By Barefoot Dawsy
Whether you’re brand new to running or have been doing it for years, there is always a point that comes around, where you just can’t face getting out of bed to go running. It could be the weather, or a big meal, or a stressful day at work, but sooner or later everyone finds a reason to skip a workout.
Having a break from time-to-time is not a bad thing, and in a lot of ways can be beneficial, but it’s easy to get into a rut and just stop training. Like so many things in life, once you’re off the bandwagon, it can be tough to get back on again.
The trick to avoiding this situation is making running a priority. Your time is being constantly competed for, by work, family, social engagements, travel, you name it. Sometimes it can just seem impossible to try to fit it all in to 24 hours. The trouble is for most people, the first thing to go is what we view as leisure time, and this will often include running.
So to help keep you on track, or get back on it when you’re in a slump, here are 5 great and easy ways to get the most out of running by making it a priority:
1. Have a schedule
I’m a huge fan of just putting on a pair of shorts and running as fast and far as I feel like it. If you want to improve your running however, you may find it more beneficial to set yourself a schedule that includes speed work, hills, and long runs.
This doesn’t mean that you have to train like an olympian or set yourself exact distances, but it’s good to have at least a rough goal for each of your runs.
2. Join a running group
Running groups can be a bit daunting at first. There’s a tendency to think that because they’re in a group, all runners that participate are experts. The reality is that most running groups cater to folks from all walks of life.
Your running will benefit greatly from the contact with other runners, and it makes it a lot easier to keep to your schedule when you know that there are other involved.
3. Get up early
Why is it that when we get busy, exercise it the first thing to go? It happens all the time…working overtime at work, or catching up with friends at lunch. There are a million ways to avoid doing your run, so the best thing to do sometimes is to beat the interruptions to the punch.
Set your alarm a half hour early and go for a run! You’ll feel better all day for getting the blood pumping, and will feel good that you’ve done your workout.
The hardest part of the early morning run is getting out of bed, but just keep telling yourself that you’ll be awake and invigorated within 2 minutes of starting your run.
4. Lay out your clothes
Sometimes when you’re on the fence as to whether or not to go out for a run, something as simple as a misplaced hat can keep you home. A simple trick to avoid this is to always have a stash of running gear ready to go.
By having all your stuff ready and in the same place every time, it will save you time and effort getting ready. This will increase your likelihood of getting out there and allow you more time for actual running, rather than rummaging through the dryer.
5. Sign up for a race
By far the greatest help in keeping you on track is having a race to look forward to. This is especially true when you are racing with/against friends as nobody wants to be the one to let the team down (or see their mate beat their pants off!).
There are dozens of races each year in most cities, ranging from sprints right up to ultramarathons. Finding them can sometimes be a challenge, but remember that Google is your friend, and you can’t beat word-of-mouth.
No Mas. Run Free.
How do you make running a priority? We’d love to hear how you do it, so leave a comment and tell us how it’s done!