2017 was a great year for Eilish McColgan, as well as making it to the prestigious IAAF World Athletics Championships 5,000 metre final, she set new personal bests across a remarkable five disciplines and cemented her place among the world’s elite.
Aside from competing at the pinnacle of women’s middle distance running, Eilish is also a coach to both new and experienced runners and was kind enough to share her top ten tips for new runners with us…
Everyone needs to start somewhere; put your trainers on, get outside and set realistic goals. Walk for one minute, run for one minute and repeat five times. Continue to build it up by an additional minute every third day until you can run for five minutes without stopping – you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can run without stopping.
All you need is a good pair of trainers, leggings and a thermal top and you’re good to go! Buying new training gear will give you a confidence boost– it is always great to look and feel your best whilst running! With dark mornings and evenings, some reflective clothing to keep you visible is a great way to stay safe.
I love keeping a training diary – it allows me to see the improvements I’m making every week. An easy way to keep track is to log your training through Polar Flow. It’s a brilliant app created by Polar allowing you to have a record of your training and tracking your progress as a runner. Plus, it will keep you motivated to reach your goals. It has so many useful analytics and you can retrace your run to see where your heartrate was at its highest and see how well you have slept. Having such a comprehensive overview of your fitness and progress is important when making improvements.
Hydration is key. Keep those muscles loose by staying hydrated.
When the cold, winter months take over, the best way to stay motivated is to find a running buddy! If you’re apprehensive about starting a running program or are worried about being committed, find one or two close friends to join you and share the journey.
There is nothing quite like having a date set in the diary to keep you driving towards your goal. It could be your first ever ParkRun, 10K or even a half marathon if you’re feeling adventurous. It will certainly keep you committed to the programme that you set yourself.
The Polar M430 is a great way to track exactly how far you’re running. It’s always nice to know exactly how far you ran and how fast you’ve been going. The M430 gives you detailed feedback for every kilometre that you run and seeing these figures improve is incredible motivation. With the heart-rate being wrist based, I like to check my resting heart rate in the morning as if it’s decreasing, it suggests my fitness is on the rise.
Add in some basic core stability and mix some cross-training into your workout routine by taking a spin class, going swimming or to a boot camp class. These will all benefit your running and reduce the chance of injury.
Being patient is key – success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s easy to get frustrated in the early stages of a running programme but remember to enjoy it. With every step you’re discovering new limits and becoming stronger each time you lace up your trainers and head out the door.
The best way to keep motivated in a new running programme is to decide on your goals and find the right advice to help you achieve them. It could be from family or friends or your local running club. It may even be a good idea to get some online advice from a running coach. We offer a range of online programmes from novices to experienced runners on www.runningmadeeasy.co.uk.
Double Olympian Eilish McColgan is a sporting ambassador for Polar, the leader in wearable sports and fitness technology. For more information about Polar’s full product range, visit: www.polar.com/uk-en.