Trying to step it up…

I am almost certain that in all activities, improving is the ultimate goal. Everything that I take part in, I strive to see myself get better at it – whether this be a sport, within school or simply a random hobby. However, if there is one thing that I am absolutely determined to improve in, it has to be running. As I am still relatively new to running, I know that I am by no means the best. I’m certainly not bad, but I’m not one of the more elite young athletes. However, I really want to change that. I really want to be getting in the top ten for those bigger races. I really want to be picked for my county team. I really want to get 80+ age grade at parkrun. I hope, by the time I get to U17, I will be achieving this. But I still have quite a way to go. In order to reach this goal, I have realised that I may have to take a different approach to my training: when I first started, I believe it was all about quantity, but now, I understand that it is definitely more so about quality. Hence, I have been modifying my training slightly and my approach to running in general.

Going back to the idea of quality over quantity, I have been trying to do harder training sessions as oppose to more, average sessions. For example, I have stopped doing junior parkrun but, as a result, I have been able to focus on performing well at regular parkrun. Generally, my dad and I now either go to a very hard parkrun -such as Lloyd- or we go for a good time at an easier course. We have also started doing more training sessions that incorporate hills and grass work, particularly for cross country. Usually, my weekly training goes like: track/ club session on tuesday, hilly long-ish run on thursday, parkrun or race on Saturday and a recovery and long run on Sunday. This pattern works well for both me and my dad and I really enjoy each different session.

Another thing I have been doing is strength and stretching. A while back, I used to be a gymnast so I was really strong but, about a year and a half ago, I quite gymnastics for running and lost that flexibility and strength – particularly in my arms. In order to help my technique, I have been doing more core and arm strength work which I actually really enjoy. I also try and get my self to stretch and foam roll but I often forget this because I find it really  boring. But i’m still working on it as I definitely do not want an injury!

The final and perhaps most important thing I have been trying to do is building up my experience and confidence. I am probably the most anxious runner you will meet; I am honestly a nervous wreck on the start line and even often during the actual runs. Inevitably, this does not help my performance. However, I have been trying to attend as many events as possible so that I can become used to the whole situation and gradually try to relax. My nerves and lack of confidence will probably be the most difficult hurdle I have to get over in terms of improving but I’m certainly giving it my best shot and I am sure that, the older and more experienced I get, the more confident I will feel.

My race number wall is slowly getting bigger…

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post! I am now off school for Christmas so there will be quite a few more posts coming up soon! Speaking of Christmas…it is only 5 days!!!!!!!!! I am so so so excited! Also, tomorrow I am off to get my new running shoes (my amazing adidas boosts have served me well for just about a year now) which I cannot wait for because, to be honest, what is more fun than new trainers…except Christmas maybe?

On that note, thank you for reading and keep an eye out for many more posts coming very soon!

Ellie xx


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