Challenges… They make life that much more interesting yet really hard. They test our limits and make us stronger. When they arise, try to remain positive and don’t listen to the negative voices! When any runner makes the decision to run (any distance) it is a momentous moment. No doubt other runners will help you with your training, and experience runners will warn you: never try anything new on race day!
Don’t train harder train smarter. It’s a saying you've no doubt come across. But how do you turn this tried-and-true cliché into reality? What are the best ways to get more results for less effort? It’s something I had to learn the hard way after an injury (....but that’s another story). The key to a good training program is getting as much out of yourself with the least amount of training. Quality over quantity! The more you train the more you run the risk of injury. If you’re about to run your potential logging 50 kilometres per week then why run 80 kilometres and increase the potential to injure yourself? Training is a subtle balance between stress and recovery. Take yourself over the edge and do too much before your body is ready to cope and chances are you'll get injured or sick.
Persevering, is not the same as goal setting, not the same as motivation, it’s to do with both those, but it’s a very valuable ingredient in sporting success, which we probably don’t draw on as much as we should. When training is going well, then we follow our goals, use the motivation that gets us out of bed to go on an hour run. However, when things just don’t feel 100%, when training is a chore, you don’t seem to be getting anywhere or when you are injured, then ‘following your dreams’ needs to be remembered. Equally important is to find out why training is going particularly badly. Just because you want to succeed in running, that doesn't mean you have to forsake all other entertaining activities. Do you understand your training program and the goals in it? This is important and one which requires you to talk to your coach. Any sport demands that you have phases in your training.
No Substitute for Quality
Would you rather have 10 lame friends or one great one? It’s all about making every metre you run count. Get the job done and go home. Science is also on my side, study after study shows that if you can only train fast or train a lot, you’re better off training fast. But runners don’t have to choose between quality and quantity. They can have some of both, yet quality must come first! Only after you've reached a point where you are getting as much benefit as you can from training at race pace and faster should you add a little extra slow stuff.