I came to running late, but was fortunate to be able to put a lot of time into it over the first few years. There are lots of things that would have made that journey easier and quicker, but are my top five…
Consistent running and consistent recovery. With a busy work life, busy family life, and hopefully a good social life, fitting running in can be hard. But carving out the time to be consistent with your running will help the adaptations occur more quickly than if you are haphazard. The same is true with your recovery: this is where the magic happens so it’s important that you find time in your busy schedule to get enough sleep and downtime.
This is especially true if you follow number 1. Your body is amazing at adapting to what you ask it to do. Challenge it and allow it to recover and it will adapt.
What? Didn’t you just say it does? Well, the challenge you have with adapting and with your running getting easier, is that you’ll want to keep progressing. As my own coach said to me a few years ago: “It doesn’t ever get easier, you just run faster for the same effort!”
During your first long of marathon traning, and it’s only 8 miles… you think “how am I supposed to do this for 26.2 miles?!!!”. And amazingly, several weeks later you do exactly that!
Joining a running club or group can do more than just help you run further or faster. I waited far too long before joining my running club, Bournemouth AC. I didn’t think I was good enough; I was nervous; I made every excuse because I thought everyone would be faster or better. I’m so glad I finally made the move to join and I can’t imagine not being a part of the club.
And possibly an even more fantastic community of runners is another local running group I’m a core member of: Verwood Runners. A sea of purple at almost every local race, we are an all inclusive group that love to have fun, eat cake and run. So, if you’ve been holding back from contacting your local running group or club, I would urge you to make contact with them. You can find a list of UK running groups here, and a list of affiliated UK clubs here.
So there you have it, the five things I wish I knew when I first started running. Comment below with yours, it’ll be great to learn what they are.