Can I get a ‘whoop, whoop’ for Sarah off of Dreaming of Footpaths? I came across this phenomenal amateur and newbie runner a little while ago, and was absolutely astonished with her incredible progress. I thought if there’s any little nugget of wisdom I can glean in the hope that one day I might be as awesome as her then what the hell I might as well get her to share it with us!
Since 2010, she has gone from completing 5k in 30 minutes to 20 minutes, and has a an incredible marathon time of 3h 25 minutes. This chick is totally badass!
I started to run as I’d recently lost weight and didn’t want to put it back on. I was determined to stay in my new size jeans.
But running? I hated it. I turned bright red, I was puffing and panting like a dirty caller and I couldn’t work out how people made it look so effortless! My arms were flailing and I couldn’t get into a rhythm with my legs. Running – ugh! No thanks. But … as it turned out running was the most efficient way to burn calories. I had a lunch hour to work out on and needed to use that hour as effectively as possible…even if it meant spending my time on the dreaded treadmill.
However, after a while it became a habit. I’d get onto the treadmill, switch the playlist on and try to beat the distance I’d managed to run last time. Or better still…do the same distance in a better time. I still have the date I beat 30 minutes for a 5km. It was 3rd of August 2010.
Then….I discovered running outdoors!! I was hooked. It didn’t matter if I was bright red and flailed my arms like a crazy woman when I ran. I was outside! If people laughed at how I looked I could run away from them! I was a runner!
Things that have helped me to improve:
- Make sure I can run farther than the race distance. This is BRILLIANT as when it starts getting hard you can reassure yourself “I ran further than this in training.” It’s a great mental trick.
- Don’t make every run a race. You’ll wear yourself out, mentally and physically. Not every training run can be a PB.
- Do your intervals!! This is crucial if you want to speed up. A good one is mile repeats. Run these faster than you would in your race and give yourself a 5 minute jogging break, then do another.
- Take it off road. Trail running is brilliant. It’s like a rest day for your mind, you can get muddy and dirty and timing doesn’t matter. Your ankles will get stronger, it’s better for your joints and it’ll be a more effective workout as you’ll be using your whole body. Plus – and this is a big plus – it will speed you up ON road and therefore in your races.
- 5k: 20:39
- 10k: 49:44
- Half Marathon: 1:35
- Marathon: 3:25
Thanks Sarah, if you want some more inspiration go check out her blog here.