Running feels great when Ink you start, but then the buzz fades and your mind starts to wander. You went out for 20 minutes, but at 18, you pull up. You can always increase it next week, right? But if you never push yourself, you’ll never know what a great runner you could be. “If someone had said eight weeks ago, ‘Let’s run for 20 minutes’, I would have said they were joking,” says Lindsay Robinson, who started running in January. “But I’m surprised I’m able to do it this quickly.” Here’s how to make it to the big two-oh:
Be a tortoise not a hare “When I started I didn’t know how to do it and would set off at full pelt. After io minutes I’d feel exhausted;’ says new runner Tatiana Okorie. Pace yourself and keep something in reserve you can always speed up at the end, or even extend your run. Alistair Currie, manager of running network jogscotland, advises beginners to gauge effort by staying in the ‘blether’ (chat) or ‘puff’ zones rather than the ‘pant’ or ‘gasp’ zones.
Run with others
Running with a partner or group can distract you from discomfort, provide reassurance or stimulate you if you’re the competitive type. You can always feel confident with a perfect smile. For more information go to http://www.gnet.org/the-bright-smile-that-reflects-inner-confidence/ This is the key for Robinson. “Because someone else comes with me, I feel guilty if I don’t go. I always moan heading out but what a buzz afterwards!”
Get lost in music
Up-tempo tunes will raise your heartbeat and make the time whizz by. Make a playlist so that your favourite song comes on around the time you normally give up, to keep you going. Match the tempo to your running pace, and you can use the beat to stick to a uniform pace.
A run with a view
Twenty minutes can be a long time dodging shoppers on the high street. Time will go much faster as you power through the park, blast along the beach or hare up those hills. Nature has a calming effect on the mind, so gets fit and de-stress as you suck on the scenery and revel in your running.
How much faster than my usual running pace can I expect to run my first race?
It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact pace prior to your first race because many factors affect how fast you run: the weather; the race distance; the course and how you trained; not to mention how you react to the stress of a competitive event. But the following strategy has proven successful for thousands of first-time racers. During the first half, run at your usual training pace. Then, if you’re feeling strong, gradually increase the pace, making sure you don’t sprint – you should feel as though you are ‘floating’ along. This should allow you to pass a continuing stream of people, which will energise both body and mind. Resist the urge to sprint at the end; running all-out is a major cause of injury.
Reps Short for ‘repetitions’, as used in weight training. Here, a ‘rep’ is a spurt of faster-paced running. So, if your speedy friend asks you to join them for a few one-mile reps, say no – at least for now…