Last week I ran my second ever half marathon and so many people always respond to that by saying they never could, but the truth is, 3 years ago I couldn’t run to the end of my road and less than a year after that, I crossed the line at my first 13.1 mile race. Running didn’t take over my life, I didn’t train like craaaazy, I mean of course I was prepared but what I am trying to say is that, as long as you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. Over the years I have made a list of some of my favourite running tips to help me improve and keep on track and I thought I would share them with you today.
1. You have to start somewhere. This is sometimes the hardest tip to actually put into practice. I remember very clearly how I always wanted to be fitter and healthier but I never actually realised that everyone starts basically at 0. I have always been into sport since I can remember, but never that great at it and certainly never that physically fit. I would be out of breath from running up the stairs and I would go bright red whenever I walked up a hill (turns out that bright red phase has never really ended with me!). But a few years back when I was cheering runners on at my local half marathon, I decided there and then to sign up for next years run and 365 days later I crossed the finish line myself. Very very red and sweaty but I had the medal around my neck and that is all that mattered. You aren’t going to achieve anything by never starting and sometimes that is the biggest hurdle.
2. Have an aim. My second main piece of advice is to work towards a goal. It doesn’t have to be a specific race date, it could just be running 5k or 10k in your own time, but pick something to work towards. Not only does it help when training, as otherwise it can feel quite futile, but once you achieve that goal, there is no greater feeling.
3. Invest in some good gear. Now I am not saying go out and spend loads of money on fancy running technology, but it is important for your feet to have good shoes and you will feel a lot more confident in clothing you feel great in!!
4. Create your own personal running playlist. And make it fiiiiire. Find songs that have the same beat as your running pace and it’ll will send you flying. Personal favourites of mine include, Shake If Off (got to love a bit of Swiftie), Don’t Stop Moving (because S Club 7 are classics) and Come on Eileen (because it’ll pick you up, when you are feeling as if you want to stop).
5. Find something that will motivate you. I am not talking about your personal goals here, I mean find something tangible that you can look at, or watch, or listen to right before you run. I have a few motivators if I am feeling uninspired to go running, or the weather is looking a bit dreary. I love to watch little highlight reels of the half marathon that I run. I don’t know why they motivate me as much as they do, perhaps it reignites that feeling that I had when I first decided to run one, or perhaps its just that weird feeling of home that I get when I run down the closed off streets of where I grew up….
6. Fit running into your weekly schedule. Something that really helped me when building up my kilometres, was to have a weekly schedule where I would write down my aims for each run, as well as allocating rest days dependent on when I was busiest. I always looked at the weather forecast to get an idea of which days are best. This way you minimise excuses such as being “too busy” (which in my opinion doesn’t exist) or the very typical one of blaming the weather, as this is external and seemingly out of your control. But if you factor in rest days it allows you to have a flexible running schedule and makes sure you always get out there.
Of course there is no magic remedy for motivating you to start exercising, you have to find what is right for you and it is a very personal thing. Oh and progress won’t happen overnight, you have to put the hours in if you want to achieve anything. But that goes without saying I guess. Getting into running has been one of the best hobbies I have had. It helps me out when I am stressed and it gives me a constant feeling of achievement when I crush that Personal Best.
I hope these tips have helped you and please leave me a comment with either a running achievement you have conquered or maybe a goal for the future? I would love to hear them.