From carrying toilet roll in your kit bag to remembering the importance of rest, AW followers share the top tips they have received in the sport

Sometimes we receive a piece of advice which sticks with us forever. We recently asked the question “what is the best piece of advice you have ever received in athletics?” on social media and while there were some key themes, the answers were interesting and wide-ranging.

Whether you are looking for a fresh mantra to start your new year or just fancy a smile at some of the more lighthearted replies, here we share some of the responses.

Got your own advice to add? Tell us on Twitter @AthleticsWeekly, pop a post on Facebook, or tag us on Instagram.

@wendyslyrun: “Never just run TO the top of the hill, run OVER the the top of the hill.”

Olympic 3000m silver medallist Wendy Sly on her way to 1981 National cross country victory. Photo by Mark Shearman

@JakeyJake83: “Train hard recover harder.”

@Josephineperry: “Dress for mile 2!”

@EddieJohnHunt: “Do at least one quality sprint session a week… Every distance (800m/5km/marathon), requires a sprint finish to see off the competition.”

@james_stewart13: “Train the mind, and the body.”

@stabler1705: “Always have a toilet roll in your kit bag.”

@JillBBartlett: “Never throw a hurdle at your coach. He doesn’t like it.”

@J_Sullivan_Aths: “Beware of having too many advisors.”

Dominic Spayne: “Never trust a fart after 18 miles.”

@Tae_the_north: “Have fun.”

@Clio_Ferg: “Always line you bag with a bin bag at competitions and never ever look behind you during a race. It shows your competitors you’re getting tired.”

@davidhall1956: “Never train in a jogging suit in the rain.”

@Judit_Sz: “Commit to it and don’t look back.”

Andy Hymers: “‘Always run through the line’ – Terry Davies.”

@rubbishjumper: “Don’t walk in lane 1.”

@theordinarian11: “Winter miles for spring smiles.”

Winter training. Photo by Mark Shearman

@poleymcpoleface: “Whatever length spike you think you need for cross country, go one size longer. In fact, just use 15mm at all times. If you don’t need 15mm, it’s not proper cross country. It’s just a jog around and nicely mown lawn with good drainage.”

Kevin Darragh: “Always go to the start line with a positive mental attitude. If you can’t do that, your race is over before it’s begun.”

@Wavinpiper: “Lean into the hills, run straight lines not the curve of the road and shoot your legs from the hip not the knees.”

@2020west2020: “No one session is more important than another — accumulate — stay consistent — be patient — trust the process: even the bad days count (possibly for more).”

@scholarlycoach8: “Stop eating full packs of Snickers bars.”

@Eli_Tracey: “Don’t do something just because it looks good on social media.”

@oldboymarc: “Speed hurts; sustained speed kills. #SebastianandPeterCoe”

@DerekCrudele: “Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.”

@hamrocks: “Nipple tape!”

@MTalivee: “Always listen to your body.”

@Neacht: “‘A little a lot rather than a lot a little.’ Noel Carroll RIP”

@kigelia: “Don’t stand next to the guy doing handstands in his spikes.”

@James_Baker_Run: “Don’t forget your barcode.”

Remember your barcode for parkrun. Photo by Rebecca Burns

@dsstellar: “A rest day is still part of the training.”

Simon Riviere: “Swing your arms, your feet will follow.”

@cwilliams400: “Make sure that you’re in the top 2 at trials.”

@davidmaris958: “Focus on yourself.”

@mattyhynes88: “Run the session not the rep!”

@Sam0kane: “Physics doesn’t care how pretty it looks.”

@warr10rz: Use the portaloos early doors when a meet is on at Alexander Stadium.”

@tracksuperfan: “If you can win, it pays to keep it a secret as long as possible.”

@journowillmata: “Half of 26.2 is actually 20.”

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