Signed up to a spring marathon or ½ marathon? Follow these tips to make the first stage of your training go to plan.
Shorter term goals
The end goal always seems a daunting task but it’s not always about the destination but the journey along the way!
Break this journey into smaller steps such as starting by concentrating on a 5k PB for a month, then build to 10k over a another month and so on. This helps break up the training with little measureable achievements. Use free events such as parkrun to gauge how you’re getting on.
Get good shoes
Always make sure you have the right kit from the beginning, find a pair of shoes that suit you early on. Go to a good running shop, get fitted and this will help prevent getting to a point where blisters or niggles have become a problem and makes your running much more enjoyable.
Run with people! Running with people will keep you motivated and stop you from skipping runs. Particularly in the dark evenings it can take a long time to get out the door, as your mind finds many other jobs that need to be done. Meeting with someone stops the inevitable pre-run ‘faffing’!
Set more than 1 goal
Set more than one goal for what you would like to achieve, for instance one goal might be just to complete, another to get under a certain time etc. Break these into:
– Main goal
– Would like to achieve goal
– Everything going right on the day goal.
Do not ignore niggles
Niggles are inevitable, do not ignore them and listen to what your body is telling you. This might mean missing/shortening one of your runs but will help stop the niggles stopping you training. If niggles persist get them checked out, the money spent can make all the difference to how your training goes.
Get your technique checked
The habits you have when you run especially when tired can, at best, fatigue you early and, at worst, injure you. Get your running technique checked for free here.
Build a good strength base
Strength exercises help the body catch up with the relentless increase in mileage it will have to tolerate in the coming months.
This can be simple single leg strength such as single leg squats or pendulums when you put the kettle on, or find a class locally that covers basic strength work.
Don’t race your training
Your training runs should be performed at a controlled pace. Normally your plan will include 1 long run a week and 2+ other runs during the week. During the longer run you should aim to make these a comfortable pace and leave the other runs in the week to gain speed – trust your plan.
Follow a training plan
Whether you are a competent runner or a complete novice, following a plan will mean there is a structure to your training and a guide to what sessions would suit at what stages of your training.Download free ½ marathon training plans here.
Head Running Coach