People can hold very strong opinions on running. Some see it as an essential part of their daily routine - their happy place is pounding the pavement and letting the endorphins run high. They’ve always run, and they plan on always running.
And then there’s the rest of us! We know that running’s good for us, but it just doesn’t hold the same appeal. It’s an upward battle to force yourself out into blistering winter mornings for your run.
Whatever your running ability, setting out for your daily run should be something you enjoy doing. No, really. Maintaining a regular running practice benefits your mental and physical health. Everyone starts running for different reasons - whether it be to compete in races, accomplish goals like running a marathon, or improve your everyday fitness. Whatever your ‘why’, enjoying your training and continuing to run long term (even after your event is over or weight loss goal may be hit) will benefit your everyday life.
If you see your runs as a dreaded chore, make sure to check this video out for some of Mark and Suzanne’s tips on how to learn to enjoy running!
0.00 - 2.56 Introduction and two types of runners
2.57 - 4.32 Make 80% of your runs easy
4.33 - 6.45 Be patient with your progress
6.46 - 9.42 Don’t compare yourself to others
9.43 - 11.07 Don’t get caught up in the numbers
11.08 - 15.21 Find your community
Don't Make It Harder For Yourself
The common thread in Mark and Suzanne’s first two tips is not pushing yourself too hard initially.
This is advice for people wanting to run for both competitive or health reasons. Overestimating what you can achieve with one or two week’s of training and pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion or even injury is not going to make you a better runner. It might put you off running altogether. For 80% of your runs, go at a leisurely pace - whatever that may look like to you. Mark recommends picking a pace where you can continue holding a conversation while running. Any progress is good progress. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself to run a 5 kilometre in 30 mins on your first run.
If you’re brand new, start with a walk around the block. By the end of the week, you may be able to turn that into a jog. Some people can feel frustrated by ‘going slow’, but what you’re doing is building your strength, endurance and fitness, making you a better runner in the long term. Don’t try and rush to train for a marathon in a six month training period. It’s just not realistic, and you’re setting yourself up to fail. Focus on small improvements and small goals, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you improve.
This is Your Journey
Mark and Suzanne talk about the downfalls of comparison and getting caught up in the numbers in their following two tips. The basis of both of these recommendations is focusing on your personal journey and not getting caught up in anything else. Every day is slightly different to yesterday, and a million things can impact your run - weather, how much sleep you got, what you ate, if you’re a woman and it’s your time of the month, the terrain, etc.
Comparing your run to someone else’s who started training the same time as you and feeling disheartened if they have a faster pace is just not productive. Seriously, maybe they just had a great breakfast that day! It’s so dependent and doesn’t take away from your achievements. Likewise, hyper-focusing on the stats your smartwatch provides and feeling gutted that your pace is 0.3 seconds slower than the day before doesn’t help you in the long run.
Find Your Community
The most important tip to take away from this video is to find your running community or training group. Having a network will turn your run from a solo slog into a social event and help you look forward to your next training session. Meeting someone for a run early in the morning will mean that you have to get up when your alarm goes off instead of snoozing it; otherwise, you’ll be letting someone down.
Creating friendships within your training group will incentivise you to go back again and again to reap the social benefits, as well as your own health goals. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to gather some friends or join a running group, now is the perfect time.
You can enter as a team of up to five for your events in the Coastal Five. For more information on the training packages available, or the race itself, contact Mark and Suzanne at email@example.com.