Ben Pochee is a coach for Highgate Harriers
Less is more:
At the end of each run as your key goes in your front door, make sure you feel you could do more, if not, then you have probably run too far or too fast. Think like John Wayne and rein it back to begin taking control of your running.
Keep a diary:
Nothing as wordy as Samuel Pepys, but keeping a simple training diary will help you structure very gradual progression, with recovery periods and develop all important running confidence.
Try playing with your running tempo and give yourself equal running recovery time to each quicker effort, by gently challenging your physiology your body will respond and begin to adapt.
Pre-empt don’t react:
Running is the true fitness gift for life, but as consistency is our #1 goal, avoiding injuries is the key, so don’t run too long or too fast at the beginning, take recovery days before you feel you need them and invest in running shoes prescribed by a running specialist store.
Pre-empting problems also applies to hydration:
Good hydration equals best performance, but bear in mind it takes over 24 hours to effectively hydrate to a cellular level, think about drinking little and often, and no drinking pints of water on the start line of a race as this will only dilute essential electrolytes and can conversely dehydrate you.
Food is the fuel in your engine, keep energy levels high with slow releasing foods (check out foods low on the Glycaemic Index) - Paula broke the marathon world record assisted with super slow releasing porridge power.
Use your ears while running:
Pacing your effort is all important, so for some runs turn off the Rocky theme tune and listen to your body’s natural metronome, hold your own tempo based on the sound and rhythm of your feet and breathing. Let this be your own personal theme tune.
Adrenalin and herd mentality ensure many people start their runs or 5k races too fast, be enlightened and try running what is known as ‘negative splits’ by running in control from the start with a plan to turn up the pace, to then run quicker in the second half.
Three C running philosophy
Consistency, Control and Confidence are key progressive training principles. Here are a few simple tips on how to achieve them.
- Have a journey map and know where your training is heading.
- Take your time, think 6 months not 6 weeks.
- Fit with your individual lifestyle and don’t try to temporarily squeeze it in.
- Pre-empt injuries and illness (new shoes and physio appointments before you need them etc).
- Factor in additional recovery days before you feel you need them.
- Attempt to iron out severe running ‘peaking and troughing’.
- Keep routes varied and interesting.
- Finish each run feeling you could do more.
- Slowly start to identify very subtle new running speeds / ‘gears’.
- Begin dictating to the run what you are going to do, rather than always vice versa.
- Introduce very light interval running (Fartlek) with emphasis on holding recovery pace.
- Strengthen your resolve to not be dominated by a training schedule.
- Know that you can miss sessions with confidence if your training is consistent over the longer term.
- Identify your body’s natural metronome via breathing and foot noise.
- Your running should begin to feel like you are moving forwards as opposed to upwards.
- Learn to relax and recompose your running style in the middle of a session.
- Train with quicker running friends but have confidence to cut a session short.
- Have the confidence to know that staying in control of your pace during a race will ultimately lead to PB (Personal Best) success.
- Plan new running goals while training for current goals (5km after half marathon etc).
Finally, I passionately believe that running is a gift for life and at all times enjoyment should be the key goal before tying up the laces and running out the door.
Ben is wearing the SOAR rain jacket in high contrast light grey.