Whenever we start something new, it is easy to get a little ahead of ourselves. We become overly excited. We can’t wait to get better at this new thing which has now become our current obsession. Logically, the more I do it, the better I become at it right? Unfortunately, that may not be the best approach to running.
You may end up setting your sights too high and when you fail to achieve your targets, you tell yourself you’re just not cut out for running. You may set routines that are not sustainable and ultimately end up not sticking with a running routine. You may end up with overtraining issues such as injury.
Here are 4 simple but super helpful tips for anyone who has just started out running!
#1 Set A Realistic Target
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment, failure, and injury. If you haven’t even done a 10km race, don’t try and attempt a marathon in 12 weeks. Or, if you aren’t able to run a sub2 half marathon just yet, don’t target a sub 4 marathon. Always remember to set a realistic target.
Remember, your target has to reflect your training capabilities. Base your goals on your past timings. For instance, if you’re running a 50 minutes 10km (5-minute pace), you could train for a 1 hour 45 minutes (5-minute pace) half marathon. This would be a challenging target, but not one that is out of reach.
Unrealistic goals lead to being discouraged, demotivated and could potentially lead to injuries.
#2 It Is Important To Rest And Recover
This is a concept that even some of the best runners fail to comprehend.
“We all know when you train hard, it’s in the recovery that you get the real improvement!” – Alberto Salazar-
During training, we are putting our body through immense stress and pressure. Our muscles start to break down. Resting allows your body to repair these damaged muscles, and once repaired, our muscles become stronger. This is the importance of recovery. Remember to always schedule recovery runs or recovery days especially after a tough workout session.
#3 Join A Running Club
A great way to make sure we stick to our running routine and not end up quitting halfway is to join a running club. At a running club, we’re constantly surrounded by people who keep motivating us and cheering us on. We’re surrounded by like-minded people with the same passion. This way, you would feel more relaxed and motivated to chase your goals.
#4 Patience Is Key
With running, like life, there will be progress, plateaus, peaks, and valleys. Do not be discouraged if you aren’t seeing immediate results. Give your body some time to adapt to the new stress you are putting it under and you will notice the difference. Do not get anxious and load your body with more stress. You may end up overtraining and see a decrease in performance despite increased intensity and volume of training. Frequent overuse of muscles and joints can cause constant joint and muscle aches and may easily lead to injuries.