Former GB international Colin McCourt offers advice as he continues to work towards a sub-16:00 5km to avoid getting 17 tattoos

Where is the time going? I can’t believe we are at week eight and things are starting to change. My stride is coming back, my weight is down and my mental health is up!

Everything is going in the right direction, even the little things. I think the key to this is routine and I know I must sound like a broken record, but doing something every day, whether it’s a walk or jog or something in-between, just doing something really helps.

My philosophy is very simple – do what you can and only if you enjoy it. What is the point in pushing yourself into something if you don’t enjoy it? Instead, find something that you do enjoy and do that. I believe you will only give 100% if you truly enjoy doing it and believe in yourself, not just because you think you should be doing it.

I think running is very simple and that’s not because I’ve done it for years or because I am really into it. People might try and tell you that it is difficult and overcomplicate it, they might try to sell you all kinds of products and supplements that promise to make you a better, faster, stronger runner.

The simplicity of it is that you get out what you put in and a very wise coach once said to me: “What you do in the dark will come out in the light”. So, if you don’t run hard when you need to or you take a few extra days off, you might get away with it. However, it will come back and bite you on the bum. Maybe it will be when you don’t run that PB or you don’t make that improvement in training you think you should have, it will be because you are not doing what you need to do.

I think my approach is easy and it is now showing its fruits, like when I was 94kg I couldn’t have run for 30 minutes. Well, I could have, but my body would have broken down and I would have probably have injured myself.

However, it’s the tiny manageable steps that make it so easy to achieve. Week one was just to jog 20 minutes and I mean jog, plus walking as much I as could or needed to. If you set micro goals like doing a week of 5-minute runs every day you will achieve it.

If you set a goal of one hour a day for the week you will more than likely fail because of the mental strain you put yourself under, which I know sounds negative but I want to try and be as honest as I can with you so that you can achieve as much as possible!

The ease of having micro goals is that you will achieve them and more than likely do more than originally planned, therefore giving yourself a real positive boost. If  your goal is to walk round the block, start with getting to the front gate!

I guess this week’s blog is more advice and my thought process rather than what I’ve been up to, as maybe you can tell but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week.

I hope it helps, though, as I think with running or getting back in to running, half the battle is the physical side and the other half is the mental side. Having the right mental attitude and thought process is key and the rest comes easy.

Hopefully you can take something from what I’ve tried to explain today! Have a great week everyone and a massive thank you again for the continued support.

» You can read more on Colin’s challenge here. Look out for regular blog posts from Colin on athleticsweekly.com, while you can also follow his journey on Instagram here