I have so many tips for successful running! But, I've narrowed it down to my top 5, which apply across ability levels and race choice preferences, have a read:
- Assess your current fitness level - when you decide to begin your training, your current fitness level is where you begin. Perhaps you ran faster in your 20s or before you had children. Maybe you ran a marathon 5 years ago but haven't gone past 5k in 2 years. Wherever you are NOW is where you begin. Be kind to yourself and don't worry about what used to be because the future is what is in front of you.
- Gradually build up your running - take a look at your past several months of running to determine your average weekly mileage. From there, begin a gradual build in distance to help avoid injury and frustration. The golden rule is not to exceed approximately 10% growth per week.
- Keep your body strong & healthy - remember those exercises your physio provided that you ignored? Start doing them. Completing basic body weight strength (i.e. lunges, calf raises, planks) each week will go a long way in keeping you strong to support your running. Also, without zapping all the fun out of eating, aim to eat more wholesome foods as well as stay hydrated. If this topic is bringing you down, also aim for more sleep, we could all use a little more of that!
- Don't compare yourself to others - just don't. Comparison is the thief of joy. There will always be someone who runs longer, who runs quicker, who seems to bounce back from each run easily while you may need more recovery. The more you focus on your own running journey and appreciate the changes it's making to your fitness, pace and enjoyment of the sport, that's all that matters.
- Remain consistent - the more consistent you are with your running, the easier it will become. It will never be easy, but it'll begin to feel easier. No one improves their running by only thinking or reading about running, you only improve with practice!
These are just a sampling of tips to get you kick started into training!