Sticking with my theme of consistency…I want to take a minute to talk about how to establish a run routine. This one goes out to those of you who may be interested in running, or perhaps have run a little here and there, but have yet to figure out how to do so on a consistent basis. Here are some tips that I think will assist you in getting settled into a run routine.
State Your Intention
What is your reason for running? Is it for general fitness? Clarity of mind? For a particular goal? Determine WHY it is you run, and when you feel yourself beginning to falter a bit in your consistency, remind yourself of this reason. It will help to keep you motivated.
Assess Your Time…Honestly
Look at your schedule…and evaluate your current time constraints. If your reason for running is as important to you as I imagine it might be, then you will need to find the time for it. Whether that means hitting the sack earlier to get more sleep for an early morning run, or sneaking in a quick run during a lunch break…take a look at what you can do to make your running a part of your regular routine. Developing a regular routine will only work if you are realistic in your time constraints. Be honest with what you can and cannot do.
Set a Daily Goal
I have a calendar that lists out what my goal might be for any particular day I am running. Whether that goal is to run 2 miles or 12, having it written down somewhere you can see it will help to keep yourself accountable and will give you a course of direction at the onset of your run.
Even the Pro’s need rest…allow yourself to have at least 2 days of rest somewhere in your weekly running schedule. However you use those days (pure rest, yoga, cross training) is completely up to you, but the point of giving yourself a couple of rest days is to give both your body and mind a break from running.
Allow for Flexibility
Yes, life happens and will throw us off our “A-Game” from time to time. That is OK! Allow yourself some flexibility in your plan where you might be able to miss a day and perhaps swap it with another day. Or perhaps just skip the run and take a walk…or do some kind of physical activity.
Bring a Friend
There is something to be said about the power of running in groups or with another person. When you know there is someone out there waiting for you, it makes it a lot harder to hit that snooze button in the morning. While I am primarily a solo runner myself, I know that there is serious value in having a running buddy. If you can, find a friend that might be interested in sharing the road with you as a part of your run routine. Having someone else holding you accountable will help to get you up, out, and moving!
It takes at least 21 days/3 weeks to be comfortable with a newly formed habit…and the longer you stick with it, the more ingrained the behavior becomes. With that said, make it a point to track how often you are running. Try your best to remain consistent in your newly formed routine. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate and rearrange some things along the way as you need to, but don’t stop your routine all together. Give yourself time to really get into a groove.
Till next time, Happy Running! 🙂