Invest in the right kit
While we’re starting to see the back of dark and dreary mornings (hallelujah), a lot of us will try and squeeze in our runs before work, which can mean stepping out before the sun’s up.
“It sounds really simple, but if you’re going out running at 6am, it’s really important that cars are able to see you.
“I buy kit with reflective strips and put it on the radiator the night before, so it’s all warm and cosy. There’s nothing worse than getting out of a warm bed into the freezing cold!”
H&W loves the Infinium Soft Lined Shirt from GORE, that’s made from breathable fabric and has reflective panelling for early mornings or dark evenings.
Map your route
If you’re keen to pound the pavements, but can’t even convince the dog to come along, you might be put off by the fact that you’ll be running on your own.
Knowing exactly where you’re going can quell these feelings of anxiety and help you to feel more secure when you’re out jogging solo.
“Running on your own can be frightening, so I always find I’m much better if I plan my route on MapMyRun, even if it’s a 5k.
“This means I know I’m going the right way and not constantly worrying if I’m going to get lost.”
Think about the start line
Although we’re aware of the physical and mental health benefits of running, motivation can still fall by the wayside to lace up those trainers sometimes. When you’ve lost yours, picture getting to the start line, Amy suggests.
“For me, it’s all in the preparation and getting to that start line injury-free – that’s where you really have to put the effort in. If you’re following a specific plan, you can afford to skip some runs, but if you miss too many, you’re just going to end up sore and hurt.
“So, when I’m out on my morning runs, I always think that my end goal is to get to that finish line and that keeps me motivated.”
Make it social
Increasing your fitness levels enough to be able to run a longer distance is great, but can be equally as isolating.
By adding a social dimension to your training can make it more enjoyable for you and get other members of your family involved.
“When I was doing my long runs in preparation for the London Marathon, I would often meet my husband at a cafe or restaurant afterwards. This way, I could make the day more about us, rather than me going for a long run.”
Focus on you
For first-time marathon runners, the preparation leading up to the big day can seem like a marathon in itself, so Amy advises to find a plan that works for you. “Don’t worry about the plans that your friends are on and don’t freak out if you miss an aspect of your training.
“When making a plan, you need to be realistic. You should be fitting a plan into your life, not the other way around, and the worse thing you can do is to try and play catch up because one run in 12 weeks of running is such a small percentage of your overall effort.”