One of Britain’s top marathon runners, Liz Yelling, has compiled a top 10 of training tips. Yelling won bronze at last year’s Commonwealth Games and was eighth in this year’s London Marathon.
1. Ring fence your exercise time. You won’t get to the finish line without protecting your time to train. You’ve made a personal commitment to your health and well-being so it’s important to you. Prioritize your time and stick to it.
2. Create incentives. Set goals and reward yourself when you reach them. These will provide you with drive and commitment towards the 5k and help you gauge how your fitness is progressing.
3. Plan your attack. Know what you are going to do in your week and when. Your plan should be progressive, structured and appropriate to your exercise history, level of fitness and 5k goals.
4. Variation is the spice of running life. Doing the same type of running can make your routine boring. Don’t just do the same run every day. Mix it up and try different things like varying the pace, terrain and time you run for.
5. It shouldn’t be all hard work. Avoid packing all your runs together. As a rule of thumb, for every day of ‘hard’ running, take two days rest or easy running.
6. Fuel yourself. Running is a great calorie burner but you still need to replace the energy you’ve used. Carbohydrate is the body’s fuel for exercise so eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.
7. Get some support. Running with friends is social and builds togetherness. Getting a coach can help you get the right advice from an experienced specialist and keep you motivated.
8. Get the right kit. Specialist running shoes are a must for injury prevention. Choose running kit that is functional and comfortable.
9. Be patient. Don’t expect immediate results. Successful running takes time, but you’ll love the benefits of looking and feeling great when they arrive. The more you do the easier it gets.
10. Enjoy it and have fun! Running shouldn’t be a chore. It’s something you do to boost your health, wellness and vitality. Just being out there doing it is a brilliant achievement and you should remind yourself how well you’ve done.