Originally published on the Life Ready blog

So you’ve decided to set yourself a challenge and enter a fun run. Well done! Now, it’s time to get prepared, so here are a few tips to help you feel ready in time.

Motivate yourself

I find a new pair of running shorts or singlet help with this. There’s something about having new clothes that just makes you feel like a pro as you gallop along West Coast Highway. I dare hazard the guess that a lot of runners’ personal best times are purely based on a new t-shirt!

Commit yourself

Tell people you are running (or jogging or walking). The more people you tell, the more people you will have to tell if you change your mind and pull out. Better yet, start raising money for a charity. When you are mid way through and feel like giving up, think of the people who have supported you and believed that you could complete the course, and the money you have raised for those in need.

Reward Yourself

A regular massage after long training sessions can be the reward your aching muscles need in order to keep going – and another one booked for after the race of course!

Training

It was all sounding like fun up until this point wasn’t it? It is important when starting your training to have a plan. Start at your base line and build up by small increments each week.

General (beginner) guidelines suggest two short runs and one longer run each week with a day off between runs. If you are finding it hard to get motivated for a training run, here are a few nice courses to change up the scenery and make the time go faster:

  • Starting from Scarborough Surf Club, run North along the coastal path to Trigg Surf Club/Kailis cafe. Return trip is 4.5km
  • Starting at Scarborough Surf Club, run South along the coastal path, return to Hale Road is 5km.
  • Jacob’s Ladder in Kings Park. Need I say more? A variation in training to include stairs and hill sprints is proven to increase base pace.
  • Venture off road and run through the Trigg Bush Land reserve or Star Swamp. Both of these have several marked courses through them. Running on the pavement will feel like a breeze after this.
  • From Sorrento Surf Club to Yelo Cafe (heading south along the coast) is 10km return.
  • Hillarys Marina to Scarborough Surf Club and back is a whopping 20km for those keen marathon runners who like to be teased by the cool ocean water as they charge along the coast sweating up a storm.

Footwear

It is not advisable to have a new pair of shoes immediately before a long run. If you think your old shoes are on their way out it is best to get in to a new pair now and start to wear them in before race day.

Injury Prevention

Fit people are healthier people, but running, like any sport has its injury risks. Common problems include shin splints, plantar fasciitis, ITB friction syndrome, patella-femoral joint syndrome and general muscle strains from fatigue. If you feel any niggles starting up, see your physio for early management and prevention.

And finally…

Smile!

Have fun and enjoy the benefits of feeling healthier and achieving your goals. Life happens, ready or not. Every step is a step toward a healthier you.

Good luck runners!

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