Imagine you've just completed a really tough half marathon. You're elated, relieved, and proud of your accomplishment. You vow to yourself that you'll never run such a long race again.
A few weeks later, you find yourself struggling to even make it through a 5k. What happened?
The answer is simple: you lost consistency.
Finding and maintaining consistency is one of the biggest challenges runners face. It's also one of the most important aspects of running if you want to achieve your goals. In this article, we'll explore the secret of consistency and how to achieve it in your running.
Before we talk about the importance of consistency, let's first take a look at what we mean by the term. In running, consistency is often defined as doing the same thing, day in and day out. In terms of mileage, for instance, it would mean running the same distance or pace each time you lace up your shoes.
But there's more to consistency than just showing up day after day. It also means being willing to make small adjustments when necessary so you can stay on track with your goals. Maybe you had to miss a few runs last week due to illness or work commitments. Rather than abandoning your training programme altogether, you make up that mileage later in the week—or even extend your programme by a few days to ensure you don't fall too far behind.
Being consistent doesn't mean things will always go according to plan. There will be times when things don't go as expected and you'll have to adjust on the fly. But if you have a solid foundation of consistency, you'll be better equipped to handle these challenges and stay on course.
Creating a training plan is essential to becoming a consistent runner.
When you have specific goals mapped out, you're more likely to achieve them. You'll also have a roadmap to follow, which will help to keep you on track. Your training plan doesn't need to be overly complicated—just make sure that it includes the following:
-The type of running you want to do (steady-state, interval, tempo run, etc.)
-A weekly mileage goal
-A goal for each run type
-Rest days and/or cross-training days
If you're just starting out, your training plan can be as simple as running three times a week. As you get more comfortable running and want to push yourself harder, you can add in more difficult run types and increase your mileage. Just make sure that you're always listening to your body and adapting your plan accordingly.
When you're consistent with your running, you're actually giving your body the time it needs to recover and improve. Think about it this way: if you're always pushing yourself to run just a little bit further or just a little bit faster, your body never gets the chance to adapt and improve.
In fact, even if you're not seeing results in terms of speed or distance yet, that doesn't mean you're not getting stronger. Consistency is the key to unlocking your potential as a runner. So keep at it, and don't give up – you'll be surprised at how far you can go.
In order to understand how important sleep is to maintaining consistency in your running, you first have to understand how sleep works.
Sleep is essential to our physical and mental well-being. It’s a time when our bodies can heal and repair themselves, and when our brains can consolidate memories and solidify new learning.
There are two types of sleep: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. NREM sleep is divided into three stages, with stage three being the most restorative. This is the stage where our bodies heal and repair themselves, and where we consolidate memories from the day.
REM sleep is when we dream. This stage of sleep is important for mental well-being, as it’s thought to help with emotional regulation.
Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night, although some people may need more or less. The key is to find what works for you and to stick to a consistent sleep schedule as much as possible.
Your body is a machine, and like any machine, it needs the right fuel to run at its best. When you're consistently running, you're putting your body under a lot of stress and using up a lot of energy, so it's important to make sure you're giving it the nutrients it needs to perform at its best.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to fuelling your body for running:
- Carbs are important for giving your body quick energy, so make sure you're getting enough of them before a run.
- Protein is important for repairing muscles after a run. Eat some within 30 minutes of finishing your run to help your muscles recover.
- Fat isn't always seen as a "good" thing, but it's an important source of energy for your body, so don't be afraid to include healthy fats in your diet. Just make sure you're not eating too much, as that can lead to weight gain.
If you're consistent with your running and you're giving your body the right fuel, you'll start to see some amazing results.
The best way to make sure you're being consistent with your running is to have someone to hold you accountable. This could be a running buddy, a coach, or even just someone who knows about your running goals.
If you don't have anyone to help keep you accountable, there are still a few things you can do to make sure you stay motivated. One is to set small goals that you can realistically achieve. For example, if your goal is to run 5 days a week, start by setting a goal of running 3 days a week. Once you've achieved that goal, you can slowly increase the number of days until you're running 5 days a week.
Another way to stay motivated is to find a training plan or programme that works for you. There are tonnes of different programmes out there, so it might take some trial and error to find one that fits your schedule and goals. But once you find one that works, stick with it!
Sticking to a consistent running routine is the key to unlocking your potential as a runner. If you plan your recovery and get enough sleep, you'll be able to train harder and see better results. Fuel and nutrition also play a part in your running ability, so make sure you're eating the right foods to help you perform your best.