Running Wisdom by Noel Carroll

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For a number of years, the late Noel Carroll contributed regular and popular Training Tips to Irish Runner Magazine. 

Noel’s Running Wisdom Columns are as relevant today as they were back in the 1990s- and are well worth sharing.

The Value Of A Training Schedule

By Noel Carroll

A Training Schedule is as important as a pair of running shoes. Training Schedules can differ greatly from runner to runner but the important point to remember is that any schedule is better than none at all.

A Training Schedule helps to focus your mind. It helps to impose a commitment and it is in any way wise and thought out, it can lead to progress and a sense of achievement.

For a training schedule to be maximised- in other words to get the best use out of it, it must be relevant to the runner concerned and include a gradual process of increased quality and quantity.

It’s no use adopting the training of elite Irish or international athletes and thinking that you can train like these runners. Nothing is that simple.

The most important requirement of a training programme is realism. You must be realistic, or whoever is preparing your training schedule must be realistic about your ability, training time available and your motivation.

Equally, targets set must be sensible and within reach. There must also be a recognition of progression and recognition and celebration when progress is achieved.

It is wise to take it one step at a time. Even a slight change of emphasis in training can take a bit of getting used to.

For instance- a decision to add a ten or fifteen minute jog in the morning to an established pattern of training can be demanding.  Just getting used to rising earlier, even without the jog, can overload a system that may already be reasonably tired from training.

Make haste slowly is the best philosophy. Get the training schedule down on paper, have it in your pocket at all times and keep your mind on what’s it about, what you are trying to do and what you eventually want to achieve.

Most of all, however, practice patience. You will get tired, you will get sidetracked, you may get injured and you will at times be disappointed.

But don’t lose heart. Regular training does the work and lays the foundation. And the more sustained, sensible and constructive it is, the better it will work.

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