1.     Set a goal – whether its to run 400m without stopping, to run your first half marathon, or run to the end of your road without stopping, creating goals keeps you motivated and provides stepping stones onto your next challenge. Plus, once you reach those targets, you gain confidence and belief in yourself.

2.     Run easy miles – a common misconception is that to make progress with your running you need to run hard every time you run. This is false. A general rule to follow is; 80% of your runs should be easy/recovery runs, while 20% should be harder faster sessions.

3.     REST! – People often think having a day off has a negative impact on their performance. It doesn’t. Too many rest days, yes, but taking 1-2 rest days per week gives your body a greater opportunity to rest, recover, and adapt to the stressors of training. If you don’t rest, you don’t give your body chance to re-build itself, and you stand a greater chance of getting injured.

4.     Add variety – easy runs, long runs, interval sessions, tempo training, strength and conditioning, and hill running are all fundamental parts of a well structured training program, whatever distance you’re training for. But, having this variety in training also keeps you interested, motivated, and enjoying your training week by week without becoming bored. You might also benefit by changing up your running routes, who you train with, and what podcasts/music you listen to.

5.     Join a club – if you’re very much self-motivated, that’s fantastic. But if you find it difficult to push yourself, particularly during the harder sessions, running as part of a group will have you pushing your limits and digging deep when it really matters. Its also a great opportunity to get to know new people and be part of a community of like-minded people!

6.     Figure out your ‘why’ – If you know why you’re running, why you’re training, and why you want to enter a race, you’ll find that you can push through the harder sessions with more determination because the purpose of your running is bigger than you. This could be to be a role model for your kids, to prove you’re capable to yourself, or to become a healthier you.

7.     Don’t compare yourself to others – you don’t see the full picture. It’s really easy to see someone on Instagram who has just completed a marathon and for you to wonder why you’re finding it hard to complete a 5km run. The reality is that your goals are different, your circumstances are different, and your training program is different. Don’t worry about what they’re doing, focus on yourself.

8.     Don’t worry about your technique – everyone runs differently, and there is no “perfect” running technique, only perhaps a more efficient way of running. Ultimately, if you’re not getting injured, you don’t feel any pain from running, you feel good and you enjoy your running, there is no real need to alter your technique.

9.     Invest in a good pair of running shoes. There’s nothing worse than having a pair of trainers that don’t fit properly, and that end up causing you to develop injuries!

10.  ENJOY IT! – Running is a great way to get to know people, to challenge yourself, to grow, and to see what you’re capable of! Run however you please, run fast, run easy, run long, but most importantly, run happy!