1. Running is meant to be fun – enjoy it!
  1. Always work from a holistic perspective, i.e. write in your fixed points at the start of week/month, and work around such points.
  1. Devise training programs specific to your needs and remember where you are starting from. Be honest with yourself! Check out our great training guides to give you an idea
  1. Determine when is the best time for you to run, i.e. early morning/lunchtime/ evening etc. Get into to a routine of when you run and stick to it. It does not matter whether it is before work (gets it out the way), after work, or at lunchtime. The body thrives on routine so try to be consistent in the time that you run.
  1. Decide where. Most Cities have no shortage of parks, lit roads and river banks for all types of workouts.
  1. Try training with a partner. It is safer and you are less likely to miss a session if you have arranged to meet someone. It is also safer at night. Consider joining a club but do your research first. Get involved!
  1. Be progressive (and patient) in developing your training.
  1. Deciding how hard to run is tricky. You will learn by your mistakes and they will be painful! We don’t know 1 runner who hasn’t gone out too fast and ‘blown up’. Follow the training guides in a sensible manner and you’ll be fine.
  1. Set challenging but realistic targets – set short-term and medium-term goals. Write them down. Make sure that goals are measurable.
  1. Try to learn to run at a level pace through your runs. Pace judgement is a skill that improves through training. Practising running at a level pace in training will help you to do so in races, which is important, as this is the most efficient strategy.
  1. Decide how frequently you would like to compete. Set yourself a target race and plan backwards from that in order to determine to build up races (be flexible to allow for illness or injury). Give yourself 10-12 weeks to train for the event.
  1. Experiment with low-key events to learn more about yourself. 
  1. Progress distances of you races sensibly e.g. 5 Km, 5 miles, 10km, 10 miles etc.
  1. Don’t try to cram everything into a 7-day cycle. Hurry slowly!
  1. Cross training (aerobics, circuits, squash) can be a valuable part of your preparation and can complement your running programme, but in general, running is the best exercise mode for boosting your fitness and making you quicker at running. Activities such as weight training will also complement your programme, provided you still run regularly.
  1. Remember, rest is a session. Have the guts to take a day off.
  1. If you run 5-6 days a week then alternate hard & easy days.
  1. When you train hard you strain your body systems and the benefit takes place in the recovery phase.
  1. Try and eat some carbohydrate within 30 minutes of training. This may need organisation, such as bringing snacks (fruit, cake, energy bar or sandwich) to your running venue. It is also advisable to eat about 3 hours before training and racing to make sure you are fuelled.
  1. Keep hydrated, not only just before running. Aim to drink 3 litres of water per day, but little and often. If you lose as little as 2% of your body weight in fluids, your performance can be severely impaired. Get in the habit of having a large bottle close to throughout the day and sip away. You will feel much better and perform well.
  1. Always stretch before and after your running. This gives a greater range of movement and helps prevent injury.
  1. Try not to think too much about your breathing when running. The body is good at sorting out the best rhythm naturally.
  1. Your running programme will improve your health. If you are ill or injured, miss training. Running with a cold or worse can be extremely dangerous. You need a healthy body before you can make a fitter body, so sort your problems first.
  1. Keep a running log. Writing down details of your run, such as how far, how fast, where and how you felt will help you to check your progression and is motivating.
  1. We finish where we started – Enjoy it!