Over the years I have done a few ‘long distance’ runs. I am still yet to complete a marathon but I have a few half marathons under my belt, amongst other things.
Although I had enjoyed running at school (I loved the 800M and 1500M track events) I had to train for a good 3 months or so before running my first ever 10km a few years after leaving school.
Running and general exercise are an excellent outlet for me personally, I have always found that once I get into a solid exercise regime it is easy to stick to. The hard part is actually getting into the routine.
I learnt that it takes 25% cardio, 25% diet, 25% routine and 25% mental stamina to run a long distance.
Instead of planning a whole weak of what exercises to do when, and what food to eat for each meal I found it best to set myself targets rather than actual tasks. Some examples: “I will go for 3 runs this week and build up to 5km by the end of the week.” “I will eat my 5 fruit and veg today and have 1 carb dish”. “I will do 3 cardio and 2 weight sessions this week.”
Another useful thing I found was signing up for running events. My most productive times have been when training for an event. Knowing I have a goal in mind helps me push myself harder. My first run was for charity and I told everyone about it, this definitely motivated me to train properly.
Finally, I will say that slow and steady is fine. I didn’t run for over a year after my last half marathon and I managed about 1km before having to stop. If it is your first time running, remember that you don’t start at the finish line. A week of running for 10 minutes a day is better than no running at all.
There is no better buzz than crossing that finish line so feel free to follow or subscribe to read more about my running experiences and fitness thoughts.