Happy New Year! And welcome to running! Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re new to running. You are no doubt thinking about your first marathon (who doesn’t), and what records you can beat. You might even be thinking about the Olympics. We’re not here to say don’t dream, just that dreams take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but that’s perfectly ok. Enjoy the process, enjoy watching your times get quicker, enjoy meeting people, enjoy the whole thing!
In the day job, I ask clients “what does success look like?”. Seems like a rather simple question, but it makes people define at the start of a process what they hope to achieve at the end. My goal for my clients as it is for runners is to define how long, and how much effort it takes to achieve success. So, what does success look like? Are you hoping to get fit and healthy? Hoping to lose weight? Are you hoping to meet people and be part of a club? Hoping to run a marathon? Are you just hoping to take up a hobby in the hope of avoiding Love Island? You must be honest with yourself, and define what you want to do. It doesn’t have to be lofty, it could simply be run a 5K by March. Whatever it is, write it down!!
If you are starting off on your running journey, take it easy. Many of you will be at different levels. If you’re starting off, focus on walking for 30 minutes at a brisk pace. Once you’re starting to make progress, start introducing a bit of running. Follow a Couch 2 5K plan, and see it out to completion. The key to success is knowing when to take a break. You don’t need to and you shouldn’t run 7 days a week. Start off with 3/4 days a week and build up. This will be new for your body, and it needs time to adapt.
You will get a few niggles here and there. Your shin’s will hurt like crazy, and you’ll want to give up (DON’T). You’ll have aches and pains in your legs that make you question why are you doing this, and is this worth it. Trust me, running is totally worth it. Injuries are totally ok, and are something every runner experiences. If you’re finding you’re having a few issues with aches and pains, we do have a team of physio’s who can guide you through whatever issues you might be having. You can learn more about them HERE. If you are having a few niggles, take it easy, and move back to walking while you recover.
Finally, as you’re planning your running journey, create a list of goals. Simple goals from running your first 5K, to entering your first race, goals help to keep you motivated. You should have 1/2 goals for every month. If you don’t achieve them, that’s ok, but keep going!
The hardest part of running is often just getting out the door. Get ready, get your shoes on, and try to get out for even 5 minutes, as every little bit counts! Enjoy your running journey, and hopefully we’ll be here to support you along the way.