Where are you in your running journey? I’ve been thinking about my running journey a lot lately. It’s a long one with many ups and a few little downs. I’ll write more on this in my next post. There are many different paths and stages.
Brand new, first time runner
This is a very scary and exciting time. Many people at this stage are reluctant to call themselves runners, even though they are running! They are just starting their journey and have big wide open eyes. They may start off with walking and running and often run when others won’t see them.
The usual mistakes people make when first starting is doing too much, too soon. These runners get very excited about their new love and decide to go from running 0 days a week to every day. This can lead to injury (too much, too soon) or burn out. My advice for these runners is to run at least every second day and to follow the basic rule of increasing your weekly run distance by no more than 10%. This stage is such a beautiful stage and should be enjoyed and appreciated. There are so many “first time” personal bests set. It can’t be forgotten that starting running is hard and doesn’t feel comfortable. However, this stage soon subsides with consistency. The benefits of running really start to be enjoyed and they generally move onto the next stage.
This runner still does not call themselves a runner. They are joggers, even though they are also running! They have started to really notice the benefits of running consistently such as feeling fit and feeling great. They often have a running buddy and meet up for regular runs.
The jogger eventually starts to realise that they are in fact a runner (even though they have always been since stage 1!). They look for goals and races and running has now become part of their regular routine. They can now really appreciate that running has become part of their lifestyle. A common training mistake is that in deciding to get faster, they think they must run fast every session. This is not the case and in effect, this often means they have one running speed which is medium. When it comes to upping the pace, they don’t seem to speed up much and their training speed is ofter the same as their race pace. This is where training at different paces and running different sessions is really important in order to improve.
The experienced runner has many years of running under their belt.