Galway-based John Quinlivan started running in January 2013 by following a Couch to 5K programme. Since then, he has lost seven stone and will complete his second marathon in Connemara in April. Here are his top five running tips.
1. Start Now
If you haven’t run before, try. If you can run for five minutes, try and run for six minutes. I found that keeping track of my distance, pace and time helped me keep track of how I was improving over time. I use the Nike App but there are plenty of free apps out there.
2. You don’t have to keep running
I remember when I started, I thought competing in a 5K required continuous running for the entire 5K. It’s okay to slow down, it’s okay to walk. Watch a race and you’ll see plenty of people walking parts of the course. My motto has always been that even if I am crawling, I am still going faster than everyone else at home right now.
3. Grab a Running Buddy
Having someone to drag you out the door on those wet dark evenings when you’d rather curl up on the couch really helps. Make plans to meet a friend and you are less likely to cancel. If you don’t have a running buddy, go to a local athletics club. Not only will you meet new people but it’ll also make the experience more fun.
4. Find a Plan
It costs nothing to run. here is no monthly membership and all you really need is a pair of runners and you are set. But it helps to have a plan. There are plenty of plans online, such as the Couch to 5K, which you can follow in your own time. I find I do some of my best thinking when I’m out for a run. It’s my ‘me time’ as I have nothing else to do but listen to myself.
5. Set a Goal
Instead of talking about it, take the plunge. Sign up for a race well in advance. It will give you a goal to work towards. I always have something I’m working towards as it keeps me active. It’s easy to reach a goal and then think ‘That’s it, I’ve done it now” but reaching one goal will only show you more possibilities on your horizon.
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