We love an excuse to talk about all things running, and so do our favourite runners. While many of them are now super-talented athletes, they all started out somewhere. We got their advice on how to get started and the metrics they think other runners should know.
Jo Pavey, Five-time Olympian and Saucony UK Ambassador
At the start of my senior running career I wish I’d realised the importance of other components of training – intervals, for example.
That being said, trying to cram everything into a schedule particularly when you’re not yet conditioned to cope with it can lead to injury. It also affects the quality of the important workouts and leads to less progress. After a promising start to my senior career, I tried to improve further too quickly adding in too much strength and conditioning type work and higher mileage too soon. This resulted in a very long time off injured.
A schedule should always relate to your current level of fitness and conditioning. Start with building up the important workouts first, then slowly introduce other components over time. Always listen to your body and modify your schedule when necessary, too.
Allie Kieffer, NURVV Run Ambassador and 5th Place Finisher at New York Marathon
One thing I wish I knew when I started running was that I’d want to run forever, so I needed take care of my body right from the start in order to enjoy the adventure!
My running metric to know is foot strike – it’s my weakest score and biggest category for improvement. I especially like to see the asymmetry from left to right foot because I’ve been working diligently on the strength routine to improve it!
James Williams, leading ultra runner and Saucony UK ambassador
I wish I knew that the race doesn’t really start until you’re about 75% in. You don’t win any prizes for being the fastest person in the first part of the race, but those last parts are the most crucial. This has become more important as I’ve stepped up in distances from 5k’s all the way to 100-mile races and multi-day races too. If you don’t control yourself in that first part, you’re going to have a very, very long day!
Katrina Hart – Commonwealth Games gold medallist, London 2012 Paralympic bronze medallist and Saucony UK Ambassador
It’s the small things that make a real difference. When I started running I thought all the big things mattered, and over time I’ve realised it’s all the little things that piece the puzzle together. I enjoy having variety in training that keeps it fun and engaging, and have really started to understand the importance of doing the little things well, such as rest, recovery and hydration.
James Thie, Saucony UK ambassador, leading UK coach and world master champion
For me it’s that running is all about the long game. You don’t need to be the best you can be today, or even tomorrow – you have lots of time to improve and enjoy the journey!
Tom Marshall, Commonwealth Games 1500m runner, sub-four minute miler and Saucony UK ambassador
Consistency is key. There’s absolutely no need to run every workout out as hard as you can, and if your body is in need of a day off, take it. Better off being consistent than overdoing it and ending up ill/ injured.