While most elite athlete’s would quote the mantra “Run, eat, sleep, repeat”, most of your average club runners go more by the philosophy of: “Enter race, eat, sleep, freak out because race is coming up, run, run, run, get sick or injured from cramming, run race anyway, vow to start training sooner next time, repeat“.

Training start/stop is a bit like having a slow puncture. Fitness we gain is continuously “leaking” and progress is very slow or even reversed.

There are important scheduled recovery days (which follow after run days!) or times in the year, such as after a marathon, when you must give your body a good break. For the most part though, you should always be running.

Many people are looking for that magic training programme, but if you examine the ways of the best in the world, the secret sauce is not some magical workout (although they do do some pretty hard ones!), the secret sauce is that they are always running. Everyday, every week, every month.

If you are struggling to be consistent, here are some tips to help you get on track:

  1. Reduce the length of each run to an amount that is easy to manage and fit into your daily routine. Then, keeping the length the same, increase the number of days you run by 1 day a week. Once you are consistent on 5 days, start adding 5 minutes to each run per day.
  2. Measure your runs in time not distance. Then just focus on getting the time done without worrying what people will say on Strava about the distance. When you are tired it is easier to motivate yourself to get out because even if you go really slow, if you just complete the time on your feet, you have achieved your goal for the day!
  3. Join a group! It is much easier to get out there regularly, plus the conversations and chirps definitely make the time pass faster!
  4. Diarise your weekly runs ahead of time. You will be less likely to be “stuck in a meeting.” Runs are serious commitments!
  5. Run early in the morning if you can. You will feel fresher and you will have more energy for your work day.
  6. Clean up your diet and get more sleep. If your body is healthy, well fueled and rested, your runs will be more enjoyable and more likely to repeat.
  7. Get good running gear, especially the right running shoes. Enjoyment factor will go up, again leading to more likely repeats.
  8. If you have not yet joined a community like Strava, DO IT! It works.
  9. Vary your routes.
  10. Don’t think about it until you are too far from home to bail!

Let me know how you get on.

Coach Kathleen


About Coach Kathleen

Coaching since 2004, I have coached both young and old athletes from those achieving provincial and national medals in track, biathlon and cross country to runners running their first ever half marathon or marathon. I am a specialist in youth coaching and my coaching philosophy is to not only help each athlete achieve their best with their athletic talent but to guide each athlete in developing character and transforming their lives beyond the track. As an athlete I have competed at high levels across all the running disciplines, track, road, cross country and trail running as well as internationally in triathlon. I have a personal best of 2 hours 45 min for the marathon and have twice been part of the winning ladies team in the AfricanX trail race. Qualifications IAAF Athletics Lecturer Level 3 Distance Running Coach SAQ Fundamental Movement Certificate Personal Running Performances
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