Eight tips to help keep your running on track
Get Running: A quick look over your log will remind you what you are capable of, what you have achieved and all you have overcome
Welcome to Week 2 of our Get Running programme. I hope you are still as enthusiastic about your running goals as you were this time last week. If everything went well in training, you have no doubt started to build your running confidence and fitness. However, some of you may not have had as successful a week 1 as you had anticipated.
A fresh start
Many of us set very high expectations for ourselves and struggle to match our ideal pace, fitness and commitment level. It is very common in these early weeks to start too fast or over-estimate our ability and finish a training session disillusioned. If this was your experience last week, don’t retire just yet. Slow down your pace this week and give your body time to adapt.
Feeling disappointed with your progress certainly won’t help your long-term running prospects. Instead consider each new week a fresh start. Each new training session brings plenty of opportunity to take the lessons learnt into this new week.
Track your history
Very quickly these early weeks of training will become a blur of January runs. While many of you will be happy to leave these dark and cold early days of running behind you and enjoy the weekly improvements and brighter evenings, one of the most powerful things you can do now is keep track of your progress.
Write it all down
It only takes a minute after each session to jot down the highlights of your run. Each time you do put pen to paper, you are creating a running history that will record the ups and down on your running journey. You can capture the emotions and the achievements in each training session before the memories are forgotten. In the future your running history becomes motivation on a day when you don’t feel up for a run. A quick look over your log will remind you what you are capable of, what you have achieved and all you have overcome.
Your training diary
You can download our online training diary here, or from this week’s training email, or you can simply create your own running log on paper or your computer/phone. If you have not done so already, jot down the details of last week’s runs. Your diary can be as simple or as detailed as you wish. At a minimum there should enough detail to remind you of the training sessions completed and note any lessons learnt or milestones reached.
Our weekly videos this week discuss pacing and breathing. I explain how running at the right pace for your fitness level can help you relax more, run better and accomplish so much more than running at too fast a pace. Take a few minutes to review the training notes and experiment with your running pace this week. Remember that no one else notices or cares what pace you are running at. Run your own run ignoring the pace of others around you.
Find your event
In our more advanced Get Running programmes I ask you this week to identify suitable races or events for later in the programme. Choose an event that fits in with your training schedule as well as your commitments outside running. Booking an event will keep you motivated and give a target and reward for all your training. Even those of you on the beginners programme could look at a 5k event in 8 weeks’ time. Check out RunIreland.com or GoRun.ie for lists of events or find a local 5k parkrun near you on parkrun.ie.
One week at a time
There is indeed plenty to work on this week. Best of luck with all the training and I’ll be back next week to check in again.
Sign up for one of The Irish Times' Get Running programmes (it is free!) and Get Healthy for 2018.
First, pick the programme that suits you.
- Beginner Course: This programme is an eight-week course that will take you from inactivity to being able to run 30 minutes non-stop.
- Stay On Track: The second programme is an eight-week course for those of you who can squeeze in a 30- to 40-minute run three times a week.
- 10km Course: This is an eight-week course designed for those who can comfortably run for 30 minutes and want to move up to the 10km mark.
Best of luck!