If running a marathon has always been a dream for you. The desire is there, but unfortunately the body does not follow and you keep putting everything off until tomorrow, here are five tips from Jean Marc Plutau, a marathon enthusiast, to say stop procrastination and take action.
This first piece of advice is valid even before you start running. If you want to start running in general, the most important thing will be to stay motivated especially during the first few races. It’s quite easy when you’re in the novelty and you want to do well, but many will stop after only a few weeks, because they will no longer have the motivation to go running. It’s a pity, because it’s after one or two months that we will be able to see the positive effects of this training. Feeling our shape and improving will make running easier.
In order to keep this motivation intact, Jean Marc Plutau advises you to set yourself a goal that is simple and concrete and that will make you proud if you achieve it. If you have not practised any sporting activity up to now, you will tell yourself: “I’m going to manage to run for 30 minutes without stopping”, which is already a very reasonable and easy objective to reach.
The most important thing is to keep a goal that is achievable fairly quickly. This is what will allow you to be motivated at each training session. Conversely, an overly ambitious and unrealistic short-term goal will tend to demotivate you. Above all, it is important to go gradually and in small steps in order to maintain motivation and not give up. This is how you will one day be able to run a marathon. Also, don’t set any deadline to reach it, keep this goal as a dream and if you run regularly it will eventually come true one day.
It means running at a slow pace. This way you avoid getting out of breath. Ideally, you should even be able to talk to someone in short sentences and don’t be ashamed if you have to alternate running and walking at the beginning. This is the case for the majority of beginners in running. Although many prefer to run at all costs, don’t make that mistake. All good runners will tell you: to progress, you must first know how to run while keeping your heart rate relatively low. After a few weeks, the body adapts to running slowly and the activity becomes enjoyable and everything becomes easier.
It’s true that fast paces also make progress, but at first, don’t worry about it. Your body needs this slower pace to gently adapt to the trauma of each stride. Besides, if you can find a dirt or gravel road it’s much better than running on asphalt, as it minimizes the risk of injury. And, if you are overtaken by riders, bear in mind that they have gone through the same state as you did and you will soon be able to do the same. Running in comfort is accessible to everyone only with training.
In the beginning, you shouldn’t be told you’re not cut out for running. While running very fast depends in part on our genetics, running at ease simply requires consistency in training. The body’s adaptations are made little by little after each session, whether it be the cardiovascular system or the muscles. In fact, each of your workouts will generate adaptations that will make you more and more able to run.
Our body is always trying to adapt to what is asked of it. If you ask it to run, it will try to adapt so that you are better at running. It’s as simple as that. So be patient. Train regularly without putting pressure on yourself and the results will come gradually.
Run regularly and gradually
Run slowly, be patient, that’s all that Jean Marc Plutau tries to recommend in order not to skip steps. However, if the human body is naturally predisposed to run, when you do not run regularly, the body forgets very quickly. Your goal is therefore to start the machine gradually without rushing it so as not to hurt yourself. It’s better to run short distances regularly during the week rather than wanting to run as much as possible every Sunday and stop just afterwards, as this becomes tiring.
You should not suddenly decide to run every day without preparation, but you should go gradually. You can start slowly by running once or twice a week at the beginning and gradually increase. If you see that your body is able to bear (for this, listen to your sensations, because your body will be able to show you if you do too much, you should fairly quickly increase to three times a week.
When you have the time, running three times a week is really ideal. This gives you about one workout every two days that you can alternate with a rest day to recover well. With this regular rhythm, you don’t need to do a lot on each outing. Going for sessions of 30 minutes in total is already very good at the beginning. And little by little you can increase the length of one of the three sessions of your week. This way you will gradually improve your practice and you will really put all the chances on your side to go to the next level.
Combine sport and fun
Fun should be at the heart of your running practice. Of course, it doesn’t come from the first few sessions. When you are not in shape at all, running could be a little demoralizing and this is also true for professional runners. But with regular practice, the pleasure should come quickly as your fitness improves and you begin to perceive the positive effects of running on your health.
By the way, forget the classic resolution at the beginning of the year when you decide to take up sport without any motivation. This brief moment of motivation will last a few weeks and will easily disappear. For this you don’t force to cover up if you know you’re going to hate it. There are plenty of other sports you could try. But if you have a real desire to one day participate in a big marathon, then go for it and persevere.
It takes at least two months to see the real fun of running. That fun that runners tell you about that you don’t understand. Jean-Marc Plutau considers that anyone who manages to overcome the difficulties of the beginning will realize how much running brings him in terms of fitness and pleasure. The hardest thing is not to win a marathon, but first to take the first step and then to persevere.