Time to feel confident and strong after all the hard work

You have worked hard for the last eight weeks and this is the week where it all comes together

The final instalment of your training plan lands in your inbox this week. Congratulations to all of you who have stayed with us and persevered through rainy days, dark evenings and all the rest of the running excuses. Now is the time to run confident and strong knowing you have achieved something that eight weeks ago felt beyond our limits.

Feeling Guilty?

If the beep of weekly training email arriving now makes you feel guilty rather than excited, you are not alone. Some of you out there started enthusiastically in January but got side-tracked for various reasons. Don’t let this setback impact the rest of your running year. Recognise why you gave up and take steps to get back on track before you convince yourself you are not able. Start fresh and be realistic of how much time and effort you can dedicate to running. Spread the plan across a longer time frame if necessary. Don’t overcommit or you will set yourself up for disappointment again.

A Whole New World

If you are running your first 30 minutes this weekend, choose to enjoy every minute. You have worked hard for the last eight weeks and this is the week where it all comes together. You now know your comfortable pace and your body will carry your doubting head around the distance. Trust the training and remember all you have achieved so far. If you are taking part in a parkrun or race, this may add an extra element of anxiety to the weekend run. Don't compare with others and focus on your own run. Check out our videos this week with tips for race day preparations.

Race Day Prep

Our 5k and 10k runners also will be lacing up their racing shoes this weekend as they mark the end of the programme with their celebration run. No matter how long we have been running, it is completely normal to feel apprehensive before a race. Accept the everyone else feels the same and remember that the nerves will disappear once you start to run. One great perk of a race day is the distraction of the crowd. Kilometres pass much quicker than when running alone. As we build up to the weekend, we are going to take a step back in training this week. You will see that the time and effort on our midweek runs reduces, allowing the body to recover and be fresh for the weekend.


Your Celebration Run

This weekend’s long run should be a celebration of all your hard work. Go out, run, smile and enjoy every minute of it. You deserve it. If it is your first time completing an event of this distance don’t get caught up on the clock. Aim to complete the distance and enjoy the experience as a priority. That will inspire you to do more. You have got to enjoy this, or you will find it very hard to line up at a start line again.

Keep on Running

Whatever happens this weekend, you have committed to getting yourself out the door and have built up great strength and fitness over the past eight weeks. It would have been very easy to give up along the way. Give yourself a pat on the back for that. Although our formal coaching programmes finish this weekend, I will return next week with more advice for your springtime running. I can’t let you all retire now.

You running adventure has only just begun and we won’t let all the hard work getting this far go to waste.

Sign up for one of The Irish Times' Get Running programmes (it is free!) and Get Healthy for 2018. 
First, pick the programme that suits you.
- Beginner Course: This programme is an eight-week course that will take you from inactivity to being able to run 30 minutes non-stop.
- Stay On Track: The second programme is an eight-week course for those of you who can squeeze in a 30- to 40-minute run three times a week.
- 10km Course: This is an eight-week course designed for those who can comfortably run for 30 minutes and want to move up to the 10km mark.
Best of luck!