Every year millions of people make New Year's resolutions. One popular resolution is to plan your running for the year as a personal goal. We all start somewhere when it comes to running.
Few are born with the ability to run far and fast without early training, but the majority will need some time and patience. Consistency is key to building up your running load.
Approaching running the right way when you first get started will make all the difference. Because running can be an incredibly physically, mentally, and emotionally fulfilling activity, ultimately you’ve just got to start!
What would you like to achieve with your running this year? Set a goal, even if it’s just committing to running every 2-3 days or be more specific, like committing to finish a 10K race in a specific time. Setting small realistic goals will keep you motivated to run every week.
The best advice is not to run for speed (specific pace per mile) or distance. Instead of going out each day as you're starting to run and committing yourself to a set distance or pace, run for time instead. Set a time goal each day of how long you want to be out moving faster than a walk. Telling yourself that you just need to run for 20 minutes seems much more conquerable than saying 2 miles. By choosing a time you also separate your expectations from speed or pace and halt any day-to-day negative comparisons.
Listening to your body needs in the early stages as you start running is essential. Building up to being able to run frequently every week and keep progressing takes a lot of time. The importance of rest and recovery in between runs is heightened during the early stages, to keep you away from running injuries and find the way to enjoy every run!
As mentioned above, rest and recovery days in between runs are essential as you’re starting to run. During those rest and recovery days, in order to help progress your running without actually running, you can do a series of cross training activities during these “off days.” Using your non-running days to stretch, strengthen, and develop your aerobic capacity with low-impact movements will help improve your running overall. Cycling strength training, yoga, Pilates, swimming, and other similar activities are great for runners. All of this will help reduce injury risk and gently increase the durability your joints and ligaments.
Logging your training is a really useful exercise and is something that you can learn a lot from. It will enable you to look back and see what training helped you to run that PB or it may give you some vital clues as to why you became ill or injured. Looking back at all the training that you’ve banked can serve as a great motivator too.
Running resolution should keep you accountable for the new year as you work towards your personal goals. Click below to book a Runners Assessment with one of our Physiotherapists.