Top Running Habits for Both Beginners and Experienced Runners
Running on a regular basis is a great way to improve your physical health and self-esteem. But perseverance and your ability to stick with a running schedule can be difficult to manage in your busy everyday life. Here are five tips that both beginner and experienced runners can use to stay on course.
Make a Running Plan/Schedule
The best way to ensure that you are getting runs in on a weekly basis is to be prepared. Planning out run times and rest days around a busy work schedule will increase the chances that you don’t take any lazy days off. Have backup run days to cover for unsuspected busy periods in your week. Every week, set some time aside to pick specific times during the week you have time to run. The action of planning will eventually become routine and part of your daily schedule.
Make a Personal Running Log/Journal
After every run, track your progress by entering it into a personal log book or computer data. This is a great way to keep on top of your run development and stay motivated. Entering blurbs such as personal run goals, how the run went, what you liked/disliked, and any other run notes will give you some insight into how your run went. This technique is also a way of reflecting on a bad run and not letting it deter you from your next. Be sure to mark down the date, mileage and time that you ran because this will be an additional piece of motivation to use when reflecting on your logs.
Plan for the Worst Weather
A common excuse runner’s use for not running is because of the weather. Beat this negative mindset with a plan of action in the event of bad weather. Have an alternative plan such as running on a treadmill or have appropriate outdoor wear ready. If the forecast predicts a significant drop in temperature, it is recommended wearing a heat insulated base-layer to keep warm in addition to a thick sweater or run-specific jacket. Sweat-wicking socks and mittens are another crucial piece of clothing needed to keep warm. Safety precautions should be made in advance in the event of a potentially dangerous weather forecast. If there is a chance of a thunderstorm, plan an alternative route that will either have a quicker way home know where you can take shelter. When running in the winter, it is recommended to wear a reflective vest and to keep an eye out for icy areas on the road.
Another factor in getting away from your running cycle is a lack of enjoyment. Running can be turned into a chore if you don’t have the right mindset. Varying your routes will give you a change of scenery and keep you from becoming complacent. Mixing up your runs to include speed intervals or hill sprints is a great way of keeping it fresh and challenging yourself against the typical flat pavement routes you may take. Try setting a competitive goal to reach in your run, and keep your reward in mind as the goal, whether that be better health, stress release or looking better in your clothes.
Reward Yourself Immediately
Finally, reinforce the positive benefit of the run with an immediate reward. This could be as simple as coming home to a hot shower or enjoying a special treat. By rewarding yourself, it will help instil a good feeling of accomplishment and cause you to associate the activity as a positive benefit on your life.
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