Whether it’s to lose weight, de-stress, or just have fun, every runner has a reason for why they run and more importantly, keep running.
Here are a few of my tricks for staying on top of my running and hopefully, they’ll help put a few bounces in your step.
- Make a goal. And stick to it. I would stay away from weight loss goals in particular since a lot of people gain weight while running due mostly to muscle gain and that could deter you. My goals are usually race based. I try to schedule a half marathon every other month so I’ll continuously have something to push myself towards. I will also often print out a training plan that is challenging and modify accordingly. I just love crossing out to do lists so this is a big motivator for me.
- Provide incentives for yourself. Since I started marathon training, I’ve bought myself a few things here and there to keep the motivation strong. You’re pushing your body to the limits. Why not treat yourself to nice things?
- Join a running club. Okay, I haven’t actually done this one due to time constraints, but it’s something I hope to do in the future. I have attended Adventure Runs that are held by Road Runner Sports though and those are great. You’re surrounded by all types of runners/walkers who just want to get out there, get fit and also get freebies at the same time. It’s a win win situation.
- If you don’t have time to join a running club, find a running buddy or two. Even if you’re not the type of person that likes to talk while running, having a running buddy can keep you motivated and it is also a safer option than running alone. If your schedule is just too hectic and it’s easier to run alone, make a pact with your friend to run x amount of miles or do what I did – make a bet with them.* It worked wonders for me. I had bet a friend of mine that I could run more than he could in a span of 2 months. The one who ran the least would treat the other person out to sushi. Sushi is not cheap! I’m a competitive person so I ran my short little legs off during those two months. In the end, I lost – by a lot actually, but that bet pushed me to run way more than I originally thought I could. I will always be forever grateful for making that bet.
- And last but not least, be patient with yourself. Nobody just got up and ran x amount of miles just like that. Your life isn’t like that one episode in How I Met Your Mother where Barney ups and runs a marathon. Also, don’t forget the fact that he couldn’t move his legs after that marathon. No, real progress takes a lot of hard work and time. It’s okay to take two steps forward and one step back or even 4 steps back. As long as you keep taking those steps.