When the clocks go forward a few things happen; the evenings get longer, the mornings are brighter and people start running. With harsh winds, freezing temperatures and the treacherous conditions of winter long gone there are less excuses to running before or after work – and many runners say it’s their favourite time of the day.

If you’re getting started it’s worth asking yourself why you’re running. Is it for fitness, is it for fun, does it help you work off stress..? Consider the ‘why’ and then start setting yourself some goals. The great thing about running is how personal it is and how much progress can be made. Your first run may be 90% walking, but if you stick with it you’ll build up fitness and stamina that’ll allow you to push yourself to faster speeds and longer distances. That sense of achievement can feel incredible!

It’s easy to get up, go out and nail a distance again and again, but if you want my advice it’s all about progression so set yourself little markers all the time so that you know you’re pushing yourself and challenging your abilities. That could be a sprint finish, running a distance a few seconds faster, or a few hundred metres further, than your previous personal best or tackling a route with more hills than you’re used to.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a goal. Good intentions can get you a long way, but rainy mornings or a sudden drop in temperature can make hiding under the duvet feel more appealing than getting out in the fresh air. If you have an organised run, such as a Race for Life, to work towards you’ll feel more motivated and more likely to stick to your commitment to running.

With running it’s a simple case that the more you run, the fitter your body will get, but it’s really important to keep challenging yourself.

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