Keep a diary This tradition has been around for decades and is the ideal way not only to see your increased mileage accomplishments over time, but also to help you remember how far you’ve come. “Benefits also include an increased mental and emotional investment in the sport in ways that may positively affect your performance,” says personal trainer at Fitness First, Gus Martin (fitnessfirst.co.uk ). “We know what we did wrong, or right, what worked and what didn’t and in general gain a lot more motivation the moment we hit a wall.”
“It doesn’t take much time – simply use a notebook or running app and record the distance, duration, and format of your workout. The only other essential information is a weekly mileage total, recorded at the end of each week.”
Join a club If you’re not a fan of training alone, why not sign up for a local running group and join like-minded people to achieve the results you want? The Nike+ Run Clubs, take place every week for both men and women across the country, They’re free to join and are open to runners of all levels and abilities. Click on facebook.com/NikeRunningUK to find your nearest club.
Be appy Need a motivation boost? The Nike+ Running App is a great tool to track your pace, distance and progress – plus, it’s free! The nifty gadget maps your runs with GPS technology and can even log how many calories you’ve blasted during your session. And, when your determination is waning, there’s also audio feedback from some of Nike’s top athletes to help keep you motivated throughout your run.
Get race ready “Regularly taking part in running events will increase your chances of sticking with training,” says John Lunt, founder of Human Race (humanrace.co.uk).
“Running does not have to be competitive, but regularly taking part in events means you get the enjoyment of running with other like-minded people and a sense of achievement as you cross the finish line, which you just don’t get from running solo. Running with other people also gives you the motivation to push yourself that little bit harder and get more out of your run.
“Also taking part in regular running events allows you to gauge your performance and see how you’re improving. This gives you something to aim for in your training and means you will get more out of your sessions.
“There’s also a great camaraderie with runners, and many participants come to events for the social aspect as well as the run. The Women Only Run in Richmond Park on 19th October is always a really enjoyable event.”
Buddy up “Running is brilliant, fun, challenging and accessible pretty much everywhere,” says personal trainer Sam Warrington (swfitnessgroup.co.uk ). “The only trouble is, after the initial excitement, it can get a bit boring. Training with a friend instantly adds an element of competition, which tends to bring out the best in your performance. No matter what anyone says, we are all naturally competitive, so if you are running with your work mates you will want to be that half step in front, or that bit quicker to recover. You compare running techniques, compete for PBs, and can catch up on last night’s telly! The best thing is, when you feel a bit tired or are thinking of missing a session, having a friend knocking on your door is the best motivation to stay on track.”
Find a role model For most runners, role models play a huge part in how you engage with running and training. “As humans we learn by modelling, imitation, and observing, therefore it’s only natural that finding someone you admire in sport is an excellent way to progress and, more importantly, set yourself achievable goals,” Gus Martin, personal trainer at Fitness First, tells us. “Set yourself targets based on how they achieved theirs. Surround yourself with their stories of hard work, dedication, discipline and success, as well as how they dealt with failure.”