At the start of the month we shared our 2021 running goals with you, and many of you got in touch to let us know the exciting challenges you were taking on too. Now, nearly two weeks later, the weather has taken a turn and the dark nights have truly set in, making it difficult to maintain that initial enthusiasm. In an effort to help you stay motivated to tick off those winter miles, we asked our team of ambassadors to share their top tips this winter!
1. Know and respect your limitations - Alan Li
"Train at the fitness level you are currently at now and not the period when you peaked. January means new goals and ambitions for a lot of us. Over the festive season we may have even taken some time out from our training block to give the body and soul a bit of a break. Coming back, it's normal to lose some fitness as well as sharpness. The body isn't going to be the same as when you signed off. So, have realistic expectations, put the efforts in and just keep showing up."
2. Rest, recovery & regeneration – Kerry O’Flaherty
“I always try and remember the 3 R’s when it comes to complementing my running. Rest, Recovery & Regeneration. Sleep is so important when you’re training hard, I get my recovery in straight away after my runs within that 30min window with a protein & carb drink (Enhanced Recovery), & muscle regeneration only works if you fuel & hydrate well and on top of this you can also implement complementary activities such as foam rolling, massage, hot/cold therapy and wearing compression gear.”
3. Go at your own pace – Emma Joy
“Running is not always about fast times & PB’s. Sometimes it is just about going at your own pace and enjoying the moment. We all progress in different ways, so do not compare your times with others. Your ‘slow’ may be someone else’s ‘fast’ & vice versa so your training is unique to anyone else’s!”
4. Listen to your body – Steve Wiltshire
“Your body is an amazing thing and it will always steer you in the right direction, as long as you listen. The body knows that you need that recovery day and will communicate that to you. If you head that call, then you won't regret it. I think a lot of people think that they need to keep pushing but, in the end, you end up paying the price with an injury. Taking that rest day will in fact help your training and make you strong. A rest day isn't a sign of weakness it’s a sign of strength!”
5. Stay motivated – Kirsty Longley
“Being an Elite athlete, it is important to stay motivated especially when things you can't control are happening e.g: lockdown and home-schooling. My favourite quote is ‘the only time you should look back is to see how far you have come!’ I feel that when you think about how much you have improved; you realise how much joy the sport gives you. I came last in my 1st race 14 years ago and now at 44 with two children ran 33.35 for 10k and 75.27 for half. Some days it’s tough to find time but the feeling you get after a run or session is so worth it!”
6. Set your kit out the night before – Kayleigh Hut
“It’s super hard to just get out the door sometimes so I find it easier to set my kit out the night before with my shoes by the door, so all I have to do is put it on and get out that door. Once I’m out I find it much easier to just keep going then. I even know a few people who sleep in their kit, so it means they don’t have to spend time doing that either!”
7. Use your surroundings to breed consistency – Gill Bland
“Find one thing that you see regularly on your running route - a plant or view perhaps. Make a point of looking at it each time you go by it to see how it changes depending on the weather and seasons. This will help give you a checkpoint in each run and a reason to get out there each day. You could even take a photo each day and track the changes.”
8. Patience is the key – Raydi Cham
“Jumping into your hard run at the first week of training calls for an injury. Be patient with the progress, listen to your body more often. While your mind can take you into places, it’s your body that usually takes the impact. Results can only be seen months after consistent training. Do not give up easily, enjoy the tiny step in progress. It doesn’t take Killian Jornet or Eluid Kipchoge overnight to become one of the best runners in the world.”
9. Every step is one closer to your target – Ian Jones
“Don’t look at other runners and expect yourself to reach their levels straight away, be patient building the blocks towards being the best version of you, it will take time but will be worth it. To help keep you motivated, set a goal in order to raise money for a charity you’re passionate for or dedicate your training to raise awareness for something close to your heart. On the days that you have a run planned but you have the dreaded demons telling you to take a day off this will help you ignore them and get out on the run to get closer to your goal #keepbeingawesome”.
10. Enjoy the experience – Stuart Allen
“It is so easy to start comparing yourself to other runners, and to start feeling like you aren’t fast enough, or you can’t run far enough - but remember it is not always about the speed or distance, with the proper training and time these things will come. I always believe that running should first and foremost be for the joy of it, the feeling of freedom you feel during it and the sense of pride after it.”
Be kind to yourself – Jana Moisejenko
“In today's world, we have so many things to worry about, so let your training not to be one of them. Always remember that not every run should be perfect. It's okay to make mistakes, to feel sad or not motivated enough and it's okay sometimes not to follow the plan. Be kind to yourself, be proud of your efforts and even small achievements and always remember- tomorrow will be a better day!”
And if you're still struggling for motivation, why not join us this Sunday 17th January for the Runderwear Virtual 10k Race. While events have been cancelled, virtual races are a great way to stay motivated this winter. See you on the start line!