be your own coach
Step One: Identify your motivations
Training isn't easy, we all have good and bad days. Identifying your motivations for running is an important first step in really understanding why you are doing something. We all have our different reasons so spend some time thinking about yours. Write your motivations down at the top of your training plan and on the days that are hard, look at the motivations you identified and let them help you lace up your running shoes and get out there.
To learn more about setting motivations, read my blog post here.
Step Two: Identify the barriers
No matter our intentions, we all face barriers with our running. Barriers can change over time and will be different for everyone. Examples may include time, work deadlines, feeling self-conscious, or even the weather! These challenges can be difficult to overcome, especially if they creep up on you. To be effective in your training think of the barriers that apply to you in advance. This will allow you to plan ahead and have ideas in place ready to use when the barriers appear.
To learn more about identifying and overcoming barriers, read my blog post here.
Step Three: Set two goals
Goals are great! Setting goals can motivate you to stick to your running plans and they can provide a huge sense of achievement. I recommend setting two different types of goal:
1. A specific and measurable goal. For example, I want to get a sub-4hour marathon at London Marathon 2021.
2. A subjective personal goal. For example, I want to feel like I can run stronger for longer by the end of the year.
To learn more about setting goals, read my blog post here.
Step Four: Design your training plan
There's an abundance of training plans available online. These plans can be very effective for some people but they are often quite restrictive and fixed. Unfortunately, life is neither restrictive nor fixed so it can be difficult to stick to these plans. Instead, try using a 'Flexi-Plan'. This plan has different colour coded running sessions that should be incorporated over a two-week period. You can build your own training plan using a combination of these coloured sessions and build it around your life commitments.
To learn more about using a Flexi-Plan, click here.
Step Five: Download your plan
It's time to put all of the above into action. Download the plan and start filling in your motivations, barriers, goals and training sessions. Review it regularly to make sure it fits around your schedule, and tell a friend about your plan to stay accountable.
Download your Flexi-Plan plan template: