Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

Four steps to Build a Habit of Running

4 min read
Build the habit of running

If you want to make running regular part of your life the best way is to build the habit of running. Once running is a habit in your life it will be easy for you to fit your runs in and see change in your fitness and overall physical and mental health.

Once you build the habit of running you will likely change your life. You will gain great happiness, fitness, friendships and overall wellbeing from having running as a lifelong pursuit in your life.

Step 1- Find time to Run

Look at your lifestyle, evaluate your work life, family life and other recreations. When will running best fit into your life. Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or afternoon?

Find this time you can run and block it on your calendar if necessary. Tell your significant other that you want to create the habit of running and ask for their support. Once you have this time, schedule it and commit to it.

“At 6:30am till 7:30am every morning I will dedicate to running.” This is your sacred hour for running.

If you are a beginner you shouldn’t be running seven days a week yet so plan other activities related to running on other days during your sacred hour. Stretching, yoga, strength work or mindfulness meditation are simple activities you can do during this hour and they will help build the habit of running.

Step 2 – Set a consistent output

Just having set the time to run is not enough, you actually need to run.

You’ve made time in your schedule, you’ve cleared it with your significant others and asked for their support. Now it’s time to run and stick to your commitment. Not everyday is going to be easy, there will be challenges that need to be overcome. You’ll wake up and it’s pouring rain, you’ll sleep poorly and have no energy. There will always be an excuse why you can’t run. If you want to build the habit of running then you’ll need to overcome these excuses and run.

Yeah, if it’s pouring rain you can schedule a rest day and do another activity. But what if it’s raining tomorrow. At some stage in the near future you’ll have obstacles to overcome to get you out the door.

Keep going, it’ll be worth the effort. Go running.

Step 3 – Immerse yourself in Accountability and Community

Running can be a lonely sport. When you are building the habit of running it’s nice to have someone to lean on when the going gets tough. Find a friend, join a club, find your tribe, whatever terminology you ant to use is up to you. But once you find your community to run with it’ll get a lot easier to build the habit of running.

Not only will they hold you accountable, you’ll hold them accountable and pretty soon you’ll rely on each other to hold each other accountable which will make building the habit of running feel like a breeze.

For some the solitude of running is all they need. If you are a beginner or have struggled to be running consistently then save this for later. The gains in accountability and friendship you’ll find from running with your community will outweigh and lack of solitude you miss. Not every run has to be with others too, go it alone part of the time and run with friends other times.

Step 4 – Measure your Progress

A simple four step process couldn’t be complete without measuring progress and hopefully gaining encouragement and further motivation as you improve. Stop (only briefly) occasionally and measure your progress. Look at your weekly mileage, is it increasing slowly, are you getting faster or is running getting easier.

Reflect on how you feel and whether you feel fitter, stronger and healthier by building the habit of running. Ask your significant others how your running schedule is fitting in with your family life. Hopefully it’s not creating problems elsewhere in your life. If it is go back to step one and reassess, if running is important to your family will support you to help you make it happen.

Ultimately your progress is both physical and mental wellbeing. Are you motivated to keep running and building this habit. Running will take you on a wonderful journey if you build it into a lifelong pursuit.

Building running into a habit into your life is a great pursuit. My purpose for these pages is to help anyone build running further into their lives and gain fulfilment through running. If you believe I can help you please reach out at therunninger@gmail.com.

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