Establishing a running routine is difficult, yet very accomplishable. Here are nine tips that’ll help even the most unwilling make running part of a regular routine:
Set realistic expectations.
This seems obvious, but nobody becomes a marathon runner overnight. The first workouts will be tough, probably more so than you imagine. You gain a lot more from exceeding achievable goals than failing impossible ones.
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Get a proper pair of shoes.
The right pair of shoes can completely change the way you run. Not only will you feel more comfortable during the often-painful course of a run, but it will limit your potential for injury.
And by “proper pair,” I don’t mean going to Foot Locker and picking up a pair of the latest Nikes. Head to a specialty shop and get fitted by an expert. Your body will thank you.
Invest in comfort.
Along those lines, invest in your own comfort. Make sure you have a proper sports bra. Buy a pair of moisture-wicking underwear. Pick up some running-specific socks. The money you invest on these things will make the difficult part (running) easier.
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Stick to a program.
Like for any habit, you should stick to a regimented program that can help systemize your running habits. Apps like Couch to 5K have pre-made and easy-to-follow programs that will keep your progress safe and consitent.
Track your stats.
Always track your running statistics. Tracking your runs will motivate you to push on for another day. Nothing motivates like proof of improvement.
Pay attention to your rest days.
Rest days are just as important as your running days, because these are the moments when it’s the easiest to slide back into bad habits. Pay close attention to areas of discomfort, stretch out and stay flexible, and make sure you’re eating well.
Consistency is key.
At the end of the day, getting out there and doing it is so much more important than anything else. It doesn’t matter if you missed your mileage goal for the week, as long as you still ran. So don’t beat yourself up if you miss a goal, because consistency is key.
Don’t burn yourself out too quickly. The 10% rule—established by seasoned marathon runners—says that you should, at most, increase your distance or pace by 10% each week. Any more than that and you risk burning out. Slow and steady wins the race.
Be willing to forgive yourself for your errors. Missed a day? No problem, time to get back on the horse tomorrow. Remember that you’re only human and that no matter what, you’re capable of accomplishing whatever running goals you have set for yourself.
Tell us in the comments: Would you incorporate crawling into your next workout regime?