1. It's Going to be Tough
Nobody said this is going to easy. Running is a very difficult sport. In team sports you have 10 other people to rely on to help you win. You can have a bad day and still find success. In cycling you have a bike to help you go the distance. In swimming you have the water taking most of your body weight. In running it's all you. It's the most natural motion and the toughest. To get better you will need to put the work in. This doesn't mean going hard and being impatient. It's about consistent training over a long period of time.
2. Listen to Your Coach
Most runners don't know what's good for them and have no instinct. If we had instinct we'd back off when we were supposed to. Try to give your coach as much information as you can and let them make the decisions. It's hard enough getting all the training done let alone deciding the workouts you have to do and the races you should be lining up in. Sometimes your coach will get it wrong, they are human, but it's better to go through this with someone else than to try and get it right on your own.
3. Rest is Important
The amount of times in my career I wish I'd have had a few days off rather than ending up missing a few months! Consistent training is what's most important, and to do this you need to be smart and stay healthy. Hindsight is great but not very helpful. I'm sure you will make mistakes but it's important to try and learn from them.
4. Strength in Numbers
Join a group. Running is a lonely sport if you do it alone all the time. Most of my good friends are people I met through running. Running with people will make it easier and help you to push yourself harder in training. Having someone to talk to for your Sunday long run will make it go much faster than just you and your thoughts.
5. Shoes are Tools of Trade
Find a pair of shoes that work for you. I've been wearing Nike shoes my whole life. In my opinion they're the market leader and have a wide range of shoes for all shapes and sizes. Make sure you regularly change your shoes. I only put about 300km into a shoe before I rotate them. I'm not suggesting this for you as it could get expensive, but make sure you look after yourself as the shoe is the only support you have from your foot hitting the ground. When shoes get old they don't have as much cushion and your body will take more force.
I hope this helps!
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