“Build step by step. Push yourself, but not too hard. Learn. Keep it fun.” – Matt Fitzgerald
Coach Hodge here and the above quote is one of my favorites. It breaks down training into four simple principles.
So what does this mean? Build step by step – The ability to run improves with running, but it is not instantaneous. You stimulate improvement by running a little more or a little harder than you are used to. If you do too much too soon, you will break down.
Push Yourself, but not too hard – Hard work is rewarded in running, and it is the main path to improvement. You cannot improve without pushing yourself. Every runner has their limits though. It is important to respect your limits. If you push too much you risk over training or injury. Rest and recovery are just as important as specific workouts.
Learn – I have always been a student of the sport. I read online articles, books, and most importantly, I learn from other runners. Don’t stop learning. If you stop learning, you stop growing.
The last part, Keep it fun – This is the most important point Fitzgerald makes. Run with others, run solo; run roads, run trails. Try new routes. Splash in a puddle and find your inner child.