So I’m speaking from experience when I give you these tips. For those who’ve been reading the blog, will know I started getting really serious about my training for the Marathon des Sables in September. By October I had run a marathon, and was doing 140 miles a month. I continued to push myself physically with running, walking, weight lifting, boxing, and yoga!
I basically ended up over training and massively damaging myself in the process by becoming severely anaemic which is still having an impact on my energy levels and health 5 months later.
I’m starting to feel better now I’m on iron tablets, but nowhere near as strong and fit as I was at the end of last year.
So these are my top tips for all of you out there who are wanting to start training for an event, it could be a 5K, a 10K, a triathlon, a marathon, it doesn’t matter what it is!
I should also say here, you are the expert in your body, so listen to what your body has to say.
If it says stop!
Don’t damage yourself!!
Don’t delay start training today. Just start. Start building the habit and making it an essential part of your life.
Start off slowly! If you’re training for a run, don’t go and smash out 4 miles if you haven’t done running for a while. Start slow and build it up gradually over time.
Get a plan – have some sort of structure for your training. There are so many training plans out there. The simple way is to Google it, pick one which is appropriate for you and follow the plan. Making sure you listen to your body, while you’re doing it.
Core Strength - No matter what event you’re training for, do core strength training. I promise it will make you better at ANY event you want to do. You don’t need to go crazy, even just doing the plank everyday would help.
Rest days – Take them. This is when the magic happens! I am not a fan of rest days and normally struggle to stick to them. Now I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t go for a swim on your rest day, or do some yoga – actually rest! Give your body time to repair and grow stronger.
BIG Sessions – what I mean by this is you actually have to put in the work to get the results you want. You won’t be able to run a marathon if you only do four mile runs, three times a week. You need to do the BIG sessions as well!
Food – Food is the fuel for your body. Make sure you get enough of it and it has to be the good stuff. None of the processed CRAP (You all know what I’m talking about! – chocolate, sweets, cakes etc). Eat as much vegetables and fruit as you want, and make sure you’re also getting enough protein. I struggle to eat as much protein as I need through food and therefore have protein shakes as this is the easiest way for me to get protein into my body after a workout. Ideally you want to be eating something within 20 mins of finished your exercise.
Water – is essential for life. You can live for months with no food as long as you have water. However, you can only go a few days if you don’t have water. Drink it! Add lemon to it to give it flavour (this also helps to alkalize your body) Carry water with you where ever you go. Try and keep sipping steadily throughout the day rather than just necking a pint of water every once in a while.
Buddy up – find someone who wants to do the same goal as you, you can help support each other with training. Or join a gym, swim club, running club. Go and meet other people who have the same goals as you. You’ll be much more likely to complete your goal with this support around you. If you’re really struggling and you can afford it, get a coach or a personal training to help you.
Have fun! Enjoy it! Enjoy the journey; it’s not always easy to love the training especially running when it’s dark and cold. But I promise you, it will be worth it, once you cross that finish line and get your medal. You will also learn more about you, and what you can achieve when you set your mind to something.
I would love to know what your next goal or sporting challenge is and how your training’s going. Comment below!