Going for a run? Great—all you need is a pair of running shoes and the open road, right? Well, not quite. Based on my experiences, I’ve compiled a list of my top-10 training tips, in no specific order, all of which are entirely within my locus of control!
Push you to incredible paces and places. For me, running groups offer a perfect way to meet new people. In fact, as my husband, Matt, and I have moved to new cities, this is the primary way that I’ve made new friends. In the past, I have taken running groups to the extreme. When we first moved to Chicago, I found a different running group for every night of the week.
I learned the hard way that running with a group should align with your training plan. It’s easy to get caught up in the flow of a group and push yourself too hard, or run too slowly to encourage another runner. Despite this one caveat, I cannot speak highly enough about running groups, which are offered by most local running stores.
Listen to your body. A quick Google search of “marathon training plans” will provide you with a seemingly endless list of programs, like the ones on Women’s Running. You can likely find a plan that meets your needs online, or instead you can consult with a coach, running store or fellow running friends. I’ve found that while it is great to follow the plan, it’s also important to listen to your body. I like to use my training plan as a general guide for what I should do each week and adjust my plan if I’m feeling particularly tired or worn down.
Give your body time to recover. This is perhaps one of the hardest things for me to do while training. If left to my own devices, I would run every day of the week, going until I literally ran myself into the ground. I have learned the importance of dedicating a day (every so often) just to rest. If there are days when I’m exhausted and sore from the previous day’s workout, I’ve found that it’s more beneficial to take a day off. It’s much better to rest at the first sign of a potential injury, since an injury could force you to take weeks off for recovery!