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Rich in 5 - Coach Rich's top tips for young runners

Updated: Apr 10

I've had the pleasure of working with some fantastic young athletes over the years. All of them had the same determination and love of running but what else did they do to make their training / racing enjoyable and successful?

  1. Establishing a training rhythm or routine

Like school which has set times for classes each day and times of year for exams, your running / training should have a regular routine too. It should be well organised with a consistent rhythm. Plan the times of your runs and training sessions each week in advance around your studying. Don't forget to plan you pre / post training nutrition to ensure that you go in to each session well fuelled and refuel after ready for the next session. Don't 'randomise' your training. Always make time for socialising and relaxing with your friends too.

2. Listening to their body

Ask yourself during everyday life, training and racing, 'how do I feel?' Create a finely tuned radar for your body that picks up when things are feeling great or starting to feel wrong. Whilst training will be hard at times, training hard all the time isn't the right. Easier training days or rest days allow your body to recover, take on training adaptation and get ready to perform well in your next session. Mentally fatigued from studying or training, take time out to relax and rest your brain.

3. Learning how to focus before a race

Whether it's lying down, closing your eyes and visualising the race in your head, talking to yourself telling how the race is going to go or putting on your headphones to listen to your favourite tunes cranked up to energise / focus your mind on the task to hand, do what works for you. Give time to your self.

4. Accepting that nerves are OK

Feeling nervous is normal and shows that you're giving your completion and race respect. Relieve nerves by talking to your self or others around you. Turn your nerves into positive energy and use them in your warm up and the race.

5. Maintaining perspective

Try not to worry too much about everything. Some runs will feel great, others will feel terrible, Some races will go perfectly, others not so much. Remember that every session and race is part of a bigger puzzle. Sometimes the pieces won't fit first time. Don't beat yourself up if things don't go to plan. Take a deep breath, work out what didn't go well and why, then work on getting it right for next time. If you keep trying then then pieces will always fit eventually.

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