Jenny Meadows will be appearing with Backballer at the Triathlon Show: London, which will be at ExCel London from 16th to 19th Feburary. She has shared her five top tips for early season training with us.

For more information and tickets, visit the Triathlon Show: London website.

Focus on yourself!

Easier said than done I know, however focusing on your own progress really helps you “enjoy the journey”. We can all get competitive, and that’s good, but there is a time and a place, and that is not EVERYDAY! Concentrating on your own schedule and progress will allow you to notice important things about you as an individual that will benefit you in the long-run. So don’t get sucked into always racing in training runs with that ego-driven mate if that’s not the best thing for you to do that day. The long-term plan is paramount!

Set a goal!

Everyone needs a goal to give them something to focus on. Training without goals or a competition date in mind would be a pretty dull prospect. I would recommend using goals as an intrinsic motivator to get through the hard winter months so enter that Spring 10k or Autumn half-marathon now! You can also use goal-setting in training i.e. use a monthly session where you can compare yourself each month and set yourself target goals month on month.

Brighten your mood!

The Winter months can seem very bleak and uninspiring for runners and Spring still feels so far away! During this period I try to consciously wear brightly coloured training kit/accessories in order to literally brighten my mood. It makes a nice change to all the dull winter clothing that everyone else seems to wear and I find that others also usually follow suit. It’s great of course safety wise if your evening training runs take place near busy roads or dimly lit areas.

Recovery is key!

This is a big focus for me and something that is often neglected by many runners. I know all runners want to count the miles that we run and work out our average heart rates and pace per mile. We love stats! Keeping being able to run however is the most important thing so we must take time out to give something back to our bodies after working them so hard. When I became a full-time athlete this was the one thing that I really focused on, and the results were staggering! Taking time out every day to stretch keeps our muscles supple and helps to avoid any niggles that can creep up. I’ve recently discovered the Backballer, an amazing recovery tool that helps kneed out any adhesions in the muscle fibres. It’s like having your own personal masseur on a daily basis. Seven months post retirement I’m now able to mix it with the younger athletes in my training group again!

Everyone deserves a treat!

Being involved in sport involves a lot of commitment, effort and sacrifice. I have lost count of the amount of times I have to say the word “no”!  It shouldn’t all be hard work and no play though. I allow myself periodic treats in order to salvage some degree of sanity and feel good about myself. This may be a spa day, an extra rest day, or more often than not something chocolate related! I find if I am happy in life then it translates over to my running so it’s good find your happy!


For more information about Backballer, please click here.