You’ve been training hard for the past few months and you gradually worked your way up to running your first 5 kilometre distance non-stop. Congratulations! This is a huge deal! You had a goal and systematically worked your way towards it until you achieved. Your initial reaction is no doubt something along the lines of exhilaration, amazement, maybe a bit of exhaustion and of course, a huge amount of self-pride.
So what happens now? What do you do when the runner’s high has subsided and you find yourself searching for ‘where to next’? Here’s a few suggestions that might help you set your next big goal…
· Go further. This one is a natural progression for many new runners. You’ve reached the 5 km distance, so maybe next you could set your sights on 10 kilometres. As you did for your 5 km training, make sure you follow a carefully designed plan to ensure you get there injury free.
· Get faster. If you have no desire to run further, why not set about improving your speed? You’ve set your baseline, so now is the perfect time! A running coach can help you out here, writing you an individualised plan to get you running faster in no time.
· Build strength. When you first start running you may not have thought much about building other body strength, but to remain injury free this is something you need to do. Having a strong core and glutes is a good start; try a Pilates class or general strength class. A Personal Trainer will be able to help you out with some run-specific strengthening exercises too.
· Join parkrun. Around the world is a growing phenomenon called parkrun. It’s a free, weekly, timed 5 kilometre event held on Saturday mornings all around the world. It’s a great way to keep track of your 5 km time, meet new people, keep yourself ‘run fit’, and once you’ve signed up all you have to do is show up with your printed barcode and run, the lovely volunteers do the rest.
· Join a running club. There are many running clubs or groups around these days, each with their own vibe and tribe. You may think that you’re not a ‘real runner’ and be afraid to go along, but take it from the founder of a running club, you run so you ARE a real runner, and any running club will be happy to have you along to their sessions. Do some research, find the right fit for you and give it a go. These groups are great because you know that everyone there will enjoy not only running with you, but talking about running with you – something your family and friends may not be so fond of!
Rachel’s Runners is a recreational running club based in Sydney’s South and South West. Now affiliated with Athletics NSW and offering sessions for beginners through to those which will help you maintain your running fitness, there is something for everyone. Check out our summer sessions and run with RR today!