Running is a fantastic way to get into shape or to break through a weight loss plateau. Perhaps you’ve been walking for a while and the pounds are no longer melting away, if so it may be time to take your exercise up to the next level. Running is great because it can be done anywhere and anytime. Signing up for a fun 5k walk/run is one of the best ways to make sure you stick to your exercise goals. That said, trying to run only to find yourself completely breathless after a mere 3o seconds can be discouraging. Keeping your running motivation while you learn to love your new hobby can be hard.
Here are 8 tips for keeping your running motivation:
- Buy a shoe that fits you: Sure the cute shoes on the on-line store look great, but be sure they fit you and your gait so that you don’t risk getting injured. Take the time to visit a speciality running store where the staff are trained to analyse your gait and to find the right size for your foot. Running shoes come in various degrees of stability and a variety of widths. The staff at the running store will help you find the right shoe for you.
- Create a new music playlist: Being alone with your thoughts listening to yourself breathe can be intimidating. Instead create a new music playlist for your ipod or phone full of happy motivating songs. Music will move you, motivate you and help you enjoy your work out. Here are a few playlists to check out: My Awesome Half Marathon Playlist, The Ultimate Summer Workout Playlist, A Fun New Playlist For Your Spring Training and Throwback 90s Workout and Running Playlist.
- Check with your doctor: If you’re new to running it’s important to schedule a physical with your doctor before you start so that your doctor can check for any underlying conditions that may make it unsafe. Your doctor may also be able to help you develop a plan for running and give you some recommendations.
- Find support: Find an online group of people to share your progress with or a friend to run with. If your friends aren’t interested in running then check with your local running clubs, running stores, gyms or community centres for beginner running clinics. The camaraderie developed from sharing your new activity will help you to stay motivated.
- Start slowly: Just as your lungs and heart are not used to running, neither are your muscles, bones and joints. It will take time to develop the strength to absorb the shock from running. Start with a walk/run program and allow yourself sufficient time between runs to recover from the previous work out.
- Have a plan: Progressing from walking to running consistently takes time. Create a plan to help you to stay motivated. Running gets easier with consistency. A plan will help you to progress and to stick with it.
- Dress appropriately: There’s nothing worse than being too hot or too cold. In the cooler weather dress in light layers so that you can easily wrap your jacket or light long sleeve around your waist. Find a water bottle that can be worn around your waist so that you can stay cool and hydrated in the warmer weather.
- Reward yourself: Be kind to yourself and reward yourself for getting out there and doing it. Praise yourself and share your successes with anyone who will listen.
Remember, run your own pace and your own distance. It’s your run, no one else’s. Don’t pay attention to passer’s by, you’re doing this for you! No one knows how fast/slow you’re going or how far you’ve gone. Have fun with your run and enjoy the challenge of learning a new activity!
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