For the past 2 Augusts, I’ve dragged my tired bones to an office building on Randolph Road at the crack of dawn on what has both times been a steamy and distinctly-Carolina summer morning: hot, bright, sticky. It sounds miserable, right? But it has become one of my favorite mornings each year. The OrthoCarolina 10k Classic brings runners from Charlotte and beyond together for a 6.2 mile hilly course through Plaza-Midwood and Elizabeth.
If a 10k seems out of reach, there are other options; including a 5k, a new un-timed Rookie Run designed to take some of the stress out of running for beginners, and a kid’s 50-yard dash. Included in your registration is a OrthoCarolina 10k Classic shirt, a pint glass and medal that doubles as a bottle opener, and admission to the post-race Food Truck and Beer Fest. Make sure to register before June 30th when prices increase.
Post Injection Ortho 5KOrtho 5K
No matter how you participate, you don’t want to miss out on this event. Almost as exciting as the race is the food truck and beer fest at the finish line where you can sample beer from NoDa Brewing Company, Bird Song Brewing Co, Lenny Boy Brewing Co, and Sycamore Brewing while munching on tasty treats from food trucks like Tin Kitchen, Two Chicks and a Truck, and The Coffee Priest.
This race has two amazing beneficiaries: RunningWorks and Care Ring. RunningWorks encourages the homeless community to further develop their teamwork, discipline, and confidence through running while Care Ring offers access to medical and dental care for the uninsured and underinsured. There are also opportunities to do good on race day by volunteering at the registration table, along the course, at the finish line, in the food tent, and during packet pick-up.
The Classic is in its 7th year and we’ve teamed up with the experts at OrthoCarolina on a “training series” to help us both get in our best shape to run the August 10k – we can do this together! I spoke with Aaron Hall, OrthoCarolina PT and Certified Post-Injury Running Coach for advice to prevent against common training mistakes and injuries.
Hall warns against the dangers of running too great a distance too quickly. “’More is better’ and ‘no pain-no gain’ are not accurate mottos to live by. I prefer ‘quality over quantity,'” he says. Push your body too hard to quickly, and you’ll probably end up in Hall’s physical therapy clinic. “Know your body’s limits. If you are new to running or have taken an extended period of time off of running, do not go out and run 8 miles.”
Firm foundations in running form and endurance before you increase your runs in duration and length are key. The majority of injuries Hall treats are due to a mechanical breakdown in a runners form, overuse, or a runner who has ignored the pain signals from their body. Listen to your body and especially your knees, ankles and hips during your training. Stretching and strengthening through cross-training can not only help your overall health, but also your running form, endurance, and, heck, maybe even your pace!
Runners are a friendly community so, in addition to heeding Hall’s advice, use your resources- your runner friends! A great way to get plugged into running in Charlotte is to join a training group. Run for Your Life offers great local training programs with focuses on mileage and endurance. Charlotte Running Club also facilitates running buddy and training programs segmented by pace through their Facebook groups.
Look for more training tips each month as Scoop trains alongside you for the best 10k all season! Next up: casual weekly meetups for those that don’t want to (or can’t) commit to the structure of a formal training program, AKA runners like myself that love their job but might work a little too much to be reliable.