Gary Howells blogs for Front Runner Events

2019-01-16 16:34:00

With the new year firmly underway, we are delighted to confirm that we will be working with Gary Howells who will be providing us (and you) with regular running and training blogs to help keep those new year’s resolutions firmly on target. Gary brings a wealth of experience from working as a sports rehab therapist and running coach, so will be providing us with content on running, training, stretching, conditioning and a whole host of similar topics. To find out more about Gary and his experience as a runner, coach and therapist go to Twitter Gary Howells Technique & Analysis Run Coach (@garyhowells45) Facebook Gary Howells

To kick off the series of blogs, Gary has provided his 5 key points to making 2018 a success from the start:

A new year a new me!!!

2017 was a fantastic year but with the arrival of 2018 and the targets, we set ourselves it’s time to knuckle down to the training. Whether it be a park run or an ultra marathon on the horizon the dedication of training has to be at the same level and dedication. With this in mind, how do we start our training so that we run effectively not lose motivation and most importantly stay injury free? Here are the key elements of doing this!!!

  • Training must be methodical get a specific training plan and follow it.
  • Run with people or join a running club and use runners of all ability to run with. For example, run with faster people when doing up-tempo and slower runners when zone/recovery running.
  • Staying injury free is the key to finishing all your races. This can be done by: function & technique testing, regular therapy, correct stretching & strength work, key recovery plans, hydration and protein intake to mention just a few.

My five key points to make this year a success.


It’s too difficult to achieve your goals if you don’t have a plan in place. If you’re hoping to race 13.1 miles by this Feb or lose 20 pounds then that’s great. But make sure you know how you’re going to achieve these ambitious goals or you’ll fail.

Beginner runners can use a couch to 5k program that will take you from not running at all to completing your first 5k race.

If your resolution this year is to get stronger, start lifting, to prevent more injuries this will help you achieve your goals. Strength & Conditioning is key in endurance training. is highly recommended.


Tell your friends, family, and co-workers what you’re planning to do. You will be held to your goals as they constantly ask you how you’re doing with your running, diet, or your strength program.

I have already told my co-workers and friends what my goal is for the Marathon Des Sables The toughest footrace on earth but I’m going for it. I might fail?? but I’m going to train & run my hardest I ever have. Now that other people know what I’m trying to achieve it will be easier for me to stick with my training plan as I’m constantly being asked how it’s going.


Want to bet? Get competitive and bet a friend that you’ll run four times a week. A “commitment contract” that will penalize you for not meeting your goal. All you need is the goal, the stakes, and a referee.

The psychology behind this simple tactic is astounding. Dramatically increase your chances of accomplishing your goals by putting your money where your mouth is. You’ll be surprised how hard it is to fail. It’s surprising what we all put our body’s through on race day for a small piece of metal and a T-shirt. Training can be so effective if we make a small bet on not failing.


Picture this scene: you come home from work and need to run. It’s pouring down with rain and dinner is on the table and smells delicious. Are you going to change into your running clothes and head out the door for your run? Unlikely.

Don’t make it hard to succeed.

Instead, get up earlier in the morning and run before work. It’s hard to skip a run when you don’t have other obligations for a few hours. Just make sure you get out of bed. You can also bring your running gear with you to work and run straight from work. Unless a colleague is tempting you with a beer or red wine you’ll have no problem going for your run. Gym’s and treadmills are great for the early morning training sessions. Especially on the cold icy mornings.


This January, stick with your running goal for only one month. You can turn a new behaviour into a habit by doing this. You’ll have a hard time not running once February rolls around.

I did this myself with setting up the October 5k & 10k challenge. All runners really grasped the importance of sticking to the challenge and really followed all 5 stages in this article. Once October was done we all felt guilty on the days we were not running.

My hope for 2018 is to get more people running long-term. If you run for three weeks and then stop, then I’ve failed. Please at any time you need help to contact me on

Life is short. Be proactive about achieving your goals and reaching that new fitness level. You can succeed by implementing simple changes in your daily routine that make behaviour change possible.

Have a great start to the year