When the going gets tough..

Could a little competition get your handicap score down?

We all have our ups and downs in everything we do including our running. While we often start out with good intentions and great enthusiasm there is much to dampen our spirits and keeping focus can be a challenge. Today we offer some tips to support your ambitions.

Normally we're up when we start on a new training programme, when it's a new year and our resolution is to start running, to lose weight or to improve our fitness; or it could be September, the holiday's are over and it's time to get back into the routine of regular exercise.

The down can often come a few weeks into the programme. If you are increasing the mileage, the first few weeks can feel positive but you can get to a stage where it becomes stressful. Suddenly that half hour run that was easy to sneak into the day has grown to fifty minutes or an hour and it's difficult to find that sort of time and so you leave it all together and suddenly you're off the band wagon.

If this sounds familiar, it's time to take control of your programme and make it work for you and your lifestyle. If you are following a ten, twelve or sixteen week programme there is a good chance that it will build the volume week on week and this might not suit you. There will be some weeks when you need an easy week, either because you are tired or because you have a hecitc schedule in other areas of your life. If this sounds familiar you should consider using our Training Wizard who designs your programme on a weekly basis so that you can alter it as you see fit.

A generic training programme is also likely to build the intensity. Again, it is important that you take control of this in order to avoid injury, especially if you are new to hill work or speed work. Again, the Training Wizard can put these harder sessions in for you but can select them to be as part of an easy week so that the intensity is higher but the volume stays low.

So once you've taken control of your programme, what else can you do to keep motivation high? Here are a few things to keep in mind if your mojo needs recharging:

Remind yourself of why you run and then think of how it makes you happy - Why did you start running?  Perhaps it was for better health reasons or to complete a target race. Now think about how running makes you feel, whether it is in an event where the atmosphere carries you or when you are out training on your favourite route, at your favourite time of day and in your favourite weather.

Treat yourself to new kit - We are very fortunate in this day and age that we have a huge choice of running kit to buy. The running market is competitive and the running brands are fighting for shelf space by making their kit look good, feel good and generally improve the running experience. Treat yourself to new kit, shoes or accessories and you will look forward to heading out of the door to try it out!

More tips on this link