Sun. Jun 7th, 2020

Make running a habit and succeed

5 min read

In most pursuits in life big things come from small beginnings. This is completely true in running, the first steps in a runner’s journey are often hard fought and difficult. However if you can persist and make running a daily habit it will multiple over time and give back to you more than ever thought possible.

When a runner begins their journey it is for individual reasons. To get fit, to lose weight or to keep active in their life. Many people start this journey and don’t get very far as the first steps in the running journey are difficult. Stay the course, make it a habit running becomes easier.

If you are a new runner wanting to start the upcoming New Year with a new fitness outlook, make running a habit. Let it form part of your daily and weekly habits and be ready for it to take time.

If you are not new to running assess how much of habit running is in your life. Do you run at regular times of the day and week? Do you occasionally miss several days consecutively because you failed to prioritise running into your life or through lack of motivation? 

If either of these are you use the following habit forming tips to make running a consistent part of your daily or weekly schedule. 

  • Make running easy
  • Make running fun
  • Is running satisfying

Easy

Is fitting your running into your schedule easy. If it’s not it’s probably why you miss runs or it isn’t already part of your schedule. If running fits easily into your schedule it’ll be easy for you to get out the door running.

If running isn’t easy take a snapshot of your schedule and workout what you need to change to make running easy or at least easier. If you prefer to run in the morning what do you need to do to make sure you have time for your run. Obviously our work and family routines are individual so each of us have different challenges. In order to prioritise running is there something you need to change to make running easier. If you don’t watch that last half hour of Netflix at night can you wake up half hour earlier the next morning and run? Or something similar.

The point is if you want to prioritise running then prioritising it to fit easily into your schedule will help you run more often and more consistently and easier. 

Fun

This tip is certainly not rocket science. If running is fun to you its more likely you’ll want to run. If you find zero fun in running its either you haven’t quite made it to the fitness level where you enjoy running or it’s not the sport for you.

Let’s presume running is the sport for you. There’s a couple of reasons why running may not yet be fun.

You are running too hard. Slow down. If you always push yourself hard on your runs, regardless of your fitness level, running won’t be enjoyable. Slow down and gain aerobic fitness over time that builds endurance and running will become fun. Running too hard daily will leave you fatigued during and after your run and hinder recover between runs.

Not enough variety. If you are running the same routes and same pace runs all the time running can become monotonous. Mix up your paces and routes. Have a mix of road and trail courses you run routinely and keep adding variety to your runs where you can. Plan your weekend to run in a new location if you can.

Run in a group with other people or don’t. Whatever you prefer. Some of us enjoy the camaraderie of running with people while others prefer the solitude of hitting the pavement alone. You can mix this up too and have a variety of runs with company and alone.

Enter a race. If running isn’t fun then you may need to experience the race day feels and get amongst a like-minded crowd looking forward to spending their Sunday mornings together. It’s also ohelp keep you accountable in training and give you something to aim towards.

Satisfying

Running should be satisfying. If you are going to succeed at being a runner for the long term and commit to a consistent running approach then it must give you a level of satisfaction. Otherwise it’ll just be a grind and that’s no fun, nor satisfying.

By satisfying we don’t mean the race and your results in general. These are the outcomes and they won’t be enough to keep you going. 

To be a successful runner each run should give you a level of satisfaction. You should feel better after the run then you did before. If the simple task of putting one foot after the other repeatedly brings you satisfaction you’ll put yourself in a great place for running to be a habit that you commit to for years to come. After all there is pleasure in the pain and not every run will bring joy and elation. If the simple purpose of each run though is to bring satisfaction to your life it’ll be a great way to start or end each day and you’ll improve as a runner because of this.

If you can tick these boxes and make running fun and satisfying you’ll likely want to make running easy to fit into your schedule. Building running into a regular habit builds you both physically and mentally. You’ll build resilience, confidence and strength that you can use to succeed in both running and all aspects of life. Remember big things can come from small beginnings. If you are looking for goals for your running moving into the next year start with making running a daily habit in your life and your overarching goals will take care of themselves.

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