With Tough Mudder only three weeks away, I’ve been trying to pick up the frequency of running to 3 or 4 times a week. But it’s hard, especially when you’ve been at work all day. So this week I’ve been thinking about what motivates me and what keeps me going when the thought of going for a run is the last thing on my mind.
- Start slow – Build up your pace, as well as the distance that you run slowly. Remember that we all have to start somewhere. You’re a hero for just stepping out of the door with the intention to run. If you start slowly, you’re more likely to have the energy to keep going; and completing a run is much more rewarding than starting out too quickly and having to stop half way.
- Create an awesome playlist – I can’t run without music. I have a couple of different playlists on my phone for different moods. Sometimes I just need something fast paced and upbeat and others I need something more inspirational. Either way, having music helps me to focus and keep going even when it gets tough.
- Find a running buddy – This could be someone you know, a local running group or a virtual running friend. Personally, I like to run alone, to set my own pace, put on my music and zone everything else out. Having said this, I love a bit of competition so I use the Nike running app to share my progress and “compete” with my friends. Other people like to have company when they run so ask a friend to join you. If you don’t know anyone who wants to run with you (or can’t because of location/work hours etc. you could join your local running club or Park Run; most of them are free to join and accommodate varying levels of fitness.
- Track your progress – You’ll be amazed at how quickly you improve. Whether it’s distance covered or pace, if you run regularly you’ll see yourself getting better each day. Also, if you’re using an App like Nike Running or Strava, you can have little competitions with your friends which might help you push yourself further. The one downside to tracking your progress is that it is very obvious when you have an off day. But don’t let it get you down; dust yourself off and try again tomorrow.
- Don’t think about it – Just put on your trainers and run. I run home from work and I usually spend the whole day going over and over the reasons why today isn’t the right day to run and why tomorrow would be so much better. But, when home time rolls around, I get changed and head out of the door without trying to make excuses. It helps a little that my colleagues know when I’m meant to be running home and wouldn’t let me forget if I took a day off for no reason!
- Think positively – Originally, this list was just going to be five items long but yesterday, I saw a really interesting, inspirational advert on YouTube about the power of positive thinking. You can watch the Weight Watchers ad here and whilst it didn’t make we want to go out and sign up to my local Weight Watchers group, it did make me think about the power of positive thinking and the importance of having faith in yourself.
Whether you’re training for your next event, or just enjoy running, keep up the good work!