Five Pillars of Successful Running

Five Pillars of Successful Running

You’re here because you love running… and you’re also here because you want to be a more successful runner. Do you wonder why your running isn’t going anywhere despite feeling like you’re putting the work in? Well here are five key concepts to apply to your running to ensure you hit your goals, enjoy your running more and have a more consistent, flexible and successful approach to running.

Consistency

Consistency is the one thing, above all else, that will bring you the results. No matter how optimal and tweaked your training plan is, without consistency the results just won’t be there.

Rowan and Michael C fell running

When planning your training it’s important to be realistic, and take your lifestyle and goals into account. Can you keep up the level of training that you’re planning? Can you fit it around your work and family life? Are you making too big a change all at once?

It’s usually better to start off small and basic. Make small changes and progress as you get used to it. If you feel the consistency wavering, work out why and do what you can to address it – and if this means dialling things back rather than ramping them up, then that’s all good if it helps you keep going.

Enjoyment

Running has the potential to be one of the most enjoyable, exhilarating and rewarding experiences. Find the joy in the open trail or fell. Embrace the grind of that tough track session. Feel the sense of achievement from the results that your hard work brings.

Of course, not every run is going to be an amazing experience, but if you’re not enjoying your running overall then it’s just not going to work. There’s no hope for consistency if you’re dreading every run or the process is getting you down.

James S jumping for joy on a run

It’s natural to feel like this from time to time, even for those of us who genuinely love running. If this is you then take the time out to stop and think – What’s made you fall out of love with running? Do you need to change your training up? Alter your goals? Run for enjoyment rather than ‘training’?

In the end, this is a sport we do for the love of it. Don’t ever lose that love… ❤️

Goals

Goals are what give us the motivation to put the effort in week after week. We can measure our performance by meeting goals – starting with small short term goals and building up to larger long term goals.

If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve with your running then it’s going to be impossible to create a plan of how to get there.

Setting goals keeps us accountable, even more so if we share those goals with others around us.

So set your goals. Make them challenging but realistic. Make them specific rather than vague, and have your training be guided by these goals.

Flexibility

No, this isn’t about whether you can touch your toes 😆 Being flexible with your training plan is my fourth core principle of successful running.

Feeing like you have to hit the exact mileage in every run, always on the right day of the week, or that you have to smash out that hard session when you’re feeling tired – this is an approach that’s not going to end well. It can lead to burnout or feelings of failure if you don’t quite make the mileage or manage the exact planned session.

Life happens, things change. Especially for fell runners or ultra runners, the weather can dictate what’s possible sometimes. Energy levels and injury force us to make concessions from time to time. Or maybe your running buddy called and invited you out on a big day in the hills when you had an easy day planned!

Having the knowledge and ability to alter your training plans, either in advance or at short notice, to accommodate life and circumstances is a key aspect to successful and consistent running.

Having a plan is important, but being able to alter plans without sacrificing progress is crucial.

Simplicity

I am a firm believer in doing the simple things well. Build a solid foundation of simple principles before even thinking about the more complex and technical aspects of training.

Running doesn’t need to be complex. If you’re obsessing over every minor metric or designing new, complicated training sessions each week then this can quickly become overwhelming. Not good for consistency!

There’s no point in following an uber-hi tech, super scientific training plan if the basics aren’t there. Solid, consistent running that fits in with your life and aligns with your goals is far more important than using fancy gadgets and techniques to try to make quick gains.

All those advanced techniques are fantastic as the icing on the cake…. But you have to bake your cake before you ice it!

Apply all five of these concepts and I can guarantee that you will have better results. You will enjoy your training more and the consistency will pay off.

If you want any advice on how to apply these concepts to your running then please contact me using the form below.

Good luck and run happy!

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