll actually train for the 5K and not run it on a whim. For a whim though, 30:50 isn’t too shabby for a little kid.

Running Form

[wpvideo 2i9Mu0Ug]

Running form is something that is not often taught since most people will encourage you to run however you run. However, there are a few tips you can keep in mind for good form.

  1. Get fitted with a good pair of running shoes and retire those shoes after 300-500 miles.
  2. To begin running, stretch your arms to the sky with your shoulders back, lean forward, and go! Your arms should be bent around a 90 degree angle, never letting your elbows go past your torso.
  3. Run with a high cadence to prevent injury (170 steps per minute or more, and 185 is ideal).
  4. Land mid foot to forefoot. If you are a heel striker, your body actually stops moving for a moment, slowing you down.
  5. Keep your elbows back, and if you want to go faster, pump them back, keeping them close to your body without your arms crossing your midline.

That’s it! Focus on one technique at a time, and your running form will start to improve. I’m still working on mine, especially when I get tired. And, running isn’t always glamorous: the above video was shot in my basement while it poured outside, but I got it done.