Eilish McColgan shares her training tips for runners with us, whether you're new to running or an experienced runner
We just can’t stop talking about Eilish McColgan this year – she’s been breaking some serious records, and doesn’t show any signs of stopping as she moves into the track season. Luckily, in between her successes she’s found some time to share some of her training tips with us, whatever your level. We can’t think of anyone better to get running advice from! Read on for Eilish McColgan’s training tips…
Eilish McColgan’s training tips for new runners
- Start small.
Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t begin with big outlandish goals and biting off more than you can chew. Be realistic with what you can fit in around work/life commitments. If you only have 30mins of free time each day, then let’s make that 30mins count.
- Wear the right gear.
Good trainers are a must, and can make all the difference to your running. Remember that for most trainers, the recommendation is to switch them after 400-600 miles (depending on the shoe). Any more than that and you might risk picking up an injury. A GPS watch is a great investment to your running journey, too. I recommend the Polar Pacer. It’s the perfect watch for someone looking to start running, covering all elements you need to track your training, from an accurate GPS to monitoring your pace and distance too.
- Grab a friend.
Being accountable gives extra motivation. When you know your pal is waiting for you on a Sunday morning in the horrendous weather or have forgone their long lie-in to see you, you can almost bet your house that you’ll show up too. It also brings an added social element to training, keeping it fun. Often the miles clock by so much faster with a friend.
- Always have breakfast.
It’s super important to kick start the day with a good nutritious breakfast and to ensure you are adequately fuelled for the day ahead. Porridge is such a simple and easy breakfast to make. Keep those energy levels high. Low energy will have you crashing and lacking motivation.
- Relax and unwind.
Taking time off from training is just as important as the training itself. So be kind to yourself and ensure you have enough recovery days and time off throughout the week. The body needs to recover in order to adapt and push on. Have a bath. Read a book. Do whatever you need to do to switch off.
Eilish McColgan’s training tips for experienced runners
- Plan your route.
Make sure you’ve planned your route before you head out for longer runs, and know if there are any shops or places to stop en-route. A GPS watch can be really helpful for this. The Polar Pacer Pro has all the normal features of a GPS running watch but also has the added benefit of being able to map your route in advance and more importantly – if you get lost – reroute you back to home. If you’re going for a long run, make sure you have adequate fluid and fuel with you. The last thing you want is to finish the run on empty as that will have a real knock-on effect to your next training day.
- Work backwards.
Whatever your biggest goal is, write the date in the diary and work backwards from it. That is your ultimate goal for the year and the race you want to ensure you peak for. All of your other races should be geared towards that aim so don’t be tempted to schedule something the week before – no matter how exciting the race sounds! Stick to your long-term vision and schedule races that benefit your final goal with adequate recovery between them. Quality over quantity. I like to do my final key session 9-10 days out from a big race. You don’t want all your best work to be done in training! Save those legs for racing.
- Ask the experts.
There are so many running coaches that it can be difficult to choose where to seek your advice from. But ask your fellow runners and often they will point you in the right direction. I have my own online coaching business – Running Made Easy – and so I know first-hand how much of a difference it makes to have that bit of guidance with planning. But if online coaching isn’t for you, check out your local running club. They will no doubt have other runners gearing up for the same events that you can connect with.
- Keep a training diary.
Personally, I love to keep a training diary. It’s so easy to jot down my key races and to plan out the preceding weeks.
- Sort out your sleep.
Getting enough sleep is the most basic of tips but it’s the cheapest recovery tool you can get – it’s free! If it means you have to forgo another Netlflix episode for that extra hour’s kip, do it. Your mind and body will thank you for it in the morning. A tired runner is a runner who will end up losing interest or even worse, be struck down with an injury or illness. Some GPS watches can be worn at night, and give you a rundown of your overnight sleep and recovery stats. All very important information to see how well you’re recovering and adapting from hard sessions and allowing you to the best runner you can be!
Want more inspiration from Eilish? Follow her on Instagram:@eilishmccolgan