29 Nov Happy Anniversary To Me
Its been one year since I started this blog and although my spelling and grammar has not improved I think I’ve shocked myself, friends and family for actually sticking with this whole blogging malarkey. I’ve enjoyed blogging about my running adventure and looking back on the journey that I’ve made, and blogging about it has been therapeutic and really made me think about what I’ve taken away and what works and I should continue to do.
When I started it was about me being just a average runner trying to improve and finish a half marathon in a acceptable time, when I read other blogs to try and pickup average peoples tips and trick I found a void for average people. Most blogs where about people getting personal bests and smashing targets and running sub 8 min miles, now none of that is average its amazing but no help to a beginner. These people had training plans that involved 4 runs and some strength training and then some yoga and rest days, once again all a bit daunting for a new runner, I was not about to get up in the dark to log a 8 mile personal best run before work. So my blog was born, although I had made a training plan, it was one I made and it really it was just a guide line of where I should be to keep on track. The rest I just made up as I went along, and for me that worked (most the time) some weeks were hard, some were easy and by the end I didn’t want to run again for a very long time (I was back running the next week).
This blog is the tips I would give myself one year ago, the advice I would give any beginner and will be taking with me to my marathon training.
To start with, what are you running for? its different if your running to keep fit or for a event. If your running for a event you need a training plan, I would suggest to look up some training plans and then adjust them to suit you and your schedule. I found the best thing was to only increase a mile every two weeks, so week 1 might be 10 miles, then week two would be 10 miles again before increasing to 11 miles the following week. Week one I always took a bit easier, see how the run felt, see where I actually ended up. Then week two was the time to own the run, you knew how it was going to be and where you will end up, this then will leave you in good stead to increase the mileage next week. If your running to keep fit my suggestion would be to set a time you would like to run for, so 45 minutes, then as you get faster you will get more miles done in that time. By keeping the time the same you will always be able to fit it in and increasing speed is a great way to up your fitness every week.
Some runs are going to be shit, its okay to give up. No matter how good I get, how many miles I can run, some runs you just cant power and push yourself through. I tend to find its not the runs where something hurts, I can deal with that, its the runs where your heart isn’t in it and your head doesn’t give a shit, your body almost can’t get the rhythm right, its a fight with every step. They are horrible and its okay just to go back home and start a fresh the next day, you will be pushing yourself on a daily basis and sometimes you just have to say no, don’t feel bad, its okay. It is not okay however to give up because the weather isn’t great (its England, deal with the weather) or you’ve got a headache, some thing hurts, or you don’t feel like it. With every run you will get better, and on the big day you want to know you gave your training everything you have and you could not be better prepared for this moment.
Don’t worry to much about your time to begin with, as time goes on you will naturally get faster, it will require adding some sprints to your training but they are well worth it. Also don’t forget to keep upping your game, its easy to sink into a nice pace and just clock the miles, but with all the training you can really push yourself form one week to the next. Some people find it handy to keep a diary of your runs, I tried this and lasted a month before I got bored of writing the same thing, but I can see its probably a good idea.
Don’t get fat, this one is mainly for me, its easy to go on a massive run and think you can eat what ever you want for the rest of the week. You can’t, and any weight you put on you will then be carrying around when you’re running. also stop telling yourself its muscle, we all know eating a tub of ice-cream in one sitting doesn’t lead to building muscle.
When you can, enjoy your run. Sometimes its easy to forget that running is a choice you have made, you have chosen to train for a marathon, 10K or what ever. So don’t treat every run like a punishment, although that run might be something you don’t want to do, it is leading up to something that you do want to do and have chosen to do. So enjoy the fact that with every run you are getting closer to your end goal, and take the triumphs, personal best and so on and revel in it (eat some cake, just not the whole cake).
I think that’s everything I would pass on, I’m sure there’s loads more but I just wanted to break down some core tips that I feel no other blog ever really covered.