I want to start by saying that I came up with this post idea while running — so good things can come from a nice, long run! While on my last mile I began to think about what I like about running so much… why do I get out of my cozy bed that has a cute cuddling boy in it every morning at 6:30 to run for an hour before working an 8 hour shift?
I realized that running has become a part of who I am. When I describe myself, I say “runner,” or some form of Hey, I like to run!
Let me remind you, though, that this is something that did not happen over night, in fact it didn’t happen in a couple months… It has been a year since I started running, and it has taken that long for me to say with conviction, “I’m A Runner.”
With that said, there are so many ways for you to keep on pushing yourself, to get to the point I have finally reached. Running can do so many things for you, if only you allow yourself to get there. That’s where this post comes in.
I have tried and experimented with every aspect of my run. From self talk, to music, pace, speed and motivation, I’ve tried it all. Some helped, some didn’t, but I wanted to compile a list of ways that I keep myself running everyday so that perhaps you can get there one day too.
1. Be Kind To Yourself
When you’re running, allow yourself to smile and take in all that your body is doing for you. Feel how strong your legs are, and remind yourself that you made them that way.
2. Tell People
This may sound strange, but when you have a good run tell someone. The act of telling anyone at all, which usually is received with a reaction such as, “Wow, I wish I could run…,” gives you a sense of pride. You can smile proudly knowing that you can, you do, and you do it well.
3. Force A Routine
I don’t like using the word force, because forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do isn’t necessarily healthy. However, in the case of working out and running, it’s so easy to say no with lack of a good reason. When you are strict with yourself, you can get into a routine. As that happens it starts to become just another part of your day.
I see this as being the most important tip because when it becomes routine, it becomes a part of your identity. I once read that you are more likely to do something, like go on a run every morning, if you feel like it’s an integral part of who you are.
4. Run When You Want To
While being strict about getting into a routine is important, it’s also a good idea to ease up on yourself every once in a while. If you really, truly don’t have it in you for a run, then don’t go. You will never learn to like it if it’s forced upon you. Find the balance between listening to your body and pushing when you know you need it.
5. Reward Yourself
I run because I have a terrible sweet tooth… chocolate and ice cream are nearly impossible to resist. When I have a great run, I know I can enjoy a good piece of dark chocolate. When you run you can indulge in that one thing that makes you weak in the knees without running off the sidewalk and straight into guilt city.
6. Try New Tunes
When you give yourself something to look forward to on the run, it gives you a reason to do it. Make a point to get new music or create new playlists once a week. Try out slower songs, fast songs; I’ve been thinking of trying an audio book. I mean, running while watching TV works, isn’t that kinda like listening to a book??
You can live somewhere for ten years and still not know about different neighborhoods or parts of town. When you walk, you can find places that a car won’t take you — like an awesome trail in the woods.
8. Remember What You Loved
No matter how exhausted you are, there is always something that you enjoyed about the run: being in the sunshine, how strong your legs felt, the time you got to think. Whatever it is, remember it when you consider skipping out on a run. Always aim to get that great feeling again.
9. Surround Yourself With Motivation
What do you look at most of your day? The screen of your phone or the screen of a computer. Make these things a place for you to remind yourself why running is important to you. Put inspirational photos and quotes in places that you’ll frequently see. Allow yourself to be inspired everyday to go on one more run.
10. See and Feel The Progress
When you get into a flow, run that extra mile, or feel the toning in your muscles, suddenly you start to wonder what you’ll be able to do next. One day I ran 8 miles for the first time, a couple days later I thought I’d try for 10 miles, and then the next week I completed a half marathon! Again, I stress that this was after months of slow, painful, shorter runs; but you, just like I, will get there!
I hope you are having luck getting into your running groove. If you aren’t though, try some of these. Running is physical, mental and emotional, in very good and bad ways. If you can work with that to push yourself harder, stronger, and longer, you’ll get the running bug and never look back again!