Former GB international Colin McCourt on treadmill training and the importance of planning as he targets a sub-16:00 5km or risks getting 17 tattoos

OK, so somehow we have got to week 5! Not sure how, but I am now running twice a day Monday to Friday, with a rest day on Saturday and a long run on Sunday.

All my training is geared to not rushing. It’s easy to rush and just start doing an hour a day session once, twice or three times a week. It’s difficult to take it slow and enjoy the process. So many times in my life I’ve rushed ahead and not thought out what my plan is, just thought of the end goal. I’ve not put the building blocks in place to achieve what I wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, people have tried very hard to guide me and push me in the right direction, I just couldn’t see my way there.

For example, I always knew I wanted to run fast and go to the Olympics and win some medals. However, I never once thought ‘what is the journey?’ I just focused and obsessed with winning a medal at the end and being an Olympian, I didn’t actually have a plan in place to male sure I got there.

When I didn’t run the times I wanted and didn’t get to go to championships this was purely because I didn’t plan how to get there.

The races I did win were down to the hard work of others putting the plans in place for me and somehow making me execute them. Thanks Winrow Liz and Mark for that! Unfortunately, I became frustrated with myself and thought I knew best a lot of the time.

So, back to week 5. I thought the best way to avoid injury and get my miles up quickly was to double run. I started off with an easy 20 minutes in the morning and another easy 20 minutes in the evening. I got some good tunes playing and drifted of into my own world of getting the runs done. Then, I just built it from there as the days went on.

My whole process is to make it easy – so easy there is no excuse not to get it done. I do most of my evening runs on the treadmill to lessen the impact and reduce the thought process. I get into the gym quickly after work, put some music on and the run is done before I know it. It makes a huge difference.

Completely unrelated, but does anyone else try and race the treadmill?! I do all the time! I talk to it (in my head, or else I’d probably get chucked out!) ‘Is that all you’ve got, tready? Come on son!’ For the first few weeks it owned my butt, however it brought me on massively.

People have asked me why I don’t just do one run for 40 minutes. It’s because if you are overweight like I was you are just creating fatigue for no reason, putting stress on your joints and muscles which is most probably going to lead to a pull. Then, you will either say ‘hello’ to the cross-trainer or give up.

Things are going well, I am getting quicker and quicker each week and you can too if you just enjoy it, find what works for you, make it easy, get out there. Have a great week guys and as always, thank you for your support.

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