My first tip of advice is aimed towards the beginners out there, but can also be applied to more experienced runners. Set yourself realistic and achievable goals, both long and short, write these goals down, for short term goals, plan how many miles you would like to do that week, if your an experienced runner, it may be as high as 60/70 includes including 2 runs on one day. Whereas for a beginner, it may just be a gentle 2 mile jog 3 times a week. For long term goals, for more advanced runners, pick a race that you'd like to enter in a few months time and set a realistic target time eg 34 minutes in a 10km race. For beginners, it may just be to complete the race. I advise you keep a diary of your runs, this allows you to analyze how you have improved over the past months of training and you will find it helps keep you motivated and gives you pleasure as you see your improvements!
If you set yourself realistic goals in the short term and the long term, it will help you keep motivated and will lead to success, the secret is slowly building up, if you set yourself goals that are far fetched, and increase of intensity and distance too quickly, and then you're on a fast track for injury!
In conclusion, set yourself realistic goals, this gives you motivation and also allows you to keep a record of your improvement as you achieve your goals and continue to set higher and higher goals till you reach your pinnacle!
My second tip is to reduce the stress in your life and so perform to your full potential. It has been reported that over 50% of sick days off work are due to stress, it is a pretty established fact that it really is not good for you, and leads to several health problems. Firstly, stress leads to high blood pressure which in turn leads to heart disease, it also encourages strokes! Rathermore all young men should be aware that high stress can lead to impotence, as well as leading to depression, lethargy as well as stomach ulcers and indigestion!
So this is my second top tip, everyday, set about an hour of your time at least to de-stress, everyone releases stress in different ways, and exercise is an obvious choice at it helps you keep fit while reducing endorphins! Other methods could include hitting a punch bag, listening to music, having a relaxing bath, also perhaps just getting a few hours extra sleep a night; not getting enough sleep contributes to this!
By unwinding daily, you are likely to suffer less heart related problems later in life, as well as feeling much more energetic and improving your bodies capabilities for recovery, as well as making you much more productive at work!
My third tip is specifically aimed at the runners out there, rather than just running and running every week, do a new activity as an alternative eg biking / swimming. This is known as cross training, for example replace one run a week by an alternative exercise. This reduces boredom of doing the same old routines, encourages you to learn and develop new skills and hobbies. This allows muscle groups and certain body parts (eg knees) to be rested which typically get pounded when running and working other muscle groups that are usually ignored, these leads to improved overall conditioning! Furthermore as your usual muscles for running are being rested, it reduces the chance of injury as it gives those muscles much needed recovery time!
Follow these three tips to a happier and healthier life! Happy Running!