Monday 20 January 2020

100 fit days: Be prepared and the rest will follow

Liz Costigan will be sharing practical and motivational tips. Photo: El Keegan
Liz Costigan will be sharing practical and motivational tips. Photo: El Keegan

Liz Costigan

Over the next eight weeks, as part of your #100FITDays, I will be sharing two half-marathon programmes with you; Run It Programme and Race It Programme - along with practical and motivational tips to help you get to the start line for the Dublin City Half Marathon in The Phoenix Park on Saturday September 20. The good news is the tips really do work; the bad news is you must too!

Time To Think

Take some time to think about what it is you are going to do, sit down and really contemplate what is involved. Is it something you truly want for yourself? If the answer is no then you are doing this for someone else and it will be a lot harder to remain motivated down the line. If it's a yes, then great, lace up those runners!

Write It Down

It is scientifically proven that committing your goals to paper increases the likelihood of achieving them 1,000 pc. Ok, maybe not, but it definitely helps, try it.

Write down what you would like to achieve and why - the why is really important, you'll see.

I like to write my goals down for two reasons. Firstly it makes the goal real, makes the dream tangible and something achievable. There is no greater motivation than looking back on goals which you set for yourself months ago and realising you have achieved them or are on the road to doing so. It also works the other way, if you have lost your focus and need a nudge, reading back on your goals and the reasons why you set them is a fantastic push to keep at it.


You might think this a little pessimistic but I think it's realistic and has definitely helped me prepare for events. Take the half marathon in September - if this is something you are planning on doing you need to look at potential obstacles. Look at your calendar; are there work or family commitments that may hinder your training? How can you work around these? Make a plan. Are you going on holidays, how will you train during these? Make a plan. Are you actually free on race day?

Life will always surprise us and training rarely goes to plan 100pc and that's ok. I find when I am as prepared as possible it doesn't demotivate me or make me panic, I just get on with it.

Positive running: The Run It Programme

Firstly, when beginning a training programme you should get clearance from your doctor, especially if you have any health conditions.

This particular programme assumes that you are capable of running 10k non-stop.

There are three runs per week and we will alternate cross training and rest on the other days. Cross is any form of aerobic exercise that allows you to use slightly different muscles than you would when running, for example swimming, cycling or walking.

If you miss the occasional session, that's ok, just make sure you do your long run and alternate between leaving out cross one week, short run the next and so on. You can have an extra rest day, just ensure you are running three times a week.

Positive Running: The Race It Programme

If you are an experienced runner and want to improve your time, this programme is for you.

There are five sessions per week. It's ok to skip the occasional workout but try to commit to and be consistent weekly. It doesn't matter what days you train on, just ensure you have adequate rest between sessions. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are "easy" runs; go at your comfortable pace.

Speed work is vital for this programme. We will alternate between repeats and tempo runs. This week we're doing repeats: run 400m at your 5k race pace (fast), followed by 400m at recovery pace. Repeat 7 times. Take a 2- to 4-minute recovery jog between each one. Run the 3 mile 'easy' workouts at whatever pace feels comfortable. Do your long Sunday runs at an easy pace.

Best of luck everyone and remember, nothing worth having ever comes easy!


The Run It ProgrammeThe Race It Programme
Tues3 milesTues3 miles
Wed30 min CrossWed7 x 400
Thurs3 milesThurs3 miles
Sat30 min CrossSat3 mile
Sun7.5m / 12kSun7.5 miles

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