Registered for Cooper River Bridge Run

41 Responses

  1. Greg says:

    I’ve run 8 marathons, countless half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks. And I’m a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, so I’ve got a bit of experience in both weight loss and running. Let’s look at your list:

    – Eat pasta the night before? Not really necessary for a 10K run. Just eat a sensible meal – not too spicy, too salty, or too greasy – and you should be fine.
    – Stay hydrated? Unless the temp is over 70F, you shouldn’t worry about this. If it’s warm, drink some sports drink (Powerade Zero is sugar free and low in calories).
    – Stretch? No more than you usually do for exercise.
    – Wear comfortable shoes? Absolutely. Wear the same shoes you normally wear to run.
    – Do my best not to get trampled? Should not be a problem, especially if you line up with runners/joggers of similar speeds.

    So what is my advice?

    – Start slowly. Fight the urge to run faster than you normally do, no matter how excited you are or how good you may feel. Better to start slowly. If you feel great, you can always speed up later.
    – Have fun. It’s your first race. Your only goals should be to have fun and finish healthy. And you’ll definitely set a “personal record”. You’ve got many years to try to improve.
    – Nothing new. Stick to your regular routine. Use your regular running shoes, your regular running clothes.

  2. Tara says:

    Oh my goodness, I’m so excited for you!!!!

    What a great accomplishment this will be. Could you ever imagine doing something like a 10k even this time last year? I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish this time next year. You give us all so much hope!

  3. AndrewENZ says:

    I remember my first race. Chugged 2 gels down for a 5k…Carbo loaded and tapered etc.

    I’ll second what Greg said. Don’t go overboard. You should be able to run a 10K without doing too much special.

  4. Laszlo says:

    Way to go, Tyler!

    I am also training for the same distance in the end of spring. My humble goal at this point is to run it within an hour. I’m anxious to hear your account. So no advice from me (yet). But I can tell you what I’ve been doing so far:

    – Eat sensibly (relatively more carbs and protein to replenish the ‘train drains’, less fat)
    – Run 30 to 40K each week to build some mileage
    – Later I added some speed and interval sessions – very gently though
    – I also added a longer run each week to get a feel for distance, last week it was 15K
    – After more difficult days I took off a day for recovery
    – Do my stretching after runs very religiously and thoroughly
    – Resistance training 3-4x a week to build muscle, mainly upper body
    – Especially during steady runs, I specifically try to maintain what I think is a proper running form (midfoot strike) to stay injury-free

    Again, these are just things I try to stick with for now in training. So far I’ve come a long way from barely capable of 20 min run three months ago to doing a 15K with a much better pace. This morning I did a 5K in 28:20. I currently weigh 266 lbs, down form 290.

    All the best for your race!

  5. Melissa says:

    I am not an expert but have been a swimming coach (similar concepts with eating to running in ways) and am a runner, having done quite a few races including Coopr River. I wouldn’t recommend carbo loading the night before. It is too heavy. I don’t recommend it to my athletes (though I did it when I was in high school) and I don’t do it before my races. If I eat pasta, I do it 2 and or three nights before. The night before, have light carbs, no salad, good protien.

    Hydrating: do that the day before and a couple hours before the race. I don’t drink a ton during races, nothingin 5Ks and might grab a little water during the Cooper River, maybe not. Even in Marathons and halfs I am not downing it, just little bits.

    Wear your normal running shoes – don’t switch it up on race day.
    I do a little warm up about 30 minutes before the race and stretch a little but do most stretching after.

    As was already stated, don’t start to fast, pace yourself. What is nice about Cooper River is that you get a warm-up mile, then get the hill out of the way and are downhill and flat the rest of the way. It is one of the funnest races I have run with all of the people and the place.

    Have FUN! It will be! Your story is really cool, a friend just sent me the link to your blog. I am the only active one in my family. The rest of my family eats really unhealthy and does little to no activity. I am hoping perhaps I can again encourage them with your story!

  6. Tyler says:

    Good advice, Greg. It’s appreciated.

  7. Tyler says:

    I can’t. Heck, I couldn’t imagine standing for the 90 minutes we have to be in line for before the actual race starts.

  8. Tyler says:

    Sounds like a good plan to me. And you’re doing that at 266 pounds, I find the pretty amazing. No way I could’ve done that amount of cardio at that weight. I know, I tried.

  9. Tyler says:

    I’m glad you just found the blog, Melissa! I hope you stick around and watch my journey unfold. My family was pretty much the same way, but a lot of them are watching what they eat these days.

    I don’t know if it’s because of me or what, but I don’t really care — I’m just glad they’re moving around and eating right too!

  10. Tyler says:

    Can/should I have caffeine before the race? I have to be in line starting at 6:30, which means I probably need to wake up at 4:30 to get through the traffic.

  11. Leah says:

    You’ll get a lot of advice. Take what seems sensible to you, leave the rest. As you’ve found out with calorie counting and nutrition on this blog, what works for some people may or may not work for you.
    I hope you’ll have a cheering crew there for you. Have them take lots of photos before, during, and after. There’ll be an official photographer, sometimes you have to pay for the photos they take, but if they get a finish line capture those are the funnest. I know you love your ipod, but take it out sometimes and talk to people while you’re running. Most runners are eager to share their stories.
    Check out “The Penguin Runner” by John Bingham. The training advice is ok, but at least it introduces you to some “lingo.” I liked it because it demystified running and races, and made me find goals that weren’t about winning or speed. I’m able to enjoy running and races so much more because of this book.
    And of course, have a great time!!

  12. Steve says:

    Greg definitely has some good advice there! I’ve also heard you really don’t to deviate much from what you would normally eat when doing a race (unless its a half marathon or a marathon) because it can mess with you while running.

    Good luck with the 10k, looking forward to hearing about it!!!

  13. beej says:

    No advice here, I just did a “6k” and I try to run a lot during the week. The only thing I wanted to say is best of luck! I’m so happy this day is finally here. Honestly, I never thought it would come–I’ve been following you since before you made this goal, and I always thought that the date seemed so far away. I feel blessed to have been able to watch you progress through your journey, and I just know you’re going to kick butt on the race!

  14. bossymommy says:

    Don’t fall. Or die.

    You’re welcome.

  15. Buckeye Betty says:

    I’ve never done a 10K, although I started with some 5Ks and triathlons last year. My only advice is not to overthink everything beforehand. for the week leading up to the race, I freaked over everything I ate. I’m not saying to join the guy at the counter with the chili cheese fries, but keep a good frame of mind and relax. You can do it!

  16. Chad says:

    That’s exciting stuff, Tyler! It’s got to feel great to be able to do that now, and to achieve the goal you put out there for yourself around this race. Great work!

  17. Jeff says:

    Good Job Tyler on the new 10K signup, however I may disagree with one of the others who have already ran 5+ Marathons (that is 26.2 miles) 🙂 .

    I have been keeping up on your website and through my journey, I have lost 75+ pounds and contribute my exercise portion to running. I have ran 4 5K’s, 1 5mile and a couple weeks ago ran a 15K. I can say as someone starting out (from my experience being a beginner not too long ago) to definitely drink plenty of water the night before and in the morning, and definitely eat some pasta usually a couple nights before since it will take over a day in your system to get the benefits of those carbs. I can really feel it when I go on a 5 mile run if I have not ate well the night before and have not had much water in the morning.
    Thanks for the motivation to keep me going and Good Luck!

  18. Tara says:

    Okay someone send Tyler a bill for this advice…probably the best so far!

  19. Kevin says:

    All I will say is to not stray from your “norm” too much. Don’t worry about the carbo load, like the others said, just eat a sensible meal without too much fiber ;). Caffeine is fine for me before a race, but I am used to that too, it is my norm. Don’t overdo the caffeine or you will find you burn all of your anxious energy before you even start running. Just stay calm and enjoy yourself.


  20. Frank Dobner says:

    Nice work. Do you also do strength training?

  21. Katie55 says:

    Congratulation, Tyler! I am running my first 5K on April 10th. It is half as far as you are going, but then I am twice as old as you!

  22. lori says:

    I was wondering recently when your race was coming up. I am so excited for you! Can’t wait to hear your recap.
    I have my head in the game now about my own lifestyle changes. Things are good.
    Keep up all the great work – and I think that is mighty sweet you are getting your entry fee/hotel room paid for! Have fun.

  23. sjc says:

    Eh. It’s not like a 10k is all that hard — certainly not on par with a marathon. What you’re doing already seems like enough and I don’t think you need more advice than you would when you run 1k. When you’re ready to run a marathon, you can start carbo-loading, etc. Until then, you probably don’t need to engage any extreme “plan.”

  24. Tyler says:

    You’re right sjc, this will be a piece of cake! Well, sugar free, low calorie cake, of course.

  25. Lynne Garcia says:

    I don’t have advice, I’m not at this place yet but I hope to be this time next year. I have learned a lot from the advice you have received (thanks… no, don’t send me a bill ha ha ha) Good luck on this and I can’t wait to hear how it unfolds. You’re an inspiration! Take care.

  26. I wish I would have known about this race! I’m totally doing it next year!! My in-laws live in Moncks Corner so I could stay with them. I’d have to find someplace to hill train first, though!

  27. kate says:

    That first person has great advice. I would also advise you tape/bandaid any bits of your feet that rub while you currently run. My ankles rub on the back of my shoes. It’s usually my litmus test for shoes I can’t wear because of incredibly painful blisters. However, even in comfortable shoes, things still rub. On really short runs it doesn’t matter and I never get a blister. But on longer runs or even walks sometimes you notice a bit more. If during your training you notice a spot rubbing more than usual, tape it or bandaid it. Cloth bandaids if you use those instead of athletic tape. It doesn’t have to be a full wrap, just a strip.

  28. Tara says:


    I came back over here to say that I registered for my first 5k!!! It’s in June. I’m giving myself 3 months to really focus on making this a success!

    You started this madness when I found your blog 6 months ago.

    As I said in my very first comment, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words are much appreciated. You may not have helped that man in the restaurant last week but you’re helping this fat girl get it together!

  29. Joe says:

    I have a secret goal (I haven’t told anyone). I’ve never been able to run, and I always thought it was because of my weight. So I finally broke down and bought actual running shoes and started walking every day, and jogging a block or two during the walk. Working up, a little at a time, to see how far I can run. I can swim okay, and biking isn’t too hard for me. Just can’t run. So if I can tackle that, a triathlon sprint by next spring???

  30. Shelli Belly says:

    You’re living the life Tyler.

  31. ASD says:

    I’ve heard that lentil are much better for carbo loading than pasta. maybe give that a shot. good luck! can’t wait to hear about it.

  32. Josie says:

    Wow, wishing you all the best, Tyler! and I think that rocks that PapayaHead paid your fees! Everything I’ve read and heard about them has just been awesome. They seem like such a classy company. I’m happy that you’re challenging yourself in this way. Do you have a pace goal for yourself?

    You’ll rock this race, I’m sure. Sorry I have no advice for you, but I read all the comments trying to learn as much as I can for when I’m ready to take that step.

  33. Cory says:

    Bossy you crack me up!! Excellent advise.

  34. Cory says:

    Go Tyler go!! I’ve never been brave enough to run an official race, you’re my hero 🙂

  35. Greg says:

    The Portland (OR) Marathon is frequently rated as the best marathon for first-timers, and the organizers give this advice: “no new is good new”. Meaning: stick to your regular workout routine for the race and you’ll have no problems. This covers all your questions about carb-loading, hydration, caffeine, etc.

    And remember have fun and let us know about it afterwards!

  36. Relax, have fun, and take pictures.

  37. Kellie says:

    go slow in the beginning. Nothing feels better than passing all the people who flew out of the starting line and are exhausted by the end. Have fun. I love races and the energy from the crowd is amazing.

  38. ~moe~ says:

    Some advice that has helped me whether I’ve been running a marathon or a 5K : start and go at your own pace, remember “there is no hill”, and have fun. 10Ks are a great race, but they are generally seen as a true “race” where 5Ks are walk/runs (at least they have been in my experience). If you’re not out for a 1st place medal, just run and enjoy it. Support other runners while you’re out there and they’ll support you back.

    And remember to smile. You never know who will have a camera around. Oh…and I’ll second the cheering squad to have a camera for before, during and after. I just started my running scrapbook (I started running in 2007) and it’s fun to see where I was then to where I am now. Good luck!

  39. erin says:

    Hey – this is coming up this weekend! GO TYLER!

    A lot of excellent advice here, but did you ever figure out how to run the hills? If not, the advice I’ve heard is to shorten up your stride, go a little slower and lean just a little up the hill. When you’re going down the hill, lean back just a tich, lengthen your stride just a bit and let gravity pull you down the hill. Honestly, when I did my marathon (admittedly a much longer distance) I went ahead and walked up the hills to conserve energy.

    Overall, you’ll want a race strategy where you start out slower and end strong. A VERY common mistake – because it’s so easy to do – is to start out too fast. (I certainly did this in my first 5k, and even in my marathon!) Figure out what your goal pace is, have a way to monitor it during the race and stick to it.

    Others have mentioned this too, but it bears repeating: DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING ON RACE DAY. No new race gear, no new hydration strategy (you should be fine, but in case you’ve been using one); use of caffeine or not; your meals the night before a longer run and meals in the morning of (e.g. if you’re used to eating a banana an hour or so before running, be sure to get up in time to do that); stretching routine, etc. Your practice runs are the time to do all of that guess work; your race day is not.

    If you decide to use hydration products (like gatorade, etc.), especially since it’s a short race, be careful to only take as much as you’ve been training with; if you take too much, you can end up with ‘gut rot’ and stomach cramps. No fun.

    This is obviously a post-race issue, and you’re probably doing this already, but you should be tracking miles ran in your running shoes. They’re only good for 300-400 miles (varies a bit by person) before the support starts to wear out. You want to start phasing in your new shoes before the old ones are dead so that the new ones have a chance to be broken in. Keep your shoes in good shape and they’ll help you prevent injury.

    Above all… enjoy yourself! Races are a blast and you’ll be amazed by the range of people that run. You’ll do great!!

  40. erin says:

    BTW I should also mention… there is no shame in going slower than your goal pace. Some days are just that way. Don’t beat yourself up over it and remember why you’re running and THAT you’re running – a HUGE victory itself. If that goal pace isn’t happening, it’s just not happening, and that’s okay. Have fun!!

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