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EVERYONE’s an Expert!

So here we are 20 weeks until the finish line. The sugar fest that is Halloween has been and gone for another year. British sausage week
is running in conjunction with fireworks night – who doesn’t love a good banger ? And now it is the 7 week marathon to Xmas, and yes many people approach the Xmas festivities in much the same way they would a marathon, plans, strategies, trial runs, teams of supporters and a sense of achievement when it all comes together at the end, which then starts the planning for next year, when you will be even more prepared, better organised, bigger and better………

So how is your training going? With 20 weeks you still can go from couch potato to the finish line and beat the statistics; as this time of year is when most people see their waist lines increasing and their exercise levels dropping.

As long as you are able to run a 5k in under 40 minutes, which is more than feasible with dedication and a proper plan, you can follow the BUPA beginners running plan for half marathon and be at the finish line in 12 weeks!
That means you still have 2 weeks in the bag if you start training today and give your self the FABulous and fun Santa fun run on the 9th December at 11:00am as a milestone to 2013. There is also the Barrow Runners 30th Boxing day 10k handicap which you need to be able to run in under 1hr 10mins as a goal post and a great way to keep focused through Xmas and New Year. For the advanced runners amongst us it is time if you have not done so already to be trying new training techniques to improve your PB and overall running.

I don’t know about you but when I go out running with my beginners group who are all coming along very nicely, and other groups we get no end of “expert” advice from the various people we meet along the way ! and I don’t know if you get the same – “your meant to be running”, when we are doing our walk run – you’ll not get very far training like that, you can stretch deeper when we are doing our cool downs and warm ups and so on and so on…….. and it got me thinking, are people just shouting out because we are a group or is this normal? So I asked my group and they said this is normal and that is why they used to run when it is dark and no one else is about as they have had comments on their body shape, their speed all sorts! No wander people get put off and hang up their shoes! The thing to remember is you are still going faster than the person sat on the couch and often the comments people are shouting out are a reflection on them! Remember when you point your finger at someone there are 3 fingers pointing back at you!

I have also found that people are constantly comparing themselves with each other and this is how injury happens, particularly when running with a mixed ability group! I was running next to one of my less experienced runners and they said “I need to speed up and catch up with the person in front”. I asked them why as I could see and hear they were already at their maximum pace. The response “well they are going faster than me” – yes you are correct was my reply but they have also been running for longer and they are comfortable at their pace, if they get too far ahead they can double back, you stick at your pace and run a comfortable session. This is why it is key to get the right running partner / group and not just an “expert” who will only run at their pace and speed – yes this is great to challenge yourself and improve BUT build a good solid foundation first! And be confident to run at your own pace to reduce injuries. It’s a bit like having one skiing lesson and then going out with your “expert” friends after lunch on the black run – no fun for anyone.

So next time you get some expert advice from someone give them the biggest grin as they have noticed you are out making a difference, thank them and ask them if they would like to join you next time as you run or walk on with your head held high!

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