Setting challenging yet attainable goals is key to maintaining a long-term running career. After all, you’re more likely to stay motivated when you have something to work towards and can measure your progress at regular intervals.
But picking the right goals can be tricky. Set your sights too high and you’re likely to find yourself disappointed (and demotivated) from the word go. Aim too low, and you’ll miss out on achieving your full potential.
It might sound clichéd, but only you will know what goals suit you best. Maybe you want to increase the time you’re able to run non-stop, shed excess weight or knock minutes off your race times. Perhaps you’re looking to add to your medal collection or bid a final farewell to a nagging injury. You alone know where you are, where you’re going and where you want to be in the weeks and months ahead.
Thankfully, whatever your aims and objectives, you can count on RW to help, from sowing the seeds of big ideas to furnishing you with expert advice to accomplish them. The only limit is your own imagination...
If you’re a complete beginner, then first things first, wave goodbye to the idea that you need to have any racing ambitions before you get started. Lots of people take up running, not for the competitive element, but for health reasons – either to improve their overall fitness, lose weight or reduce cholesterol.
It’s important to start out slowly, so your initial aim might be as simple as going for a run. Your first few steps can often seem the most daunting, so take a minute to check out our BIG Beginners’ Index before you bound out the door – it’s packed with get-started tips, motivational advice and an essential kit checklist too.
Don’t be tempted to run as far as you can, as fast as you can to start with – few people can run a full mile first time round, and you’ll easily get disheartened if you find yourself starting to struggle. Instead, have a look at our run/walk programmes. They’re perfect for easing you in gradually, and you’ll also see week-on-week improvements, perfect for keeping you motivated in the long-term.
Those returning to running after illness, injury or childbirth also need to take things slowly at first – though you might not consider yourself a novice your body will take a while to re-adjust after a period of imposed rest. Here are our top tips on making the perfect comeback, however long you’ve been sidelined.
Head to our BIG Weight-Loss Index for links to all our most popular waist-reducing reads. Trust us, there’s not a hamster-size portion or diet shake in sight, just plenty of no-nonsense advice about healthy food swaps and how to maximise the calories you burn during each training session.
Of course, you don’t need to be actively seeking to drop a few pounds to make the most of our nutrition archive. There’s plenty to satisfy the curiosity of runners simply looking to improve their diet and internal well-being, from understanding food-group basics and vitamins and supplements to easy-to-make mouth-watering recipes.