Pearls Of Wisdom

What do you wish you'd known earlier as a runner?

I know I said in the article above that I wished I'd realised how much easier running was in company...

but it also took me yonks to work out that bad patches in a run hardly ever last forever - unless you tell yourself that they will.

Take the old marathon chestnut of feeling worse at 4 miles than you did in training at 18 miles. If you obsess about it, you'll probably want to drop out by 6 miles.

If you tell yourself you'll ignore it till 6 miles, then see how you feel, chances are you'll be right as rain by then...

Ultra runners and adventure racers often say the same thing, I think.

Sean, RW


  • I wish I'd known fast speedwork is of very limited value without a good base.
  • And that to realise your potential as a runner you need to periodise and peak.
  • And that 50 mpw isn't time to say `whoa tiger, too high, better ease off or else you'll overtrain'
  • that what people say you need to do and what you really need to do are completely different things. and that everyone lies about how much training they do.
    and golden syrup does not stop your nipples bleeding.
  • I don't lie about how much training I do. Do you have examples?
  • that running fast on concrete/tarmac surfaces everyday would eventually lead to permanent, irreversible knee problems!

    Vary your surfaces & you don't always need to run every single day. Rest days are equally as important as training ones.

  • TTT, if rest days were `equally' as important then logic would suggest you could run as fast a race by resting 7 days per week as by running 7 days per week.

    In my experience the fewer rest days I've had the faster I've run.

    If you look on the daily training thread the faster runners tend to be those who take the fewest rest days.
  • I meant that I've found it important to have recovery day(s) rather than running each & every day. Especially if you only train on hard surfaces. Not that rest days improve running performance.
    Sorry if I didn't make that too clear earlier.

  • that there are people who are slower than you as well as faster

    and i wish id known earlier how wonderful and supportive the running community is

    and the first mile of any race is always horrendous
  • wish I'd known that it takes me 30 minutes to warm up and feel comfortable.

    All those years I thought I couldn't do more than 3 miles at a time!
  • Do as much off road running as you can, easier on the joints and makes your legs stronger IMHO

    Try to be consistant in your running, whether its 3 times a week, or 3 times a day it has been known, but not by me

    Get proper running shoes from a proper running shop, staffed by people who know about running.
  • I think its the wearing of a proper and supportive sports bra, it still amazes me to see women at the gym etc., who don't.

  • The sloooooooooow long runs are the base upon which everything else follows.
  • That the way to run faster and easier is not to go out and try to run faster.

    Once I started treating the first mile as a warm up, slow-as-you-like, my times, distances and enjoyment improved dramatically.
  • Why lie about how much training you do? Don't understand that. Lies won't make the race go any easier.

    The pace of progress can be unbelievably slow.

    Oddly enough though, progress is possible, even under severe conditions, provided you don't give up for more than a couple of days each month.
  • Don't need to lie about my training, because the clock doesn't lie!

    - Wish I would have done track work sooner. Always had a strong base, but that extra ingredient was missing.

    - Wish I would have understood the physiological aspects of training sooner rather than later.

    - Wish I would have raced less, when it was time to back off a bit.

    - Wish I would have run double sessions sooner and stick to a consistent high mileage schedule.
  • don't trust men in green hats

  • LOL Candy.

    Very dodgy, I'd say!!
  • "Listen to your body"

    Continuing to train through pain hoping that it will magically go away.

    As you get older, listen to aches and pains - anything that lasts more than a week needs attention. Pay attention to stretching, getting adequate rest and running on soft groud.

    I didn't do any of the above and ended up unable to run for 18 months due to injury.

  • When I first started running (a couple of years back) I focused far too much on training and running marathons. My first year saw me complete 2 marathons which I'm proud of BUT thereafter I have had nothing but injuries and only now am I getting back to full fitness again.

    I'd fully recommend a gradual build-up and entering more shorter distance races, 10K and half marathons before aiming at marathons. I would imagine it's more enjoyable and in the longer term not as stressful on your body!
  • A bad run is better than no run.

  • I wish I had known how incredibly selfish a 70 mile week is on your family and friends especially at weekends!
  • A couple things that I have had to pick up long term injuries from before I actually took heed off.

    High mileage training should be prodominately off road.

    When running marathons and particularrly ultras - respect the distance - just because you feel fine a couple days after your first 50 miler or marathon dont immediately start training again.

  • I've only been running seriously [aka 3-4 times a week] for 3 weeks now, so I'm still a beginner, but....

    I wish I'd known that even people, er, lacking in the boob department, benefited froms sports bras. I'm sure that's one reason I'm finding it a lot easier.

    I wish I'd known how much more comfortable proper running shoes are- I used to race at school and wore Converse canvas trainers. Nobody told me it was a bad idea.

    Also wish I'd known how much more fun it is to run off-road than on.

    As for the other false starts of my recent running career, I wish I'd known just how short a time it takes to get back into it, but, even for someone who can cycle 100 miles, running is a lot of effort. I aarrogantly assumed I'd be able to run for half an hour at first and got angry when I couldn't.
  • Somebody has to come last in a race; it might as well be you.

    There's no shame in it, and the officials are usually really happy to see you because then they can wrap up and go home.
  • Whoops - I didn't copy mine from the article honestly.

    A further one.

    "Be careful when running hills"

    Any biomechanical or other inefficiencies you may have will come to the fore when you run up but especially down hills.
  • That Immodium Plus is the only drug you need for running.
  • Speed is relative to distance, except if you're queuing for pre-race loos.
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